What is the difference between day and night cream?

When it comes to skin care, it is important to understand what is the difference between day and night cream. These two products have different purposes and ingredients, and using them correctly can make a big difference to your skin. In this text, we will go over everything you need to know about day cream and night cream, and how to choose the right products for your skin type and routine.

Close-up of a woman's face focusing on the eyes and lips, with a blurred cosmetic product in the foreground.

What are day and night creams?

Day cream and night cream are two different products that gives your skin the protection and care it needs during day and night. They have different properties and ingredients that help your skin in different ways.

Day cream

Day cream is specially designed to be used daytime. Its main purpose is to protect the skin against external influences, including the sun's harmful rays and pollution in the air. One of the most important properties of a day cream is its ability to contain SPF, which provides sun protection and protects against free radicals that can damage the skin.

Day creams also have a lighter texture, making them easier to use under makeup. They often contain moisture and other ingredients that are suitable for daily use.

Night cream

Night cream is intended for use during at night when your skin is undergoing natural recovery. Its main purpose is to repair and restore skin health using active substances that work better at night. Night creams have a richer texture and contain ingredients that help to repair and moisturize skin, which is especially important if you have dry skin.

A jar of Anua's "Heartleaf Intense Calming Cream" with 70% indicated, placed on a white ribbed surface.

Differences between day and night creams

Now that we have clarified the purpose of both day cream and night cream it's time to take a closer look at the main differences between them:

  • How to use: As the names suggest, it uses day cream in the morning as the final step in your skincare routine, while night cream is used in the evening before going to bed.

  • Protection vs. repair: Day cream focuses on protecting your skin against harmful substances, while night cream focuses on repairing and restoring skin health.

  • Ingredients: Day creams often contain SPF and antioxidants to protect against sun damage and pollution. Night creams however, contain active substances which help with repair and recovery of the skin.

Using the right product at the right time in your skincare routine is the key to achieving radiant and healthy skin. Think about your skin type and your specific needs when choosing both day and night creams to maximize results.

What you need to know before choosing a day and night cream

Before you buy day and night creams it is important to consider some factors that may influence your choice.

Your skin type

Your skin type is crucial when choosing skincare products. If you have dry skin you may need a night cream that contains extra moisture and nourishing ingredients. On the other hand, if you have sensitive skin, you should look for products that are mild and suitable for your skin type.

Specific needs

If you have specific skin problems, such as acne or ageing, you may want to choose products with active substances that are targeted to treat these problems. Day and night creams with different ingredients can help to meet your needs.

How to use of day cream

To use your day cream correctly is crucial to its effectiveness:

Apply in the morning:

Use your day cream as the last step in your morning routine, after cleansing and possibly toning. Make sure it is properly absorbed before applying makeup.

Compatibility with makeup:

Most day creams are formulated to be compatible with makeup. Wait a few minutes after applying the day cream before you start applying your makeup to allow it to dry and be fully absorbed.


If you spend a lot of time outdoors or are exposed to the sun during the day, it's helpful to reapply your day cream after a few hours to maintain protection.

How to use of night cream

To use your night cream correctly will help your skin to take full advantage of its benefits:

The evening routine:

The night cream should be the last step in your evening routine after cleansing and any serums. It gives your skin overnight to absorb its nutrients.

Maximize the benefits:

To maximize the night cream's benefits, gently massage it onto your skin using upward motions. This helps to increase blood circulation and promote absorption.

Avoid the eye area:

The night cream is usually not formulated for eye use, so make sure to avoid applying it in the eye area.

An open jar of COSRX "Advanced Snail 92 All in one Cream" with a thick cream lifting up, placed on a bright surface near a person

How can I adapt my night cream to my skin type?

Adapt your night cream to your skin type by choosing a cream that suits your specific needs. If you have dry skin, look for a night cream that contains rich moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or shea butter. If your skin is sensitive, you should choose a mild night cream without irritants. For oily skin, you can choose a lighter night cream that doesn't clog pores.

Can I use sunscreen instead of day cream?

Sunscreen offers some protection from the sun's harmful rays, but it doesn't usually contain the moisturizing or restorative properties of a day cream. It is best to use both sunscreen and day cream to ensure both protection and care for your skin.

How does age affect the choice of cream?

Age can influence your choice of cream as different age groups have different needs. Younger people may want to focus on prevention and sun protection, while older people may look for creams with anti-aging properties such as retinol or peptides to reduce the visible signs of aging.

What is the difference between creams and serums?

The difference between creams and serums lies in their consistency and concentration of active ingredients. Creams usually have a thicker consistency and are designed to moisturize and protect the skin. Serums, on the other hand, have a lighter texture and contain a higher concentration of active substances that penetrate deeper into the skin to treat specific problems such as wrinkles or pigmentation. Both products can be part of a complete skincare routine depending on your needs.

The benefits of a balanced skincare routine

Including both day and night cream in your daily skincare routine can help you achieve healthy and radiant skin in the long term. By choosing products that suit your skin type and needs, you can maximize results and preserve your skin's youthful radiance.

Finishing touches

Understanding what is the difference between day and night cream? is crucial to maintaining a healthy skincare routine. By choosing the right products and using them correctly, you can achieve skin that looks healthy, youthful and radiant.