A good moisturiser can transform skin, irrespective of the skin type. The trick is to know the difference between day and night moisturisers.

Most of us hesitate in buying separate day and night creams, instead, we rely on only one moisturiser to do the job for us. We forget that our skin is exposed to different conditions during the day and night, which means that we have to use two separate creams to protect and nourish our skin. Both, day and night creams, have different formulas that work in their own unique ways to nourish, hydrate and tighten the skin to give it an everlasting glow.

Day and night moisturisers have unique features, independent of each other…

SPF quantity

Day cream (DC) – The biggest difference between day and night creams is the presence of SPF (sun protection factor). During the day, you are exposed to ultraviolet rays, which can damage your skin cells. SPF protects your skin from sunburn and photoaging. Also, day creams contain antioxidants and caffeine that make the skin look fresh and tight throughout the day. They usually contain 15 to 150 units of SPF.

Night cream (NC) – On the other hand, night creams don’t contain any SPF as you aren’t exposed to ultraviolet light after the sun sets. They focus on preventing dark circles and slowing down the development of wrinkles, fine lines and skin discolouration.

Combination of different ingredients

DC- People use different creams during day and night because they want to enjoy benefits of different ingredients. Day creams are rich in antioxidants and SPF, both of which neutralise free radicals to prevent skin cancer and keep you energised.


DC – Day creams are light in texture and contain more water for smooth application of makeup later. It creates a soft and clear surface, so one can apply makeup and not worry about dry skin.

NC – Night creams are heavier and creamier in texture as they are designed to be slowly absorbed by your skin. They seep through multiple layers to deeply repair and restore your skin’s health.

Primary function

DC – Day creams are all about protecting your skin from harmful rays of the sun, ultraviolet rays and pollution. NC – Night creams engage in rejuvenation of your skin cells and have a long-lasting effect.

Busting myths

Yes, one can use a day cream during the night but avoid using a night cream during the day because it is greasy and sticky. It will make the skin look dull and the makeup won’t sit well. If you are planning to stay indoors all day, it is okay to use the night moisturiser.

Invest in moisturisers that contain the least amount of ingredients as too many ingredients reduce the effectivity of the cream all together.

Ritika Tiwari
Freelance Writer/ Blogger/ Content Strategist