The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

12 best night creams that promise to boost your beauty sleep

Hard-working eye creams that works while you snooze

Lauren Cunningham
Friday 25 August 2023 17:30 BST
<p>Hydrate, smooth fine lines and brighten for a fresh-faced glow in the AM </p>

Hydrate, smooth fine lines and brighten for a fresh-faced glow in the AM

Our Top Picks

We all know by now that sleep is incredibly important, but sometimes we can forget just how much of an effect a lack of it can have on our skin. If you, like us, can sometimes struggle to get your head down on your pillow for long enough, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve hunted down the best beauty products that work while you get your 40 winks.

Boosting your beauty sleep, night creams can soothe skin, reduce redness and even help build a better skin barrier while you softly snooze. After all, “creating and maintaining healthy skin is relatively simple,” says skincare expert Jane Scrivner. So why not keep things nice and easy?

“Your skincare should work to keep your barrier function (a natural blend of oils and water) and acid mantle (skin’s first line of defence) as nourished and balanced as possible, so it glows with good health,” Jane shared. Adding “if you keep these in great condition then they will return the skincare favour,” and a night cream could make all the difference.

Housing key hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, shea butter and glycerin, night creams flood the face with moisture. Some even include gold-star skincare ingredients, including retinol and vitamin C, to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dark spots and brighten the skin, helping you to wake up with a fresh-faced glow no matter where you’re going.

Keep reading below to find out which night creams could boost your beauty sleep from fan-favourite brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, No7, Byoma and more. And follow Jane’s simple steps of cleansing, applying serum and sealing it in with a night cream to keep your nighttime routine nice and simple.

How we tested

Our beauty buff tester set six weeks aside to search for the best night creams from a huge range of cosmetics companies. Looking at key ingredients, price, packaging and how it felt on the face, these are their favourite finds to suit every budget and skin type. They paid particular attention to evenness of skin tone and how soft it felt upon waking the next day, too.

The best night creams for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – No7 protect and perfect intense advanced night cream: £22.45, Boots.com
  • Best night cream for dry skin – Kiehl’s midnight recovery omega rich cloud cream: £46, Kiehls.co.uk
  • Best retinol night cream – StriVectin advanced retinol nightly renewal moisturiser: £62, Strivectin.co.uk
  • Best lightweight night cream – Byoma moisturizing gel cream: £13.99, Boots.com

No7 protect and perfect intense advanced night cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Overall night cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Vitamins A, C and E, hyaluronic acid and a collagen peptide technology
  • Suitable for : All skin types, including sensitive skin
  • Main benefits: Hydrates, reduces the appearance of fine lines

No7 has been a go-to high street brand for decades now, and there’s a reason why we’re still in love with this label. Housing vitamins A, C and E to brighten the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, alongside hyaluronic acid for hydration and a collagen peptide-based technology to keep the face looking firm, there are very few skin-loving ingredients not included in this formula. What we loved most, alongside the smooth, silky formula, was the spa-like scent that has actually been designed to help you drift off – what more could you want?

  1. £22 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
Back to top

Ole Henriksen dewtopia 5% acid firming night cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Firming night cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Glycolic and lactic acids, edelweiss stem cell, shea butter
  • Suitable for: All skin types, especially older skin
  • Main benefits: Hydrates, smooths texture, evens skin tone and visibly reduces fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots

If you’re after a little lift in your skin, the Ole Henriksen firming night cream has to be one of our favourites. With five per cent AHAs to gently resurface the skin, edelweiss stem cells that deeply hydrate and smooth texture and shea butter for that smooth boost of moisture, not much more could fit in one jar. It’s incredibly rich with a silky finish that instantly soothes skin while getting to work to remove dead cells for a fresh, firmer-faced glow without any tight or tugging feeling.

  1. £43 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
Back to top

Liz Earle supesrkin nourishing night cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Night cream for sleeping
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Persian silk tree extract, pomegranate flower and buriti fruit
  • Suitable for : All skin types, especially older skin
  • Main benefits: Evens the look of skin tone, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

We all love a product that works double-time, so if you’re someone who struggles to drift off, we don’t think this night cream could hurt. With a soft blend of lavender, chamomile and neroli extracts, the sweet scent of this cream instantly calmed our senses and turned our bedtime routine into a more spa-like ritual. Persian silk tree extract, pomegranate flower and buriti fruit work to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture, helping it to rejuvenate while you sleep soundly. So, if a two-in-one product piques your fancy, this is the find for you.

  1. £40 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
Back to top

Ren Clean Skincare glow dark spot sleeping cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Night cream for an even skin tone
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Jojoba seed oil. encapsulated algae and phytoglycogen
  • Suitable for : All skin types
  • Main benefits: Renews skin, creates a more even-looking skin tone

Most of us are seeking a more even skin tone, so letting the hard work happen while you sleep is always going to seem like a win. This smooth, silky formula not only smells divine but works to tackle hyperpigmentation while deeply nourishing the skin, reducing signs of dark spots and giving that glow from within. Encapsulated algae is the key ingredient working to reduce the appearance of pigmentation, while phytoglycogen smooths texture and tone.

Back to top

Byoma moisturizing gel cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Lightweight night cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Re-fillable pump
  • Key ingredients : Niacinamide, green tea and tri-ceramide complex
  • Suitable for : All skin types, including oily skin
  • Main benefits: Plumps skin for supple results and a stronger skin barrier

Byoma is a bargain beauty brand that deserves a spot on everyone’s bathroom shelf. Not only does it look adorable, but the sweet-coloured tubs are actually refillable and fully recyclable too. Our tester loved how lightweight this night cream was, and being oil-free, it’s perfect for those prone to getting oily or greasy. A tri-ceramide complex of ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids help to prevent moisture loss, while niacinamide reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines and uneven texture. Green tea is also included to reduce redness and any signs of irritation. So, if that sounds like something you could do with, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this one.

  1. £13 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
Back to top

StriVectin advanced retinol nightly renewal moisturiser

StriVectin advanced retinol nightly renewal moisturiser.jpg
  • Best: Retinol night cream
  • Size: 30ml
  • Type: Pump
  • Key ingredients : Retinol, retinal and NIA-114
  • Suitable for: All skin types, especially older skin
  • Main benefits: Reduces the look of fine lines and deep wrinkles, restores firmness and elasticity

Retinol was the beauty buzzword last year, with everyone and their nan giving the ingredient a go. Containing both retinol, retinal, and a form of niacin that helps enhance the efficacy of retinol while reducing signs of sensitivity, this night cream is designed to work double time while you sleep. And it’s suitable for those who have never tried retinol before, too. Although our tester had no issue even when using it every night, just be sure to do a patch test first.

Back to top

Arbonne brighten up radiant night cream with brown algae

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Brightening night cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Brown algae, ascorbyl glucoside (vitamin C) and hyaluronic acid
  • Suitable for : All skin types
  • Main benefits: Improves the appearance uneven skin, targets dark spots

If you’ve tried every lotion and potion and your skin still looks tired and dull, we’re going to push you to try this product. While most of us use a vitamin C serum in the morning, this night cream combines a stable form of the brightening-boosting ingredient with brown algae to even the skin tone, texture and give you that glow from within. Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate, niacinamide protects the moisture barrier, and a cocktail of cucumber, watercress and cherry blossom extracts add even more moisture while soothing the face. It does have a slightly oily finish, so remember, a little goes a long way, and it will take a little while to soak in, which isn’t an issue while you snooze.

  1. £75 from Arbonne.com
Prices may vary
Back to top

Charlotte Tilbury magic night cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Luxury night cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Plant stem cells, retinol, vitamin E
  • Suitable for : All skin types
  • Main benefits: Smoothes and tones skin, strengthening and soothing properties

Charlotte Tilbury’s magic cream has racked up a huge number of fans who swear by the formula to keep their skin looking fantastic. So, of course, the night version didn’t disappoint. The difference between the two is that this one is certainly much heavier, and a little goes a long way, but you wouldn’t want to apply make-up over the top of this rich formula, so best to keep them separate to save you making any mistakes.

Housing a whole host of skin-loving ingredients, from retinol to vitamin E, our skin felt instantly hydrated, softer, smoother and firmer after just a couple of weeks of use. So, if you’ve got the budget to burn on a beauty splurge, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Back to top

Glow Recipe watermelon glow AHA night treatment

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Exfoliating night cream
  • Size: 60ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : 2.5% pH-balanced AHA, hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide
  • Suitable for: All skin types
  • Main benefits: Reveal smoother, brighter skin overnight

An exfoliating night cream may sound at first like a nightmare, but trust us when we say it works wonders to freshen up the face for a glowing complexion. Housing a 2.5 per cent pH-balanced AHA, this certainly is a glow recipe, as the name suggests, as the gentle fruit peel sloughs away dead skin cells while you sleep. For those who don’t like scented skincare, this isn’t one for you. But, with seven sizes of hyaluronic acid penetrating different layers of the skin and a niacinamide and quinoa peptide complex working to even out skin tone and texture, everyone else is sure to keep this solidly on the bathroom shelf.

Back to top

Stella McCartney restore cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Celebrity label night cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Refillable pump
  • Key ingredients : Birch sap, hyaluronic acid and cherry blossom extract
  • Suitable for : All skin types
  • Main benefits: Hydrate and nourish skin, helps to reduce the appearance of winkles

Sustainable fashion guru Stella McCartney turned her hand to creating cosmetics last year, and it’s safe to say it took the beauty world by storm. With just three products currently available, the restore cream is one of the brand’s bestsellers, and it didn’t take us long to see why. Housed in a reusable pump jar, the cream comes in refillable bags that can easily be swapped in and out once finished (£70, Spacenk.com).

Made with 99.46 per cent naturally derived ingredients, it’s sure to win over natural beauty buffs and has a fresh, woody scent that seems to have fans divided, although we quite liked it. After just one use, our skin felt soft and supple, and birch sap, hyaluronic acid and cherry blossom extract all work as the key ingredients to boost hydration, improving texture and tone.

  1. £85 from Spacenk.com
Prices may vary
Back to top

Kiehl’s midnight recovery omega rich cloud cream

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Night cream for dry skin
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Glycerin, shea butter and omega fatty acids
  • Suitable for : All skin types
  • Main benefits: Plumps skin, helps replenish and strengthen your skin’s lipid barrier

If you’re after a night cream that you can really slather on, look no further than this Kiehl’s option. Incredibly soft and creamy, with a whipped-like texture, it completely covers the skin locking in the moisture. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included to help strengthen the skin’s lipid layer, while anti-oxidant-rich flower extracts fight free radicals, reducing the signs of fine lines and wrinkles. While it may not be best for those with oily skin, anyone on the dry side is sure to soak this up.

  1. £46 from Kiehls.co.uk
Prices may vary
Back to top

Oskia bedtime beauty boost

best night creams for glowing skin for dry skin
  • Best: Vitamin-rich night cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Type: Tub
  • Key ingredients : Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and F, Niacinamide and swiss apple stem cells
  • Suitable for: All skin types
  • Main benefits: Softer skin, improve the appearance of skin’s tone, texture and firmness

We all know how important vitamins are in our diet, but when it comes to beauty products they can often be overlooked. With an ingredient list that looks more like the back of a multivitamin pack, this Oskia night cream is exactly like a skin vitamin supplement. It is rather rich, and a little goes a long way, so be sure to apply sparingly while it gets to work improving tone, texture and firmness.

Back to top

Night cream FAQs

What is the difference between night cream and a moisturiser you would use in the day?

Day creams and moisturisers are focused on protecting your skin against elements such as UV rays, dryness, pollution, and heat so typically exclude active ingredients such as acids and retinol that could cause photosensitivity.

Alternatively, night cream focuses on repairing and regenerating your skin by amplifying the reconstruction process of cells as you sleep after a long day of damage.

Should you use night cream every night?

Night creams work best to nourish and replenish the skin when used consistently over time. The skin is more absorbent at night when you are asleep. Therefore, using a night cream every evening from your late twenties is a good idea to keep skin looking healthy and smoothe out wrinkles by stimulating collagen production.

The verdict: Night creams

While any of these night creams are sure to work wonders in hydrating your skin for a fresh-faced glow come morning, the different ingredients are instrumental in explaining their effect. If we had to pick just one product to sit on our bathroom shelf, best believe it’s the No7 protect and perfect intense advanced night cream combining a cocktail of skin-loving ingredients without a staggering cost.

For those with dry skin, Kiehl’s midnight recovery omega rich cloud cream could make all the difference with its rich, creamy formula full of moisture-boosting ingredients. If you’re reaching for retinol, the StriVectin advanced retinol nightly renewal moisturiser is sure to impress.

Refresh your skincare routine with one of the best vitamin C products or moisturisers for dry skin

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
£100 off all bookings over £1000 - TUI discount code
ASOS Discount Code
20% off everything with this ASOS app discount code
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Cult Beauty Discount Code
Up to 20% off all orders over £40 - Cult Beauty discount code

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in