Adding a gentle eye cream—packed with the right ingredients—to your daily skincare regime can reduce the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and sagging we experience as we age. It takes a special blend of quality and natural elements mixed to perfection by dermatological experts to help reverse signs of aging around your eyes (and anywhere else). With all of today’s marketing ploys, how can you know which products work? We’re here to guide you to the safest, most effective eye creams and gels that will leave you feeling younger, brighter, and more confident.
Buying Guide for Eye Creams
Why buy eye cream?
The thin, delicate skin around our eyes requires extra-gentle care, especially in our 30s and 40s, as it’s one of the first body parts to expose signs of aging, like puffiness and dark circles. When you let this sensitive area dry out, it can also lead to lines and wrinkles, adding years to your appearance before your skin is even ready (Are we ever truly ready?). Plus, under-eye skin is susceptible to constant micromovements, like squinting and smiling, that deplete skin of moisture, collagen, and elasticity, causing premature issues, like crow’s feet. A reputable, high-quality eye cream or gel can help brighten and soften your under-eye area and leave your skin feeling and looking younger.
What should you consider when shopping for eye cream?
- Active Ingredients: It’s not so much the brand as it is the ingredients that determine how effective eye cream can be for your skin. While we can’t stop the aging process, we can help slow its effects with creams and gels that contain the following ingredients: retinol, peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A & C, and caffeine. However, it’s recommended to discuss your choice of anti-aging ingredients with your doctor or dermatologist before you try it or if you’re concerned about any adverse effects.
- What to Avoid: The first rule of eye cream is to avoid products with alcohol, which can be tricky if you don’t pay careful attention to the ingredients. If a skincare product contains “ethanol” or “isopropyl,” which are other identifiers of alcohol, avoid it; it can cause dryness. Also, be sure to check the list for any potential allergens, parabens, or phthalates that can cause irritation.
- Benefits: Different eye creams provide different benefits. Eye creams with hyaluronic acid are made to help diminish the look of dark circles and sagging. Retinol eye creams are formulated to ease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Caffeine-infused eye creams can help reduce puffiness, bags, and fine lines. And vitamin-rich creams are made to moisturize while improving the overall look of your skin.
Why are eye creams so popular?
They’re a simple, gentle way to fight our age-old fear of—well—old age. And today, there’s science to back it up! Many dermatologists encourage users to moisturize and hydrate eye skin twice daily to help support supple, youthful skin. Investing in products with the above ingredients can help you boost your confidence and live your best life in your best skin, so why wouldn’t we invest in a potentially magic potion to help fight bothersome signs of early aging?
|A Quick Guide to Skin Care|
|A Few Tips||Choosing a Moisturizer | How Polyglutamic Acid Can Help Your Skin | The Do’s and Don’ts of Combining Products | How to Care for Sensitive Skin | Guide to a Morning Skin Routine | 7 Common Mistakes to Avoid|
|The Best Products||Moisturizers for Dry Skin | Ingredients for Mature Skin | Face Masks | Pimple Patches | Jade Rollers | Under-Eye Patches | Eye Cream | Facial Steamers | Face Peels | Exfoliating Scrub|
Our Picks for the Best Eye Creams
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
Reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness with this brightening eye cream.
Pros: This brand-name eye cream helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness in the under-eye area. It’s also known to brighten the skin around the eye areas for a younger-looking appearance. With its patented non-greasy finish, this eye cream feels smooth and light and leaves the skin under your eyes looking hydrated, smooth, and more awake. It contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to soothe the skin and make you look younger and more refreshed. Tested for use around the eye area and accepted by the National Eczema Association, this well-loved product is developed with the help of dermatologists to be suitable for dry skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin. And better still: this product has no expiration date.
Cons: While this eye cream works wonders for bags and dark circles, most people don’t see much if any difference in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles when using this cream.
Bottom Line: Even if you’re not worried about the appearance of your skin, this eye cream makes a fantastic daily moisturizer. Though it’s known for helping with dark circles and bags, it’s not the “premium” eye cream for wrinkles. For best results, it’s recommended to use this eye cream twice daily.
RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream for Dark Circles & Puffiness
This cream includes retinol and vitamin A to minimize fine lines.
Pros: This 2020 Allure Best of Beauty award winner is a safe, popular way to smooth fine lines and other signs of aging around your eyes. According to a study by KGL Skin Study Center, a dose of pure retinol in this line-smoothing eye cream can reduce fine lines by 50%, eye puffiness, and dark circles when added to your daily skincare routine. It’s also ophthalmologist- and dermatologist-tested and reported non-irritable by 100% of testers—talk about a promising product. The ingredients are hypoallergenic, rich in minerals, and protected by packaging that limits exposure to light and air, helping preserve the integrity of the retinol.
Cons: Signs of aging take time to show up, and they’ll take their time leaving, too. This RoC under-eye cream can take up to six months to form the results you’re looking for, so patience and routine are key.
Bottom Line: Retinol is a leading way to help fade fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots in the skin; plus, it encourages the production of new blood vessels, which can lighten and improve the color under your eyes. Couple that with the hydrating, healing powers of vitamin A in a non-irritable cream, and you’re on your way to calmer, brighter skin with this under-eye cream.
L'Oreal Paris Skincare Collagen Face Moisturizer
This day and night moisturizer helps plump skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Pros: This name-brand moisturizer can be used all over the face and provides skin with a daily dose of intense hydration. Its special formula helps to fill in the appearance of lines and wrinkles and helps restore moisture for smoother, plumper skin. It’s lightweight and non-greasy. Also, this cream is great for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and it absorbs quickly without leaving a sticky film. It also contains collagen, which strengthens and hydrates skin, improving elasticity. Many users noticed results after about four weeks of use, and you can use this moisturizer during the day, at night, or both.
Cons: Although this is an all-over face cream, it does not contain SPF for UV protection. Also, some people find this formula too greasy to use during the day or underneath makeup.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an all-over facial moisturizer that improves fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and other areas of the face, this is a great option. It’s made with proven ingredients to fight the signs of aging.
EltaMD Renew Hydrating Eye Cream with Peptides
This eye cream is clinically proven to help fight dark circles and puffiness.
Pros: This dermatologist-approved, oil- and paraben-free eye gel can help reduce the appearance of aging around your eyes and brighten your complexion. Gentle enough for daily use, it features one of the most important ingredients in anti-aging skincare: peptides—amino acids that sink into your skin and signal cells to produce more collagen, which aids in smoother, more youthful skin. This, and other natural ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and vitamin C, are leading solutions for fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles, making this clinically-proven eye gel a worthwhile attempt at younger-looking skin.
Cons: The pump might not always work well. If it’s a struggle pumping the product from the get-go, you can return it and try another.
Bottom Line: You have a promising, proven solution in this hydrating eye cream. It’s a premium choice because it’s a premium product, and the price reflects that. It can be difficult to bite the bullet on some purchases, but this eye cream is worth pulling the trigger if you’re ready to discover brighter, younger-looking skin. As a bonus, it smells fantastic without being overpowering.
LilyAna Eye Cream with Rosehip and Hibiscus Botanicals
No parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, or colors are in this eye cream.
Pros: They call this twice-a-day elixir “Beauty in a Bottle,” and we can’t argue with that (and neither can beauty editors at Cosmopolitan, People, or InStyle). Not only does this eye cream come in cool, artsy packaging, but it’s also all-natural, cruelty-free, and full of innately healing ingredients, like rosehip seed and organic hibiscus extract, which aid in skin cell and tissue regeneration. Its botanical formula is designed for delicate under-eye skin but powerful enough to help diminish dryness, dark circles, sagging skin, and crow’s feet.
Cons: This might sound strange, but depending on where you live (particularly in hot climates), your eye cream might come with an unpleasant smell. Apparently, this can happen in higher temperatures, so keep this in mind. Like any skincare product, especially under-eye formulas, it may irritate extra-sensitive skin, so be sure to test it before adding it to your daily routine.
Bottom Line: It’s a renowned, viral anti-aging potion—we think it’s worth a shot. Not every brand is as well-thought-out with the addition of proven anti-aging ingredients like hibiscus and rosehip.
With so many eye masks, creams, and gels on the market, especially within the anti-aging realm, it can be difficult to know which are actually designed with your unique skin demands in mind. Sticking to dermatologist-trusted brands with gentle, natural ingredients (like any of these quality products) will help you narrow down the best under-eye solution for you.