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The best night creams of 2023

Hydrate your skin before bed with these expert-approved moisturizers.

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Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
featuring Jane Tsui, Alisha Khan
Updated on Oct 10, 2023 • 7 min read
Medically reviewed by Maria Borowiec, NB-BC
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Alisha Khan headshot
Default avatar
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
featuring Jane Tsui, Alisha Khan
Updated on Oct 10, 2023 • 7 min read
Medically reviewed by Maria Borowiec, NB-BC
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

In this article

What do night creams do? 
More

There’s no one-size-fits-all in skincare. What works for one person may not necessarily have the same results for someone else. But it’s only natural to want the best! Luckily our team of licensed dermatology providers are regularly reviewing and assessing products on the market and are happy to offer a few recommendations! So here, you’ll find the products that hold up to our standards.

Finding the perfect night cream can be a game-changer for your skincare routine—and in 2023, there are so many exciting options to choose from. So how can you pick the best one for your skin? To provide you with the most reliable information, we’ve consulted our team of experts. 

Jane Tsui and Alisha Khan are both product development managers with years of skincare expertise, and they’ve lent their insights. Here, they share what they consider to be the best night creams in 2023, so you can get softer, hydrated skin.

Stay tuned to find what may work for you!

What do night creams do? 

According to Jane and Alisha, night creams are generally thicker than your average moisturizer. They can be packed with occlusives like seed oils and squalane to ensure your skin stays moisturized throughout the night.

But that’s not all: Night creams can also help tackle specific skin issues, thanks to their beneficial ingredients. Whether you’re dealing with dryness, fine lines, or even acne, there’s likely a night cream designed to help. 

The right ingredients to look for in a night cream 

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the world of night creams. Our skincare experts Jane and Alisha have given us a road map for finding the cream of the night cream crop. 

Their tips?

Look for suitable actives, humectants, and occlusives in your night creams—but make sure you choose ingredients your skin tolerates.

Consider products with actives like retinol and AHAs, but once again, only if your skin can tolerate them. Why can actives be beneficial? Studies confirm that retinol can significantly improve fine lines and signs of photoaging

Next up are humectants, the hydration heroes. Glycerin is a popular one. If you’re wondering why you should care about humectants, here is the lowdown: These ingredients attract water from the environment and deeper skin layers. They channel this moisture to the skin surface, ensuring your outer layer stays hydrated.²

Then, there are the occlusives—ingredients like petrolatum and squalane. Think of them as the security guards of skin hydration. These oil-based substances create a barrier on your skin, locking in all the good stuff and preventing moisture loss.³

Before you try any new products, consider performing a patch test. This is a straightforward way to ensure a product is compatible with your skin. When in doubt, consult a dermatology provider. They can help ensure that you’re choosing products that are not only effective but also safe for your skin type.

What to avoid in night creams 

While the journey to healthy skin might be about what to include, knowing what to avoid is equally important. Our resident experts Jane and Alisha further offer some pearls of wisdom on navigating the “no-go” zone of night creams.

There’s no one-size-fits-all in skincare. It's essential to sidestep ingredients that don’t agree with your skin. That might mean removing pore-clogging culprits that can lead to breakouts or avoiding specific actives if you have sensitive skin.

Also, remember that thicker doesn’t always mean better. Night creams tend to be more substantial than other moisturizers to help lock in moisture, but that also means they could be too heavy for some skin types. If you’re dabbling in thicker formulations or new active ingredients, it’s always wise to do a patch test first. This will help you identify any red flags before you slather the product all over your face.

Pause and put some thought into the best way to take care of your skin. Make a list of ingredients that your skin reacted to in the past, and be a diligent label-reader. And remember, when in doubt, a patch test is your best friend. Safety first!

Our experts’ top 3 picks for night creams in 2023 

Our skin-savvy experts have done the testing for you, and they’ve got some top night cream picks for 2023.

Jane Tsui and Alisha Khan recommend:

  • Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair

  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask and 

  • Naturium Intense Overnight Sleeping Cream

According to our experts: “There are nice occlusives in all these formulas to help retain moisture overnight. You can tell because you typically can still feel them on your face in the morning!  There are also great humectants in each formula to help hydrate the skin.”

So, let’s get up close and personal with our expert-approved night creams for 2023. Each of these has its unique features tailored for different skin needs, but all are designed to pamper your skin while you catch some Z's.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask 

First up is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. This one’s an overnight gel mask that does triple duty—hydrating, visibly brightening, and softening your skin. It’s hypoallergenic and features a probiotic-derived complex with hydrating squalane, making it a good choice for normal to dry skin.

Naturium Intense Overnight Sleeping Cream 

Next, we have Naturium Intense Overnight Sleeping Cream—a budget-friendly option. It’s enriched with hydrating plant squalane and is cruelty-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free.

Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair 

Think of this product as your serum and moisturizer in one. It's fragrance-free and specifically formulated to strengthen your skin's barrier while visibly calming irritation. If you've got dry, sensitive, or uneven-textured skin, this may be a good option. Oh, and it claims to reduce fine lines—clinical results back that up, showing improvements after four weeks. Plus, it's dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic, and cruelty-free.

However, luxury comes at a price. While the Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair is a stellar product, it falls on the pricier side of the skincare spectrum. If you're in the mood to indulge and invest a little extra in your skin, this might be the perfect lavish treat to consider.

Remember, while our experts love these picks, skincare is a personal journey. Always read the ingredients, patch test, and don’t hesitate to consult an expert. Happy moisturizing!

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FAQs

What is the best night cream?

The “best” night cream is subjective and depends on factors like skin type, concerns, and personal preferences. To find the best night cream for yourself, consider products with ingredients that address your specific skincare needs, such as hydration, anti-aging, or brightening. Reading reviews, seeking recommendations from dermatologists or skincare experts, and trying out samples can help you discover the most suitable night cream that works for your skin.

What should I look for in a night cream for anti-aging?

When searching for an anti-aging night cream, our experts Jane and Alisha suggest focusing on occlusive ingredients to lock in moisture. Additionally, if your skin can handle it, look for creams with retinol and AHAs. These actives such as retinol are known to improve fine lines and skin texture.⁴

• • •

P.S. We did the homework, so you don’t have to:

  1. Mukherjee, S., et al. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. (December 2006).

  2. Purnamawati, S., et al. The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review. Clin Med Res. (December 2017).

  3. Purnamawati, S., et al. The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review. Clin Med Res. Ibid.

  4. Mukherjee, S., et al. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. Ibid.

Alisha Khan is a Product Development Manager at Curology. She studied Chemical Engineering at Cornell University and worked as a bench chemist at a multinational CPG company before coming to Curology.

Jane T. is a Product Development Manager at Curology. She received her degree in Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, worked at a cosmetic contract manufacturer, and moved into a product development role to influence the full lifecycle of cosmetic products from concept to launch.

Maria Borowiec is a certified Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She received her Master in Nursing from University of California, Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
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Maria Borowiec, NB-BC

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