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Best night creams for every skin type 2022: Give your skin the beauty sleep it deserves

Philippa Pearne Danielle Wilkins
25 Feb 2022
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Looking for an overnight skin saviour? These are the best night creams worth investing in

Your head hits the pillow, you’re out like a light, and your body is in shutdown mode for the next eight hours or so until you wake, right? Well, while you’re in the land of nod, your skin is doing anything but. As you sleep, your skin’s cells go through a process of regeneration, and the skin’s raised temperature means it’s better able to absorb active ingredients. However, it also releases moisture through a process known as transepidermal water loss. 

As a result, slathering on the right night cream will work wonders. It can hydrate and restore your skin, so you awake with a more luminous complexion. From anti-ageing to calming, we run through the best night creams, which can help you tackle your skincare concerns while getting your beauty sleep.

How to choose the best night cream for you 

What’s the difference between a day cream and a night cream?

“During the day, your skin encounters external aggressors like UV rays and pollutants. A good day moisturiser will contain SPF, protective antioxidants, lipids to hydrate, and peptides to strengthen the skin,” says medical facialist Renée Lapino. Day moisturisers are also lighter in texture and easier to apply makeup over the top. “At night, our bodies enter recovery mode and begin to regenerate tissue and skin cells, so night creams focus more on moisture and recovery,” she adds. As a result, they’re richer, slightly thicker, and more concentrated in terms of active ingredients. 

What features should I look out for?

Do we really need different moisturisers for different times of day? Of course, the answer isn’t always yes, and you can use your day cream at night if your budget doesn’t allow you to buy a separate night cream. But a good night cream will take your skincare to the next level – especially if you want to tackle specific issues such as fine lines, pigmentation, or acne. “Acids, retinols and ceramides are all crucial to support your skin overnight,” says Renée. “Retinol is a hero ingredient for treating a variety of skin concerns, but the best night creams will be those that have a formulation of peptides with low levels of retinol (to stimulate collagen) and AHAs (to polish).” 

How much should I spend?

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get decent results. While some formulas command three-figure prices, there are products at the other end of the spectrum that do a good job. And we’ve never had more choice at this end of the market with the emergence of no-frills skincare products that forego the fancy packaging to offer decent options at a price that anyone can afford. Whether it’s more hydration, plumped skin or simply a morning glow, there’s a product out there for every budget.

READ NEXT: Best facial moisturisers to buy

The best night creams you can buy

1. Clarins Multi-Active Night: Best night cream for combination skin

Price: £45 | Buy now from John Lewis

This little pot of delicious-smelling cream is the perfect starting point for anyone in their late 20s taking their first steps into overnight skincare. It comes in two variations – normal to dry skin and normal to combination skin – and neither is so heavy or greasy that it’s likely to cause breakouts. Its primary goal is to revitalise and brighten the skin, but also to reduce fine lines. You can see the results if you use it every night. Even if fine lines aren’t yet a concern, this is a great formula simply for hydrating the skin to the max overnight, despite feeling super light on application.

Buy now from John Lewis


2. Allies of Skin Retinal & Peptides Repair Night Cream: Best clinical formula for all skin types 

Price: £105 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

If you’re going to invest this kind of money on a night cream, it needs to live up to the hype, and the game-changing formulas from Allies of Skin certainly do just that. The gentle but effective cocktail of ingredients, including a patented form of time-release retinaldehyde, works hard to tackle the daily damage caused by pollution and stress, while antioxidant-rich argan oil and Arctic cranberry seed oil will keep your skin barrier happy. As well as smoothing fine lines and brightening dull skin, this formula also works brilliantly on acne-prone complexions. The texture is light, and the cream is easily absorbed. You’ll feel the hydration benefits instantly but will see more dramatic results after 28 days. We’re talking improved skin texture, minimised pores, and reduced inflammation.

Buy now from Cult Beauty


3. UpCircle Night Cream: Best sustainable night cream

Price: £19 | Buy now from UpCircle

In an already overcrowded market of “natural” skincare, UpCircle goes one step further with its waste-fighting formulations. Each product in the range features by-products from other industries, including the food and drink industries, and everything is organic, vegan and packaged in recyclable, plastic-free packaging. This saintly night cream – with repurposed blueberry extract – is thick (a little goes a long way) but it feels nourishing and luxurious, and upon application it sinks in quickly without feeling heavy. It’s rich in Vitamin A, which has a multitude of benefits, including plumping fine lines and refreshing tired complexions. By morning, skin feels hydrated, calm, and supple: a winning result at a great price point. 

Buy now from UpCircle


4. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream: Best night cream for signs of ageing

Price: £73 | Buy now from Murad

Murad is loved for its hard-working formulas and, as such, results from this cult cream are visible after just one night of wear. The lightweight, suits-all formula combines three Vitamin A derivatives with niacinamide and picolinamide to strengthen your skin’s barrier and smooth its texture, yet it’s gentle enough to be used as a daily addition to your night-time routine. Skin instantly feels brighter and better hydrated come morning, but continued use will lead to minimised lines and wrinkles, as well as improved firmness and radiance. The handy pot is also great for dispensing the perfect amount of product. 

Buy now from Murad


5. Aroma Active Soothing Overnight Face Balm: Best for dry or irritated skin 

Price: £15 | Buy now from Boots

If no amount of night cream is enough to satisfy your parched skin, it might be time to switch to a moisture-grabbing balm. Pollution, central heating, and even the ever-changing weather can all leave our skin feeling irritated and devoid of moisture, so thankfully this deeply hydrating overnight treatment is packed with calming and protective ingredients for when your skin needs a soothing cuddle. Technically speaking, it is a balm, but it has a creamy texture and feels delightful to apply. It’s lightly scented with lavender and patchouli (perfect for bedtime), known for their moisturising and cooling effects, while the active probiotics will help restore and fortify the skin barrier, and therefore calm any angry redness. A great call for when your skin feels dry, tight, or upset.  

Buy now from Boots


6. RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream: Best night cream for mature skin

Price: £40 | Buy now from Feelunique

Designed for dramatic results but gentle enough for daily use, this night treatment from French skincare favourite RoC is a great, affordable retinol option for anyone who wants to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and crows’ feet. The 30ml bottle is smaller than most night creams on the market, but a little goes a long way since it’s probably not the kind of product you would smother your face in. Rather, use it sparingly on and around problem areas. It’s wonderfully light, absorbs like a dream, and – as the packaging promises – you’ll notice subtle but definite improvements in your fine lines after just four weeks of use. 

Buy now from Feelunique


7. Caudalie Vinopure Mattifying Fluid: Best cream for oily skin

Price: £24 | Buy now from Lookfantastic

When your skin is oily or acne-prone, it can be tempting to skip the moisturising part of your night-time routine altogether – but oily skin needs hydration too, and forgoing it will only lead to more oil production. This super-light, non-pore-clogging lotion not only feels cool and refreshing to apply, but it’s formulated with squalane which works to moisturise skin while combating excess shine and helping to reduce the appearance of blackheads. Use morning and evening for a happier, more refined complexion. 

Buy now from Lookfantastic


8. Decléor Lavender Fine Lifting Night Balm: Best luxury product 

Price: £55 | Buy now from Decléor

Infused with powerful essential oils, including lavender and iris to banish dullness and boost cell renewal, this aromatic balmy blend melts deliciously into the skin for a dreamy, spa-like experience in your own bathroom. Its key ingredients also include geranium, known to soothe the skin, calming chamomile and hydration-hitter wheat germ, which helps to reduce lipid deterioration. It’s the perfect consistency for contouring facial massage, so really take your time to apply this one at night and your skin will feel both comforted and more toned come morning. It might not be one for oily or congested skin, but it’s a real treat for drier and mature skin types.

Buy now from Decléor

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