Whatever your issue—fine lines, dark circles, sensitivity—we've got the eye cream that will give you noticeable results.
Choosing an eye cream can be a lot like online dating: there are too many options and you have no idea which is right for you, so you just pick one and hope for the best. We asked New York City dermatologists Dendy Engelman and Joshua Zeichner to match up different kinds of delicate under-eye skin with their perfect moisturizer counterparts. These five picks have their blessing — see which one you mesh with.
For Crepey Skin: Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Eye Cream
“Retinol stimulates collagen production to help firm under eye skin and strengthen the skin foundation,” says Dr. Zeichner. You might remember retinol as that acne cream your dermatologist prescribed you in high school, but the retinol used in this cream is for boosting collagen production — and it was the first ingredient approved by the FDA to treat wrinkles. Crepey skin is a natural byproduct of the aging process and can be hard to treat non-invasively, but Roc Retinol Correxion eye cream is your best bet for firming the under-eye area and strengthening the skin foundation.
To buy: $18, target.com.
For Dark Circles: Skinceuticals AOX Eye Gel
There are plenty of concealers on the market to cover up dark circles around the eyes caused by everything from sleepless nights to allergies and aging, but fewer products that can actually address the underlying issue. That’s what Skinceuticals AOX eye gel can do, says Dr. Zeichner, thanks to antioxidants that not only protect against notoriously damaging free radicals in the environment, but also lighten abnormal pigment production and brighten up your peepers.
To buy: $95, skinceuticals.com.
For Mature Skin: Skinceuticals Eye Balm
Skinceuticals makes it onto the list again, this time for its anti-aging properties. This cream is specifically formulated for mature skin, which tends to be drier. It uses phytochemicals, a.k.a. plant-based ingredients that reduce inflammation and fight cell damage. Dr. Engelman likes this one because it targets three prime visible signs of aging: moisture loss, skin laxity, and free radical damage. She also prefers it for its thick consistency. Skinceuticals Eye Balm also reduces the appearance of under eye puffiness and crow’s feet, and it’s gentle enough for daily use, so it belongs in the beauty arsenal of any women age 40 and over.
To buy: $82, skinceuticals.com.
Conture Kinetic Brightening Complexion Enhancer
You can buy this serum as a standalone product, but it’s intended to be a companion to the Conture Kinetic Skin Toning System, which uses an electronic device to apply isometric compression and low-frequency sonic vibrations that gently vacuum away dullness and fine lines, especially around the eyes. Dr. Engelman swears by it — and she strongly recommends using the complexion-enhancing serum afterwards. This one uses natural ingredients like licorice, fruit extracts, and brown algae “for an extra twinkle,” as Dr. Engelman says.
To buy: $56, qvc.com.
For Tugged-At Skin: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Eye Capsules
Skincare products usually boast ingredient buzz words that sound impressive but are probably Greek to you. Case in point: ceramides. Ceramides are naturally occurring oils that provide a barrier to keep irritants out and moisture in. A ceramide-packed moisturizer can help restore that barrier when age and the environment take their toll. Dr. Engelman recommends these ceramide-packed eye capsules especially during allergy season, “when people are more likely to rub their eyes and have laxity as a result.”
To buy: $60, elizabetharden.com.
For Sensitive Skin: PCA Skin Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream
If red, irritated, flakey skin is the bane of your existence, this hypoallergenic line of skincare products will be a godsend to you. There are many allergen-free eye creams on the market, but Dr. Zeichner especially loves the PCA skin Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream for its ability to stimulate collagen, strengthen the skin’s barrier, and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. This one uses a specially formulated peptide that’s super-effective without causing irritation.
To buy: $87, dermstore.com.
For Hollowness: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream
Dehydration, smoking, sun exposure, and the aging process can wreak havoc on the skin’s collagen store, especially around the eyes. A healthy diet and lots of water can provide some relief, and so can an eye cream with hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring moisturizer — the secret weapon of many women with that perpetually youthful glow. “Hyaluronic acid is like a sponge that pulls in water to hydrate dry skin and plump under eye hollows,” says Dr. Zeichner. He recommends Neutrogena Hydroboost eye cream, which is oil-, dye-, and fragrance-free.
To buy: $15, target.com.
For All Skin: SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair
If you don’t know which category you fall into, SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair is the best all-around choice, says Dr. Engelman. It does everything an effective eye cream should do — nourish, hydrate, repair, protect — and is suitable for almost all skin types. In addition to skincare powerhouses like hyaluronic acid and peptides, it’s packed with good, old-fashioned vitamins A, C, and E, plus antioxidants. It even boasts a special ingredient to lighten dark circles and provide overall brightness.
To buy: $102, skinmedica.com.