What's in Your Night Cream?

We did the research to find your best anti-ager.

Most Popular

The outer layer of your skin does all sorts of cool repair work while you snooze, and the right P.M. product helps it along. Here's what you should know about your night cream.

The Basic Formula

Many night creams contain humectants (common ones are glycerin and hyaluronic acid) to draw moisture to the skin's surface, and occlusives (petrolatum and dimethicone) to seal all that hydration in. Night creams tend to have both of these in higher concentrations than you get in day creams — that's why they typically feel thicker and richer.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Pro Tip: The skin nourishers in some night creams become less potent when exposed to sunlight, so they really are for bedtime.

The Deal With Retinol

Yes, this gold standard wrinkle fighter (other forms are retinyl palmitate or retinaldehyde) is typically used at night, and can help treat a bunch of issues (lines, spots, you name it). But you'll want to layer another night cream over your retinol product, since it can be drying. This ingredient may also be too harsh for skin and cause irritation. If that happens, go for a night cream geared to your primary concern, below:

More From Healthy Aging
20 articles
how to stress-proof your memory
There Might Be a Way to 'Stress-Proof' Your Memory
don wright cancer marathons
75-Year-Old Man With Cancer Runs 100 Marathons
5 Easy-to-Follow Anti-Aging Moves
wang deshun
80-Year-Old Runway Model Shares His Secrets
ed whitlock 2010
85-Year-Old Marathon Runner Beats the World Record

For Wrinkles: Pick peptides, a chain of amino acids that make up collagen and elastin — the building blocks of firm skin. Some skin-care companies develop their own versions, but palmitoyl tripeptide is commonly used.

For Spots: Go with a cream that contains hydroquinone, kojic acid, licorice extract, or arbutin, all of which thwart the production of new dark pigment or help to fade the patches you already have.

For Dullness: Chemical exfoliants called alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic or lactic) dissolve dry, dead skin cells. Then voilà! A smoother, more radiant complexion comes through.

Pro Tip: Don't neglect your neck. It's also vulnerable to sun damage and dryness, so smooth your night cream below the chin.

This story originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

The hottest ticket in daytime TV can be yours. Make your free appointment to see The Dr. Oz Show in NYC: www.doctoroz.com/tickets


SUBSCRIBE TO DR. OZ THE GOOD LIFE

Get the Print & Digital Editions and Save 81%! You'll receive instant access to the latest issue before it hits the newsstands.

Order Now


Read Next: