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23 Best Night Creams for Acne-Prone Skin Review Guide (Plus a Bonus Spot Treatment That Celebrities Use)

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 27th December 2020
Best Night Creams for Acne-Prone Skin

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If you don’t use night cream, you’re missing out.

It’s a crucial opportunity to get rid of blemishes.

The best night creams for acne-prone skin promote healing.

They add moisture and irritation, but they also refine skin texture and shrink pores.

Then, in the morning, your face is refreshed without feeling greasy.

What Is the Best Night Cream for Acne-Prone Skin?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

But there are certain ingredients like green tea and shea butter that are beneficial to acne skin.

For example, you’ll find salicylic acid in both face washes and moisturizers.

It’s a beta-hydroxy acid that dissolves oil and cleans out pores.

(But stay away from salicylic acid if you’re allergic to aspirin.)

You can also benefit from glycolic and lactic acids in your night cream.

They exfoliate dead skin cells, lessen inflammation, and encourage new skin to grow. This means they reduce acne scars (1).

You’ve probably also heard of retinol, which comes from Vitamin A. It keeps pores clear and fades redness and dark spots. It resurfaces skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

But be careful with benzoyl peroxide. It kills acne bacteria, but it can dry out your skin. Use it as a spot treatment or face wash only.

In order to combat the dryness and redness that comes from using acne medication, you need a good moisturizer.

Skip the oils and look for hyaluronic acid instead.

Hyaluronic acid can hold 1000 times its own weight in water, and it never clogs pores.

Glycerin also attracts moisture into your skin without making it greasy (2).

To protect against breakouts, always buy products that say they are “non-comedogenic.”

And although you should skip creams with mineral oil, some plant based oils are okay for acne skin.

One is argan oil. It doesn’t increase sebum production, so it won’t make you oilier.

You should also have luck with shea butter (but avoid cocoa butter).

Finally, some artificial fragrances and dyes cause acne to flare up (3).

Look for night creams without added perfumes or coloring.

Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.

How Long Does It Take Night Cream to Reduce Acne?

Give any acne treatment you try at least 4 weeks before you give up on it.

Don’t despair if things seem to get worse at first. That’s pretty common. But if they haven’t improved after 4 weeks, it’s time to try something else (4).

In the meantime, here are some simple tips to have fewer pimples:

  • Wash your hands before you touch your skin – and try not to touch the blemishes.
  • Keep your hair, hats, and anything that touches areas that are prone to breakout as clean as possible.
  • Change your pillowcase a couple of times a week and your sheets at least once a week.
  • Add a little more water and fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet and try to get enough sleep.

Now, let’s look at night creams that help control acne.

23 Top Night Creams for Acne Skin (2021 Update)

1. Neutrogena Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Face Moisturizer Gel-Cream

Neutrogena’s gel moisturizer feels soothing to irritated skin. It’s super lightweight, and it sinks in fast.

The fragrance-free formula won’t clog pores. It doesn’t have dyes or parabens in it.

Feel free to use this cream morning and night.

2. Neutrogena Triple Age Repair Anti-Aging Night Cream

Perhaps the best night cream for the 30s and one of the best anti-aging night creams for acne skin is this one.

Neutrogena’s Triple Age Night Moisturizer features Vitamin C in the form of Hexinol technology. It smooths wrinkles, fine lines and brightens skin tone for an improved appearance in the morning.

It also contains glycerin, a lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t cause blemishes.

Neutrogena promises you’ll see a visible difference in 4 weeks or less.

3. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer with Salicylic Acid

Here’s a night cream for oily acne skin. The 0.5% concentration of salicylic acid is just enough to prevent breakouts without overly drying your face.

This is a lightweight moisturizer that can be used twice a day. It’s water-based and smells like pink grapefruit.

4. Aveeno Clear Complexion Acne-Fighting Face Moisturizer

We knew you were looking for the best night cream for acne skin (drugstore). It’s Aveeno’s Clear Complexion.

It prevents blemishes with salicylic acid that keeps pores clear.

It also has Aveeno’s Total Soy Complex that evens skin tone and texture. It’s helpful if you’re tired of redness and trying to get rid of acne marks.

Moreover, it’s oil-free and tested to be hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.

5. Alba Botanica Acnedote Maximum Strength Oil Control Lotion

Alba Botanica uses 2% salicylic acid combined with willow bark extract for extra strength.

There are also parsley, melissa, nettle, and orange peel, bergamot. Each one provides specific benefits to strengthen and heal the skin.

The formula is vegetarian and free of parabens, dyes, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. The pleasant scent comes from a small amount of peppermint essential oil.

Lastly, the label says some of the certified organic ingredients like tea leaf extract.

6. Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer

Proactiv’s moisturizer is made with green tea and hyaluronic acid.

Green tea is an ancient, time-tested anti-aging remedy against premature aging. It calms irritation and tightens pores. It’s helpful in the fight against acne.

If you want, you can wear this moisturizer during the day underneath makeup. Just be sure to use sunscreen, too.

7. Eau Thermale Avene Skin Recovery Night Cream, Sterile Face Moisturizer

If your face is out of control, here’s a very gentle moisturizer. It’s also ideal if you’ve had a procedure and need to protect against infection.

The formula is free of preservatives, artificial colors, and perfume. It has just the essential ingredients to help your skin heal.

8. Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance LIGHT Hydrating Emulsion

The Hydrance Emulsion sinks in quickly and doesn’t feel greasy. It soaks up excess oil to keep your skin fresh, not shiny.

It hydrates for hours with a patented Lipo-Mucine complex. This strengthens the skin’s natural barrier against water loss.

And speaking of water, the moisturizer is enriched with thermal spring water that’s packed with nutrients and minerals to replenish the skin

9. Paula’s Choice SKIN BALANCING Invisible Finish Gel Night Cream

Paula’s Choice doesn’t include artificial fragrances in their products. Plus, if you read the label, you’ll see that each ingredient is explained. You always know what you’re getting.

This lightweight gel moisturizer shrinks pores with niacinamide. At the same time, it calms redness with licorice and oat extract.

There are also antioxidants and nutrients to smooth skin’s fine lines and wrinkles. Overall, this night cream is helpful if you have mature skin but are still experiencing acne breakouts.

10. Garnier SkinActive 3-in-1 Face Moisturizer with Green Tea

Garnier’s moisturizer with green tea is perfect for oily skin. It works well as a day cream and a night cream. You can also apply it as a mask for a dose of extra moisture.

Not only does it absorbs quickly, but it also balances the skin. It hydrates dry patches and minimizes shine in the T-zone. It sets to a matte finish, which is convenient for underneath makeup.

There are no silicones, dyes, parabens, or mineral oil in the formula. And as Garnier points out, 96% of the moisturizer is naturally-derived.

11. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Face Moisturizer

If you struggle with oily skin and acne, you need to try the Effaclar Mat moisturizer. It’s won awards for the way it refines pores and mattifies the skin while also maintaining sufficient moisture.

Use it day and night to maintain a balanced, healthy complexion.

12. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Cream

The Toleriane night cream is ideal for extra-sensitive, irritated skin. If you’re currently using acne medication that causes dryness, redness, and peeling, this is the solution.

It immediately relieves uncomfortable skin so that you wake up with a smoother, calmer complexion in the morning.

There are no parabens, dyes, fragrances, or drying alcohols. This night cream is in airtight packaging to avoid contamination.

13. LilyAna Naturals Retinol Night Cream Moisturizer

If you’d like to try retinol, this may be the best night cream for acne scars.

It’s mild, but effective, and packed with natural ingredients.

For one, the drying effects of retinol are counterbalanced by hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and jojoba oil.

There’s also Vitamin E and green tea for skin repair.

Of course, it won’t clog pores and doesn’t have artificial fragrances or parabens.

14. Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Recovery Cream

This night cream uses apple stem cells, salicylic acid, and argan oil to restore acne skin to health.

It cleans out pores and soaks up excess oil so that you wake up fresh and clear.

Happily, the manufacturer supports Fair Trade and sustainable practices. They make vegan products without GMO ingredients.

15. CeraVe Night Cream

CeraVe designed this fragrance-free night cream for normal to oily skin. It works with your body’s natural repair system to heal the complexion of your skin while you sleep.

It contains peptides and essential ceramides that restore the skin’s natural barrier against moisture loss and infection. Plus, the long-lasting moisture it contains is delivered slowly throughout the night.

16. Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream

Cetaphil’s night cream has been tested by dermatologists to be safe for sensitive skin. In fact, this is one of the brands that dermatologists often recommend to their patients.

It’s enriched with hyaluronic acid, a provitamin complex, and olive extract. These ingredients fortify extra dry skin to make it smooth and soft.

Use this product to compensate for face washes and acne treatments that dry out the skin. It won’t add extra oil.

17. Cetaphil Redness Relieving Night Moisturizer

The Redness Relieving Moisturizer from Cetaphil immediately reduces redness and alleviates irritation when you apply it.

It won’t clog pores and doesn’t have an artificial fragrance.

Some of the key ingredients include caffeine, licorice, and allantoin. These improve skin tone and reduce discoloration.

The formula also has hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides.

18. Eucerin Redness Relief Night Cream

Here’s another night cream/moisturizer that relieves redness. Try it if you’re dealing with rosacea as well as acne.

The secret ingredient is Licochalcone, a licorice extract that’s proven to work on sensitive skin.

Since the manufacturer is Eucerin, you can count on the fact that there are no fragrances or dyes. Unfortunately, there are parabens.

19. Simple Facial Moisturizer, Replenishing Rich

Simple’s Rich Moisturizer promises to instantly double your skin’s hydration. But it does so without oils and comedogenic ingredients.

Instead, it has glycerin, allantoin, and bisabolol from chamomile. These are clinically proven to calm irritated skin.

The effects of this moisturizer last for 24 hours. Enjoy it both morning and night to keep your face happy.

20. Differin Restorative Night Cream

Differin’s night cream also has allantoin. So what is this ingredient, anyway?

Allantoin is a moisturizer that treats dry, itchy, and irritated skin. It sounds like a good match if you’ve overdone it with the benzoyl peroxide.

Besides that, the night cream contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Therefore, it attracts moisture and seals it in. Then your complexion feels softer and more elastic for up to 24 hours.

21. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Control Face Moisturizer

Clean and Clear made their moisturizer with salicylic acid to fight acne day and night.

It prevents new pimples from forming and clears up the ones that already arrived.

On the downside, some users complain about the strong fragrance.

22. Acne.org Moisturizer with Licochalcone

Acne.org recommends that you follow their entire regimen for best results. This moisturizer is step 3.

It’s a large bottle of intense moisturizer with a big dose of Licochalcone, the licorice extract.

The lightweight lotion is free of oils, fragrances, and dyes. It even has a neutral pH balance.

Apply it morning and night to keep your skin healthy and happy.

23. Humane Oil-Free Lightweight Face Moisturizer for Acne Skin

Humane’s moisturizer will help you keep shine under control. It absorbs fast and sets to a matte finish.

It features aloe to reduce acne bacteria and calm unhappy skin. Then there’s hyaluronic acid to add plenty of moisture.

But don’t forget the cucumber, which reduces inflammation and oiliness. Plus, the grapeseed extract that repairs the skin and prevents the appereance fine lines and wrinkles.

24. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Here’s the secret of the stars.

Kylie Jenner, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Bella Hadid, and Lili Reinhart have all praised Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion.

They’ve said that it’s cleared up pimples overnight.

But what’s in this miracle liquid?

It turns out that it’s something as simple as salicylic acid, sulfur, and calamine.

While the salicylic acid opens up pores, sulfur draws out excess oil and impurities. Then the calamine calms redness and irritation.

So, if you want to shrink a blemish in a hurry, keep this lotion on hand. Dab a bit on, let it dry, then sleep. In the morning when you wash it off, expect a miracle.

Also Read:


Having acne means you need a night cream more than ever.

You require a moisturizer that repairs, soothes, and hydrates while you sleep. It strengthens your skin to clear up and prevent breakouts.

If you discovered a new night cream today, tell us about it in the comments below.


1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/in-depth/acne-products/art-20045814 accessed November 8, 2019

2. https://www.aad.org/when-acne-wont-clear accessed November 8, 2019

3. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-skin-care-makeup#1 accessed November 8, 2019

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6229554 by JE Fulton, Jr., et al., published January 1984, accessed November 8, 2019

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