- Night creams can add an extra dimension to your daily skin care routine
- Night creams contain active ingredients not found in creams for daytime use
- Their benefits include anti-aging properties, deep moisturization and acne treatment
A night cream complements your daytime moisturizer by providing extra hydration and other skin care benefits. These creams are often thicker and richer than daytime face creams and are designed to rejuvenate your skin while your body is at rest.
If you have combination skin, a night cream can improve your skin’s overall health and appearance in a few key ways.
Why Use a Night Cream?
A night cream gives you access to ingredients that cannot be worn on the skin during daylight hours.
Some of these ingredients are inactivated by the sun or make your skin light-sensitive to the sun. Ultra-moisturizing formulas appear too greasy on the skin to be worn during the day.
Paired with a good daytime moisturizer, the hydrating, anti-aging, anti-acne and exfoliating ingredients found in night creams can improve the look and feel of your skin.
Best Anti-Aging Night Creams for Combination Skin
Anti-aging night creams work to restore loss of collagen and elastin, the key proteins in maintaining skin firmness and elasticity, and to reverse or prevent photodamage.
Some of these ingredients cause photosensitivity or are inactivated by exposure to light, making them better suited for overnight use.
Retinol is one of the most powerful anti-aging molecules and can benefit both the dry and oily areas of your combination skin. This skin-firming compound lessens the appearance of fine lines and softens even deep wrinkles by increasing collagen production and cell turnover rate.
Because retinol increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, it should be worn at night and washed off in the morning. When you are using retinol, it is especially important to protect your skin during the day with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
Vitamin C improves skin health in several ways. It’s an antioxidant, meaning it protects the skin from free radicals in the environment. It promotes collagen production and can improve an uneven skin tone by gradually erasing dark spots.
Many people can use products containing Vitamin C during the daytime with no ill effect. However, if you have sensitive skin, reserve your Vitamin C use for the nighttime as it can make your skin sensitive to light.
Another antioxidant, Vitamin E, is most effective when paired with Vitamin C. It smooths the skin’s surface and helps retain moisture while speeding up the recovery of damaged skin.
Ceramides are lipids naturally produced by the body to moisturize and protect your skin. Topical application of ceramides in a night moisturizer restores ceramides lost with age and can encourage their production.
Resveratrol is a compound found in grape skin, dark chocolate, peanuts and berries. It works as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation and free radicals in the environment, and encourages collagen production.
Best Moisturizing Night Creams for Combination Skin
Keeping your skin hydrated with a face moisturizer is among the best ways to maintain a healthy-looking complexion.
If your combination skin looks dry or dull, the best time to deeply moisturize your face is at night, as you can apply heavy-duty products that are too greasy to wear during the day. Choose products that are fragrance-free to avoid irritating dry skin.
Night moisturizers offer different levels of hydration suited for somewhat dry to very dry combination skin.
Hyaluronic acid helps draw and lock moisture into the skin. Applied topically, it has been proven to help the skin maintain elasticity and firmness. Because hyaluronic acid hydrates without adding oil, making it work well on even oily areas of combination skin.
By using hyaluronic acid at night, you can wake up with plump, dewy skin and see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.
Glycerin is a humectant like hyaluronic acid, meaning it attracts moisture to the skin. It also promotes cell exfoliation. Due to its excellent moisturizing properties, it is found in high quantities in many skin care products.
Jojoba oil, extracted from the jojoba plant, is an antibacterial and antioxidant similar in composition to sebum, the oil naturally produced by your skin. It regulates sebum production by signaling to your skin not to produce more oil. It is also non-comedogenic and a source of vitamin E.
Shea butter is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It contains several beneficial fatty acids and vitamins A, E and F.
As shea butter is comedogenic and can clog pores, you might not want to use it on acne-prone skin, but it can provide deep hydration for areas of dry skin.
Best Exfoliating Night Creams for Combination Skin
An exfoliating night cream can work gently overnight to unclog your pores and dissolve the bonds holding dead skin cells together. After washing your face in the morning, your face will feel smoother and appear brighter.
This alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) can easily penetrate the skin to reduce scars, hyperpigmentation and acne. In night creams, glycolic acid can be found in concentrations ranging from 2 to 10%. As a rule, the more sensitive and dry your skin is, the lower of a concentration you should use.
Lactic acid is another AHA that works similarly to glycolic acid. Its larger molecular size means it cannot penetrate the skin as deeply as glycolic acid, resulting in a gentler exfoliation.
Best Night Creams for Combination Skin and Acne
Acne in this skin type can be difficult to treat, as many products designed to address acne are too harsh for the dry areas of your face.
One solution is to use two moisturizers: one on the oily areas of your skin and another on the dry areas. Or, you can use one oil-free moisturizer that’s hydrating enough for your entire face.
Night creams designed to treat acne contain oil-regulating and antibacterial ingredients.
Salicylic acid is the most commonly used anti-acne ingredient. It is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) and is lipophilic, meaning it dissolves in oil. This makes it an effective exfoliant for oily skin as it easily penetrates clogged pores to break up sebum plugs.
Salicylic acid also regulates oil production in the skin, lessening the likelihood of getting clogged pores at all.
While you may find that you can only use a salicylic acid-containing night cream on part of your face, it is an ideal ingredient for managing breakouts.
Among its many skin care benefits, niacinamide, a type of Vitamin B3, is useful in treating severe acne. With regular use, you may see a decrease in acne lesions and inflammation.
Nighttime Skin Care Routine
At the end of the day, first thoroughly cleanse your face with a face wash or cleanser and use a skin-balancing toner.
Skin care products should be layered from thinnest to thickest, so start by applying any serums. Next, apply an eye cream if you use one before proceeding to your night cream.
Apply the night cream all over the face and neck.
Night creams can offer your combination skin benefits beyond your daytime skin care routine. They allow your skin to absorb vitamins, antioxidants and anti-aging molecules that are light-sensitive or cause light sensitivity and thus cannot be worn under sunlight.
By choosing a night cream formulated to address your skin’s unique needs, you can round out your daily skin care regimen to maximize your skin’s health and appearance.