Paula Begoun of Paula’s Choice on 7 things to consider when buying night cream

Feeling a little overwhelmed when picking out a new night cream?

We asked Paula Begoun of Paula’s Choice to give us her views on choosing the right night cream. She gave us some rules we can work with.

It is one of the most difficult questions because the list of brilliant ingredients for skin is endless. There are hundreds of extensively researched, proven ingredients that can repair, hydrate, restore, heal, and nourish the skin. To list the names of all those ingredients would take pages! Instead, what I can tell you is what ingredients are essential for skin, and these are ingredients that the skin needs both day and night. The only difference is that, unlike your daytime moisturiser, your night cream should not contain sunscreen.

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Image Credit: Paula’s Choice


The most crucial category of skincare ingredients starts with antioxidants. Antioxidants play a uniquely important role when it comes to interrupting the destructive effects of unprotected sun exposure and pollution. Environmental damage slowly destroys the support structures and substances in the skin that keep it resilient, youthful, hydrated, smooth and nourished. 

There are dozens of antioxidants you can find in skincare formulations that include green tea, resveratrol, vitamin E, vitamin C, superoxide dismutase, glutathione, ferulic acid, quercetin, liquorice extract, and non-fragrant plant oils.

Image Credit: Paula’s Choice

Skin-replenishing ingredients

They help enrich the skin’s surface, revitalizing it with hydrating substances and rebuilding skin to help keep the moisture in place. This is vital for all skin types and ages to be sure skin looks and feels soft, smooth, and supple. There are numerous skin-replenishing ingredients to consider, including hydration-boosting superstars such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, electrolytes, glycerin, and glycerol.

Skin-repairing ingredients

They do have amazing benefits for the skin. These ingredients primarily have cell-communicating properties. Cell communicating means these special ingredients can absorb into the skin and tell cells to behave as younger, healthy, and normal functioning would. These are some of the most important anti-ageing and preventive ingredients. The more notable skin-repairing ingredients include retinol, niacinamide, peptides, and azelaic acid.

Image Credit: Paula’s Choice


They are crucial if you have dry skin. Emollients prevent water loss by keeping moisture locked in the skin. They also help dry skin feel silky soft and smooth. Examples of emollients include shea butter, cocoa butter, many fatty acids, borage oil, linoleic acid, oleic acid, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower oil, and mango butter.

If you have oily skin, avoid applying emollients or any product with a creamy or thick texture as it will make skin oilier and increase the risk of clogged pores. For oily skin, you still need the same types of ingredients (antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients), but the texture of the product should be a fluid, liquid, gel, or lightweight serum.  

Watch out for fragrance ingredients

All sorts of products for day or night contain fragrance ingredients that cause irritation and weaken the skin. Whether the fragrance comes from synthetic ingredients (often listed simply as “fragrance” on the ingredient list) or natural sources (like essential oils), fragrance ingredients incite a volatile reaction on the skin that triggers a domino effect of inflammatory destruction below the surface. As much as your nose may love the scent, fragrance-free is the best way to go for the health of your skin.

Image Credit: Paula’s Choice

No jars, please

No matter how great your night cream’s ingredients may be, if they come in a jar it’s a deal-breaker. Antioxidants and many other beneficial ingredients are sensitive to air and light. Jar packaging exposes the formula to these elements, causing key ingredients to break down and lose their effectiveness. Jars can also have contamination issues from the bacteria on your fingertips getting transferred into the formula and weakening the preservative system. Opaque, air-restrictive packaging (such as a pump bottle) will help keep your night cream’s beneficial ingredients potent and stable.

Don’t chase skincare trends

Pursuing the latest ”glorified” ingredients won’t help your skin. While these new ingredients sometimes have benefits, more often, they are just fads that will eventually stop because they didn’t provide the right and effective results. These trending ingredients rarely replace the well-researched ingredients your products hopefully already contain.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India


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