Do I Need to Use a Different Moisturiser at Night?

It's uncommonly known that skin behaves significantly differently at night-time than during the day. These biological changes means certain skincare products and ingredients are most active and safest when used at night.

Evenings and night-times are special—not least because they're usually a chance for you to kick back and relax while spending time with family and friends. This sacred time at the end of each day also stands strong as the best time to show your skin some intensive TLC.

Not only does your skin function differently at night, but it's also biologically primed to absorb skincare actives more deeply. Find out how to take advantage of the darkest hours and see a beautiful complexion at dawn.


Do I Need to Use a Different Moisturiser at Night?

How does skin change between day and night?

It's not commonly known that skin cells have a built-in circadian (clock) rhythm. This means skin is able to tell the time of day, and skin cells function differently depending on what that time is.

During the night-time, your body goes into 'repair-and-replenish' mode, and your skin is included. When it's dark, your skin has the best opportunity to make use of ingredients that aid it in these tasks.

Skin also produces fewer of its own natural oils (sebum) at night. The hours just before lights-out are the time when sebum production hits an all-day low. This means your skin is better at absorbing active ingredients to a deeper level.

You can certainly use the same moisturiser during your morning and evening routine, although you shouldn't apply SPF at night when it's unnecessary. But instead of a plain moisturiser, try a more intensive, active-rich formula at night for the biggest benefits.

What does a daytime moisturiser look like?

First, let's take a look day creams and lotions. Most moisturisers that fit neatly into this category tend to:

These benefits are perfectly suited to your skin's daytime behaviour and the threats your complexion faces. Some of our most popular morning moisturisers include:


Do I Need to Use a Different Moisturiser at Night?


What does a night-time moisturiser look like?

A moisturiser formulated specifically for night-time use differs from a morning moisturiser in these ways:

  • Provides intensive conditioning with a higher percentage of oils
  • Includes anti-ageing actives such as vitamin A (retinol or retinyl palmitate)
  • Sometimes contains chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid
  • May absorb more slowly than a daytime moisturiser does

Skin-conditioning oils are best absorbed at night. Active anti-ageing ingredients, such as retinol and glycolic acid, are best applied when the sun goes down so as not to make your skin sensitive to UV rays.

If you currently use a daytime moisturiser with either retinol or glycolic acid, consider moving it to your night-time routine, or ensure that you apply a high-SPF sun cream over it during daylight.

Additionally, actives such as retinol degrade quickly when exposed to the sun. When you use a moisturiser with these ingredients at night-time, all of their activity is saved for your skin.

Some of our favourite night-time moisturisers include:

Do I need to use both a daytime and night-time moisturiser?

While you could happily use the same SPF-free moisturiser in your day and night-time skincare routine, you'd miss out on the extra benefits a night-time moisturiser can contribute. While skin looks unchanged from day to night, the biology working behind the scenes is markedly different.

It's for this reason that we'd always recommend separate products, especially to anyone who's concerned about treating the signs of ageing.

Visit our moisturiser shop to find the perfect pairing for your skin. If you're not sure which products would be best suited to your concerns, our skincare experts are always available to help. Just drop us an email at or give us a call on 03 9486 7179.


Do I Need to Use a Different Moisturiser at Night?