During the day our skin is a shield against the elements, while at night cellular recovery, repair and regeneration takes place as you rest. If you don't get enough good quality sleep, your skin suffers – and it shows – so give skin a little helping hand to recharge and replenish with one of these overnighters. All rigorously tried and tested, we’ve only included the creams that made a real difference.
1. Aromacure Eczema Cream: £14.95 for 50g, Aromacure
Anyone with eczema will know that sinking feeling when your skin is playing up and you know sleeping through is going to be tricky – scratching irritated skin at night leaves you feeling wrung out by morning and the skin suffers not only from eczema but also from lack of rest. This bedtime miracle is a must for anyone with reactive skin. I've never found anything that has in two nights completely soothed my skin during a flare up – it really is astonishing. With no chemical nasties, it's perfect for little ones too as it can be made up in three different strengths – for babies, children or adults.
2. Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream: £95 for 50ml, Elemis
As with all Elemis products, a little goes a long way here, so the cream actually doesn't work out as expensive as it first looks. If you don't get as much sleep – or as good quality sleep – as you'd like, this anti-oxidant-packed anti-ager is the best in the business for an unparalleled morning-after glow.
3. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil: £85 for 30ml, Cult Beauty
Oversized pores a problem? Then this one's for you. As we age, we produce less collagen to plump and support our skin, cell walls become weaker and pores can appear larger. Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, is the best ingredient for turning back time – or at least slowing it down. The retinol in this silky oil increases collagen synthesis and elasticity (and increases cell turnover to boost radiance) to create a more youthful firmness that in turn helps pores appear smaller. It is also brilliant for improving the look of dark spots, texture, tone and fine lines. And this oil works very effectively on acne, rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. A couple of drops are all you need each night, so a seemingly expensive choice is actually quite cost effective.
4. Dr Hauschka Night Serum: £39 for 25ml, John Lewis
There is no need for a moisturiser on top of this hard-working, lightweight serum, as the potent active ingredients mean you can wear it solo. Apple blossom is the key to its effective formula, thanks to an incredible ability to boost cell renewal. This one's perfect for dry, sensitive complexions as you're not overloading the skin with rich, heavy creams to try and combat dryness.
5. Cult 51 Night Cream: £125 for 50ml, Cult 51
Another high-end overnighter with a wincing price tag, but the results are phenomenal – and a pea-sized amount will cover, so a little really does go a long way. Cult 51 claims remarkable results in just two weeks – and they are absolutely right. They also recommend you apply to your face and also on the back of one hand – the difference is unmistakeable. Plumped-up, toned and wrinkles filled from within, you can get back the skin you used to have. Gardenia, muguet, jasmine, rose and patchouli soothe and calm as you get your beauty sleep. And it's perfect for dry, dehydrated, reactive and sensitive skin tones, pregnancy pigmentation and dark circles under the eyes.
6. Oskia Bedtime Beauty Boost: £74 for 50ml, Oskia
This one's packed with innovative anti-ageing ingredients, nutrients and floral extracts to hydrate, brighten and boost the skin's natural night time regeneration process. It also works to lighten dark age spots, and helps prevent future hyper-pigmentation. Use sparingly and not too near the eyes as it very effectively plumps up the skin and smoothens fine lines. Oskia is one of the best new British brands to launch in recent years – and this is a game-changer in the world of night creams.
7. Clarins Multi-Active Nuit Normal to Combination Skin: £44 for 50ml, Clarins
If you’ve got combination skin, you’ll be familiar with the dilemma of weighing up the anti-ageing benefits of a rich, nourishing cream with the risk of breaking-out by morning. This lightweight, revitalizing night cream will work to combat the sings of stress and lack of sleep. It's the perfect starter night cream to slow down the very first signs of ageing by smoothing out delicate fine lines.
On sale from 31 January
8. Lancome Visionnaire Nuit Beauty Sleep Perfector: £60 for 50ml, Lancome
From the best-selling, skin tone-correcting Visionnaire range comes a delightfully, barely-there overnight treatment for dull, lacklustre skin. It’s a gel-cream that melts into the skin instantly which, after a couple of week's use, left my skin surprisingly softer, more supple and with a definite radiance the morning after.
9. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Intense Night Cream: £42 for 50ml, Bobbi Brown
This luxuriously rich cream, is packed with skin nourishers like shea butter, jojoba, olive, sweet almond and apricot oils to soothe, soften and plump up extra dry skin, without leaving it feeling overloaded. Cold winter winds, central heating, over-hot baths and showers can leave skin uncomfortably tight, but this puts back into your complexion what the environment has taken out.
10. Clinique Super Defense Night Recovery Moisturizer: £42 for 50ml, Clinique
Combination skin can be one of the trickiest skin types to manage, but Clinique does it superbly. It also comes in a ‘Combination to Oily/Oily’ version too, which is unusual for a night cream. It ticks all the usual night cream boxes – anti-ageing, cellular-supporting and moisture barrier-boosting – and is packed with anti-oxidants. Go for this one if you want an anti-ageing beauty regime, but also suffer from over-oily or breakout-prone skin.
11. By Terry Cellularose Liftessence Fundamental Repairing Night Cream: £120 for 30ml, Space.NK
Mature skintones will really feel the benefit of this one, which lifts, renews and firms up skin. As we age, skin loses density, elasticity and tone thanks to the renewal process of elastin and collagen fibres slowing down. The ingredients in this hi-tech formulation are able to boost skin cell activity and ensure speedy regeneration – and the ideal time for stimulating collagen production is during the night. It is rather expensive, but the results are very real. If you’re looking for something to lift, firm and sculpt facial contours which have lost some of their oomph, this is the one for you.
12. Elemental Herbology Facial Souffle Overnight Cream: £47 for 50ml, Elemental Herbology
If you like your beauty regime free of nasties, this high-performance cream made in England contains no synthetic fragrance, artificial colour, mineral oil, parabens or preservatives and doesn't test on animals. Dry, dehydrated, or mature skins will love this overnight hydrator that gives thirsty skin an instant shot of moisture to plump up, firm and smooth out fine lines.
13. Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream: £39 for 50ml, Caudalie
Pioneered by Caudalie in the 1990s, the now famous ingredient resveratrol visibly reduces wrinkles, firms, lifts and sculpts. Out of all the night treatments tested, this had the most effective sculpting results – cheekbones particularly seemed lifted and more pronounced. Excellent results at a very reasonable price point.
14. Formula Time Defy Super Sleep Serum: £15 for 30ml, Marks and Spencer
Calcium levels reduce as we age, which has an effect on slowing down cell turnover and leaving skin duller and less resilient. This calcium complex works with hyaluronic acid to visibly plump and smooth out fine lines and boost radiance. The perfect budget night serum which gives some of the premium brands a good run for their money.
Best-selling, multi-award winning Elemis Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream and Cult 51 both produce excellent results and quickly. Sunday Riley Sleeping Night Oil really does have an effect on reducing pore size. But top marks this time for leaving irritated skin soft and comfortable all night go to Aromacure Eczema Cream.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.