Selecting the right night cream can be an overwhelming task, but there's one thing that can make it a whole lot easier: looking at the ingredients. Carefully studying the ingredients label on a night cream can instantly fill you in on whether the product's claims amount to anything. What's more, a quick skim of ingredients also means you can tailor your skincare specifically to your needs to create a more honed routine.
Night creams are an important step to any skincare routine, as this time of the day means our products are able to perform more effectively. The Good Housekeeping Institute's Beauty Testing and Strategy Manager Clare Durrant says, 'The body repairs itself during sleep, and some ingredients can accelerate surface cell regeneration overnight.' So to make your life easier, we've broken down the ingredients you should look out for, according to the type of skin you have. Chuck these creams into your basket and you're guaranteed one that packs a punch…
Oily and blemish-prone skin
Those with blemish-prone skin easily become so concerned with the best way to reduce their spots that in some cases, it's made worse by a multitude of unnecessary products. Our advice? Keep it strong but simple. Clare says, 'Cleanse the skin thoroughly but don't over-stimulate it. Products containing ingredients such as salicylic acid can be useful in controlling sebum.
Additionally, retinol, or retinol derivatives are also effective, however you should use UV protection if you use retinol based products or medication.' If your blemish-prone skin is the result of excess oil, opt for night creams that have a light texture. 'Avoid over-stimulating skin. Instead look for night creams that are light, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) and "oil free". Those with mattifying properties will also help to absorb excess oil in the day.'
When it comes to anti-ageing, there are two products in particular that help to retain a youthful glow and elasticity to the skin: hyaluronic acid and resveratrol. Clare explains that hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin, and helps to attract and maintain moisture in the skin, giving it a very important role in keeping skin smooth and plump. 'It declines in quality and quantity as we age. While hyaluronic acid is found in many cosmetic products, its molecular weight can be large and doesn't always penetrate the skin deeply. Therefore, it's best to opt for micro hyaluronic acid has a smaller molecular weight to penetrate deeper into the skin's surface.'
Additionally, Clare says that oxidative stress is known to contribute to skin aging. 'Resveratrol (produced in the stalk of grapevines and other fruits) is a powerful anti-ageing ingredient. An antioxidant, it functions in several ways. It's a free radical scavenger and has also been shown to have a synergistic effect with Vitamin E in boosting antioxidant capacity, with studies have shown improvements in many aspects of skin aging, including firmness and elasticity.'
As we begin to move into colder months, most of us will begin to notice the lack of moisture in our skin, meaning it'll feel rougher and look dull. To restore your skin back to a glowing and healthy appearance, you should invest in products that will quench it with an intense hit of hydration. 'Humectants (ingredients that attract and retain moisture) such as glycerin are useful for almost all skin types, especially dry skin,' says Clare. 'Niacinamide and urea are also good choices.'
Another option is to focus on how your skin is losing its hydration. Clare explains: 'Emollients help soften and slow down the rate that the moisture is lost from the skin and ceramides can help improve the skin barrier function by mimicking constituents of skin's bio-lipids. This will help to slow down the moisture and lessen dry skin.'