Eye creams are to your anti-aging skin care regimen what open bars are to weddings: a must. Dark circles, eye bags and wrinkles may all be natural signs of aging, but the right products with the right ingredients can make a big difference in your appearance. There’s no reason to let Father Time walk all over you. In choosing an under-eye cream, it’s essential to find a product that meets your particular needs, so we’ve tailored our recommendations accordingly: the best eye creams for dark circles, the best eye cream for bags, and the best eye cream for wrinkles, respectively.
“An eye cream is an important part of your daily skin care regimen, however, there is not one eye cream to solve every issue,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. “It’s important to choose an eye cream that addresses your specific need. Issues around the eye include puffiness, darkness, hollowness, wrinkles and skin laxity.”
Some eye creams cost more than a set of skis, but the best eye creams aren’t necessarily the most expensive, so we’ve focused our search on affordable products that work; use safe, proven ingredients recommended by dermatologists; and can stand by the claims they make about their ingredients. The skin around the eyes is thinner and more sensitive, so it’s also important to choose ingredients that won’t overwhelm fine pores or cause irritation; ingredients like propylene glycol, formaldehyde, MDMD hydantoin, and mineral oil are better avoided.
“Clean” and “natural” are not just buzzwords, says Dr. Nava Greenfield of Schweiger Dermatology Group. They signify that “a product is thoughtfully formulated to contain only ingredients that are healthy for your skin. Unfortunately, many companies may make the claim that they only use ‘clean’ ingredients, but don’t stay true to that promise.”
The Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles
Dark circles develop under the eyes when we haven’t gotten enough sleep, and more generally as we get older — shadows cast by puffy eyelids can give the appearance of dark circles, and the hollows under our eyes can become more pronounced as we age.
“If you have dark blotches under the skin, look for an under eye cream that contains Vitamin C. This potent antioxidant blocks production of abnormal pigmentation and can help lighten dark under-eye circles,” says Dr. Zeichner.
This eye cream is loaded with caffeine, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and green tea. We're talking a powerhouse ingredient mix to make your eyes brighter and those circles lighter. Use this eye cream day and night — it goes on light, absorbs fast, and won't leave you looking like you just rubbed Crisco on your under-eye area. It's made without sulfates, parabens, glycols, phthalates, petrochemicals, silicones, synthetic fragrances, or gluten. It's not cheap, but a pea-sized amount suffices when using it.
The vitamin C in this eye cream brightens your eyes, while vitamin E will help with hyperpigmentation and fine lines. This cult-favorite brand is beloved because it actually gets results.
This eye cream from Bliss brightens your eye area, and infuses it with Vitamin C and niacinamide to reduce dark circles.This Bliss eye cream is vegan, it's heavy on the Vitamin C, and helps moisturize the eye area with squalane and cucumber and pear extracts.
Made with mostly organic ingredients, this potent, vegan eye cream helps reduces discoloration. It's suited for all skin types, and helps plump up the under-eye area. It's loaded with vitamin C and rosehip oil, which also helps get rid of heavy bags. In general, people rave about how effective it is.
Juice Beauty's eye cream is full of organic grape and carrot juices blended with essential fatty acids and Vitamins B5, C and P to help you get rid of all that under-eye baggage. This eye cream is formulated for those with normal, dry, or sensitive skins. In addition to Vitamin C, it also contains organic jojoba, sunflower and avocado.
The Best Eye Cream for Bags
Under-eye bags are another wonderful byproduct of aging. “Under eye bags are a combination of vasculature that is visible beneath the thin skin of the eyelid together with the swelling that occurs during times of body stressors, such as too little sleep,” says Dr. Greenfield. She suggests looking for products that contain retinols, vitamins C and B, and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and oils. Several of these products also contain good old caffeine — “Caffeine helps constrict blood vessels to remove excess fluid and minimize the appearance of under-eye bags,” says Dr. Zeichner.
This eye gel, full of caffeine as well as green and white tea, minimizes puffiness and dark circles. If you prefer a cooler gel consistency, this is the product for you. Algae and plant extracts make your eyes look smoother, too.
This ultra-gentle anti-aging eye cream has caffeine as one of its key ingredients, which is the enemy of puffiness. We love that like others on this list, this eye cream is made from vegan ingredients, and contains no parabens or sulfates. It's ideal for sensitive skin.
They had us at the name alone. This under-eye cream relies on caffeine and quinoa seed extract to help stimulate circulation and also reduces the appearance of dark circles. Not only does this potion make you look more awake, but because it has hyaluronic acid in it, your eye area gets some much-needed moisture benefits. This is a small thing to nitpick about, but the pump doesn't work as well as it should.
This is the best cream to get rid of puffy eyes. Why, you ask? Well, it's thanks to a combo of three types of caffeine. Just think of this as a latte for your orbs.In addition to its jolt of skin care java, this cream is packed with rosehip oil and collagen-boosting Vitamin C to scare off wrinkles. Some were turned off by the scent, which is in the vanilla family.
The Best Eye Creams for Wrinkles and Puffiness
If you don’t have any wrinkles yet, perhaps you won the genetic lottery. But if you do, you know wrinkles are the lines and creases that form in your skin and are especially noticeable in the area around your eyes and mouth. Some are hereditary. Others are the result of sun damage. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin “can temporarily improve the appearance of the peri-ocular skin,” says Dr. Greenfield, though “you should use a retinol or retinoid to help stimulate collagen repair and synthesis.”
“With age, collagen in the skin becomes weak, leading to wrinkling. Retinol stimulates collagen to strengthen the skin foundation and minimize the appearance of lines,” says Dr. Zeichner. “And if you’ve noticed skin becoming droopy and weak, look for under eye creams that contain lifting ingredients that help restore the skin’s scaffold — botanical ingredients have been shown to strengthen the skin.”
This eye cream, heavy on the retinol, means business. Not only do you get microencapsulated retinol, but there's also vitamin C to help smooth your skin. It's pricey, but little dots go a long way.
This nongreasy moisturizing cream is loaded with retinol to help your eyes look younger. Dab on a few dots and use morning and night. High-impact retinol can be irritating, so do a patch test first.
An eye mask is a fancy name for an eye cream, and this one is packed with anti-aging wunderkids retinol and hyaluronic acid. It's also loaded with caffeine, so it depuffs while you sleep.
This dauntless youth defender has both retinol and caffeine in it to keep things in check, and the blend is especially formulated to be less irritating, which we know retinols can be for some people. It's ideal for sensitive skin. Plus, it's from a brand that consistently delivers some of the best skin care around, for a great price.
This vegan eye cream tackles puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles with the power of botanicals, which all work together to make your under eye area magically look rejuvenated. While this cream doesn't have retinol, it does have something called cotton powder, which is basically an optical illusion that makes your eyes look fresher and smoother.
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