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When you love all things skin care as much as we do, you can’t help but look forward to eradicating every trace of our makeup and dirt at the end of a long day with an indulgent double-cleanse, followed by our p.m. routine — night cream being the proverbial cherry on top.
Just as people debate the necessity of an eye cream (use one, please!), not everyone’s convinced that you should invest in a nighttime moisturizer in addition to the one you already slather on in the morning. But to all the naysayers, we’ll just let the pros do the convincing: “We lose water in the skin at night, so nighttime is all about locking in moisture,” Mona Gohara, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, tells Allure.
South Florida-based board-certified dermatologist De Anne Harris Collier , M.D., agrees, adding that research has shown that repair of DNA-damaged skin cells peaks, skin cells turn over more quickly, and there are increased rates of skin blood flow and skin permeability at night. “All the more reason to apply a great night cream to take advantage of the skin’s innate repair system,” she says.
Dr. Gohara says that people often layer retinoids before they go to sleep, so adding a night cream on top is the perfect way to really lock it all in while contributing additional beneficial ingredients. And because retinoids can cause sun sensitivity, nighttime is the best time to use them and other photosensitizing ingredients, Dr. Collier adds, like alpha hydroxy acids. And remember, come morning, “you must apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher daily, especially when using retinol as part of your skin regimen,” Dr. Collier says.
Here, we present our favorite overnight companions to ensure you wake up with glowy and hydrated skin that’s ready to take on the day.