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Night and day, you are (both) the one: Choosing your face cream

We all know the difference between night and day, but when it comes to the lotions and creams you use on your face, the distinction becomes a bit more confusing.

Night creams and day creams often have different ingredients and are formulated to nourish your skin in different ways. Both have a similar aim – to hydrate your skin – but they also have distinct differences. Unlike the song “Night and Day,” it might be hard to find “the one” when it comes to moisturizer. You should have more than one cream in order to give your skin everything it needs.

In the roaring traffic’s boom

During the day, the skin on your face is exposed to any number of irritants – UV rays and pollution being two key players that contribute to aging. Day creams are designed to protect the skin from these aggressors while also hydrating the skin so it is smooth and youthful looking.

Key day cream ingredients:

•     SPF. The cream that you apply to your face every day should have an SPF of 15 or higher. This certainly comes in handy to prevent a sunburn when you take your lunch break outside in the summer, but full-spectrum UV protection will also stave off wrinkles and sun spots that develop over time from all sun exposure – even the kind that doesn’t burn you.

•     Light-weight moisturizers. Day creams are often light-weight and oil free, making them quickly absorbed. This allows your makeup to stay in place better and prevents a greasy sheen on your face throughout the day.

•     Antioxidants. Many day creams contain skin-repairing vitamins that protect your skin from free radicals that come from the sun, stress and pollutants in the air. Look for one with antioxidants like Vitamins A, E and C.

In the silence of my lonely room

You may spend the night hours sound asleep, but this is a  busy time for the cells throughout your body. When you are resting, your cells have a chance to renew themselves, and skin cells on your face are no exception. Night creams are designed to support this process, infusing your skin with nutrients to improve cell renewal.

Key night cream ingredients:

•     Anti-aging ingredients. Because your skin is busy repairing itself throughout the night, it is a perfect time to pump it with anti-aging ingredients to promote healthy cell growth. Usually, some sort of collagen booster is added to promote the production of firm skin. Certain anti-aging ingredients like retinol are more effective in night creams, since they can be broken down by ultraviolet rays your skin sees by day.

•     Heavy moisturizers. Most night creams contain heavy lipids and oils to replenish any moisture lost during the day. The moisturizers do not sink into the skin as fast as they do in a day cream – they sit on the surface of the skin and absorb slowly, treating and repairing each layer of skin. The thick oils are also designed to naturally fill in lines and wrinkles.

Only you beneath the moon and under the sun

Of course, there are a number of creams out there that boast the perfect balance of ingredients so you can wear them both night and day. If you are going to pick just one cream, make sure it has sunscreen and is light enough that it won’t make your face look greasy. Sun is one of the biggest sources of skin damage and premature aging, so this is one of the key factors to look for. If your favorite moisturizer doesn’t have SPF, you can always layer sunscreen (or a primer with SPF) on top.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing