The 26 best night creams we tested in 2021 for any age, skin type or budget – New York Post

For anyone who’s starting to solidify their skincare regimen, finding a good night cream is so in your best interest.

Though you may feel as though one moisturizer tub will suffice, having a thicker, more hydrating and nighttime-formulated product in your arsenal is ideal for days when you don’t have time for a face mask.

Not to mention, you’ll wake up to your skin feeling as smooth as ever.

Speaking of, my skin has never looked more plump, nourished and clear since I began testing dozens — yes, dozens — of the best night creams before bedtime.

Along with some of the best eye creams, top-tier vitamin C serums and cloud-like dry skin products we tested, it’s safe to say that we vouch for investing in your skincare, though some of the best night creams we reviewed are fair-priced and easy on your wallet.

Before we dive into our 26 favorites, check out our interview with board-certified dermatologist, Aegean H. Chan, MD, FAAD, who specializes in complex medical dermatology, dermatopathology and skin barrier research, for some FAQs on night creams.

What exactly is a night cream?

“Night creams are facial moisturizers that are formulated to be more occlusive and hydrating,” Dr. Chan told The Post. “This includes occlusive ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, and silicones, which act as a seal to your skin barrier, encouraging skin barrier repair.”

Humectants — like glycerin and hyaluronic acid — help to draw in water and add additional hydration to the skin, she adds.

How does a night cream differ from a moisturizer?

“Because they typically contain occlusives and humectants, they often have a heavier texture and maybe too greasy for some to wear during the day,” Dr. Chan adds.

How often should a night cream be applied?

“You should apply a heavier, more occlusive cream whenever your skin feels dry or irritated,” Dr. Chan said. “The extreme of this is the trend of ‘slugging,’ which is applying a layer of pure petrolatum over your skin at night.”

Click to jump to the best night cream for you:

  • Our Top Three Favorite Night Creams
  • The Best Night Creams for Dry Skin
  • The Best Night Creams for Sensitive Skin
  • The Best Night Creams for Oily Skin
  • The Best Night Creams for Mature Skin
  • The Best Night Creams for Acne-Prone Skin
  • The Best Night Creams for Balancing the Skin
  • The Best Budget Night Creams
  • The Best Splurge-Worthy Night Creams
  • The Best Clean Night Creams
  • The Best Brightening Night Creams
  • The Best Night Creams for Dark Spots
  • The Best Hydrating Night Creams
  • Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer
    • Recommended skin types: Dry, normal
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It’s clean, cruelty-free, made without parabens or silicones, good for anti-aging and dryness, comes with an included scoop, instantly hydrates the skin

    Holy honey halo. Farmacy’s Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer is truly a gift from the hive with its powerhouse blend of buckwheat honey, propolis and royal jelly. As Dr. Chan notes, its soothing and humectant properties make it an effective moisture-restoring formula.

    Made with real honey, you’d expect this night cream to be ultra-sticky and ineffective. But, the results are the opposite; the glycerin and shea-butter-infused cream soak into your skin to feel as sweet as honey — especially when you wake up the next morning.


    JLO Beauty That Blockbuster Cream with Hyaluronic Acid
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles
    • Why we love it: It’s creamy, hydrating, infused with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, good for anti-aging and dryness

    Let’s get loud over JLO Beauty’s That Blockbuster Cream with Hyaluronic Acid. It was a nighttime dream to apply and provided a fresh dewy look that made my skin balanced and well-fed before a good night’s rest.


    Korres Wild Rose Night-Brightening Sleeping Facial
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dark spots, dullness, uneven texture
    • Why we love it: It’s clean-formulated and doubles as an incredible hydrator and brightener

    Not only does Korres have a magical Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream that I would eat if I could but its Sleeping Facial is just as delectable.

    As soon as I applied this bounce-back cream — which contains vitamin C, rosehip oil and wild rose for a divine glow, BTW — I knew it would rank on top. It’s one, with the Probiotic Gel-Cream, you have to try.


    Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It’s exceptional for dryness, has a clean formula, cruelty-, fragrance- and paraben-free, it has a subtle rose scent

    Biossance’s vitamin C serum is exceptional, so I wasn’t surprised to find its nighttime repair cream to be the crème de la crème for my dry skin. The buttery whipped formula was like pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete on my flaky skin for good.


    Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It’s velvety smooth, has a clean and vegan formula, great for anti-aging and for making the skin more supple

    Drunk Elephant has a cult-following (just ask any Sephora employee) and its Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides not only has one of those cool push-down dispensers where the product perfectly comes out but also made my skin look like a radiant Barbie — without the porcelain shine, of course.

    I can confidently say that if someone broke into my bathroom and stole this cute pastel container, I would pay $60 for another one. It’s just that hydrating on dry skin (and one of our favorite dry skin products), though effective on other skin types.


    Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Firming Night Moisturizer
    • Recommended skin types: Dry, normal
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It has a clean and vegan formula, infused with hyaluronic acid, great for giving the skin a subtle lift.

    All of Caudalie’s products make me feel like I’m at a Parisian skincare buffet, notably for its luscious formula that feels as though it would be upwards of $1,000. But, it’s just shy of $70, so I’ll run with it.

    A little truly goes a long way with this night cream. Not to mention, it’s the moisture-ridden formula that reinvigorates my dry skin.


    Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask
    • Recommended skin types: Normal
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, redness
    • Why we love it: It’s fragrance- and paraben-free for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic, incredible for dryness and for eradicating slim traces of redness

    Much like its popular Lip Sleeping Mask, Laneige’s night cream version is the hypoallergenic call-to-skin that’s ultra-curated for sensitive areas. It calms my skin, has never broken it out and gives my skin a fresh start in the morning, thanks to blurring out redness and offbeat skin concerns.


    Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, loss of firmness and elasticity, uneven texture
    • Why we love it: It’s great at plumping the skin, includes vitamin F for reducing irritation and niacinamide for targeting dullness and loss of firmness

    Drunk Elephant’s F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask will make you say “wow, that’s good.” It’s filled with humectant ingredients like coconut water, sodium and magnesium PCA and prickly pear extract to make every dermatologist applaud from afar.

    It’s a lightweight formula that’s a joy to use in the evenings. So, if you’re on the hunt for a unique night cream that’s versatile and good for sensitive skin, D.E. is a solid option, though it wasn’t as nourishing as some others tested.


    Fenty Skin Instant Reset Brightening Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream with Niacinamide
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles
    • Why we love it: It has a clean formula, infused with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, incredibly hydrating due to its gel consistency, refills available

    Gel-packed and hydration-activated, Fenty Skin’s Gel-Cream is a delight to apply. Though effective on all skin types, it’s especially great for oily skin because of its radiant, bouncy texture that’s like throwing jiggly water bombs on your face.

    Aside from nourishing and anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this night cream also contains aloe to help soothe and condition the skin, along with Kalahari Melon Oil that’s rich in antioxidants and helps lock in moisture.


    First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It has a clean formula, it’s cruelty- and fragrance-free, it’s especially good for dark circles and targeting unfirm areas on the skin

    First Aid Beauty has one of my favorite day creams of all time (a tub of perfection, may I add) and its night cream is the ultra-repair I need for nighttime.

    It’s infused with colloidal oatmeal to calm and relieve dry skin and is a godsend for dark circles, thanks to hyaluronic acid and niacinamide thrown into the mix.


    Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial AHA + BHA Mask
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, pores
    • Why we love it: It has a 25% AHA blend (glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citrus acids) to exfoliate dead skin cells and promote cell turnover

    Incredible at blurring pores, Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial Mask is a rich blend of skin-loving ingredients that are targeted toward any skin type, though an answered prayer for acne-prone skin.

    Targeting dark spots that may be left behind from acne scarring and mitigating pores, it’s an all-around great night treatment to boost your skin’s morale.


    Innisfree Brightening & Pore-Caring Sleeping Mask
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, normal
    • Skin concerns it targets: Pores
    • Why we love it: Includes vitamin C, niacinamide and tangerine peel extract to help brighten and improve the skin tone

    Innisfree’s formula is sweet-smelling silk on your face and, though a night cream, is versatile enough to be worn in the daytime, too. It always leaves my skin feeling hydrated and is a complete refill-when-empty candidate.


    Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, loss of firmness and elasticity, uneven texture
    • Why we love it: It has a clean formula and is great for anti-aging, dryness and “building the skin back up”

    As one of the brand’s most popular selects, Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer is a must-try if you want a feel-good, versatile product that doubles as a sufficient daytime cream. And, it has that press-down dispenser we all know and love.


    CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily, sensitive
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, uneven texture
    • Why we love it: It’s dermatologist-tested, great for all skin types, affordable, contains hyaluronic acid and essential ceramides to deeply moisturize

    CeraVe is a standout in the drugstore skincare game. At a less than $30 price point, the Skin Renewing Night Cream is one I’ve used for years (along with the brand’s eye cream) and it’s always a douse of good hydration whenever I use it.

    And, you better grab it while you can. Right now, it’s sold out at Ulta.


    Garnier Green Labs Retinol-Berry Super Smoothing Night Serum Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles
    • Why we love it: It contains retinol for an anti-aging bonus, doesn’t overdry the skin

    For less than $25, how can you go wrong with Garnier’s Green Labs Retinol-Berry Night Cream? It’s packed with powerhouse ingredients that are almost comparable to the high-end brands we tested.

    And, it left my skin feeling refreshed, though just a bit in need of more hydration. But, that may be in fault of my super dry skin.


    Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dullness, dryness
    • Why we love it: It leaves the skin fresh, supple and hydrated, it’s affordable

    Sure, we love Mario Badescu’s face mists. But it’s night cream? Next level.

    I’m convinced anything that contains seaweed is a miracle worker and, mixed with collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, it’s a dermatologist’s thumbs-up for less than $25.


    Sephora Collection Firming Sleeping Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It has a clean formula, it’s vegan, has exceptional anti-aging, dark circles and firmness powers within the formula for the price

    Drop everything RN and go to Sephora for this now-on-sale $12 night cream. It’s an all-around good option if you want a humectant-packed formula without breaking the bank.

    Plus, it’s a great hydrator.


    Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dullness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity, uneven texture
    • Why we love it: It’s velvet-rich and ultra-smoothing, it has a clean and cruelty-free formula, it’s gluten-free, it’s a gem for dark circles

    Much like its incredibly working vitamin C serum we love, Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Face Cream Rich is a bit heavier than its original moisturizer (and more than $200) but wow, is it worth it.

    Since you don’t have to use a night cream every evening, it’s a surefire staple to consider. Plus, water is its primary ingredient and it contains vitamin E for anti-aging and smoothing benefits. I couldn’t help myself for slathering it on and telling my BFF on FaceTime to go splurge on it.


    Alpyn Beauty Hydrating Sleeping Mask with Melatonin & Wild Dandelion
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It has the best clean formula we tested, it’s super hydrating, exceptional for dryness and making the skin calm yet rejuvenated

    All hail Alpyn Beauty for yet another outstanding formula, that being its Hydrating Sleeping Mask with Melatonin & Wild Dandelion.

    Say bye-bye to the melatonin pills for now. Uniquely formulated with the rich, skin-calming antioxidant, along with bakuchiol to serve as a retinol-alternative for age-related concerns, I can’t speak highly enough about this night cream. It really reversed my skin into a clean slate, with some credit given to the brand’s cleanser, serums and day moisturizer, too.


    Alpyn Beauty Melt Moisturizer with Bakuchiol and Squalane
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It has a versatile clean formula that can also be used in the daytime, is super hydrating, gives your skin a nice matte finish, incredible for dry skin

    When I used Alpyn Beauty’s PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer for the first time, I knew it was going to be a staple in my routine. It’s creamy without irritating my dry and sensitive skin and I love how it includes five-star ingredients like vitamin C, bakuchiol, squalane and hyaluronic acid.

    From protecting your skin from radical damage and targeting age-relating concerns to hydrating the skin’s barrier and brightening the skin, it’s one of your best bets.


    Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask with Vitamin C
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven texture
    • Why we love it: It has a clean formula, is heavily infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C for brightening, it makes your skin less dull

    Containing L-Ascorbic Acid — a.k.a. the “good” and “raw” form of vitamin C, Youth to the People’s Superberry Overnight Mask is a dream to apply. Plus, the addition of squalane, hyaluronic acid and an antioxidant-rich blend of rare superberries make it lusciously hydrating and hard to stop using.

    And, if you want to kickstart a good regimen, the brand’s Superfood Cleanser is just as hydrating and jaw-dropping.


    Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, oiliness, pores
    • Why we love it: It’s infused with AHAs and glycolic acid, it’s super hydrating, excellent at blurring pores, makes the skin brighter and more balanced

    OK, pretty, aesthetically pleasing packaging aside — Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is ironically one you should not sleep on. Its inclusion of watermelon is naturally hydrating and fresh-fruit brightening, too, so much so that it’s a staple in my routine at least twice a week.

    With nourishing ingredients and a lightweight application, it’s a fantastic night cream for less than $50. Plus, the brand was our favorite vitamin C serum we tested.


    REN Clean Skincare Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dark spots, dryness, dullness
    • Why we love it: It has a clean formula, it’s super hydrating for dry skin (specifically), it helps to eradicate dark spots when used consistently

    REN Clean Skincare’s Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream is a dark horse and hidden gem in my beauty cabinet.

    For one, it contains vitamin C, lactic acid and omega fatty acids to whip your skin into tip-top shape and I noticed the appearance of dark spots under my eyes start to fade when I used this evening formula regularly. Not to mention, it’s impressively rich for it being lightweight.


    Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity
    • Why we love it: It quickly absorbs into the skin, it contains red and brown algae to hydrate and improve the overall appearance of the skin

    I’ve used Elemis’ face masks in the past and its Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream is just as cooling and nourishing. With traces of calcium, magnesium and zinc, it was like feeding my skin a nighttime supplement.

    And, though a splurge, the tub will last you for quite a while. There’s nothing better to invest in than your skin, too, right?



    IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily, sensitive
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness
    • Why we love it: It’s great for all skin types, it has a bouncy feel when applied

    Enter the TLC of night creams that’ll give your skin a nice boost. IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream has the most divine packaging that makes you want to go to bed, too.

    But, back to the formula: It’s an elevated version of your daytime moisturizer but infused with glycerin, jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid for nourishment.


    Belif Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask
    • Recommended skin types: Combination, dry, normal, oily, sensitive
    • Skin concerns it targets: Dryness, dullness, redness, uneven texture
    • Why we love it: It’s great for all skin types, it’s incredibly refreshing, it’s well-priced for the hydration level attained

    Belif’s Aqua Bomb line is much like wrapping my skin in a thirst-quenching blanket that makes my skin do a happy dance. Got that image in your head? Good, now it’s just time to buy — enough said.

    It truly is effective on all skin types (just read all the rave reviews). And, the selling point: it’s irritation-proof on sensitive skin.


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