Whether you struggle with oily skin or pimples, a good night cream can help keep them at bay. But, with so many options out there, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.
To help, we spoke to experts and editors to find out what ingredients to look for in a night cream. Keep scrolling to discover our top picks.
1. Look for Oil-Free Formulas
The key to finding a night cream for oily skin that won’t clog your pores and trigger breakouts is to look for non-comedogenic formulas. This means that the product won’t blog your pores, which will reduce sebum build-up and prevent pimples from forming.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options available that are oil-free, including the night creams below. All of these were tested in our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Labs for their oil-absorbing abilities, and they’re all formulated without potential skin irritants like fragrance, dyes, and essential oils.
For example, this ultra-lightweight night cream from Byoma is made with barrier-boosting ingredients like niacinamide and green tea that help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles. It also contains shea butter and glycerin to keep your skin moisturized. Plus, it’s fragrance-free and contains no parabens or phthalates, so it’s safe for sensitive skin. The gel-cream texture is lightweight and super-spreadable, so it can be used on both dry and oily areas of your face. You can even use it as a spot treatment for breakouts because the product is formulated to calm inflammation and reduce redness.
2. Look for Moisturizers
A good moisturizer is key to maintaining a healthy complexion, but not all moisturizers are the same. Choosing one that is lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic will help you avoid clogged pores and breakouts. You may also want to consider a moisturizer with additional skin-care ingredients, such as acne-fighting ingredients or antioxidants, to further improve the appearance of your skin.
If you have oily skin, it is important to choose a lightweight moisturizer with a matte finish that won’t leave your skin feeling greasy or dirty. Look for a moisturizer with ingredients like niacinamide or glycolic acid to help balance your sebum production and improve the appearance of your skin tone and texture.
A great option for people with oily skin is the Vichy Normaderm Anti-Imperfection and Rejuvenating Care Night Cream. This lightweight moisturizing cream has a runny light texture that absorbs quickly and helps dry up active acne and clear the skin of acne scars. It also works well to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also non-comedogenic and non-greasy, making it a great choice for people with oily skin.
3. Look for Exfoliating Ingredients
A good night cream for oily skin should help control excess sebum production, which is the main cause of blemishes. It should also contain exfoliating ingredients to remove dead skin cells that could clog pores and lead to breakouts. Some exfoliating ingredients to look for include salicylic acid, glycolic acid and azelaic acid.
This Byrdie-approved night cream for oily skin is rich without being greasy and absorbs quickly to help improve skin tone and texture while controlling sebum production. It also contains retinol to fade dark spots and brighten the complexion, plus a blend of shea butter, mango butter, rice bran oil, and jojoba oil to provide hydration.
This oil-free night cream is perfect for those with a sensitive skin type that may be prone to sensitivity and breakouts. It has a runny light consistency that is easily absorbed and leaves the skin with a matte finish. It’s packed with active ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and lightweight botanical oils that have anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness and soothe the skin. It also has a blend of extracts from pink indigo and wild butterfly ginger to reduce irritation, and lactic acid to exfoliate the skin and improve its texture.
4. Look for Anti-Aging Ingredients
The right cream will work to balance oil production and prevent excess sebum, helping to keep pores clear. It should also contain anti-aging ingredients to promote a brighter complexion and reduce fine lines.
Look for blemish-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, azelaic acid (great for treating melasma and dark spots) and glycolic acid to help unclog pores and keep oiliness in check. A clarifying ingredient like niacinamide is also a must-have.
Look for ingredients that can promote a brighter complexion, reduce fine lines and dark spots, and improve skin texture like bakuchiol and retinol. “Retinol helps to slough away dead skin cells and increase cell turnover to minimize fine lines, lighten pigmentation and promote smoother skin,” Green says. You may think you are too young to start using a night cream with these anti-aging ingredients, but the truth is that your skin’s natural collagen production starts to decrease in your mid-20s, so it’s important to start early! For the best results, try incorporating a night cream with these ingredients into your routine at least twice a week.
5. Look for Hydrating Ingredients
For those who suffer from oily skin and acne, a good night cream can help prevent future breakouts by keeping pores clear. Look for non-comedogenic formulas, which don’t clog pores and instead reduce sebum buildup, or ingredients like glycolic acid that exfoliate the surface of the skin without over-stimulating it.
A good moisturizer can also be a skin-saver for those with oily skin, as it will help to prevent dryness and flaking while keeping the face hydrated. Look for hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which is found naturally in the outer layers of your skin and helps to plump fine lines.
Lastly, those who want to combat signs of ageing should look for peptides and stem cells, which can increase the production of collagen and boost cell turnover for youthful-looking skin. To help combat redness and irritation, look for ingredients such as shea butter or aloe vera. These ingredients will calm the skin and soothe any irritated areas while reducing the appearance of spots. The formula is lightweight and absorbs quickly while delivering the hydration your skin needs for a healthy complexion.