The 15 Best Eye Creams Dermatologists Actually Swear By
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on the body. The bad news: That means it's where signs of aging show up first. The good news: It also means it's the area that responds the fastest to a good skincare regimen, specifically a targeted eye cream. "Eyelid skin is a bit anatomically different [from] the rest of our skin on our faces, as it is thinner and more delicate," says Tiffany J. Libby, MD, FAAD, a Rhode Island-based dermatologist. "There are also more underlying blood vessels, which through the thinner skin, can show up clinically as dark circles. If you are looking to elevate your skincare routine, eye creams are an appropriate next step to address, as the skin around the eyes can be one of the first places that can show signs of aging."
Since there's no shortage of options out there, we asked dermatologists, estheticians, and makeup artists to share their favorite picks for every concern, from crow's feet to dark circles, and everything in between.
Our favorite, Avene RetrinAL Eyes is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free making it ideal for anyone with sensitive eyes.
How to Pick the Right Eye Cream
There are several components to consider when choosing an eye cream, especially if you're enlisting one to help combat a certain concern. Here is an easy way to determine which eye cream is right for you and your skin.
Texture: Eye creams come in different textures, which each deliver different results. If you're someone that struggles with dryness, a traditional cream texture is generally your best bet for restoring moisture to the eye area. Those with puffiness and tired-looking under-eyes, however, may find gel-based eye creams perform better as they offer a cooling sensation that soothes the skin and reduces swelling. Skincare enthusiasts seeking revitalizing results, such as improved firmness and tone, should consider serum-like eye treatments and overnight masks, which are designed to penetrate deep into the skin to deliver anti-aging straight to the cells.
The thickness of your eye cream also determines where it belongs in your routine. "I love using thicker creams at nighttime that keep the eye area hydrated overnight," Dr. Libby says. "These help the ingredients penetrate into the skin while the skin is undergoing cellular repair, which happens more in the nighttime." Lightweight formulas typically feel more energizing and refreshing, so consider giving them a spot in your morning skincare routine.
Ingredients: Formulas vary from eye cream to eye cream, and it's important to understand the ingredients used in each one. Popular anti-aging ingredients include retinol and peptides, which Dr. Libby recommends for "increasing cellular turnover, treating hyperpigmentation, and building collagen." She adds, "Peptides are also important to look for in an eye cream as they can act on the cellular level to stimulate collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and promoting firmer skin."
For those looking to brighten dark circles and reduce puffiness, Dr. Libby says, "I like ingredients like caffeine, which work to constrict blood vessels, minimizing the blue hue that contributes to the appearance of dark circles." Dryness sufferers, on the other hand, will fare better with eye creams that are anchored in humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. "They help to draw moisture to the skin's barrier, which helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," says Dr. Libby.
When it comes to what to avoid, the doctor advises skipping formulas that contain "thick occlusive ointments, like petroleum jelly around the eye and coconut oil, as these can easily clog the pores around the eyes and cause milia."
As for her recommended application method, Dr. Libby continues, "I like applying eye cream in the morning and at night. I use a pump or half a pump of eye cream per eye, and use my ring finger to tap it on gently on the under-eye, and around to the upper eyelid." She notes that formulas containing powerful ingredients like retinol should be used in your p.m. skincare routine as they increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun.
Here, explore the eye creams that experts swear by for their quality formulations and transformative results.
The 15 Best Eye Creams
- Best Overall: Avene RetrinAL Eyes
- Best for Crepey Skin: Exuviance Age Reverse Eye Contour
- Best for Dark Circles: Sunday Riley Auto-Correct Eye Cream
- Best for Dry, Dark Circles: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex for Dark Circles
- Best for Wrinkles: Dr. Brandt 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream
- Best Budget: Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream
- For Tugged-At Skin: Revision Skincare DEJ Eye Cream
- For Sensitive Skin: Neocutis Lumiére Intensive Line Smoothing Eye Cream
- For Hollowness: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid
- Best for Under Makeup: Saint Jane Bright Repair CBD Eye Cream
- Best Color-Correcting: The Organic Pharmacy Luminous Perfecting Concealer
- Best for Puffiness: Epicuren Eye Alive Serum Treatment
- Best with SPF: Supergoop Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40
- Best for Dry Skin: Shani Darden Intensive Eye Renewal Cream
- Best for Tired Eyes: Cosmedix Opti-Crystal Eye Serum