Are day creams different than night creams?
Most definitely yes.
There is definitely a difference – both in purpose and texture.
Day moisturizers tend to be lighter and nowadays they usually contain SPF. They have a lighter consistency to allow for applying make-up. Whereas night creams have a heavier consistency as they help in deep hydration of skin and reduce the signs of ageing.
Night creams don't contain SPF (which does make them feel different) and are often heavier and more hydrating. Anti-aging night creams may contain higher levels of active ingredients since they are specifically intended to be worn at night to minimize irritation from UV exposure. Of course, there are many anti-aging day creams available as well. But if you find that your anti-aging day cream is irritating, you may want to switch to a night cream and stick to a regular moisturizer for day use. Also, be sure to look for the ingredients mentioned earlier in night creams (in particular, retinol and retinyl acetate) since they can be especially irritating when worn during the day.
Can you put a day cream at night?
Day creams that don’t contain SPF can definitely be put at night as well if you don’t intend to treat your skin to some heavy repairing or reduction of wrinkle lines etc.
Can you put on a night cream during the day?
Night creams tend to have a larger concentration of ingredients such as peptides and stronger actives like Retinol. Retinol boosts cell turnover to reduce dull skin and fine lines but is best used at night because it's known to increase skin's sensitivity to the sun.
Do I really need to invest in night cream if I have a good moisturizer?
Some say that daytime and nighttime creams work just equally as effective. The active ingredients in day creams are different than those in night creams, but that doesn't mean they are not keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy. Day creams are known for having SPF and antioxidants that are most beneficial during the day. Due to the fact that the skin will most be in contact with the sun during the day, it is best to pick up a day cream that contains SPF because that could totally make a difference between having a youthful, glowing complexion or a dull aged one.
However you put it, products that are used at night due tend to contain stronger active ingredients that are primarily for ant-aging but that doesn't mean that they are more effective than day creams. They both work for different purposes and get the job done. So remember to incorporate day and night creams into your skincare routine for flawless looking skin.
General Rule of Thumb
So general rule of thumb - it is recommended to apply day creams to protect and hydrate your skin throughout the day and a night cream or a face oil or serum to nourish and restore your skin throughout the night.