Thursday, January 14, 2016

Best Asian and Western Night Creams of 2015

          Over the past year I've honed in on my skincare routine, adding to a basic routine that I started over two years ago. I now utilize about 8 or 9 steps in my nighttime routine. Because it would be cost prohibitive (at least for me) to buy a product for every single step I would like to do, I've been adding a little here and a little there. For example, in the beginning I was using one cream for night and day, but eventually I started buying creams that I use only at night. Not all of these are actually marketed as night creams by their manufacturers. Sometimes it is better to ignore labels and look at the product itself and what you want it do for you. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone and drier (but not too dry) cheeks and some light flaking due to retinoid use. So at night I like to use a heavier cream that will calm down any dryness from my actives. Today I'll be reviewing 4 of the creams I've used over the past year, and tell you which one is my favorite.
Who will win the night time battle?

          The first night cream I used last year was Origins' High-Potency Night-A-Mins, which I received as a points perk from Sephora. Of all the creams this has the waxiest feel to it, and hence it is not my favorite. This is just a personal thing, and you might actually like that. I find that waxy creams tend to have a drier finish, even if they feel heavier.  It has a strong citrusy fragrance that fades and doesn't feel greasy. While it doesn't feel silky going on and doesn't have as much slip as the other creams, it does absorb rather quickly. This is a good option if you don't like greasy creams and are normal to oily. $43/1.7 oz
          Next we have Vichy's Aqualia Thermal Rich. I originally got this as a deluxe sample in Glossybox and recently purchased it for nightly use. Unlike the Origins cream, this feels softer/wetter, which I prefer. It spreads easily and does take a while to absorb, which is one of the reasons I use this at night. For my combo skin it would be too greasy for daytime use, but it's perfect for my flaky skin at night. Of all the creams it has the strongest fragrance. It wasn't obnoxious at first, but the more I use it the more it's starting to annoy me. But that's fragrance for you, what smells divine to me can smell overpowering to someone else and vice versa. It's also the only one that has alcohol. Interestingly enough, I find this one to be the heaviest in terms of moisturizing ability. $31/1.7 oz
L-R: Origins, Vichy, Belif, Laneige

          The last two creams are Asian (Korean to be exact) and it should be noted that Asian creams tend to be lighter than their Western counterparts because the norm in Asia is to moisturize in layers. Their toners are moisturizing to begin with, then they add an emulsion (light lotion), and finally a cream. That being said, I really like the two options I'll be discussing shortly, even when used on their own without additional moisturizers. Belif The True Cream-Moisturizing Bomb is a lightweight white cream that borders on being a bit gelish. It feels refreshing and light and yet really pack a punch. Not as greasy as Vichy, it's still able to bring moisture and relief but with less heaviness. It has a very light herbal scent. $38/1.68 oz
          Finally we have Laneige's Water Bank Moisture Cream. In the pot this looks waxy and clumpy, but when you apply it it glides on and melts into your skin in such a way that the feel is very different from the Origins cream. It feels a bit greasier than Belif but less so then Vichy. It also take a bit to absorb and feels tackier than Belif. The smell is a light clean scent. $32/1.7 oz
         It should be clear that my favorite of all is Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. It feels great, smells light, moisturizes enough but doesn't feel greasy. But all of the creams are great options if you are in your 30s or 40s and are dealing with dry skin or flaky patches, especially from retinoid or other actives. Do you have any creams, Asian or Western, that you love to use at night? Or do you just use the same cream for day and night? Let me know in the comments!