Why Is a Night Cream Different From a Moisturizer? The night cream is designed to be used before going to bed, while the moisturizer can be used at any time of the day. Night cream is usually thicker and emollient than moisturizer because it needs to provide intense hydration throughout the night. It also contains active ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid designed to treat your skin while you sleep, such as retinol or peptides. In contrast, moisturizers are generally lighter in texture and are used to hydrate and protect the skin throughout the day. It may contain SPF for sun protection and other ingredients to help with skin issues like acne or wrinkles. Night creams helps your skin to repair itself while you sleep, and night creams are often formulated with ingredients that support and soften the skin for further repair, regeneration, and hydration. A good night cream has moisturizing properties that re-stabilize the skin barrier by increasing hydration. It’s important to use good sunscreen in the morning, especially if you’re using an exfoliator like retinol or acid.