Plus options for any price range. 

By Hannah Hayes
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Cream
Credit: Drunk Elephant Skincare

Daytime skincare can be a quagmire. There's the necessary application of sunscreen, sometimes your tinted moisturizer decides it won't stick over a new serum, and then there's the Braveheart-style battle every day to make sure it all stays in place for just a few hours and you are the powder-wielding William Wallace.

That's why we like to keep our sunlit-look simple and save the heavy-duty products for non-waking hours.

Our strategy: find a strong serum that tackles whatever issue ails you. Feeling about as bright as a birthday candle? Try The Ordinary's Vitamin C Suspension (only $7!). Wanting your skin to look as young as you feel? You rascal, add True Botanicals Cellular Repair Serum to cart.

Next, find a night cream that focuses more on hydration and smoothing. These three options are our favorites:

  1. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream: We're fans of the Drunk Elephant brand for making sure all their products fall within a certain pH level so they won't agitate skin issues. This cream is truly a dream to sleep in as it sinks it fast and pumps up skin just as quickly. The best part might be the packaging, and we don't say that lightly. With a push-down dispenser built in, the product stays bacteria-free longer and makes zero messes during travel.
  2. Weleda Skin Food: While some have said that this German-born, uber-thick drugstore cream is just as good as La Mer's celebrity-loved line, we don't have the bank accounts to cross check. However, we can say that this is exactly what winter-parched skin needs to get glowy fast. For those looking for something a little lighter than its buttercream frosting texture, try their Calendula-scented cream marketed for babies.
  3. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask: While this isn't exactly your standard night cream—it suggests you leave it on for 10 minutes, tissue off the excess, and massage in the leftovers—we like to use it like one. Sure, you can follow the instructions, but we just skip ahead to step three and massage in a smaller amount. The results? Morning skin that's as soft as an azalea petal.