If you're a K-beauty fanatic, you know that ingredients in Korean skincare can do a body good. When it comes to your nighttime routine, night creams are the perfect tool for ensuring a great beauty rest! That's why we went out of our way to research and compile a list of our absolute favorite Korean night creams.
In our opinion, Neogen x Joan Kim VitaDuo Day and Night Cream is among the great Korean skincare products that provide great hydrating and moisturizing effects. Aside from being effective, it's also very innovative as it contains two creams - intensive day cream and night cream - in one container. Check out what more skincare products are a good addition to your night skincare routine! And if you're still full of questions, check out our buying guide with tips from aesthetician Devan Jesmer.
As a beauty content creator & licensed aesthetician, I create content around all things beauty, with my main focus being skincare. Through my industry insight, honest reviews and educational content, my goal is to help my clients and others navigate the constant influx of products and information in the beauty industry, and achieve their skin goals.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Here, we'll be introducing the three important points to check when you choose a Korean night cream. Make sure to pay attention to the ingredients going into the creams, find one that matches your skin type, and choose one that is more effective for your age category!
Devan Jesmer says that "When looking at night cream ingredients, a good place to start is making sure the cream has hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. Some hydrating ingredients to look for include glycerin, aloe, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, allantoin, and panthenol.
You don't want to use just any cream without checking ingredients and later on suffer from allergies and irritation. Some skincare products may contain ingredients that can be harmful to your skin as well.
The more active ingredients your night cream has, the better. Active ingredients are the ones that are proven to be effective in addressing skin irregularities.
Aloe vera is one of the greatest active ingredients that a skincare product can contain. It is fully packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, argan oil, coffee extract, and honey boast anti-aging and moisturizing effects. Considering how night creams are focused on moisturizing and regenerating the skin, it is common to see one or more of these three in the list of ingredients.
Ginseng, green tea, tea tree oil, vitamin C, and vitamin E are known for boosting one's youthful glow. Aside from these listed ingredients, there are still others that are good for your skin. And don't forget that some active ingredients may only target a specific skin type (more on that later).
When looking at night cream ingredients, a good place to start is making sure the cream has hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. Some hydrating ingredients to look for include glycerin, aloe, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, propylene glycol, allantoin, and panthenol.
Moisturizing ingredients to look for include plant oils such as rosehip oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, marula oil, and shea butter, and hydrolyzed collagen. Next, the addition of antioxidants such as ginseng, green tea extract, vitamin C, and E, as well as peptides are great if you have aging concerns.
If there are ingredients you should look for in a night cream, there are also some ingredients that you should avoid. One of these is urea or imidazolidinyl. It is intended to be used as a medication for skin dryness and itching for those who have dermatitis, ichthyosis, and psoriasis.
However, for night creams, urea is not an important ingredient. Also, it can cause skin irritation especially to users under age 30. Try to avoid night creams with this ingredient unless you badly need it for your skin condition.
Another ingredient to be aware of is aluminum, which may affect endocrine function. Also, watch out for parabens and SLS. Parabens are added to cosmetics in order to kill bacteria and prolong storage life. Some studies show that parabens and SLS can cause health issues and skin irritation in some people.
As there is conflicting information about whether these ingredients are truly bad or not, please avoid them if you are extra worried about potential irritation.
If you are acne-prone, you'll want to avoid anything that could clog pores, such as lanolin, beeswax, mineral oil, and petroleum. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid anything that contains fragrance, as this can often be irritating. If you have dry skin, you'd want to avoid anything with denatured alcohol, as this ingredient tends to be quite drying, but typically isn't an issue for oily skin.
People have different skin types and each skin type requires different things. While a lot of natural oils can be good for individuals with dry skin, they can cause problems for those who have oily and acne-prone skin.
Gel-based skincare products are recommended for those who have oily skin as it provides the hydration that your skin needs without making it feel and look greasy.
While cream-based is also good, gel-based products are just more suitable for this skin type. On the other hand, using oil-based products is discouraged.
When a part of your face is greasy and the other is dry, then you have a combination of dry and oily skin. This is quite a tricky situation as you have to combat both dryness and oiliness in the skin. Gel-based products are the safest choice for those who have this skin type.
Oily and combination skin types should look for gels or gel-creams. Typically, oily and combination skin types are lacking water in their skin, but not lacking oil. Gels and gel-creams are loaded with humectants, which draw moisture from the air into the skin and draw water from the dermis into the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). Adding hydration (water) to the skin helps balance oil production.
Night creams with aloe vera, argan oil, green tea, and plant butters such as cocoa butter and shea butter as key ingredients are recommended for people who have dry skin. These ingredients possess superb hydrating and moisturizing effects.
On the other hand, creams with synthetic fragrance should be avoided as it can cause skin irritation, making your skin much drier and itchier.
Cream-based and oil-based products are recommended for those who have a dry skin type. They are heavier and greasier in texture, which is just perfect for this certain skin type.
Dry skin types should look for creams and oils, as dry skin is typically lacking oil. Dry skin needs humectants just like oily and combination skin types!
But just as important is that moisture is sealed in with emollients, which help replace missing lipids in the skin, and occlusives, which create a protective layer on top of the skin and prevent moisture loss. Emollients and occlusives are typically plant oils, shea butter, and fatty acids which are found in creams and oils.
Having sensitive skin means your skin is very dry and easily gets irritated. Cream-based products might be thick and heavy, however, it is the best texture for super dry skin especially if it has light ingredients.
The most important thing to remember is to double-check that your night cream does not have any potentially irritating ingredients like mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, and urea, as they can trigger and worsen your skin irritation.
If you have sensitive skin, it is always best to check ingredients lists before you make a purchase. Avoid ingredients that you know you're sensitive to. Even then, I always recommend patch testing under the jaw, by the ear to see if you're sensitive to a product before applying it all over the face and neck.
Most of the time, those who are between 18 and 30 years old do not have many skin issues to deal with. Considering this factor, it is best for this age bracket to stick with night skincare products that have lightweight ingredients. The more natural the product is, the better.
For those who are in their thirties and forties, products with more antioxidants are the best choice to keep their skin healthy. Night creams with amino acids, antioxidants, glycerin, and vitamin C are recommended.
People who are in their fifties or older usually have more skin insecurities compared to other age groups. Many also want to look younger. Thus, they need night creams that possess strong anti-aging and nourishing agents like ginseng to cater to their beauty goals.
As we age, our skin creates fewer oils, has slower cell turnover, and, combined with sun damage, can result in drier, rougher skin. You want products that properly moisturize the skin, as well as help to produce new collagen and elastin. Look for moisturizers with collagen and peptides, as well as ones that contain emollients like fatty acids and shea butter, and occlusives which usually appear as plant oils.
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Neogen x Joan
Vita Duo Cream
Our Top Choice - Two Creams in One for Day and Night Hydration
Best for Firming the Skin With a Peptide-Rich Formula
Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream Light
Best for Lightweight Rejuvenating of Dry or Sensitive Skin
Gone are the days when you have to buy two separate products for day use and night use. Neogen x Joan Vita Duo Cream offers you the best of day cream and night cream. With vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, and other natural ingredients, it's highly effective in moisturizing and reviving your skin.
It works for lightening acne spots and is super moisturizing for all skin types. Plus, the formula is free from artificial colors, parabens, and synthetic fragrances.
While being ultra-hydrating, some users noticed a strong smell coming from both creams, however. While the smell doesn't linger for more than a couple of minutes, some people still can't take it. Before purchasing, decide whether its scent is something you can tolerate or not. Reviewers love how it softens the skin and gives them a slight glow.
Innisfree Youth-Enriched Cream is best known for being a peptide-rich cream that comes with the perfect blend of Jeju orchid. Aside from providing great hydration and nourishment to the skin, it also addresses aging issues. It helps to firm and provide your skin with elasticity, and the cream can also be used as a day or night cream.
Some say the cream feels too sticky for their liking. If you aren't a fan of sticky, moisturizing cream, then you might want to look elsewhere. However, a lot of users stated that the cream is very rich and thick in texture. Their skin feels hydrated and smooth whenever they use this skincare product.
This gel texture rejuvenating cream is the lightweight version of its predecessor Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream. Innovated to absorb quickly, it fights off signs of aging, such as fine lines and sagging skin. It's lightweight on the skin and provides plenty of moisturization.
One reviewer did mention doubting whether or not this product was the exact one you can buy in Korea. We've provided other links in case.
On the other hand, other happy reviewers love how the product is perfect for dry and sensitive skin. They noted how they’ve tried many products, but nothing renews their skin without giving them any acne breakouts except for Sulwhasoo.
While the top three night creams are great all around, these seven other choices are great for when you're looking for a more specific formula or for creams that target specific worries.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
Night creams are typically much heavier [than day creams], and contain more occlusive ingredients, that really seal in your skincare, so your skin can benefit while you sleep. Sometimes, a night cream isn't completely necessary, as you could use a hydrating serum underneath a facial oil and get the same desired effect.
When it comes to a night cream, select one that is best for your skin type and current climate. You'll know it's working for you when you wake up and your skin feels hydrated and balanced, not overly oily, and not dry or tight.
The perfect Korean skincare routine includes the application of different varieties of products. Just because you got the perfect night cream for your age and skin type does not mean that you already have the ideal skincare practice. To complete your beauty regime, check out the recommended skincare products listed below.
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