The 21 Best Night Creams to Regenerate Your Skin While You Sleep



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. That’s why we’re here to talk about the best night creams.

Sleep mode is the optimal time to restore your skin with the best night moisturizer for your skin type and condition. It’s vital that the best night face cream is well-formulated with evidence-based ingredients that tend to work their magic at nighttime. 

Suppose you don’t want to spend a lot on night cream for dry skin — the best drugstore night cream to the rescue. The bottom line is that everyone can benefit from a separate P.M. moisturizer and with so many different formulas and price points at your reach, there’s no excuse not to have one in your skincare routine.

Don’t have time to sift through hundreds of best night creams to find the right one for you? No problem. Here at the Derm Review, we’ve reviewed hundreds of products with a scientific lens to ensure you’re creating a skincare regimen that’s safe and effective. Ahead, a list of 21 top formulas so you can find the best night moisturizer to address all your skin concerns.

Best Night Creams: The List

Whether you need a night cream for oily skin, night cream for sensitive skin, or anything in between, one of these top picks is bound to help you wake up to supple, hydrated, glowing skin. 


BEST NIGHT TREATMENT: Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum

BEST NIGHT CREAM: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer


Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream

Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf and Hibiscus Firming Mask

StriVectinAR Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer

SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream

SkinCeuticals Renew Overnight Dry

Dermalogica Power Bright Overnight Cream

Fenty Skin Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream

Tula Skincare Beauty Sleep

Korre Brightening and First Wrinkles Advanced Repair

Skyn Iceland Oxygen Infusion Night Cream

Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask

GLAMGLOW Good in Bed

Senté Dermal Repair Cream

How to Choose the Best Night Moisturizer

Night creams are typically heavier than day creams because our skin naturally loses water while we sleep. Additionally, suboptimal conditions (like a dry home, an overheated room, a poor diet, and not drinking enough water) and your skin will feel dry, dehydrated, and tight, resulting in looking tired and run down — even after a good night’s sleep.

Related: Best Night Creams For Your 30s

Depending on your lifestyle, the current climate, or your travel and sleep habits, it can be helpful 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. 


Texture and Your Skin Type

A thicker cream can help seal in moisture along with the active ingredients. Even so, you should still choose a formula appropriate for your skin type — here’s a general guide. 

  • 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.

Best Night Cream Ingredients

Night creams moisturize, soothe, and repair your skin while you sleep. Look for products that are formulated with the following ingredients: 

  • Retinol: This vitamin A derivative is an anti-aging powerhouse that helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration — it can also even out and brighten your complexion. If you’re new to retinol, you need to start with a small amount two to three times a week before working your way up to the daily application. 
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Every skin type can benefit from hyaluronic acid because it provides deep hydration without heaviness. As it’s a humectant, it can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water, so it’s safe to say it’s a super-hydrator of epic proportions. It also helps to plump up fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid. It also retains water to a remarkable degree and plumps up your skin but has a smaller molecular weight to allow for deeper penetration. 
  • Alpha- and Beta-Hydroxy Acids: These agents are citric and other fruit acids suitable for dull or ashy-looking skin. They gently exfoliate and soften while helping your night cream penetrate your skin.
  • Glycerin: Glycerin is another humectant that effectively locks in moisture to keep skin supple and smooth.
  • Lactic Acid: helps to keep the skin moisturized and feeling less dry. When you use lactic acid regularly, it can also improve signs of aging. It stimulates collagen renewal and can firm your skin.
  • Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant that moisturizes and brightens the complexion.
  • Resveratrol: An antioxidant that supports stressed skin.

How to Properly Apply a Night Cream

While you may think you already know how to apply a night moisturizer, there are a few tips to ensure you reap all of its benefits. 

  • Thoroughly cleanse your skin and remove all traces of makeup. 
  • Apply your serum. If you’re using multiple treatments, apply lightest to heaviest.
  • Wait 2-3 minutes for your serum to fully absorb.
  • Since moisturizers and creams penetrate more efficiently when applied to damp skin, mist your face with a soothing toner or floral water first. 
  • Using clean fingertips, start by dabbing on a generous amount of night cream on your forehead, cheeks, chin, neck, and décolleté. Then use an upward and circular motion to massage the cream into your skin — this is an essential part of boosting absorption and circulation. 
  • If you want additional hydrating and reparative benefits, apply a few drops of face oil over your moisturizer.

Best Night Creams


BEST NIGHT TREATMENT: Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum
The Repair Serum by Carrot & Stick helps lift, tighten and firm the look of skin thanks to seven plant-based neuropeptides, while synthesized growth factors help keep skin looking radiant. Perfect for overnight use.

BEST 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. A caffeine boost helps perk up the skin, while five distinct coconut elements help with cell renewal and overall conditioning.


Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream
A long-term anti-aging formulation developed specifically for mature and devitalized skin that hydrates, soothes, and visibly transforms your skin while you sleep.

Formulyst’s night cream is 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, visibly brightens dark spots, and blurs age lines. Skin looks softer, smoother, and more radiant upon waking up.

StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer
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.

SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream
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 profoundly hydrates the skin while protecting it from free radical damage. 

SkinCeuticals Renew Overnight Dry
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 night moisturizer is formulated with skin-soothing ingredients such as chamomile, evening primrose, and aloe to keep the skin calm and balanced.

Dermalogica Power Bright Overnight Cream
This moisturizer is one of the best night creams to help you fade dark spots while optimizing the skin’s moisture levels and restoring luminosity. Niacinamide, hexylresorcinol, and vitamin C helps fade discoloration, while pumpkin enzyme smoothes and evens skin texture. Antioxidant-rich cranberry and raspberry seed oils help protect against environmental aggressors and deliver essential fatty acids that moisturize to help reduce the appearance of fine lines. 

Olay night cream deeply hydrates the skin to improve elasticity, firm skin for a lifted look, and instantly diminish the look of wrinkles. A few of the key active ingredients include niacinamide, panthenol, and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4.

Fentyy Skin Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream
This rich night cream by Fenty Skin is said to instantly hydrate, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles while improving the look of pores and dark spots in just one week. A few of the key ingredients that you’ll find in this night cream include glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, panthenol (provitamin B5), vitamin E, and watermelon seed oil.

Tula Skincare Beauty Sleep
Every one of Tula’s products is formulated with probiotics and superfoods 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.

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 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.

Skyn Iceland Oxygen Infusion Night Cream
Between balancing your work and personal life and the continuance of the pandemic, whose skin isn’t feeling a bit stressed? This skin condition can be characterized as being dull, flaky, irritated, clogged, and bumpy.

The Saponaria pumila and gosulin agave in this rescue night cream replenish stressed skin while improving the appearance of fine lines. Rejuvenating micro-encapsulated oxygen works to put life back into depleted skin, resulting in a healthier, brighter, and more youthful appearance.

Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask
Despite being touted as a “mask,” rest assured this night cream for dry skin from Dr. Brandt 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 of air travel.

GLAMGLOW Good in Bed
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.

Senté Dermal Repair Cream
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 Moisturizer: The Bottom Line

What’s the best night cream? Overall, our suggestion is Carrot & Stick Repair Serum followed by Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer. Serums have a higher concentration of actives and penetrate deeper.


Best Bet

Carrot & Stick routines take the guesswork out of building the perfect routine for your skin. You save up to $160 with a routine. Use code DERM20 for an additional 20% off.

Essentially, a night cream provides a deeper level of moisture to your skin because it’s thicker a texture you wouldn’t want to wear during the day, especially if you wear makeup or tend to perspire a lot during the day.

The active ingredients in night creams have been specifically chosen to work in conjunction with your skin’s nightly reparative process, which is important because your skin absorbs around 15% more of what you put on it at night than during the day.

There’s no magic number when it comes to the right age to start using a night cream. Collagen production begins to decrease as early as 25, so adding a night cream to your skincare routine is an excellent preventative measure against future signs of aging throughout the rest of your 20s and beyond.

Yes. As mentioned, the skin loses water while you sleep. Night creams are thicker and designed to hydrate and support aging skin. These P.M. creams are formulated with ingredients that hydrate and repair over several hours like hyaluronic acid and encapsulated retinol, for example. These ingredients work better at night when sunscreen doesn’t interfere.

The best night cream will result in skin that appears hydrated, plump, and nourished upon waking up. Who knows? You may find yourself wearing less makeup as your complexion approves.

No that’s why we have the best drugstore night creams on this list! Luxury brands can afford fancy packaging, splashy advertising, and marketing via an influencer or celebrity spokesperson.

However, many of the products these brands carry rely on fragrance and ingredients that only temporarily make the skin look and feel better. Don’t equate the best night face cream with a high price tag. Read the ingredient label instead.

Both serums and night creams provide anti-aging and reparative benefits. However, even though moisturizers are heavier in texture, serums are more concentrated, and their molecular structure is more diminutive. Serums can penetrate the skin at a deeper level and can be more effective in treating skincare concerns but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a moisturizer. The two go hand-in-hand.

For example, you can pair your night cream with Drunk Elephant’s TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, SK-II’s GenOptics Aura Essence Serum, or Sunday Riley’s A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum. To prevent irritation, make sure your night moisturizer doesn’t contain the same active ingredients as your serum.

Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule in Skin Aging,” US National Library of Medicine National Center for Biology.
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.

  • Little Lizzy Original review: Oct 03, 2013. Reply

    Dior make the best night creams. I use dior capture totale for firming, wrinkles, and uneven tone and i like the way the product has the added cosmetic benifit of tightening the face and smoothing wrinkles.

  • Kat Original review: Sep 20, 2013. Reply

    Can you reocommend a good anti aging night cream for deep wrinkles around the mouth for Asian skin types? I’ve read that we have thinner skin in the face so it is better to use products that are designed for us. I want to try some Japanese skin care brands, can you recommend the best night cream for Asian women?

  • Carol Original review: Aug 28, 2013. Reply

    The best night cream for wrinkles is sleep. Seriously. There is no anti aging product in the world that works as well as beauty sleep. Pack up all your skin care products and replace it with good old fashioned sleep. It is the best night cream you will find in your dreams.

  • Pixy Original review: Jul 18, 2013. Reply

    I have heard really good thing about l oreal revitalift night cream but I am looking for something with retinol that also works on oily skin. Does the proactiv night cream contain retinol and can that help wrinkles and aging or is it just for acne?

  • Kat Original review: Jun 22, 2013. Reply

    The best night cream is Clinique Repairwear Intensive Night Cream for $50 from Macys. Seriously, It really hydrates dry skin and leaves the skin softer. When I went to the Clinique counter the rep looked at my skin and said this product will not only hydrate dry skin but it will also provide lots of anti aging benefits. Apparently it has some ingredients that work like retinol. It works much better then the L’oreal, Garnier, Nivea and ponds night cream as well. I used to use retinol night creams before but they cause my skin to flake even more. If you you are looking for the top night cream, then try Clinique Repairwear as a face night cream. It’s a good product that I will continue using unless they invent something else.

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