The best night cream for all skin types 2021 | Finder NZ

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The best night cream for every skin concern 2021

Based on the products we've tried and tested, here are the stand-out, top-performing night creams for all skin types.

When on the hunt for a night cream, you’ll often need to try and test a whole bunch of products in order to find the right one for your skin. And since most night creams aren’t cheap, finding the perfect one can be a really expensive task.

So, the team at Finder have put together a list of tried and tested night cream favourites. Based on performance, the target skin concern, ingredients and price, scroll on to see our seven best night creams.

Top 7 night creams for different skin types

night cream

Trilogy Age Proof Overnight Mask

What supposedly makes this product so beneficial is an ingredient called L22, which apparently encourages your skin to mimic the lipid profile of a 22-year-old. I was personally a bit sceptical of this claim, but I’ve seen it deliver some fantastic results. Both my partner and I have tried this product and loved it. I found that it plumped my skin making it look a lot fuller and less tired.

As for my partner, his chronically dry and flaky skin was transformed into a soft and hydrated complexion. Over the last two months, it’s made a dramatic improvement to the fine lines around the eyes too.

Although this is technically a mask, it’s used as a night cream. It’s applied at night with no need to wash it off. Given the more affordable price point, I think this is definitely the top pick for a high-performance night cream.

  • Beauty Heaven review: 5/5 stars
  • Price: $40.20 for 60mL
  • Where to buy: HealthPost
  • Best for: Dry skin, normal skin, combination skin, ageing skin. May be a bit heavy for oily skin.

Crème de la Mer

La Mer Crème de la Mer

I have to alternate skincare products very frequently in order to source and test products for our Finder beauty guides, but if I could stick to one night cream forever, it would be this one. I always wake up with the skin of a porcelain doll when I use this product. I’m not exactly sure how it works because the technology behind this skincare line is a well-kept secret, but the key ingredient is a type of fermented seaweed that a badly burned scientist used to repair his skin.

I find this cream leaves my skin poreless, bright, plump, hydrated and silky soft. It also tends to calm down any inflammation I might have. It’s also worked to help me keep fine lines and expression wrinkles at bay.

This cream is pricey, but I am yet to find another product that offers me the same plump, pore-free, glowy results, so I personally think it’s worth the money.

  • StrawberryNet rating: 5/5 stars
  • Price: $312 for 30mL
  • Where to buy: StrawberryNet, FreshFragrances and TheMarket
  • Best for: Most skin types, although those with very oily skin may want to try the lighter moisturising soft lotion instead.

lanate cream

Lanate Cream

This was such an amazing find that changed my skin. In fact, this is probably my most recommended beauty product. It’s a cream made with lactic acid, a chemical exfoliant. So, in addition to nourishing and hydrating like most moisturisers should, this cream also exfoliates off all the dead layers of skin as you sleep. So when you wake up, you’re left with nothing but bright, new skin.

What’s special about this particular product is that the percentage of acid in the cream is formulated to be suitable for sensitive and reactive skin. Many more aggressive chemical exfoliants are too harsh to be used regularly, but I’ve used this every second night (sometimes every night) without issue. And regular use is what helps you maintain the glowy skin. I call this my microdermabrasion in a bottle. I was previously using a similar glycolic acid-based product that costs over $200, but I switched over to this one because it was so much better. And it costs around $30.

  • Price: $30.20 for 150g
  • Where to buy: NZ Online Chemist
  • Best for most skin types. Those with problematic skin or acne-prone skin should speak to a healthcare professional first.

Un-wrinkle Night

Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle

Just from reading the packaging, you know this product is going to be a good one. It includes most of the key anti-ageing ingredients proven to work, namely retinol, vitamins A, C and E, peptides and resurfacing acids. These ingredients and their percentages are displayed on the front of the tub, which is an indicator of skincare that does what it says in my opinion. If your product is good, there’s no need to hide what’s in it.

The key point of difference with this product is the type and particular blend of peptides used. According to the brand, the formula currently has a patent pending and is exclusive to Peter Thomas Roth. It claims to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and user reviews on Influenster and peterthomasroth.com show that many people have had success with this product. I found that (like many PTR products) this one is a bit too heavy for my oily skin. But this is a great all-bases-covered anti-ageing cream for normal or dry skin types.

  • Influenster rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Price: $171 for 28grams
  • Where to buy: Fishpond
  • Best for: Ageing skin, dry skin, normal skin, combination skin.

Sukin Moisture Restoring Night Cream

Sukin Moisture Restoring Night Cream

This is an excellent option for those looking to repair dry skin. The members of the Finder beauty team with dry skin have ranked this as one of the best soothing, nourishing, replenishing and hydrating night creams for dry and thirsty skin.

It contains Rosehip, which nourishes and helps your skin repair itself, Evening Primrose oil to help minimise sensitivity and balance your complexion and Jojoba Oils which are full of age-preventing anti-oxidants and fatty acids to lock moisture into the skin.

Two key features that make this cream stand out from the rest are the price – it’s just $20.99 – and the fact that Sukin is an all-natural brand. It can be a challenge to find hard-working products that are formulated naturally and inexpensively. But this one really does tick all the boxes

  • HealthPost rating: 5/5 stars
  • Price: $22.30 for 120mL
  • Where to buy: HealthPost
  • Best for: Dry skin and normal skin.

Seaweed Night Cream

Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream

Mario Badescu’s Seaweed Night Cream is a standout to me because it’s a deeply nourishing cream that doesn’t clog pores. If you have oily skin or sensitive skin, you might find that the thick and rich night creams that offer the best protection and skin restoring benefits will trigger massive breakouts. But not this one.

This cream is entirely oil-free. So if you’re one of those people that gets breakouts from oils as mild as jojoba just like me, this might be perfect for you. Instead of oils, the cream gets its nourishing properties from seaweed, which has been shown to soften rough skin and help encourage collagen production. It also contains a tonne of hyaluronic acid, which we know is great for pulling water into the skin and keeping it plump and hydrated. My skin always feels softer and just looks healthier after using this cream and it truly doesn’t trigger any breakouts for me.

While there are a lot of seaweed creams out there, this particular one makes our list because is it friendly to oily skin and because it’s affordable. Other seaweed-based creams from brands like Lancer, Innisfree and La Mer can cost hundreds, but this one is just $47.

  • MECCA rating: 4.4/5 stars
  • Price: $47 for 29mL
  • Where to buy: TheMarket and FreshFragrances
  • Best for: All skin types, particularly oily or breakout-prone skin.

Restoring Night Cream

Natural Instinct Restoring Night Cream

This cream promises “12 hours of continuous hydration” and says that it is “antioxidant-enriched to deeply nourish and rehydrate the skin, promoting healthy skin elasticity”. But that’s not why I like it. This cream is a winner for me because the ingredients are simple, effective and they don’t exacerbate my breakouts. As someone with oily skin, sometimes my skin just decides to be clogged, red and inflamed for no reason. And during these times I find that the glycolic acids, retinols, ceramides and peptides found in all the other high-performance creams just make my skin look worse.

This cream, on the other hand, is calming and balancing. When I wake up in the morning after using this, my face still feels moisturised, firm and plump, but with lessened irritation. Maybe it’s because it’s a natural and chemical-free product? Regardless, the moment I start developing bad skin, I will immediately make the switch to this night cream. I always have a jar stashed in the cupboard for emergencies.

  • Price: $12.60 for 110mL
  • Where to buy: Pharmacy Direct
  • Best for: All skin types

Real life favourites

Young Living ART Intensive Moisturiser

moisturizing cream

“This cream provides 72 hours of hydration, so even if I accidentally forget to use it one night, I know my skin is still hydrated from the last time I did.”

— Natalia

“I like that it’s thick without leaving an oily residue and is moisturising and gentle for sensitive skin.”

— Chloe

“I love the ART line from Young Living. It uses essential oils and no synthetic fragrances!”

— Alana


What is a night cream?

A night cream is simply a moisturising cream that you use during the evening. During the night hours, when you sleep, your skin goes to work restoring and repairing itself. Night creams are designed to work in tandem with the skin’s natural restoration processes and keep your skin healthy.


Do you need night cream?

Whether or not you need a night cream is dependent on you. Do you have any issues with your skin like dryness, irritation, signs of ageing, oiliness or sensitivity? Night creams can be targeted to fix these issues and more.

Night creams can be more effective than day moisturisers because your skin has more of a chance to repair itself at night. During the day your skin is exposed to environmental aggressors like sunlight, exhaust fumes, air-conditioning and more. But during the evening, your skin is at rest and any targeted products have a better chance of working their magic.

If you have any skin concerns, using a night cream is one way to help your skin. But if you have no real concerns, night creams are not essential.


What ingredients should I be looking for?

Like with your usual daily skincare products, night creams are made with all sorts of different ingredients. If you are wanting a night cream that will moisturise and repair your skin, these are the ingredients to look out for:

  • Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid plumps your skin and helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and it helps to brighten your complexion.
  • Retinols. Retinols help with reducing wrinkles and fine lines while brightening your skin tone. However, being a powerful ingredient, it may not be suitable for sensitive skin types.
  • Azelaic acid. If you have blemishes or dark spots, look for a night cream with this ingredient.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAS) and beta-hydroxy acids. These acids soften your skin and allow your night cream to penetrate, while improving the appearance of dull-looking skin. Beta-hydroxy acid is also useful for treating acne.
  • Resveratrol. Stressed skin will appreciate this antioxidant found in some night creams.
  • Glycolic acid. If you have oily skin, glycolic acid reduces oil production. It also treats pigmentation and acne.

What to consider when purchasing a night cream

  • Your skin type. While night creams all have one main common purpose – to moisturise, soothe and repair your skin – products are created for different skin types and concerns. If you have dry skin then you should opt for a cream targetted for dry-skin users, and if you are wanting to reduce fine lines and wrinkles then opt for an anti-ageing product.
  • The ingredients. Some night creams are packed with a range of ingredients that you have probably never heard of. Ideally, you want as few additives as possible, so it’s important to check the ingredient list to find out what’s really inside. If you are not sure what an ingredient is, research and find out if it is something that you actually want to put on your skin. Some ingredients that can be harmful include formaldehyde, phthalates, sulfates and parabens. Also, it’s worth looking at percentages of ingredients as too much can cause irritation.
  • The price. Night creams are notorious for being more expensive than other skincare products, but it is possible to find budget-friendly options. At Sephora, night creams range from $10 to $379, but for global brands like Lancome, Estee Lauder and Dior you can expect to pay $100-$200. Even if you use a skincare brand that is on the lower end of the price scale, you may like to invest in a more expensive night cream that offers the right ingredients for your skin concerns.
  • The brand and product reviews. Online beauty stores such as StrawberryNet and Adore Beauty offer reputable brands, some of which you may know but some you may not. If you are not familiar with a brand, do your research and read reviews of the product before you buy.

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