Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best night creams. We then chose the 12 most popular products and tested them.
We focused on three things: its moisturizing ability, its ingredients, and how it felt to use. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese night creams available online.
You might be thinking, "I know what a face cream is!" and wondering why this section is here, but we want to start off this article by telling you what sets night creams apart from the average face cream.
Night creams are special in that they contain an abundance of oils to prevent water from evaporating from your skin while you sleep. They also tend to contain many advanced and active ingredients that work to repair, beautify, and revitalize your skin.
We'd especially recommend night cream use for those with dry skin or those who want some extra aging care.
We picked out 12 of the most popular products and tested them for the following: how cleansing it was, how good it felt to use, and how much good stuff was inside.
Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 12 Japanese night creams available online.
※Japanese prices for the some of the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
|Japanese||富士フィルム アスタリフト ナイトチャージクリーム|
|Intended effects||Moisturizing and aging care|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, BG, hydrolyzed collagen, lecitin, etc.|
|Skincare ingredients||Stearyl glycyrrhetinate, etc.|
|How it felt to use||3.7|
|Japanese||ポーラ B.A クリーム|
|Scent||Floral and woody|
|Intended effects||Moisturizing and aging care|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Golden EP, EG clear essence, YAC essence, BG, glycerin, etc.|
|Skincare ingredients||Arnica extract, clove extract, etc.|
|How it felt to use||4.0|
|Japanese||カネボウ化粧品 ナイト リピッド ウェア クリーム|
|Scent||Night velvet bouquet|
|Intended effects||Moisturizing and aging care|
|Moisturizing ingredients||BG, glycerin, DPG, etc.|
|Skincare ingredients||Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, etc.|
|How it felt to use||3.1|
|Japanese||資生堂 ホワイトルーセント マルチブライト ナイトクリーム（医薬部外品|
|Scent||Bright Derm Fragrance|
|Intended effects||Moisturizing and whitening|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Rich glycerin, hyaluronic acid, etc.|
|Skincare ingredients||4-Methoxysalicylic acid potassium salt, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, etc.|
|How it felt to use||0.0|
|Japanese||資生堂 エリクシール シュペリエル エンリッチドクリーム TB|
|Scent||Relaxing Aqua Floral|
|Intended effects||Moisturizing, aging care, and whitening|
|Moisturizing ingredients||BG, glycerin, water-soluble collagen, aspartic acid, etc.|
|Skincare ingredients||Sapindus mukorossi peel extract, peppermint leaf extract, etc.|
|How it felt to use||3.3|
|Japanese||ちふれ化粧品 保湿クリーム しっとりタイプ|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, BG, hyaluronic acid, etc.|
|How it felt to use||2.9|
Astalift Night Charge Cream
Night Lipid Wear
White Lucent MultiBright Night Cream (Medicated)
Elixir Superior Enriched Cream TB
|Features||The Very Best Japanese Nigh...||The Most High-class Japanes...||The Best Floral-scented Nig...||The Best Night Cream with W...||The Night Cream with the Pe...||A Night Cream with Decent M...|
|Japanese||富士フィルム アスタリフト ナイトチャージクリーム||ポーラ B.A クリーム||カネボウ化粧品 ナイト リピッド ウェア クリーム||資生堂 ホワイトルーセント マルチブライト ナイトクリーム（医薬部外品||資生堂 エリクシール シュペリエル エンリッチドクリーム TB||ちふれ化粧品 保湿クリーム しっとりタイプ|
|Amount||1.06 oz||1.06 oz||1.35 oz||1.8 oz||1.6 oz||2 oz|
|Scent||Not indicated||Floral and woody||Night velvet bouquet||Bright Derm Fragrance||Relaxing Aqua Floral||Unscented|
|Intended effects||Moisturizing and aging care||Moisturizing and aging care||Moisturizing and aging care||Moisturizing and whitening||Moisturizing, aging care, and whitening||Moisturizing|
|Moisturizing ingredients||Glycerin, BG, hydrolyzed collagen, lecitin, etc.||Golden EP, EG clear essence, YAC essence, BG, glycerin, etc.||BG, glycerin, DPG, etc.||Rich glycerin, hyaluronic acid, etc.||BG, glycerin, water-soluble collagen, aspartic acid, etc.||Glycerin, BG, hyaluronic acid, etc.|
|Skincare ingredients||Stearyl glycyrrhetinate, etc.||Arnica extract, clove extract, etc.||Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, etc.||4-Methoxysalicylic acid potassium salt, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, etc.||Sapindus mukorossi peel extract, peppermint leaf extract, etc.||-|
|How it felt to use||3.7||4.0||3.1||0.0||3.3||2.9|
And why they didn't quite make it.
No one had anything bad to say about Muji Moisturising Cream, but no one could claim anything about it was special either. It moisturized our skin and kept it soft, but that's about it. Our team members concluded, "It's better than applying nothing."
Maybe you're a fan of retro oily night creams, but we know not everyone is. That's why deLuxe Night Cream landed a spot near the bottom of our ranking. Besides that, it doesn't do much for you in the way of aging care.
A common problem with most of our lower-ranking skincare products is they're not moisturizing enough, even the ones that look like they'd be super hydrating (like DHC Enriched Night Cream). Oyasumi Chu no Gohoubi had spot-on ingredients, but they didn't transfer through to our skin; and Attenir Dress lift Night Cream felt great to put on but didn't soften our tough test cucumber at all.
We put each of the 12 night creams through a series of three tests. One measured its moisturizing ability while the other two examined its ingredients and how it felt to use.
First, we checked a night cream's most important capability: hydration.
To run our test, we slathered half a cucumber slice with each night cream and let it sit overnight (about 6 hours total). Then we wiped off the cream and checked to see how moist, soft, and vibrant the slices were.
The highest-rated products were a couple of distinct textures. One was a watery texture, which feels amazing to spread over your skin and will surely penetrate deep into your skin.
The other was a veil-like texture, which retained a layer on our cucumber even after we gave it a quick wipe-off. These creams work to both provide and retain your skin's moisture.
Next, our editing staff sat down and judged how each night cream felt to use. This includes gauging how easy it is to spread on your skin, what kind of texture it has, its scent, and its packaging. Their individual scores were then averaged into the overall score.
Products that absorbed into our skin as soon as we applied them took the cake. And even after they penetrated our pores, they left a very thin protective layer of product on our skin.
You're the best judge of the kind of texture you prefer, but if you're totally new to night creams, we advise looking for something that will absorb into your skin quickly.
We rated the quality of each night cream's ingredients not based on how much "bad" stuff was in it, but rather how much good stuff was in it. So products with a lot of good moisturizing and aging care ingredients got a lot of points, and those with whitening effects scored some bonus ones, too.
Not surprisingly, products with a ton of aging care ingredients received the highest score. The only thing to watch out for is the abundance of plant-based extracts; those with sensitive skin may not react very well to some of the ingredients.
Here are three big things to look out for.
The main job of a night cream is to help your skin both attain and retain moisture while you sleep. That's why you should purchase only the most hydrating products. Creams that have a lot of hydrating ingredients will typically list them towards the beginning of their ingredient list, meaning they have a higher volume in the product.
Here are some examples of trusted moisturizing ingredients:
We also highly recommend reading reviews to get a better idea of their moisturizing powers.
No matter how many beneficial ingredients a night cream contains, you're probably not going to purchase it if it doesn't have a good texture. Most creams are a bit stiff, but you can find ones that are more milky or watery here and there.
Scents are also varied, but you can find unscented creams if you're not into that. You should also check reviews to see if people have said anything about the container being difficult to open and close, since you'll be using it every day.
Moisture is definitely the most important factor in choosing a night cream, but the best night creams are the ones that give you additional skincare benefits. They'll work even more magic on your sleeping skin.
Night creams that have a ton of skin care and skin repairing ingredients can work wonders at prolonging the signs of aging. Here are some ingredients you should look for:
Blemishes and wrinkles can make your skin look more aged than it is, but whitening ingredients can help with that. Look for these ingredients on the label if this is your main concern:
It's easy to assume that all skincare creams should be used the same, but night creams are made specifically for night time - and for good reason. Here are a couple of pieces of advice we have about when and how often to use your night cream.
Night cream should be the last thing you apply to your face before sleeping so that it can work its magic all the way from the top. So that means if you have a multi-step nightly skin routine, it should go something like this:
Lotion → serum → face cream or milky lotion → night cream
We recommend using night cream only at night. Makers put more oil in them than most skincare products because they assume that it will be applied at night; that's why many of them feel so heavy.
It's not unheard of to use them at other times, but using them at a different time or under circumstances can cause things like breakouts and smudged makeup. We advise using a regular face cream for daytime.
As we get into the thick of winter, dry skin can become a real issue for many. Here are some more high-quality Japanese products to get you through it.
We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 12 most popular Japanese night creams, and tested them all.
We learned that the best of the best night creams contain an abundance of aging care ingredients as well as moisturizing ingredients, have a great smell, and have a comfortable texture. It's important to read reviews to make sure you're going to get something you like, but hopefully we've given you a good place to start.
Author: Miyuki Arai/Translation: Shannon McNaught/Photos: Yuuki Inagaki
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