The worst thing you can do for your skin is to ignore it. If you want to banish blemishes, the first step is to keep your face clean. And the second is to moisturize. If your skin has enough hydration, it’s less likely to overproduce oil. Plus, many of the best night creams for acne-prone skin have additional benefits. They treat pimples and dark spots while you sleep.
How long does it take to see a difference? Depending on the moisturizer, you’re likely to see improvements after at least two weeks and before two months have passed.
What kind of night cream is best for acne-prone skin?
Dermatologists recommend water-based “oil-free” moisturizers for acne-prone complexions. Look for that description, or something similar like “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”. Instead of cream, the moisturizer might be described as a gel (1).
If you read the label, check for helpful ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid that pull water into the skin. Also, salicylic acid is good for reducing breakouts as it unclogs pores and exfoliates. However, avoid moisturizers with mineral oil as it’s too greasy for oily skin.
That’s why we researched to help you find the best nighttime moisturizer for acne-prone skin. Here are our top picks:
|The best night creams for acne-prone skin||Why we love them|
|Neutralyze Renewal Complex - Maximum Strength Acne Moisturizer Cream||
|PCA SKIN Clearskin||
|Eau Thermale Avene TriAcneal NIGHT Smoothing Lotion||
|[CRAZY SKIN] Skin Repair Trouble Care Sleeping Cream||
|Era Organics Tea Tree Oil Face Cream||
|Proactiv Green Tea and Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer||
|CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion||
|La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Cream||
Best Night Creams for Acne-Prone Skin in 2023
Neutralyze Renewal Complex – Maximum Strength Acne Moisturizer Cream
Let’s start with one of the best night creams for oily skin. It calms inflammation and unclogs pores while you sleep. Not only does it clear up breakouts, but it also prevents new ones. Consumer studies found that some users see visible improvements in one day.
The magic inside consists of 2% salicylic acid, 1% mandelic acid, and Nitrogen Boost Skincare Technology. In other words, the moisturizer has both beta hydroxy and alpha hydroxy acids plus nitric oxide to accelerate healing.
Salicylic acid is an excellent treatment for acne because it dissolves sebum, exfoliates dead skin, and shrinks inflamed pimples. And you’ve heard of mandelic acid which is another exfoliant that fades acne scars. But what does nitric acid have to do with acne?
At first, we thought of nitrous oxide, but we’re not in a car race – we’re racing against time to neutralize acne. It turns out that nitric oxide speeds up blood circulation to soothe inflamed skin and make pimples go away.
Moreover, this moisturizer is lightweight enough for oily skin but hydrating enough for combination skin. Users say it helps keep the afternoon oil slick at bay. Over time, it even smoothes fine lines and fades discoloration.
The formula contains no artificial fragrance or parabens. It’s cruelty-free and backed by a satisfaction guarantee.
Lastly, it’s packaged so that you can dispense as much or as little as you need without contaminating the cream.
- Potent anti-acne moisturizer with AHA and BHA plus Nitrogen Boost Technology
- Calms inflammation to visibly reduce acne in as little as twenty-four hours
- Also fades acne scars and fine lines and helps control oil production
- Lightweight and fragrance-free, it contains no parabens
- Cruelty-free and comes with a satisfaction guarantee
- Has an artificial color, but it’s the last ingredient
PCA SKIN Clearskin
Have you heard about niacinamide? It’s a key ingredient in this face cream that offers three benefits. First, it’s an antioxidant that evens out skin tone and provides a calming effect. Second, it prevents the skin from becoming dehydrated. And third, it slows sebum production so you don’t wake up with an oil slick.
Although it’s a cream, it sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky or greasy residue. While you sleep, it uses vitamin A to resurface the complexion. At the same time, lemongrass, cucumber, and marigold purify and relax the skin.
Happily, the formula is free of perfumes and parabens.
- Lightweight fragrance-free, paraben-free, moisturizer that fades discoloration
- Calms oil production but prevents dryness
- Gradually renews the complexion with vitamin A and niacinamide
- Pricier than some alternatives, but performs as promised
Eau Thermale Avene TriAcneal NIGHT Smoothing Lotion
If you have mature skin that’s prone to acne, check out this overnight miracle worker. It has papaya extract with the PCC enzyme that works similar to glycolic acid, but it’s gentler to the skin. It exfoliates sensitive complexions without causing irritation. Then, the papaya works in conjunction with retinaldehyde to remove blemishes and firm the skin.
Thankfully, this moisturizer isn’t just for exfoliating and rejuvenating the skin. It also refreshes thirsty skin with thermal spring water. Plus, it eliminates redness caused by breakouts to help you wake up looking ready for the day.
Is there a downside? The formula has an artificial fragrance and an artificial color, but we didn’t see many complaints about it causing a reaction. On the other hand, the bottle itself isn’t transparent so it’s hard to tell when you actually run out of lotion.
- Suitable for mature skin that’s acne-prone
- Renews and resurfaces with papaya extract and retinaldehyde
- Refreshes thirsty skin with thermal spring water
- Opaque bottle makes it hard to decide when it’s time to buy more
[CRAZY SKIN] Skin Repair Trouble Care Sleeping Cream
Here’s our favorite Korean night cream for blemish-prone skin. It has salicylic acid to visibly reduce pimples and unclog pores. Moreover, since it exfoliates gently, it makes acne scars fade away faster and leaves the skin velvety soft in the morning.
The pH-balanced formula is mildly acidic to help the skin retain moisture. Its texture is similar to essence – not so much creamy as it is liquid and lightweight because it’s oil-free. Meanwhile, silicone and beeswax help seal in the hydration.
Furthermore, it features Lupeol from eggplant to repair damage while Madecassoide relieves redness. The main con is the artificial fragrance, which smells amazing, but could potentially be an allergen for those with very sensitive skin.
- Similar to essence in texture, refreshing, lightweight, and oil-free
- pH-balanced formula has salicylic acid to cleanse pores and exfoliate
- Repairs damaged skin and relieves redness
- Has an artificial fragrance
Era Organics Tea Tree Oil Face Cream
What about the best night cream for combination skin? We saw lots of positive feedback for this natural and organic moisturizer.
If you take acne medication, you might not be able to use a moisturizer with a high concentration of retinol or exfoliants because it’s too much for your skin to take. Anti-acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide can also dry the skin excessively. That’s when you need something a little more hydrating.
One reviewer said that although this moisturizer smells kind of like a mosquito candle, it balanced their complexion within a few days. It cleared up large cystic pimples in record time and it didn’t make the skin any oilier. Instead, it smoothed the skin on the forehead and cheeks.
The active ingredient is tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca. Many people have success using tea tree oil to treat mild acne, rosacea, and blackheads. It’s a potent antimicrobial ingredient that promotes healing.
But take note that the cream still has salicylic acid from willow bark, although the concentration isn’t provided. It works alongside calming ingredients like St. John’s wort, goldenseal, and burdock root. There’s also dandelion which is surprisingly effective for balancing an oily complexion.
Of course, there are no parabens or artificial fragrance. Several of the ingredients are certified organic, too.
- Best night cream for combination skin that’s prone to acne
- Balances oil production, calms redness, exfoliates, and cleanses pores
- Featured ingredients include tea tree oil, willow bark, and dandelion
- None, unless you can’t stand the earthy herbal scent of tea tree oil (which fades quickly)
Proactiv Green Tea and Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer
Is your skin dull and flaky? Unfortunately, acne meds tend to dehydrate the skin. Plus, it’s not always safe to use anti-acne ingredients in your moisturizer because it doubling up on the actives can really irritate the face. That’s when you need the best night cream for dry skin like this one. It will renew your complexion.
The lightweight lotion is packed with healing ingredients like green tea and hyaluronic acid. Green tea is rich in antioxidants that encourage healing and soothe redness and irritation. Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid attracts up to a thousand times its weight in water to plump the skin with moisture.
- Heals flaky, dry skin, leaving it smooth and calm
- Ideal for use in conjunction with acne medications
- Has green tea to accelerate healing and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate the skin
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
This is the best drugstore night cream to use alongside acne medications. It’s an oil-free moisturizer that erases redness and helps the skin recover overnight.
It’s from a dermatologist-recommended brand that includes three essential ceramides in all of their products. Ceramides are a crucial part of healthy skin. They help it maintain a barrier against moisture loss and infection. That’s one of the reasons why this moisturizer is so effective.
Moreover, it has hyaluronic acid to draw in moisture and niacinamide to keep the skin calm. It’s even formulated with a time-release technology to keep the lotion working for up to twenty-four hours. Finally, you can enjoy moist skin without worrying about breakouts or causing an oil slick.
By the way, this night cream is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, allergy-tested, and it contains no parabens.
- Fragrance-free non-comedogenic nighttime lotion that’s been allergy-tested
- Leaves the skin comfortable and moist without triggering breakouts or making it oily
- Time-released formula keeps working for up to twenty-four hours
- Uses hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide to rehydrate and reduce redness
- None – even though it’s not cheap, just a little dab goes a long way
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Cream
Ultrasensitive skin needs extra cautious care. You’ll be glad to know that this gel-like moisturizer has no preservatives, fragrances, parabens, or drying alcohols. It’s been allergy tested and found to be non-comedogenic. Even the bottle has a hermetic tip designed to prevent outside contamination.
The thin and lightweight formula is based on prebiotic thermal water to quench thirsty skin. Alongside shea butter and vitamin E, it has a unique molecule called Neurosensine. It encourages healing and keeps the skin comfortable while you sleep.
- Suitable for ultrasensitive skin
- Non-comedogenic, allergy tested, and free of fragrances, parabens, preservatives, and drying alcohols
- Gel-like texture refreshes and repairs the skin overnight
Acne-prone skin needs hydration because the moisture will calm excess oil production and reduce redness. Besides that, night creams with anti-acne ingredients can cleanse pores and diminish blemishes while you rest.
We hope our reviews of the best nighttime moisturizers helped you find what you need today. If your new face cream is working wonders for your complexion, please come back and tell us more about it in the comments below.
1. https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/moisturizing/tips/10-tips-for-moisturizing-acne-prone-skin.htm Top 10 Tips for Moisturizing Acne-prone Skin by Kristen Hall-Geisler, accessed October 1, 2021