These 11 Eye Creams Will Actually Make a Difference, According to Dermatologists
Whatever your issue—fine lines, dark circles, sensitivity—we’ve found the best eye cream that will give you noticeable results.
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. Since there’s no shortage of options out there, we asked three top dermatologists to share their favorite picks for every concern, from crow’s feet to dark circles, and everything in between.
“Crepey skin is often caused due to decreased elasticity and loss of the fat pad under the eye,” says Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a New York City dermatologist. She suggests looking for creams with collagen and elastin, essential proteins for strong, firm, and elastic skin. This best eye cream contains both, and also smooths out fine lines and a crepey texture, she says. Still, it’s worth noting that crepey skin can be especially challenging to treat topically. Generally speaking, in-office procedures, such as resurfacing lasers, are much more effective.
To buy: $100; skinbetter.com.
Raccoon eyes are usually a result of genetics, or lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep or stress. Still, the unsightly circles tend to worsen with age since the skin thins and makes the bluish tint more noticeable, points out Dr. Nussbaum. “To combat dark circles, look for products that help to both plump and brighten the undereye area with ingredients such as caffeine, vitamins C & K, ginseng, and peptides,” she says. “I like Sunday Riley’s Auto-Correct Eye Cream since it’s formulated with caffeine and ginseng root, as well as antioxidant-rich lutein, which provides a radiance and gives skin a glow.”
To buy: $65; sephora.com.
Dr. Nussbaum also likes the SkinCeuticals A.G.E Eye Complex for Dark Circles. It’s a balmy formula with optical diffusers that reflect light away from the eye area for instant brightening. It also contains ingredient such as peptides that work below the surface to fight signs of aging and the deeper causes of dark circles, she says. Jordan Carqueville, MD, a Chicago dermatologist, is also a fan of this formula, noting that it’s deeply moisturizing as well.
To buy: $98; dermstore.com.
This best eye cream is especially beneficial for mature skin since it specifically targets fine lines, says Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, MD, a dermatologist with the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. “Retinol is the gold standard among anti-aging ingredients and this formula utilizes a time-released version that’s potent yet gentle,” she says.
To buy: $55; sephora.com.
“Those with mature skin need an eye cream that’s both moisturizing and can help fight the signs of aging with efficacious, clinically proven ingredients,” says Dr. Nussbaum, which is why she recommends Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream. Another retinol-based option, it has hydrating niacinamide and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals.
To buy: $29; walmart.com.
Dr. Carqueville agrees that mature skin needs an intense dose of hydration. Her pick, the Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment, delivers exactly that, thanks to glycerin and shea butter. The formula also works to fight advanced glycation end products, a major culprit responsible for signs of aging around the eyes, she says.
To buy: $85; alastin.com.
Your best bet is to adopt a hands-off approach and avoid rubbing, pulling, or tugging at the delicate skin around your eyes as much as possible. Still, if you are dealing with sagging, Dr. Nussbaum suggests seeking out an eye cream that boosts collagen and elastin, like this one. “This eye cream is chock-full of peptides and antioxidants such as vitamin C to boost collagen and elasticity for a firmer, more toned appearance,” she says.
To buy: $63; walmart.com.
As the thinnest skin on your body, the area around your eyes is even more prone to sensitivity and irritation than elsewhere. That means it’s more important than ever to choose formulas that are free of fragrance and artificial colors, both common irritants. According to Dr. Bae, this best eye cream fits the bill. “Both ophthalmologist- and dermatologist- tested, it moisturizes with sodium hyaluronate, soothes with chamomile extract, and is free of fragrance and color additives, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin,” she says.
To buy: $97; dermstore.com.
Of all the eye issues, hollowness is the one that’s essentially impossible to permanently treat with any kind of topical product. “Hollowness is due to fat pad loss and you really need an injectable filler in order to treat it,” points out Dr. Carqueville. That being said, if you want a fast—albeit temporary—improvement, search for formulas that contain hyaluronic acid, advises Dr. Nussbaum. A humectant, it attracts water to and holds it in the skin; the molecule can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, almost instantly making skin appear plumper. You’ll find it in La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid, which moisturizes both immediately and provides long-lasting hydration for 24 hours, notes Dr. Nussbaum.
To buy: $34; dermstore.com.
Give your peepers a one-two punch of prevention and treatment by incorporating an eye cream that contains built-in sun protection into your morning routine. Dr. Nussbaum says this eye cream is agreat universal go-to: “It contains anti-aging peptides and uses mineral sun blockers to reduce the appearance of fine lines and defend against future photoaging.”
To buy: $36; dermstore.com.
Dr. Bae calls Avene RetrinAL Eyes “a great all-around pick” since it touts both retinol to fight fines lines and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. Plus, because it’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, it’s ideal for even those with sensitive skin, she adds. Also nice: The texture is specially formulated to stay put, so you never have to worry about it running into your eyes.
To buy: $49; dermstore.com.