Best skincare products: New night creams, rosacea cures, serums and CC creams to try this season

best skincare products
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

best skincare products
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

CC creams, redness fighters and complexion nightcaps—Sarah Daniel reports on what’s new in skincare for spring.



best skincare products night creams
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Best skincare products: Night creams
Our skin repairs itself as we sleep, so it matters what you put on it for those eight hours (OK, five, if you count the week we power-watched the entire season of House of Cards). Dermatologist Dr. Nowell Solish suggests using a different moisturizer for day and night. “[Using] the same cream may not be as effective as two different creams if they work by a different mechanism,” he explains. That’s good news for fans of Oprah Winfrey’s favourite moisturizer, which now has an evening companion in (1) Philosophy Hope in a Jar Night ($55, thebay.com). It features glycolic acid, which helps smooth skin. If you want to boost collagen, retinol is your best bet, says dermatologist Dr. Jaggi Rao. Considered the benchmark for all wrinkle-fighters, it’s combined with efficacy-boosting niacin in (2) StriVectin-AR’s Advanced Retinol Night Treatment ($120, murale.ca), and with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid and complexion-brightening vitamin C in (3) Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Night ($25, at drugstores). Sensitive types (retinol has a rep for irritating skin) can try (4) Éminence Organic Lavender Age Corrective Night Concentrate ($66, eminenceorganics.com), which soothes skin with shea butter and primrose oil while a stem-cell complex firms and seals fine lines.

best skincare products rosacea
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Best skincare products: Rosacea
Rosy cheeks are flattering if they come via fresh air—or the handiwork of a skilled makeup artist—not if their root cause is rosacea. “Rosacea is believed to be a vascular condition of the skin, where the superficial blood vessels are genetically sensitive to a number of stimuli that would normally make anyone’s skin flush,” says Rao, who lists sun exposure, extreme temperatures, alcohol and spicy foods among the causes for flare-ups. Once a niche category, there’s a crop of new products designed to help tone down redness. (1) SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer ($78, skinceuticals.com) features inflammation-quelling tree bark extract. For those who want a side of sun protection, (2) Cliniderm RosaCalm ($31, at drugstores) has a physical block of SPF 30. And (3) Chantecaille Magnolia, Jasmine and Lily Healing Emulsion ($145, at Holt Renfrew) draws on the calming properties of its three namesake blooms.

best skincare products serums
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Best skincare products: Serums
Over the past five years, serums have evolved as beauty brands include ever more powerful ingredients. “Serums can pack a lot in if they’re made well,” says Solish. (1) Clarins Double Serum ($85, at department stores) includes 20 botanical extracts, such as quinoa and green banana. (2) Darphin Ideal Resource Wrinkle Minimizer Perfecting Serum ($147, at Holt Renfrew) harnesses tannin tree extract to plump skin and protect collagen fibres, while (3) Nuxe Nuxellence Jeunesse ($64, at Shoppers Drug Mart) combines maca root, olive leaves and calendula petals, among other plants, to help repair mitochondrial DNA, which produces less collagen and elastin when damaged. “The use of peptides has helped make serums more effective,” says Solish. The ones found in (4) Perricone MD Acyl-Gultathione Deep Crease Serum ($155, sephora.com) play wing man to the brand’s own wrinkle-quashing molecule, Acyl-Glutathione.

best skincare products cc creams
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Best skincare products: CC creams
Lately, shopping the beauty shelves feels like a Sesame Street episode. Last year, we learned about the letter B (BB creams), and now we’re hearing reports of DD creams (“daily defense” lotions for the body) on the horizon. But the consonant of the moment is C. “Colour correctors” known as CC creams are similar to their Asia-born “beauty balm” predecessors in that they are multitasking tints containing antioxidants and other skincare ingredients. But the double Cs also brighten complexions and target dark spots. “Most can cover and treat uneven skin tones more effectively than BB creams,” says Rao. Among the first wave: (1) Nip + Fab CC Cream ($15, at Shoppers Drug Mart), (2) Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream ($42, murale.com) and (3) Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream ($39, clinique.com). Most come with a broad-spectrum SPF built in, but if you’re using one without protection, make sure to apply sunscreen first, otherwise you’re defeating the purpose, says Solish. “It’s like taking Tylenol for chronic headaches and then accepting a job where you’ll be working with a jackhammer.”