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The best night cream for every skin concern 2022

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.

The team at Finder have put together a list of the best night creams based on performance, target skin concern and price, so you can narrow your search down and find a product that’s right for you.

The best night creams in New Zealand

How did we pick this list?

For this list, we selected night creams based on actual customer reviews and ratings online. For every category, we carefully chose parameters based on our research and determined products with the highest review score within those parameters.

Best overall night cream: CeraVe Moisturising Facial Lotion PM

CeraVe Moisturising Facial Lotion PM

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Can be used as a day cream

Cons

  • Customers said it’s too light for extra dry skin
  • Not ideal for people sensitive to niacinamide

Price (RRP): $19.71

Buy at Amazon

Why we chose it

For the best overall night cream, we recommend the CeraVe Moisturising Facial Lotion PM. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 16,000 reviews on Amazon.

This night cream features three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. According to the company, it uses a patented MVE Delivery Technology to keep the skin moisturised throughout the night. Apart from being fragrance and oil-free, this product is hypoallergenic and non-irritating as well.

Developed with dermatologists, this night cream is lightweight and absorbs quickly. Customers liked that despite having a thin consistency, it provides moisture to their skin throughout the night. Those with dry skin also praised the product for being versatile, adding that they used it as their day cream too. Others with oily and combination skin mentioned that this night cream worked for them as well. The niacinamide content helps brighten and calm their skin. However, customers with extra dry skin found that the product isn’t enough for night-time use. Some also cautioned that it may cause flushing if you’re sensitive to niacinamide.


Best anti-ageing night cream: L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream

L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Anti Wrinkle night cream

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Customers found the product too thick
  • Too greasy for some

Price (RRP): $34.88

Buy at TheMarket
Buy at iHerb

Why we chose it

If you’re looking for the best anti-ageing night cream, we recommend the L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream.

According to the manufacturer, this night cream delivers anti-wrinkle and firming action throughout the night. It contains Pro-retinol A and Stimuplex, which help minimise wrinkles, firm the skin and provide 24-hour moisturisation. In addition to being non-greasy, this product is non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types.

Many customers raved about the product’s affordability, adding that it performs better than pricier night creams that they’ve tried. The retinol content of the product is also a huge plus, according to others. This ingredient has anti-ageing properties that can help minimise the appearance of wrinkles while smoothening the skin. Despite the non-greasy claims, some customers did find it greasy, though added that it goes away after a couple of minutes. Others said that it’s quite hard to spread because of its thick consistency.


Best night cream for dry skin: Cetaphil Redness Relieving Night Moisturiser

Cetaphil Redness Night Moisturiser

Pros

  • Instantly soothes and moisturises the skin
  • Ideal for those with sensitive skin as well

Cons

  • Doesn’t reduce redness according to some customers
  • Flimsy packaging

Price (RRP): $23.52

Buy at iHerb

Why we chose it

Cetaphil’s Redness Relieving Night Moisturiser is our pick for the product for dry skin.

This night cream from Cetaphil soothes redness-prone skin due to dryness. According to the company, it can also help improve skin texture as it rehydrates the skin overnight. The product is clinically tested non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic, ideal for those with sensitive skin as well.

The Cetaphil Redness Relieving Night Moisturiser helps keep the skin moisturised while you sleep. Customers loved that it’s lightweight and fragrance-free. It is formulated without paraben as well. Those with dry skin also praised the product for instantly providing moisture to their skin, while others liked that it reduces irritation. A few customers also said that they wake up with plump and balanced skin, thanks to the night cream. Some customers found the packaging flimsy, adding that the pump is quite hard to use. Despite its redness-relieving claim, several others said that it doesn’t reduce their redness. However, this seems to be an isolated issue.


Best night cream for oily skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Concentrate Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Concentrate

Pros

  • Helps brighten the skin
  • Non-sticky and lightweight

Cons

  • Too fragrant for some
  • Leaves a tingly sensation according to customers

Price (RRP): $27

Buy at TheMarket
Buy at iHerb

Why we chose it

For oily skin, we selected the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Concentrate Cream as the best option.

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Concentrate Cream is formulated with Progressive Release System to continuously release moisture to the skin throughout the night. According to the company, it is enriched with vitamin E beads with hyaluronic acid, olive extract and ionic mineral complex. The product is oil-free, dermatologist-tested and non-comedogenic as well.

Customers with oily skin praised the product for having a thin consistency that sinks into the skin within seconds. They also added that they feel refreshed after applying the night cream. Some reviews mentioned that their skin remains moisturised and shine-free in the morning as well. Because of how moisturising the product is, a pea-sized amount is enough for the face and neck. However, some criticised the product for not having extra benefits apart from moisturisation. Others also found it too sticky for their liking.


Best night cream for combination skin: Acure Brilliantly Brightening Night Cream

Acure night cream

Pros

  • Helps brighten the skin
  • Non-sticky and lightweight

Cons

  • Too fragrant for some
  • Leaves a tingly sensation according to customers

Price (RRP): $21.75

Buy at iHerb
Buy at Nourished Life

Why we chose it

If you have combination skin, we recommend the Acure Brilliantly Brightening Night Cream as the best night cream available online.

This night cream helps moisturise, protect and hydrate the skin while you sleep. It provides targeted nutrition overnight as well. According to the company, it is high in vegetarian RNA and DNA from organic green algae. It contains argan oil, evening primrose, chlorella and avocado as well. Apart from being vegan, the product is free of sulphate and parabens.

The Brilliantly Brightening Night Cream is cruelty-free and formulated without mineral oil, petrolatum and formaldehyde. Customers appreciated that it provides more natural ingredients at an affordable price. People with combination and normal skin also praised it for providing just the right amount of moisture to their skin while they sleep, leaving their faces smooth and bright in the morning. It penetrates the skin quickly without leaving any sticky residue, according to others. There were complaints about the scent being too strong, while a few customers said it leaves a tingly sensation when applied. But this seems to be an isolated issue.


Best night cream for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Overnight Moisturiser

La Roche Overnight Moisturiser

Pros

  • Instantly soothes and relieves irritation
  • Helps smoothen the skin according to customers

Cons

  • Pricier than other night creams on the market
  • Doesn’t sink in quickly

Price (RRP): $44.99

Buy at TheMarket
Buy at Adore Beauty
Buy at MYM Beauty

Why we chose it

Our choice for the top night cream for sensitive skin is the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Overnight Moisturiser.

This night cream is ideal for sensitive or easily irritated skin because it soothes dryness and irritation throughout the night. It features thermal spring water, which provides a smooth and water-gel texture to the product. It also helps visibly reduce redness with carnosine/vitamin E complex that replenishes the skin upon waking.

Apart from providing intense hydration, customers loved that the product instantly soothes their sensitive and irritated skin. They also liked that it has no fragrance, alcohol or colourant. The night cream is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog the pores. Some reviews praised the ultra-hermetic packaging, adding that it’s quite sturdy and helps keep the product fresh. This night cream is pricier than others on the market, but customers said that the quality and efficacy is worth every penny. A few found it too sticky and doesn’t absorb quickly, which may be a disadvantage for those with oily skin.


Best affordable night cream: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream

Palmer's Night Cream

Pros

  • Instantly soothes and relieves irritation
  • Helps smoothen the skin according to customers

Cons

  • Pricier than other night creams on the market
  • Doesn’t penetrate quickly

Price (RRP): $15.15

Buy at iHerb
Buy at Catch

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best affordable night cream is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisture Rich Night Cream.

This Palmer’s night cream contains natural cocoa butter, retinol and vitamin E that helps promote softer and smoother skin while you sleep. It is suitable for most skin types, even sensitive skin. Apart from being dermatologist tested, the product is non-greasy as well.

According to customers, this product is good value for money. They liked that it has anti-ageing ingredients such as vitamin E, retinol and peptides despite being cheaper than other night creams. Those with sensitive skin also enjoyed the product, mentioning that it helps calm their skin. It is non-greasy and absorbs quickly as well. However, some customers found the night cream quite heavy and difficult to spread. Its thick consistency may be a con for people with oily skin.



    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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