The 21 Best Night Creams Your Skin Needs In 2021 - The Dermatology Review

The 21 Best Night Creams Your Skin Needs In 2021

SKIN CARE REVIEWS

03.02.21DISCLAIMER

2020 was a year that tested our mental and physical health while compromising our skin’s integrity at the same time. But the relationship between stress and the skin is not groundbreaking news. In fact, it’s been documented since ancient times. Of course, demographics also play a role. Studies revealed 703 million people aged 65 or older existed in 2019, and this number is expected to reach 1.5 billion by 2050, therefore increasing the demand for night creams. Sales are projected to cross the 10 billion mark by 2027, nearly doubling the 5.9 billion of sales in 2018. 

However, even if you’re younger and feeling cool, calm, and collected, the skin can still benefit from a night cream because it doesn’t perform the same way while sleeping as it does during the day when you’re awake. Your skin is in a defense mode throughout the day, safeguarding itself from harmful UV rays, the weather, bacterial growth, and pollution — this is where a day cream and SPF come into play. However, when you’re sleeping, the skin is in a reparative mode, working hard to regenerate and rebuild the damage precipitated by daily activities and habits. With that said, nighttime is the best time to restore your skin with the right night cream for your skin type and condition.

The best night cream is Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream. Followed by Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer. 

Here are our top picks.

Best Overall Night Cream : Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream, $80

Best Clean Night Cream: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer

Best Night Cream With Retinol: StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer, $79 

Best Night Cream for Aging Skin: SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream, $125

Best Night Cream for Wrinkles: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer, $17.84

Best Night Cream for Dry Skin: SkinCeuticals Renew Overnight Dry, $62

Best Night Cream for Oily Skin: Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Recovery Cream, $24.99

Best Night Cream for Acneic Skin: Phyla Biotics Phluff Moisturizer, $70

Best Drugstore Night Cream: Lumene Nordic Hydra [LÄHDE] Hydration Recharge Overnight Cream, $19.99

Best Night Cream for Glowing Skin: GLAMGLOW Good in Bed, $54

Best Night Cream for Mature Skin: U.SK Timeless Mask, $209

Best Vegan Night Cream: Pacifica Vegan Overnight Recovery Cream, $24

Best Night Cream for Sensitive Skin: Senté Dermal Repair Cream, $158 

Best Night Cream for Combination Skin: Tula Skincare Beauty Sleep, $64

Best Night Cream for Dull Skin: Skin Authority Night Revitalizer, $57

Best CBD Night Cream: BOTA De-Stressing Nightly Face Cream, $30

Best Brightening Night Cream: Korres Brightening and First Wrinkles Advanced Repair 

Best Exfoliating Night Cream: Julep Night Shift Sleeping Mask + Moisturizer, $16

Best Night Cream for Stressed Skin: Skyn Iceland Oxygen Infusion Night Cream, $68

Best Sleeping Mask Night Cream: Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask, $52

Best Balm-Like Night Cream: Tammy Fender Celestial Rose Crème, $145

Who Should Use a Night Cream? 

The short answer is that everyone can benefit from a night cream, but the secret is using the right formula for your skin type and concern. However, research suggests that moisturizing and nourishing creams were the most popular as of 2018 because consumers appreciate how they improve the skin’s circulation and texture. When it comes to the right age to start using a night cream, there’s no magic number, though one’s twenties are typically an excellent time to start making an effort. As a general rule of thumb, here are the best types of formulas to seek out. 

  • Dry Skin: Rich, creamy, reparative textures.
  • Oily Skin: Mattifying formulas that are lighter weight, such as gels, gel-creams, or more aqueous solutions. 
  • Acne-Prone Skin: Purifying gels or gel-creams that fight bacteria and calm inflammation.
  • Anti-Aging: A reparative formula that targets the damaging effects of sun exposure, the beginning signs of chronological age, and a lack of sleep.
  • Mid-Aging: Night creams that target fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, tone, and texture on a deeper level.
  • Mature: All of the above but more elevated and typically, more rich and potent. 

How to Correctly Use a Night Cream

Ensure your skin is thoroughly cleansed before applying your night cream to your entire face and neck, if applicable. As many formulas contain acids, retinol, and other resurfacing ingredients, avoid the eye area, but treat this delicate skin with a specific cream or gel both day and night. Depending on your lifestyle, the current climate, or your travel and sleep habits, it can be useful to up the ante by replacing a night cream with an invisible no-rinse night mask — even once or twice a week, depending on the current state of your skin. Don’t worry. We’ve listed a few fantastic suggestions below. 

The 21 Best Night Creams Your Skin Needs in 2021

Best Overall Night Cream: Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream, $80
A long term anti-aging formulation developed specifically for mature and devitalized skin, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream hydrates, soothes and visibly transforms your skin while you sleep. Formulated with a nutrient-rich blend of complexes that are high in plant oils, essential fatty acids, and omega oils, this ultra-nourishing night cream with reparative properties gently exfoliates and regenerates the upper layer of your skin. A calming overnight replenishment for use every night, this unique formula visibly brightens dark spots and blurs age lines, so skin looks softer, smoother, and radiant upon waking up.

Best Clean Night Cream: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer
Save money (and counter space) with The Moisturizer from Carrot & Stick. This cream can be used day and night, and does a little bit of everything. It moisturizes and nourishes the skin while also firming and brightening it. The plant-based formula includes plant proteins, vitamins, peptides and amino-collagen, along with stem cell extract from hardy alpine roses. A caffeine boost helps perk up the skin while five distinct coconut elements help with cell renewal and overall conditioning.

Best Night Cream With Retinol: StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer, $79 
Retinol is one of the best age-fighting ingredients out there because it softens fine lines and wrinkles while improving elasticity, tone, and texture. However, it can cause the skin to be irritated — especially for those who are sensitive. The good news is this night cream is formulated with StriVectin’s patented NIA-114 technology to help lessen any potential irritation associated with retinol. Thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid, copper tripeptides, and plant lipids, you’ll wake up with a more radiant, supple, and youthful complexion. 

Best Night Cream for Aging Skin: SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream, $125
As the name suggests, this intense, results-driven night cream harnesses the power of an alpha hydroxy acid and a retinoid to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving elasticity and tone. Thanks to SkinBetter’s proprietary retinol technology (and a blend of skin-soothing ingredients), you’ll reap all the benefits minus any irritation. The addition of glycolic acid visibly improves the skin’s texture while stoking the other ingredients to increase efficiency. A potent blend of peptides and antioxidants deeply hydrate the skin while protecting it from free radical damage. As this is a more intense night cream, you can’t buy it directly online. However, simply call or drop a note to the SkinBetter team, and you’ll get your dream cream in a timely manner. 

Best Night Cream for Wrinkles:  Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer, $17.84
Boasting over 14,000 nearly perfect five-star reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say this wallet-friendly night cream does what it promises, which is to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Along with a glucose complex and hydrating hyaluronic acid, it’s retinol (SA) to the rescue once again. Clinical studies showed that 100% of the women tested saw visible results (reduction in crow’s feet, cheek, and forehead wrinkles) in just one week. 

Best Night Cream for Dry Skin: SkinCeuticals Renew Overnight Dry, $62
While most night creams provide moisture, some skin types are extra thirsty, so they require additional TLC. One of the problems is the accumulation of dead skin cells that prohibits a moisturizer (and other products) from penetrating the skin’s surface, which means it’s not doing its job. This nighttime remedy contains a 10% hydroxy acid blend (malic, lactic, tartaric, citric, glycolic) to gently exfoliate while fighting dryness and diminishing fine lines’ appearance and wrinkles at the same time. Dry skin can sometimes be accompanied by irritation, so this cream was also formulated with skin-soothing ingredients such as chamomile, evening primrose, and aloe to keep skin calm and balanced.

Best Night Cream for Oily Skin: Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Recovery Cream, $24.99
Those with oily skin can benefit from a night cream, providing they choose the right formula. Since oily skin can contribute to breakouts, this night cream contains salicylic acid, willow bark, and argan stem cells to help clarify pores and curtail pimple-causing bacteria. It also works to absorb excess oil, hydrate, balance the complexion, calm inflammation, and fade acne scars’ appearance over time. 

Best Night Cream for Acneic Skin: Phyla Biotics Phluff Moisturizer, $70
Are you frustrated by trying to control your acne with harsh ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, only to wind up with redness, irritation, dryness, and maybe even more oil because your skin is trying to protect itself from being assaulted? It’s time you became familiar with Phyla Biotics, which effectively treats acne-prone skin without any harsh side effects. This light-weight moisturizer promotes a healthy skin microbiome (good-bye acne), thanks to Phyla’s proprietary probiotic. It deeply hydrates the skin without any heaviness and can even help to balance an oily complexion. 

Best Drugstore Night Cream:  Lumene Nordic Hydra [LÄHDE] Hydration Recharge Overnight Cream, $19.99
Finns have been hooked on this Nordic brand ever since it launched back in 1970, but beauty fanatics in the States had to wait until 2006 to see what all the buzz was all about. The brand is named after Lake Lummenne in Finland, and the formulas embrace Finnish women’s beauty rituals — who manage to have flawless skin despite frigid temps and whipping winds come wintertime, we might add. With that said, you’re going to want to get your hands on this night cream that supports continuous hydration due to Lumene’s Hydra-Technology. Other vital ingredients include pure Arctic spring water to balance the skin’s pH, organic Nordic birch sap to nourish and hydrate, and shea butter to heal and tone. It’s the next best thing to seeing the Northern Lights.

Best Night Cream for Glowing Skin:  GLAMGLOW Good in Bed, $54
The name of this night cream may be a bit playful, but the results you’ll see when you wake up are nothing short of profound. Passion fruit oil and hyaluronic acid work together with a blend of skin-refining acids to exfoliate and hydrate a dull, dry, and tired complexion. You’ll notice a significant difference in the texture and hydration levels after just one use. 

Best Night Cream for Mature Skin: U.SK Timeless Mask, $209
While this rich, deeply hydrating night cream “mask” is a saving grace for mature skin, it’s non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, so it’s not going to disrupt — or create — any additional skin concerns. It will target problems that come with aging, mature skin (wrinkles, dullness, rough texture) due to intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors. It also prevents deeper expression lines from forming — bonus points for the illuminating effect that gives the skin a from-within glow. Just a head’s up: You need to purchase this potent formula from a physician.

Best Vegan Night Cream: Pacifica Vegan Overnight Recovery Cream, $24
Yes, Pacifica, the same brand that you know and love for their deliciously scented candles and body care, also has notable skincare products. Take, for example, this rich vegan overnight cream formulated with vegan collagen (derived from a plant-based fermentation process), flower extracts, essential lipids, and antioxidants to nourish, repair, protect, and hydrate even the most parched complexion. The appeasing essential oil-based scent will also help you slip away into dreamland a little bit faster. 

Best Night Cream for Sensitive Skin: Senté Dermal Repair Cream, $158 
This delicate moisturizer, formulated with patented heparan sulfate analog technology and green tea extract, promises to increase hydration, decrease inflammation, and stimulate collagen and elastin production in just four weeks. Heparan sulfate (HS) is a sugar complex within our skin that is fundamental for preserving the skin’s integrity. Any skin type can benefit from this night cream since it’s hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. 

Best Night Cream for Combination Skin: Tula Skincare Beauty Sleep, $64
Before we get into why this night cream truly lives up to its name, let’s talk a little bit about Tula’s mathematics: probiotics + superfoods = glow. Every one of the brand’s products is formulated with these ingredients to ensure that your skin’s microbiome remains balanced. Beauty Sleep is Tula’s most potent cream. It’s also formulated with alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin C to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve texture and tone, and brighten the skin’s appearance. While nothing truly replaces a solid 7-8 hours of sleep, this night cream comes pretty darn close.

Best Night Cream for Dull Skin: Skin Authority Night Revitalizer, $57
A natural AHA exfoliator derived from sugar cane works to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while visibly brightening an uneven, dull complexion with little or no irritation. A bevy of hydrators helps to soften soothe even the roughest of skin — even after just one use. Just be sure to avoid the eye area. 

Best CBD Night Cream: BOTA De-Stressing Nightly Face Cream, $30
Formulated with calming lavender, rose flower water, and 150 mg of CBD, this night cream is like sleep in a jar. Also, (natural) nourishing oils and extracts work together to reduce redness, soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and deeply moisturize, resulting in a healthy, refreshed complexion. 

Best Brightening Night Cream: Korres Brightening and First Wrinkles Advanced Repair 
Korres refers to this soufflé-style night cream as “a facial in a jar,” and with good reason. Wild rose oil (a staple ingredient in the Korres Herbal Apothecary), hyaluronic acid, turmeric extract, and stabilized vitamin C work together synergistically to address uneven skin tone and texture, loss of elasticity and moisture, dullness, and dark spots while you sleep. Clinical results reveal that 100% of the participants had more moisturized skin and a smoother texture after 14 days, while 97% saw more radiance.

Best Exfoliating Night Cream: Julep Night Shift Sleeping Mask + Moisturizer, $16
Get ready to try this clinically proven peptide-packed night mask/cream improves skin hydration in as little as 15-minutes. Additionally, a lactic/glycolic acid copolymer increases cell turnover, resulting in a brighter, smoother, and firmer complexion. It’s the perfect night cream when your skin requires a much-needed pick-me-up. 

Best Night Cream for Stressed Skin: Skyn Iceland Oxygen Infusion Night Cream, $68
Let’s face it: After 2020 (and the beginning of 2021), whose skin isn’t feeling a bit stressed? You know, dull, flaky, irritated, clogged, and bumpy? The Saponaria pumila and gosulin agave in this rescue night cream replenish stressed skin while improving fine lines’ appearance. Rejuvenating micro-encapsulated oxygen works to put life back into depleted skin, resulting in a healthier, brighter, and more youthful appearance. 

Best Sleeping Mask Night Cream: Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask, $52
Despite being touted as a “mask,” rest assured the formula absorbs quickly into the skin to lock in moisture for an impressive 72 hours while simultaneously reducing signs of redness and irritation by balancing the skin’s natural flora. It only takes one use to see results, though, after four weeks, the skin’s appearance and hydration levels improve even further. It’s also a great product to slather on before flying as it helps protect against the dehydrating and stressful effects associated with air travel. 

Best Balm-Like Night Cream: Tammy Fender Celestial Rose Crème, $145
You need not take a trip to Tammy Fender’s West Palm Beach spa to experience how indulgent and effective her holistic, plant-based products are. If you’re not familiar with Fender, her formulations have caught the attention of everyone from beauty editors to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow. When it comes to night creams, this luxurious balm-like formula will initially win you over by its intoxicating rose scent; but keep you coming back for more once you see how it superbly rehydrates and de-stresses the skin while protecting it from the elements. Trust, even if this is the first product you try from her lineup, it won’t be the last.

The Final Word

Between an increase in the elderly population, increased stress, and a more consumer savvy market, night cream sales are projected to cross the 10 billion mark by 2027, nearly doubling the 5.9 billion of sales in 2018. Everyone can benefit from a night cream, but the secret is using the right formula for your skin type and concern. When it comes to the right age to start using a night cream, there’s no magic number, though one’s twenties are typically an excellent time to start making an effort. As with other skincare products in your routine, don’t expect your night cream to perform miracles overnight. It takes approximately one month (if not more in some cases) for the skin to renew itself, so be sure to be patient and consistent. 

Sources:
“Brain-Skin Connection: Stress, Inflammation and Skin Aging,” US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, June 2014.

“Night Creams Market,” Persistence Market Research,” February 2020.
“Night Cream Market Set to Cross US$ 10 Bn Mark by 2027; Anti-aging Night Cream Products to Lead the Way,” Persistence Market Research, February 2020.

THE BEST SKIN CARE LINES 2021

1

Formulyst

The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.Read More
2

Carrot & Stick

Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare. What does this mean? It perfectly balances the power of plants with innovative science, offering the best of both worlds.Read More
3

Advanced Dermatology

The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns.Read More

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