Day Cream vs. Night Cream

If you’re familiar with our past blogs, then you know that we LOVE moisturizers. Moisturizers are necessary to keep our skin healthy, hydrated, and glowing, especially if you have a skin condition like acne. But finding the right moisturizer can be confusing since there are thousands of options out there. Then, when you enter the world of daytime vs. nighttime moisturizers, it adds even more confusion to the mix. Are two different moisturizers necessary for your skincare routine? Well, we are here to breakdown the differences between daytime and nighttime moisturizers so you can determine what's best for your daily skincare routine.

How do moisturizers work

Much like the name says, moisturizers add moisture to the skin. Moisturizers are typically oil-in-water emulsions and come as creams or lotions where the primary ingredient is water. Since water will quickly evaporate from the skin, moisturizers contain occlusive agents, like oil, to create a barrier on the skin and prevent the water from evaporating. Moisturizers also contain humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and panthenol to attract and pull in water to the top layers of your skin.

Daytime vs. Nighttime Moisturizers

So, what makes a daytime moisturizer different from a nighttime moisturizer? Daytime moisturizers have lighter formulas that are less greasy, so they are easier to layer with makeup and cause minimal shine throughout the day. Also, daytime moisturizers often contain an SPF to protect your skin from sun damage.

Nighttime moisturizers, on the other hand, have a thicker formulation that gives your skin an extra boost of hydration overnight. These thicker formulas can be a little greasy and heavy but are better at locking in moisture. Nighttime moisturizers may also contain beneficial ingredients like retinol and vitamin C that can degrade in the sun.

Whether or not you decide to use one or two different moisturizers for your daily skincare routine is up to you and your skin needs. If you are happy with the hydration levels of your skin then you could probably stick with one moisturizer for both day and night. Additional creams, serums, and an SPF can be layered under (or over if an oil or SPF) your moisturizer to provide additional nutrients. However, if your skin is on the drier or damaged side, then it’s a good idea to have a specific night cream for that added boost of hydration overnight.

Our favorite daytime moisturizers for acne-prone skin

Boscia Green Tea Oil-free moisturizer - $38

This oil-free moisturizer is lightweight to apply under makeup, but it lacks an SPF, so don't forget to apply a layer of sunscreen on top.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 Unscented - $16.99

This moisturizer is excellent for anyone that has sensitive skin. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and provides sun protection.

Biossance squalene + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer - $52.00

This is a very lightweight, hydrating formula that is formulated with squalene and Lactococcus Ferment Lysate to support the skin barrier health. This product is also SPF free, so layer an SPF on top in the morning.

SUPERGOOP! Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 40 PA+++ - $42

This lightweight moisturizer has an SPF of 40 and is perfect for day use. It's 100% mineral sunscreen that’s great for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Our favorite nighttime moisturizers for acne-prone skin

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream - $13.99

This non-comedogenic moisturizer will add intense hydration to your skin without clogging your pores.

Herbivore Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment - $58.00

This nourishing formulation is full of antioxidants, enzymes, and natural humectants to provide hydration and improve skin texture.

Murad Resurgence Age-Balancing Night Cream - $77.00

This rich moisturizer is formulated with essential fatty acids and shea butter to lock in moisture, and antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and retinol to address signs of aging.


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