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Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated—or confusing. Most dermatologists we’ve talked to over the years agree that there are just three essential steps to building a solid routine for healthier skin: cleanse, moisturize and protect. (Any additional treatment—like a retinol or exfoliant—can be added in as needed if you have specific concerns like acne or fine lines.)

Since we’ve already covered the best facial cleansers and sunscreens, this leaves us with moisturizer. More specifically, let’s break this out into a guide to the best night creams. And if you’re wondering whether you need a separate day and night cream, the short answer is no. There are plenty of moisturizing sunscreens and face moisturizers with sun protection that you can use during the daytime.

Ready to find the best night cream for your skin type?

RELATED: How to Choose Between Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen, According to a Derm

1. Best Starter Cream: Olay Regenerist

  • Value: 20/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Scent: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • TOTAL: 91/100
This cream has been a top seller for well over a decade (with thousands of reviews and accolades) because it works. It contains a cocktail of proven ingredients like niacinamide, amino-peptides, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to soften your skin and plump fine lines while you sleep. The rich texture has been likened to a buttercream frosting, but if you want something lighter, it also comes in an airier “whipped” version, as well as fragrance-free and retinol-infused formulas. The reasonable price point makes it a great starting point into night creams as well.

Buy it ($30)

2. Best Natural: Goop GOOPGENES All-in-One Nourishing Face Cream

  • Value: 18/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Scent: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 92/100
We’ve got to hand it to Gwyneth: she makes good goop. Her latest is an all-in-one cream that is loaded with plant-based ceramides and an adaptogenic fruit called Schisandra fruit that helps support your skin’s natural elasticity and firmness. Add Illipe butter, jojoba seed oil and squalene to round everything out and you’ve got smoother, more supple skin. The buttery texture melts into your skin (though it takes some initial rubbing and patting).

Buy it ($95)

3. Best Texture: DHC By the Sea Mineral Cream

  • Value: 18/20
  • Texture: 20/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Scent: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 17/20
  • TOTAL: 90/100
As one of Japan’s top skincare brands (and the creators of one of the OG cleansing oils), DHC has built a solid reputation among skincare obsessives over the years. Their newly launched mineral cream has a unique jelly-like texture that cushions your skin in cool-to-the-touch moisture. Formulated with deep sea water from Izu-Akawaza and other marine plant-derived ingredients like purple laver seaweed and kelp, it leaves your skin looking brighter, smoother and clearer.

Buy it ($38)

4. Best for Brightening: REN Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream

  • Value: 17/20
  • Texture: 17/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Scent: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • TOTAL: 85/100
If your skin is in need of a little boost, this brightening cream can help. The naturally derived formula relies on encapsulated algae and phytoglycogen to target excessive pigment (be it from sun damage or acne scarring) to give you a more even-toned complexion overall. The sweet scent reminds us of a creamsicle ice cream and the texture is on the richer side, which makes it the perfect “sleeping cream,” as its name suggests. Bonus kudos for the sustainable, plastic-free packaging.

Buy it ($49)

5. Best for Irritated Skin: Differin Restorative Night Moisturizer

  • Value: 20/20
  • Texture: 17/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Scent: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • TOTAL: 90/100
Whether you’re new to retinol or have drier, easily irritated skin to begin with, this derm-backed moisturizer will help smooth things over. Loaded with allantoin, hyaluronic acid and ceramides, it packs in moisture, while restoring your skin barrier so any flaky or itchy patches disappear quickly. Rest assured, it’s also fragrance-free and non-comedogenic so you don’t have to worry about any surprise bumps or breakouts.

Buy it ($13)

6. Best for Aging Skin: Skinbetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream

  • Value: 17/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Scent: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 91/100
Speaking of retinol, if you’re ready to start one, Skinbetter’s AlphaRet is a solid choice as it’s well-tolerated by most skin types. The rich cream is formulated with retinoids and lactic acid to tackle discoloration, even out skin tone, and rev up collagen production without causing the usual irritation. That’s because each active ingredient is individually encapsulated and gradually released into the skin. (The addition of niacinamide, ceramides, and fatty acids add to the moisturizing quotient.)

Buy it ($125)

7. Best Splurge: Sisley-Paris Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream

  • Value: 16/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Scent: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 93/100
If you’re looking to pamper yourself, this decadent cream will leave you satisfied. With a cushion-y, gel texture that plumps your skin with moisture and a beautiful floral scent that’s not too heavy, it’s a full-on sensorial experience every time you use this cream. Packed with botanical ingredients like its namesake black rose extract, as well as alpine rose extract and magnolia, it absorbs easily and leaves your skin feeling like a petal.

Buy it ($200)

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