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12 best anti-ageing night creams to make the most of your beauty sleep

Wake up with a youthful glow with these nourishing overnighters

Skin cells are at their most productive when we sleep ( The Independent/iStock )

With so many creams on the market that claim to be anti-ageing, it can be a real struggle to find one that actually offers results. That’s why we’ve spent months testing a huge range of anti-ageing night creams to find the best on the market, managing to whittle it down to just 12 from our overflowing skincare shelf.

We set the bar high with our expectations and these creams delivered; the skin should look rested and radiant the morning after and be soft to the touch. We also expected the creams to reduce dryness and dehydration, while minimising the appearance of fine lines and pores.

Skin cells are at their most productive when we sleep and are therefore particularly receptive to nourishment and the active botanicals that can tackle ageing. We recommend applying at night after cleansing, toning and using a serum.

Allow your serum to soak in and get to work for a few minutes before you apply the night cream. Don’t immediately hop into bed straight away either – the cream won’t have had a chance to sink in and it will be wasted on your pillow. If you’re using a night cream containing retinol, remember to use SPF the following day.

With all of this in mind, here are our favourite night creams that gave us a youthful glow come morning.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. 

Goldfaden MD plant profusion regenerative night cream, 50ml: £140, Space NK

Every so often we find something that unreservedly exceeds our expectations. And that’s exactly what happened with Goldfaden’s light, airy, soufflé-esque cream. It’s so light, you can’t believe it has enough oomph to be a nourishing night cream, but the results in the morning reveal otherwise. Its potent ingredients blend together to soften fine lines, lift sagging skin and stimulate collagen production, while the natural citrus oil gives it a zesty freshness.

This brand is renowned for developing products that combine organic, natural active plant cells and antioxidant-rich botanicals, while avoiding the use of parabens, petro-chemicals, mineral oils, alcohol and silicone. If luxury skincare is where you spend out, then this is worth every single penny.

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Algenist power recharging night pressed serum, 60ml: £68, John Lewis & Partners

This is one of the firmest moisturisers we tested, it feels as stiff as a cleansing balm or lip balm. It’s labelled as a serum and definitely has the power of a serum, but you don’t need a moisturiser on top, so it’s effectively a night cream with an unusual texture. Scoop a little out, warm it up by gently massaging between your fingertips before applying and you’ll find it just melts away into your skin almost immediately, delivering velvety smoothness and nourishment.

It left our skin so radiant and glowing (thanks to brightening and regenerating alguronic acid), it’s almost a shame to use it at bedtime. As well as visibly reducing fine lines, it also refines dull uneven texture and recharges tired skin. This is a night cream for the first visible signs of ageing and may not be rich enough for mature, heavily lined complexions.

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Sarah Chapman comfort cream d-stress, 30ml: £59, Look Fantastic

A week of blue-skies skiing can wreak havoc with your complexion, as much as a sun-drenched holiday spent on the beach. But, on the plus side, this makes skin perfect for testing out a high-tech skin soother like this offering from Sarah Chapman. A real recovery cream packed with omega-rich oils, hyaluronic hydrators and a pollution shield to soothe and strengthen the skin’s barrier.

It’s a rich blend, but without feeling greasy or heavy. If you’re prone to redness, dehydration, flakiness, sensitivity, irritation, flushing or skin discomfort, buy it now, it really is superb. A collagen-boosting ingredient also improves elasticity and firmness for skin starting to slacken. We found after a few days of dedicated use, our skin returned to its former plump, hydrated and smooth state.

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By Terry cellularose liftessence fundamental repairing night cream, 30g: £122, Cult Beauty

This unexpectedly violet-coloured balm feels really stiff, but once out of the pot and warmed up it melts almost instantly into the skin. It’s packed with ingredients to help boost collagen production, includes night jasmine to increase skin firmness and density, and a cult favourite: hyaluronic acid, to swell cells and boost skin’s plumpness.

The rose scent is relaxing at bedtime and it worked wonders, particularly after some late nights (and nights disturbed by the kids), when we would usually wake up looking exhausted. We found this was one of the creams that gave the most rested, radiant results the morning after.

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Trilogy rosapene night cream, 60ml: £29.50, Look Fantastic

“Everything your skin needs and nothing it doesn’t” – that’s the Trilogy tag line, the brand believes everything you need for healthy skin can be found in nature. Certified as organic by New Zealand’s BioGro organisation, rosapene is a skin repairing, collagen-booster, packed full of rose hip oil and antioxidants. It has quite a stiff feeling when you first apply, but as it warms, it sinks in easily. A wonderfully relaxing floral blend of rose, frankincense and geranium gives it a beautiful scent. A good choice if you want your skincare to be as natural and chemical-free as possible.

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Clarins multi-active nuit normal to combination skin, 50ml: £44, Clarins

Combination complexions can suffer in the anti-ageing market as so many creams are just too rich and can make oily skin and breakouts worse. If you’ve struggled with this and are showing the first signs of ageing, then look no further. The relaxing floral scent of jasmine, heliotrope and freesia are perfect for soothing the mind before bed – think of it as sleep in a jar – and the light, fresh texture doesn’t clog or leave the skin feeling heavy. We found it boosted radiance, revived dull, tired skin, reduced the look of visible fine lines, toned and increased moisture.

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Cult 51 night cream, 50ml: £125, Look Fantastic

Cult 51 is packed with skin-drenching ingredients; oils to lock in moisture and vitamin C and E to fight age spots and fine lines. One of the more unusual ingredients – dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate – is a synthetic peptide also known as Synake. It mimics a peptide found in snake venom, which paralyses the victim and this synthetic equivalent in effect paralyses the muscles.

If the muscles can’t move freely, those laughter lines and smile lines around your eyes and mouth won’t be on repeat making deeper wrinkles – a similar idea to botox, but the muscles aren’t actually frozen. We found a little goes a long way, you only really need a pea-sized amount, and its moisturising capabilities are great for dry and eczema-prone skin. We saw significant, visible results after only a few weeks use.

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Perricone MD  neuropeptide night cream, 74ml: £199, Harrods

For an intense firming moisturiser, designed for deeper lines and wrinkles, this hi-tech formula is surprisingly light and airy. The neuropeptides work on wrinkles and sagging skin and help to visibly lift complexions heading south. We found it definitely gave skin around the jawline a more lifted look and skin looked radiant and glowing the morning after. Proof that you don’t need thick stiff heavy creams for mature skin.

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Oskia bedtime beauty boost, 50ml: £85, Oksia Skincare

A supercharged luxurious bedtime treat, Oskia’s beauty boost is packed with a potent blend of anti-agers; 10 different vitamins, minerals, omega 3, 6 and 9, Swiss apple stem cells, milk peptides and hyaluronic acid. Despite this high-level nourishment and rich cell nutrition, it’s amazingly light in texture and completely non-greasy – no mean feat for such a hard-working regenerating night cream.

The scent of Bulgarian rose is perfect for the bedtime wind down too. We found our skin positively glowed the morning after using this and after a few weeks our skin began to look brighter, more hydrated and more radiant. A new permanent fixture on our bathroom shelves.

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This Works no wrinkles midnight moisture, 48ml: £46, This Works

One of the most calming, beautifully-scented creams we tested and that’s thanks to the stunning blend of rose hip seed oil, evening primrose oil, bitter orange flower oil, lavender, palmarosa, geranium and rosa damascena flower oils. This nourishing cream feels a little more weighty than some of the others tested, but once massaged in it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy.

Firming, smoothing, plumping, repairing, renewing and detoxifying, we found midnight moisture ticks all the night cream boxes. And it even contains retinol for a super-charged anti-ageing hit. Remember if you chose a night cream with retinol, you must wear an SPF during the day.

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Skyn Iceland oxygen infusion night cream, 56g: £56, Feel Unique

Dull, stressed skin needs some serious TLC and this potent overnight treatment is just the ticket. Prolonged stress has a massive impact on our skin and can cause quite severe premature ageing. The chemical response in your body to stress is to produce hormones such as cortisol, which in turn tells glands in your skin to produce more oil.

That’s why a huge spot can often appear before an interview or a first date. So, if you notice a correlation between stressful periods in your life and your skin taking a turn for the worse, then this is the cream for you. It’s packed with essential vitamins, peptides and natural botanical extracts designed to nurture skin back into a healthy, less irritable state. It works especially well with blemish-prone skin, hives and stress related itching.

We found it’s a real skin softener too, delightful to use at bedtime and despite its richness, effortless to work into the skin. Once on, it feels light and easy to wear, with a fresh and fruity scent.

Buy now

Glamglow good in bed passion fruit softening night cream, 45ml: £42, Space NK

Dull, dehydrated skin looks older than fresh, radiant glowing complexions – regular exfoliating rids skin of this lacklustre look. Packed into this skin-plumping night cream is a gentle yet powerful blend of AHA, BHA and PHA acids to do the hard work while you get your beauty sleep. Fresh and fruity, it gives skin a zesty kick and also uses hyaluronic acid to keep cells water-charged. If dull skin is your ageing issue, opt for this passion fruit hydrator.

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The verdict: anti-ageing night creams

The most results-driven cream we found was Goldfaden MD. With its natural chemical-free formula it transformed our skin with visible anti-ageing results. Clarins is also perfect for combination skin, while sensitive complexions will calm right down with Sarah Chapman.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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