Sleeping Beauty: Six Night Creams that Are Anything But Basic

Beautify while you sleep with these supercharged hydrators

Night creams are like great workouts: you always want them to work faster and better with long-lasting results. When I’m making my way through PR pitches, the one thing I always spring for is a super-expensive night cream that promises to lighten, brighten and tighten.

The newest night creams harness high tech powers, in tandem with the free radical-fighting powers of floral extracts and vitamins, to rejuvenate complexions. They fortify the skin’s barrier and speed the cells’ metabolic functions—so your favorite cold-weather solutions actually work faster and more effectively overnight, when skin cells are most receptive.

Kim Kardashian has her contouring; I have Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Cream. Beauty-spending flies in the face of reason for me: sure, it’s costlier than a bottle of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, but the regenerative cream’s velvety density forms a wonderfully thick barrier thats keeps dry heat out and moisture in. The treatment uses heavyweight oxidant-boosters (like Uji green tea and star fruit extracts) to work on UV damage while I snooze. My skin literally drinks it up.

Hybrid options seem to be the rage this season. Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Oil Cream is for those of you who still harbor a phobia against face oils. This treatment combines botanical essences (like jasmine, neroli, rose and ylang ylang) in an exquisitely textured hybrid oil-cream formulation. Free of mineral and petroleum byproducts, the richly scented treatment glides on the skin and is absorbed almost instantly. It might be tipped for use at night, but I found that it also makes a great, dewy base for foundation—without suffocating pores.

For multitaskers who make little time for layering, philosophy helps you get the benefits of a retinol-infused serum in an emollient cream with the new Ultimate Miracle Worker Night. It targets a more broad set of concerns (that are just as important) like dark spots, uneven skin tone, and skin texture with a mousse-like foam that leaves skin slightly matte. It’s highly suitable for oily skins.

Rose purists like me will be intrigued by Aromatherapy Associates Rose Infinity Moisturizer, which is the star of an exceptional rose-infused line. The cream boasts Alpine rose stem cells and hydrolyzed plant proteins. I adored this treatment because it left my skin plumped and cushion-y. It will take willpower of steel to restrain from liberally slathering it all over your neck for a fully-indulgent sensorial experience.

For those who prefer an entirely botanical blend, Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream feels a bit weightier thanks to the added organic shea butter, but the scent profile is far more delicate. Over 280 ingredients, including poppy, lavender water, sage, fresh mint, and orange petals can be found in every jar. It makes a visible difference on tired or (admit it) hungover skin, which tends to be dehydrated hours after a great night of fun.

These days, most labels that are elevating the Asian skincare phenomenon are making a statement about using some rare ingredient that they’ve sourced exclusively. Tatcha is leading the way, as everyone is obsessed with the Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream, which harnesses the calming and anti-inflammatory powers of natural Japanese Indigo—an ingredient that was once used by samurai. On what? I’m guessing on their callused hands. This super rich conditioner smells subtle and expensive, coddles skin, and leaves it visibly plumped by morning. Those with sensitive skin should take note: if you experience occasional bouts of rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, it was made for you. I don’t get plagued with these issues, but will share that I do get chemical peels regularly—and appreciated how well it softened my irritated, post-session skin.