If you’re looking for ridiculously soft, hydrated skin, then you should add an overnight moisturizer to your routine. And yes, before you ask, they are different than a daytime moisturizer. Overnight moisturizers are typically heavier and more hydrating—you wouldn’t exactly want to slather them on your face during the day, so you let them work overnight.
What to Know about Overnight Moisturizers
Like most beauty products, an overwhelming amount of different overnight moisturizers are out there. Picking just one can be difficult, but it really comes down to your skin type and a few other facts to get the best results possible.
- Buy one based on your skin type. When choosing an overnight moisturizer, look for one that works with your skin type. All are hydrating, but some might be better for extra dry skin than others. If you have sensitive skin, look for one made with hypoallergenic ingredients, and so on.
- Pay more attention to reviews than price. Just because a product is expensive doesn’t automatically make it better. Go for a moisturizer with great reviews and testimonials over the fancy one you don’t know much about, and you’ll probably have better results.
- They’re ideal right before bed. An overnight moisturizer is thick, while a daytime moisturizer is lightweight. An overnight moisturizer can sometimes be more oily and leave behind a sheen as it soaks into your skin, and it might even feel a bit tacky at first. For those reasons, it’s preferable to use these right before you go to bed.
- They can exfoliate as well as moisturize. Another benefit of overnight moisturizers is that many contain acids or ingredients that help exfoliate skin gently while you’re sleeping. As you’re sleeping, skin is basically recharging and an overnight moisturizer helps speed that process along.
Best Overall: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
The very popular CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is the best example of a cream that doesn’t need to be expensive to work. This product is made with hyaluronic acid for extra hydration and peptides to help the skin repair itself overnight. Also made with niacinamide, an ingredient known for working well with sensitive skin or rosacea, this is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to irritate their face.
Ceramides help restore skin’s protective barrier, and a slow release technology allows skin to really soak up the moisture over time. It also comes in a convenient pump bottle that’s both hygienic and easy to use, and it’s surprisingly lightweight for an overnight moisturizer. All of that, and the fact that it comes in at drugstore prices makes this one the best of the bunch.
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion | Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide | Ultra-Lightweight, Oil-Free Moisturizer for Face | 3 Ounce
The CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is packed with hydrating ingredients that help restore and repair skin at a great price.
Best High End: Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream
If you’re willing to spend more on a moisturizer, opt for Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream. Made with highly potent antioxidants, this one is deeply hydrating; with a surprisingly lightweight texture, it’s comfortable to wear. It’s also free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, and phthalates, making it a more natural option.
The super lotus in this cream is what makes it stand out, as it boosts radiance, moisturizes skin, and protects it from damage. The peach leaf extract helps skin recover and repair itself overnight. It can make your skin look more radiant, revived, and smooth by the time you wake up in the morning, giving a youthful look to your face. It can even minimize fine lines. And to top it off, it has a lovely fruity scent and a wonderful texture.
Best Drugstore: Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Night Cream Face Moisturizer
Made with powerful peptides, this Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Night Cream Face Moisturizer is excellent at hydrating and plumping your skin while you sleep. Amino-Peptide Complex moisturizes and plumps skin to make it appear glowy and youthful, and also exfoliates and smooths to get rid of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Antioxidants and green tea extracts are other stars of this cream, helping to prevent redness and leaving skin softer and smoother than it was before use. It feels rich and luxurious but available at drugstore prices and can be found in drugstores as well, which makes it convenient and accessible.
Olay Regenerist Night Recovery, 1.7 oz
Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream hydrates, exfoliates, and plumps skin while you sleep.
Best for Oily Skin: Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream
If you have oily skin and/or if you’re looking for a natural option, Ren is a terrific clean brand, and this Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream is an awesome overnight moisturizer. It’s made with soothing ingredients that can specifically help oily skin with blemishes, like alpha-linoleic acid, which hydrates especially tight or uncomfortable skin and lightens the appearance of blemish scars. Japanese licorice extracts reduce shine and redness and irritation, while essential oils like chamomile, lavender, and sage help soothe skin.
The gel-cream texture is refreshing and feels calming, and it doesn’t have that heavy cream feel that can be uncomfortable on oily skin. It also helps prevent breakouts that can come with oily skin.
Best for Dry Skin: Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Créme
Dry skin doesn’t mesh well with retinol, which can make it even more dry or irritated. Retinol also happens to be in a lot of overnight moisturizers because it can be beneficial to skin overnight. But Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Créme doesn’t have retinol, making it ideal for super dry skin. It’s instead made with bakuchiol, which is a plant-based retinol alternative that fights the signs of aging, firms skin visibly, and improves elasticity.
Alpha hydroxy acid deeply hydrates your skin to make it look fresh, glowy, and new, and smooths It out without irritating your skin. It’s also made with clean ingredients you can feel good about using.
Best for Sensitive Skin: CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream
Sensitive skin demands special attention, and this CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream gives skin exactly that. Full of ceramides to retain skin’s moisture, it has hyaluronic acid to hydrate and niacinamide to soothe skin and even out texture. Non-irritating, it’s perfect for sensitive skin that gets red and irritated easily, because it will soothe and lessen that redness.
This one never feels greasy and is also brightening, in case skin is dull and in need of a bit of a glow. It works with the same slow-release technology as the CeraVe moisturizer in the Best Overall pick, so it helps moisturize skin and keep it healthy all night long. And, again, the price tag can’t be beat.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream | Niacinamide, Peptide Complex, and Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer for Face | 1.7 Ounce
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is hydrating and plumping but also reduces redness, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
Best Oil: Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil
Moisturizers are great, but a hydrating oil is almost always a good addition to your before-bed skincare routine. This Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil is super potent and works to make skin look and feel younger as it boosts hydration and radiance, and gently exfoliates while you sleep. The retinol reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles and improves signs of aging, texture, dullness, and dryness.
The chamomile essential oils help get rid of redness and leave your complexion more even, and it works overnight to get rid of dryness and to make skin glow. It has a beautiful blue color and a nice smell, and it feels luxurious.