The 15 Best Eye Creams Dermatologists Actually Swear By

Avene's RetrinAL Eyes wins.

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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

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, MD, a dermatologist with the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, calls Avene RetrinAL Eyes "a great all-around pick" since it touts both retinol to fight fine lines and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. This cream also works to counteract dark circles as well as puffiness. 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. Avene recommends layering it over their Thermal Spring Water and applying gently with your ring finger.

For Crepey Skin: Exuviance Age Reverse Eye Contour

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

"Crepey skin is often caused due to decreased elasticity and loss of the fat pad under the eye," says New York City-based dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, MD, who suggests looking for under-eye creams and treatments that contain collagen and elastin for their role in creating stronger skin. The formula in the Exuviance Age Reverse Eye Contour uses peptides and gentle exfoliating acids like polyhydroxy acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines and tighten the skin. "This promotes healthy collagen production and firmer skin," Dr. Libby adds. "It also has caffeine to help brighten the eyes."

Best for Dark Circles: Sunday Riley Auto-Correct Eye Cream

Sunday Riley Auto-Correct Eye Cream
Courtesy of manufacturer

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 under-eye area with ingredients, such as caffeine, vitamins C and 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."

Best for Dry, Dark Circles: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex for Dark Circles

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex for Dark Circles
Courtesy of manufacturer

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 powerful anti-aging ingredients 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.

Best for Wrinkles: Dr. Brandt 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream

Dr. Brandt 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream
Courtesy of manufacturer

This best eye cream is especially beneficial for mature skin since it specifically targets fine lines, says Dr. Bae. "Retinol is the gold standard among anti-aging ingredients and this formula utilizes a time-released version that's potent yet gentle," she says. It also contains a ruby crystal complex to boost radiance and a blend of honey, lipids, and amino acids to restore moisture, translating to brightened dark circles and less dryness in the eye area.

Best Budget: Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream

Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream
Courtesy of manufacturer

"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.

Best for Tugged-At Skin: Revision Skincare DEJ Eye Cream

Revision Skincare DEJ Eye Cream
Courtesy of manufacturer

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.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Neocutis Lumiére Intensive Line Smoothing Eye Cream

Neocutis Lumiére Intensive Line Smoothing Eye Cream
Courtesy of Dermstore

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.

Best for Hollowness: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid
Courtesy of manufacturer

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.

Best for Under Makeup: Saint Jane Bright Repair CBD Eye Cream

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

Sometimes skincare makes the best primer, especially when it comes to the under-eyes. With the Saint Jane Bright Repair CBD Eye Cream, vitamin C and collagen come together to brighten dark circles and firm texture while CBD reduces the appearance of your under-eye bags. Its hydrating gel-like formula quenches dryness, preventing any caking, creasing, or settling from your favorite complexion products. "I love to use Saint Jane's Bright Repair Eye Cream under the eyes before makeup application because it lessens the intensity of dark circles and de-puffs the delicate skin under the eyes," celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern says. "The unique texture absorbs beautifully and is a great base for concealer or foundation."

Best Color-Correcting: The Organic Pharmacy Luminous Perfecting Concealer

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

A concealer with skincare benefits? Sign us up! A favorite of Los Angeles-based celebrity esthetician Cynthia M. Franco, The Organic Pharmacy Luminous Perfecting Concealer is formulated with a blend of brightening, hydrating, and firming ingredients that help enhance the appearance of the under-eyes. "This acts more like an eye cream with actives like fennel, bilberry aloe, and hyaluronic acid that help tighten the capillaries and smooth out under-eye dark circles," she shares. "Light-reflecting and highly-micronized particles allow for seamless concealing action. It's a go-to for under eyes!"

Best for Puffiness: Epicuren Eye Alive Serum Treatment

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

Send under-eye bags packing with this energizing treatment from Epicuren. The revitalizing formula uses anti-inflammatory, brightening, and hydrating ingredients such as licorice root extract, coffee extract, and horse chestnut extract to address puffiness and dark circles. "It helps to constrict blood vessels and stimulate microcirculation to improve blood flow, reducing swelling," says Franco. "It also features Coconut, Kukui Nut, and Soybean Oils, which are loaded with essential fatty acids that help keep the delicate eye area protected and moisturized for better makeup application."

Best with SPF: Supergoop Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

Recommended by celebrity esthetician Shani Darden for its mineral SPF 40 protection, the Supergoop Bright-Eyed Eye Cream defends the under-eyes from the damaging premature aging effects of the sun using 14.4 percent zinc oxide. Its light pink tint illuminates dark circles, locks in moisture, and awakens puffy under-eye bags using key ingredients like caffeine, camellia extract, and glycerin. But unlike traditional mineral sunscreen formulas, this eye cream absorbs fast and blends in quickly.

Best for Dry Skin: Shani Darden Intensive Eye Renewal Cream

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

Anchored with a hydrating trio of squalane, niacinamide, and ceramides, the Shani Darden Intensive Eye Renewal Cream quenches dry under-eyes and prevents future moisture loss. Additionally, it helps smooth away unwanted texture and gives the eye area a visible lift. "It's a nutrient-rich cream that softens the appearance of crow's feet and dark circles, leaving the eye area visibly firmer, brighter, crease-free, and ready for makeup," Darden tells Real Simple. "It melts into the skin and features nine age-defying actives including potent peptides to plump and firm, silk tree extract to brighten, squalene to hydrate, and niacinamide to fight wrinkles."

Best for Tired Eyes: Cosmedix Opti-Crystal Eye Serum

Eye Cream Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines, Puffiness, Dark Circles

Always tired? The Cosmedix Opti-Crystal Eye Serum acts like a cup of coffee for your under-eyes when you've had a late night with its rejuvenating formula. "This is a great option for tired eyes because it has a copper complex and liquid crystals to hydrate and minimize the appearance of dark circles," Darden explains. "You only need a pin drop-sized amount of it as well; a little goes a long way." These potent ingredients also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time, revealing smoother and firmer skin.

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