The Best Anti-Aging Night Creams, According to Dermatologists
Anti-aging Creams 101
Sunspots, wrinkles, and fine lines are an inevitable part of getting older. “Every day of our lives, we’re making and breaking down collagen thanks to an enzyme in the skin called collagenase,” says New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, M.D. “But as we age, we break down more collagen than we make, and that’s one of the reasons we get wrinkles.”
Still, you can hold onto your smooth, supple skin far beyond your 20s. Anti-aging products work against wrinkles, even out the skin’s color and texture, unclog pores, and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
“Anti-aging creams with retinols and alpha hydroxy acids are typically used at night because they can make you sensitive to the sun,” explains Dr. Geeta Shah, M.D., a Maryland dermatologist. Plus, your skin has a better chance to repair itself while you sleep. Dr. Jaliman adds that active ingredients work particularly well at night because your body has the chance to shut down and rest: “You also don’t have makeup or sunscreen on, so you can put on an anti-aging product and it will absorb well.” (Related: The Anti-Aging Benefits of Peptide In Your Skin-Care Products)
Ready to turn back time? Here are anti-aging night creams that actually work, according to skin experts.
RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
Aveeno Active Naturals Absolutely Ageless Intensive Renewal
This product from Aveeno is infused with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps repair free radical damage to the skin’s elastic tissue. It's also an anti-aging serum, which is lighter than other cream-based treatments. “You want to pick a product that’s compatible with your skin type,” explains Dr. Jaliman. “If you tend to have oily skin, pick an anti-aging serum instead of a thick moisturizer.”
Olay Active Botanical Intensive Night Cream Moisturizer
According to North Carolina-based dermatologist Dr. Brooke Jackson, M.D., drugstore brands have gotten better over the years: “If you want to start with a drugstore product from a brand like Olay and that works for you, that’s great. If you aren’t seeing results within three months, it may be time to step it up a bit with a prescription retinoid.” Try this intensive night cream from Olay, which uses naturally derived botanicals to even out the skin’s texture, before you head to your derm for something stronger.
Related: The Best Skin-Care Products for 2018
Neutrogena Rapid Repair Wrinkle Retinol Oil
Retinol is the most effective ingredient we have to fight fine lines and wrinkles, but it can be irritating for those with sensitive skin. “The new oil delivery system of this product helps keep the skin hydrated to minimize irritation and ultimately gives better results,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Night
Boost collagen production, improve elastin, and promote cellular turnover with this concentrated cream that also improves tone and hydrates. New York-based dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD) Rachel Nazarian, M.D., loves it for those with dry skin and even sensitive types and points out that it contains vitamin c to even out discoloration and skin pigmentation.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Cream Synchronized Recovery Complex II
Dr. Nazarian loves this cream because it has anti-aging ingredients with antioxidants (think: chamomile and kola seed extract) and anti-inflammatory ingredients (like bisabolol), as well as ingredients that improve hydration and dryness, such as squalane and hyaluronic acid.
Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask
“Avocado is ultra hydrating, while a polyhydroxy acid called gluconolactone exfoliates dead cells to brighten the skin,” says Dr. Zeichner. This overnight mask is one of his favorites, and is gentle enough for dry or sensitive skin.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Spa Hydrating Night Cream
This velvety night cream and mask is a favorite of New York-based dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara, M.D. It has hyaluronic acid, which drives in moisture, and thermal water to diffuse inflammation. Plus, it absorbs fully into skin and won’t leave your face sticky or your pillow greasy. Tip: Apply one to three times weekly by massaging onto your face and neck in an upward motion.
Aveeno Positively Radiant MaxGlow Infusion Drops Serum
Massage these ultra-moisturizing drops into your skin at night before you hit the sack. “Soy is an effective ingredient to brighten dark spots and even skin tone, while kiwi extract helps hydrate skin,” Dr. Zeichner explains. Also good? The formula is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores while you snooze.
This story was originally published on Health.com by Anthea Levi and Susan Brickell.