Creams vs Moisturisers

Author: Jasmine Cottan   Date Posted: 16 April 2021 

Get the basic rundown on day creams, night creams and moisturisers, and see how you can make the most out of these reward-winning skincare essentials.


If your skin is looking a little worse for wear, you may want to opt for a day cream or night cream and throw out that old moisturiser you've been using. Creams and moisturisers - they sound and look the same, so they must work the same way. Wrong!

Here's our detailed skincare guide on the differences between day creams and night creams to daily moisturisers.



Let's get down to the basics


What are ‘creams’


To put it simply, day creams and night creams moisturise the skin by blocking the skin barrier to prevent the loss of moisture and protecting the skin surface from outside aggressors and exposure to the sun.

Creams have a faster-absorption rate due to their powerful oil, plant or water-based ingredients.

Usually they are used as an emulsifying aged for topical cosmetic applications only. They usually fall into the clinical skincare category.


What are ‘moisturisers’


Moisturisers are designed to restore hydration to the skin surface and usually non-comedogenic and don’t clog the pores.

They act as an additional barrier to prevent moisture from leaving the skin and have a lighter, non-oily consistency compared to creams.

Moisturisers usually fall under the cosmetic and cosmetic skincare market category only, and are traditionally tailored to those with dry, scaly or itchy skin tones.



Let’s get technical


Unlike moisturisers, day creams and night creams are tailored to both cosmetic and clinical use. Day and night creams will target and remedy the skin concerns of an individual over an extended period while providing the same luxurious sensation of a moisturiser.

As a general rule of thumb, day creams and night creams contain more oil-based ingredients from nourishing peptides and collagen-building agents to rebuild and repair the complexion. This makes the consistency of skin creams thicker, but they absorb immediately into the skin compared to a daily moisturiser.

Depending on the product, creams will feature ingredients strictly tailored to day or night time use only.

A day cream will contain active properties that defend the skin against outside aggressors like UV rays, while a night time cream will repair damage and generate skin cells damaged from the day's daily activities.



What day and night cream is right for me?


Finding the right day cream and night cream solution for your skincare regimen depends on your skin tone or the severity of your personal skin concern. For example, if you're prone to wrinkles and sunburn, you may wish to find a day cream that contains excellent UVA/UVB defending properties.

If you're prone to tired, weathered skin, it may be ideal to find a collagen-boosting night cream to counteract the damage on your skin. These creams have a heavier oil-consistency and feature skin rebuilding agents like nourishing ceramides and antioxidising vitamins.

Key ingredients in both day and night creams are:

- Vitamin A, C and E

- Hyaluronic Acid to prevent water retention

- AHAs or BHAs and Glycolic Acid to prevent spots and soothe breakouts

- Natural botanical extracts like Rosehip, Tea Tree Oil and Olive Oil – these ingredients are clinically proven to soothe, rebuild, nourish and soften the skin tone

- Glycerin

- Natural rebuilding peptides



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