If you have dry skin, night creams are invaluable in terms of providing extra moisture, soothing inflammation and redness, and allowing your skin to heal and rebuild itself overnight. These days, however, picking the best night cream for dry skin may seem like a considerable task, given all the various formulas and brands on the market. In fact, you might even feel like a night cream is an unnecessary addition to your already extensive (and expensive) skincare routine.
Simply put, the key role of a night cream — especially when it comes to dry and dehydrated skin — is to replenish moisture. And it's a step you shouldn't think about skipping. When your skin lacks moisture, your body reacts with unwanted symptoms like flaking, redness, irritability, dullness, and acne. Instead of treating these symptoms directly, however (which can actually make things worse), if you have dry skin, your number one priority should always be to heal and replenish your skin's moisture barrier through added hydration. These "side effects" will then clear up on their own. Also, a good part about night creams is that you don't have to worry if they'll play nicely with your makeup or make your face look shiny throughout the day. You can choose any formula, no matter how thick, as long as it's doing its job.
Listed below are five of the best night creams out there, including options for sensitive and acne-prone skin, and ones that treat redness and flaking, too. Slather one on, get a good night's sleep, and wake up to a healthy, radiant complexion each morning.
1Best For Acne-Prone Skin: A Lightweight Gel-Cream With 30 Percent Hyaluronic Acid
It's impossible to talk about moisturizing without mentioning hyaluronic acid, a molecule that naturally occurs in our skin and is best known for its ability to retain one thousand times its weight in moisture. With that said, Peter Thomas Roth's best-selling Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream is one of the most potent formulations you can buy. It contains 30 percent hyaluronic acid (along with silk proteins, ceramides, and elderberry extract) and provides your skin with intense hydration that lasts all night and even into the next day. Free of alcohol, oil, and fragrances, it's perfectly safe for sensitive or acne-prone skin. The lightweight gel texture feels incredibly soothing on dry skin, and you can even store it in the fridge for an extra-refreshing experience.
2Best For Sensitive Skin: A Non-Irritating Recovery Cream That Intensely Repairs And Hydrates Dry And/Or Irritated Skin
If you have particularly sensitive dry skin, Avène's Skin Recovery Cream is a gentle, no-nonsense recovery cream that provides intense hydration but doesn't include any irritating ingredients. The formula is designed to repair overworked skin, calm irritation, and rebuild your moisture barrier. The French formula is also dermatologist approved, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free, making it a wonderful option for sensitive complexions. Like all of Avène's products, it includes mineral thermal water sourced from the brand's namesake town, which has been used for centuries for its natural healing properties.
3Best For Redness And Itching: A Rich, Hydrating Cream That Calms Irritated Skin With Oatmeal, Shea Butter, And Ceramides
If your dry skin is both dehydrated and distressed, try First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream. It's a rich moisturizer that, with the help of colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and ceramides, calms skin, reduces redness and inflammation, and provides long-lasting hydration. The cream has a whipped texture that absorbs quickly into the skin, so your face feels instantly smooth and nourished. The formula also contains an antioxidant booster, licorice root, and white tea extract, which, in addition to providing moisture, also protect your skin from future environmental damage.
4Best For Flaking: A Budget-Friendly, Multi-Purpose Balm Infused With Panthenol That Heals Extremely Dry Skin
La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 is so effective at treating dry skin that it's even a favorite among Accutane users. The balm uses panthenol to soothe dry, rough complexions and shea butter, copper, zinc, and glycerin to reduce flaking and redness. Fragrance-free, non-oily, and non-sticky, it's extremely gentle, so it's safe to use on all skin types (and babies!) since it won't clog your pores or cause breakouts. Even though it's a balm, it has a matte finish, and it's free of parabens and lanolin as well. You can use it on your body too — any severely dry area (like your elbows) that need some extra moisture. As a bonus, this French pharmacy favorite doubles as a top-notch lip balm.
5Best All-Natural Option: A Travel-Friendly Night Cream For Dry Skin That's Free Of Any Questionable Ingredients
From cult-favorite European brand Weleda comes this ultra-hydrating night cream, which was formulated for normal to dry skin. The formula is all-natural, cruelty-free, and best of all, NATRUE-certified. What you won't find in this cream? Synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colorants, and mineral oil. Instead, it uses iris root to rebalance the skin's natural moisture levels, cocoa butter and sweet almond oil to provide rich hydration, and chamomile and calendula extracts to soothe and calm skin. Since it comes in at under 3.5 ounces in this TSA-friendly tube, it's perfect for travel, too.
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