Did you know that your skin cell renewal is at its peak at night? Using anti-aging creams to boost skin regeneration at night is your best bet for fighting the aging process. There are many, many anti-aging night creams on the market, and some are more effective than others.
Our best overall pick was the It Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream, because it is dermatologist recommended, it benefits multiple skin concerns in one, and it is beloved by many, many customers. We chose the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream as our best budget pick, because it’s widely available at most drugstores nationwide, it comes at an affordable price, and it's a highly trusted skincare brand.
According to Jaimie DeRosa, MD, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and founder and lead facial plastic surgeon of DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in Boston and Palm Beach, the best anti-aging night cream for you really depends on your skin type. “If you have oily skin, you really want to look for a water-based, oil-free moisturizer—gel or lightweight moisturizing creams are a great choice, since they contain no oil,” explains Dr. DeRosa. “Humectant-based creams, such as those containing hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids, hydrate the skin by extracting moisture from surrounding air to the outer layers of the skin. These non-greasy light creams are good for acne-prone skin, too.”
Dry skin types should look for a cream, since its thickness will feel heavy (in a good way) and will take longer to evaporate. “Humectants will draw moisture in and an occlusive can help to trap that moisture in and keep it from evaporating,” explains Dr. DeRosa. Finally, normal skin types can use any type of moisturizer, and sensitive skin types should look for a fragrance-free cream that’s free of parabens and irritants.
When researching the best anti-aging night creams, we interviewed multiple dermatologists and plastic surgeons for the top picks they recommend to their patients. We used our own experience of night creams to select the best ones to recommend for each category below.
IT Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream
Why We Like It: It’s a luxe-feeling night cream recommended by dermatologists and beloved by many consumers.
It’s Worth Noting: Because it contains fragrance, it might not be ideal for those with sensitive skin.
The It Cosmetics Confidence in Your Beauty Sleep Night Cream is a popular night cream recommended by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. This cream has an array of ingredients to treat many signs of aging, including dryness, discoloration, loss of firmness, and fine lines and wrinkles, too.
For many reasons, this pick is a favorite of Dustin Portela, DO, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Treasure Valley Dermatology in Boise, Idaho. “I love the texture of this cream, and with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, it helps to repair and hydrate your skin barrier,” he says. “It’s also formulated to help fight wrinkles, dullness, and dry skin.”
One big reason why many folks love this cream is the soothing lavender scent. It’s a great fragrance to help your body and mind wind down at the end of the night. Unfortunately, some people are really sensitive to fragrance. If that’s the case for you, you might want to stay away from this pick.
Some folks have reported their skin feeling irritated after using this cream. Always make sure to do a patch test on your wrist or neck before applying this to your face.
Price at time of publication: $58
- Benefits: Anti-aging, hydrating
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, adenosine
- Skin Type: Normal, dry
- Bottle Size: 2 fl. oz.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream
Why We Like It: It’s inexpensive and widely available at most drugstores.
It’s Worth Noting: This can feel a bit thick on the skin.
Don’t judge a skincare product by its drugstore price—the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream works effectively to protect the skin barrier and amplify moisture in the skin, so you’ll wake up looking dewy and youthful each morning. We love that this pick features ingredients that work with your skin to build up a strong barrier, and it's fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, too.
Many, many dermatologists recommend CeraVe products to their patients, and Dr. DeRosa is one of them. “The CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is a nice, budget-friendly hydrating moisturizer with ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and ceramides that help to hydrate the skin and restore the protective skin barrier,” she explains.
Unlike other lightweight lotions, this night cream is on the thicker side. It shouldn’t irritate your skin, but if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, you might find the formula to be too heavy for your congested skin and should consider trying something else.
Price at time of publication: $15
- Benefits: Hydrating, soothing
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Peptides, ceramides, hyaluronic acid
- Skin Type: Dry, sensitive, acne-prone
- Bottle Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
Best for Dry Skin
alphascience ultra deep restructuring cream
Why We Like It: It’s thick and rich, and it deeply hydrates.
It’s Worth Noting: It’s on the pricier side and might not be ideal for those with oily skin.
With mature skin comes dry skin. Unfortunately, dry skin accentuates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and choosing a deeply hydrating moisturizer will help plump the skin and lightly fill in those fine lines. The Alphascience Ultra Deep Restructuring Treatment features uncommon yet noteworthy ingredients, such as saponaria stem cells, lupine protein, aescin, and encapsulated genistein to firm the skin, increase collagen production, and calm any redness or inflammation, too.
“The Alphascience Ultra Deep anti-aging cream is my top night cream pick that targets moderate to severe aging skin,” says Dr. DeRosa. “Paraben-free, with botanically-derived ingredients, this product is great for those with normal to dry skin and can be used morning and night on the face, neck, and décolleté.”
Because the formula is so thick, it might not be a great option for those with oily, congested skin.
Price at time of publication: $127
- Benefits: Anti-aging and hydration
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Stem cells, lupine protein
- Skin Type: Dry, dehydrated
- Bottle Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
Best for Wrinkles
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
Why We Like It: It’s hydrating yet very effective in treating fine lines and wrinkles.
It’s Worth Noting: It might be too aggressive for those with sensitive skin.
RoC is well-known for its incredibly effective (and affordable) anti-aging products. The RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Night Cream is one of those picks that works wonders in treating deep wrinkles overnight. Thanks to the high-strength retinol in this product, you can start to see visible results within four weeks of daily use.
Dr. DeRosa recommends this pick to her patients. “Another good over-the-counter anti-aging cream is the RoC Skincare Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream,” she explains. “It contains retinol to help reduce wrinkles and also firms and hydrates the skin at the same time.”
One of the downsides of this pick is that it can be pretty aggressive and strong on the skin. If you have sensitive skin, you probably won’t do well with this formula. If your skin is on the drier side, we recommend applying a light moisturizer on before applying this retinol product.
Price at time of publication: $22
- Benefits: Treats deep wrinkles
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Retinol
- Skin Type: Mature with deep wrinkles
- Bottle Size: 1.0 fl. oz.
Best for Dark Spots
Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Moisturizer
Why We Like It: It contains specific ingredients to treat discoloration.
It’s Worth Noting: Some folks complain about the defective pump and pilling on the skin.
The Paula’s Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator is ideal for those with dark spots because it contains two powerhouse ingredients—niacinamide and vitamin C—to effectively treat discoloration, uneven skin tone, and large pores, too.
This pick has a gel-lotion formula and is more lightweight than some of the other night creams on this list. If you prefer a thicker night cream, we suggest layering a moisturizer on top of this hydrator for maximum hydration.
We recommend this product for nighttime, because some customers have complained that the formula pills easily, so it might not be the best option to wear under makeup during the day. Some folks have noted that the pump in this packaging doesn’t get all the product out, which some might find wasteful.
Price at time of publication: $35
- Benefits: Even skin tone
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Targets dark spots and discoloration
- Skin Type: Uneven skin, aging
- Bottle Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
Best with Hyaluronic Acid
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream
Why We Like It: It contains hyaluronic acid, as well as other hydrating ingredients to plump the skin.
It’s Worth Noting: The formula isn’t as strong as others on this list.
Hyaluronic acid is a beloved ingredient in the dermatology world. It works wonders in adding lost moisture back into the skin, offering a more plump, youthful look. First Aid Beauty is known for formulating products specifically for sensitive skin, so if you have easily irritated skin that’s dry and flaky, this pick is for you.
Dr. Portela loves to recommend First Aid Beauty products to his patients. “The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream includes ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and hyaluronic acid to soothe and hydrate the skin, while niacinamide will help with discoloration and oxidative stress,” he says.
While we love a gentle anti-aging formulation, some might find this pick a bit too gentle. This pick doesn’t contain retinol or any type of acids, so you won’t get the same anti-aging results as other, more aggressive formulations. However, this is a great option for those who are looking for more hydration as an anti-aging treatment, rather than a treatment that increases cell production and regeneration over time.
Price at time of publication: $44
- Benefits: Hydration
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Sodium hyaluronate, colloidal oatmeal, niacinamide
- Skin Type: Dry, dehydrated, sensitive
- Bottle Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin
Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance NIGHT Blemish Correcting & Age Renewing Cream
Why We Like It: It’s safe for acne-prone skin and won’t further irritate a breakout.
It’s Worth Noting: It’s on the pricier side.
When it comes to dealing with acne-prone skin, you can usually count on the Avene brand not to irritate an already-inflamed dermis. That’s why we chose the Avene Cleanance NIGHT Blemish Correcting & Age Renewing Cream as the best option for acne-prone skin. This pick features ingredients to target visible blemishes and also treat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, simultaneously.
We love this product, because it fights two skin issues (acne and aging) at once—it’s hard to find products that treat both at the same time. Unfortunately, each bottle costs $48, which isn’t exorbitantly expensive but isn’t a drugstore price, either.
Price at time of publication: $48
- Benefits: Treats acne and signs of aging
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Retinal
- Skin Type: Acne-prone and aging
- Bottle Size: 1.0 fl. oz.
Best for Sensative Skin
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermallegro Night Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
Why We Like It: It’s been specifically tested on allergy-prone skin.
It’s Worth Noting: It’s a pretty small amount for $30.
The La Roche-Posay Toleraine Dermallegro Night Cream is the ideal pick for those with sensitive skin. Just like all La Roche-Posay products, every formula has been specifically tested on allergy-prone skin, so the formulations shouldn’t irritate your face.
For his sensitive-skin patients, Dr. Portela recommends the La Roche-Posay Toleraine Dermallegro Night Cream. “All La Roche-Posay products contain the famous thermal spring water, which helps support a healthy skin barrier,” he says. “I like that this also contains many hydrating ingredients, like shea butter, neurosensine, and vitamin E. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point, too.”
The packaging of this formula is relatively unique. It comes in airtight packaging that contains anti-contamination valves to prevent contaminants and air from reaching the product. While we love the innovative packaging, we don’t love the minimal amount of product that you actually get in this pick. If you use it nightly, you’ll probably have to replenish it fairly often.
Price at time of publication: $30
- Benefits: Hydrating
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Vitamin E, shea butter
- Skin Type: Sensitive
- Bottle Size: 1.35 fl. oz.
Best for Oily Skin
Algenist Genius Sleeping Collagen
Why We Like It: It’s not too heavy and not too light.
It’s Worth Noting: It’s pricey.
The key to choosing a night cream for oily skin is to find a rich cream that won’t exacerbate your skin type issues. The Algenist GENIUS Sleeping Collagen Moisturizer is one of those creams. This pick features a relatively thick consistency, but it won’t clog your pores further and won’t make your skin oilier.
Dr. Portela recommends this night cream to his patients. “Vegan collagen peptides can help to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the skin without the risk of irritation that many retinols can lead to,” he says.
This formula doesn’t contain retinol or any abrasive acids, so you probably shouldn’t expect the same results as other night creams with more aggressive ingredients. However, we think this pick is ideal for those who have oily skin and could use a leg-up on skin barrier support and protection from oxidative aging. This product is priced at $98, which isn’t super-pricey for a luxe night cream, but isn’t on the cheaper side, either.
Price at time of publication: $98
- Benefits: Hydrating, protection from oxidative stress
- Anti-Aging Ingredients: Vegan collagen, patented alguronic acid, and ceramides
- Skin Type: Oily, combination, normal
- Bottle Size: 2 fl. oz.
How We Selected
We used our own experience of using some of these anti-aging night creams to recommend them to readers. We looked for anti-aging night creams that were specific to each category and featured products with scientifically backed anti-aging ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, retinoids, and peptides.
We interviewed two board-certified dermatologists and one board-certified plastic surgeon for their recommendations on the best anti-aging night creams. The doctors we spoke to included:
- Jaimie DeRosa, MD, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and founder and lead facial plastic surgeon of DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in Boston, Massachusetts, and Palm Beach, Florida.
- Corey L. Hartman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Dustin Portela, DO, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Treasure Valley Dermatology in Boise, Idaho.
What to Know About Anti-Aging Night Creams
Ingredients to Look for
From a very broad perspective, the best face cream will have a combination of emollients, humectants, and occlusives, according to Dr. Hartman. “Emollients are ingredients that are applied to the skin that add moisture to the skin barrier, like shea butter and cocoa butter,” he says.
Occlusives are another type of ingredient to look for in anti-aging night creams, because they add moisture to the skin and add a physical barrier between the skin to prevent transepidermal water loss, locking in the hydration added to the skin, according to Dr. Hartman. “Common occlusives include beeswax, argan oil, jojoba oil, and mineral oil.”
Finally, humectants, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, work "by attracting water from the air or deeper into the skin to add moisture to the skin barrier,” says Dr. Hartman. “You’ll want to avoid anything with alcohol, as alcohol dries out the skin. I also don’t like astringents, such as witch hazel, in moisturizers either, as they can also dry out the skin.”
Another ingredient that is key to anti-aging is a retinoid. “Retinoids help to reduce inflammation, increase cellular regeneration, and decrease wrinkle formation, while also breaking up hyperpigmentation and reducing pore size, too,” says Dr. DeRosa.
How to Use Anti-Aging Night Creams
It’s always important to be consistent with your skincare routine—you won’t see any change or any benefits if you occasionally use a night cream. “Most adults, especially in the winter, when the air is drier due to lack of humidity and dry heat, should be using a night cream daily,” explains Dr. Hartman. “Follow the rule of applying products with thinner consistency first, meaning, once you wash your face, apply your serum (if using a serum) and then your night cream.” Retinol comes after your night cream if you’re using it. Don’t forget to apply your anti-aging night cream on the skin on your neck.
If the night cream you’re using contains a retinol, Dr. DeRosa recommends starting more slowly and instead, using it once or twice a week. “Then, you can increase frequency as your skin gets used to the retinol,” explains Dr. DeRosa.
How Much You Can Expect to Pay
The price of anti-aging night creams is very vast, because the age-defying ingredients used in these types of creams can get expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $300 for an effective anti-aging night cream.
Your Questions, Answered
What age is best for anti-aging night creams?
According to Dr. Portela, prevention is the best medicine, and ideally, one should implement a quality night cream before they start to see problems. “I think it is a great idea if you can identify the skin problems that tend to run in your family and start using a night cream to address those problems in your mid-thirties, before you notice those first signs of aging,” he suggests.
What does anti-aging night cream do?
Night creams should do more than just moisturize the skin. “The addition of active ingredients can be designed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, and even blemishes,” explains Dr. Portela. “Ideally, they will leave the skin more radiant and show increased hydration and bounce.”
Is it too late to start anti-aging products?
Night creams are typically used by those over age 40 who are starting to notice things about their skin and want to keep any problems from getting worse, according to Dr. Portela. “They can do an excellent job at reducing those early signs of aging,” he says.
Who We Are
Daley Quinn is a freelance journalist, specializing in beauty and health, who has contributed to numerous publications, such as Elle, Real Simple, Allure, The Cut, WWD, and more. She used her personal experience with testing anti-aging night creams, as well as interviewing multiple experts for their recommendations for the best anti-aging night creams.