Best Eye Cream

What is the best eye cream? That depends on what kind of eyes you have…

Walk down the aisle of any drugstore or past any makeup counter, and you’ll be bombarded with hundreds of tubs and bottles promising to turn back the clock, erase dark circles, get rid of bags under eyes, and even out skin-tone. No cream promises to be ineffective, cause irritation, or make you break out, so it’s important to be smart when it comes to choosing the best eye cream for you. Here are a few tips to make the choice easier.

Best Eye Cream

Best Under Eye Cream for Fine Lines 

Erasing fine lines is usually a top priority for people in the market for a new eye cream. It’s important to know how eye creams for fine lines work so that you know what to look for and what to expect. Eye creams for fine lines don’t magically turn back time, but they are formulated to diminish them with two main strategies. One is to increase cell turnover and collagen production. Putting your natural cell turnover into overdrive helps you shed dead skin fast, with the hope that eventually a new layer of skin without the fine lines will appear. The other way is to give your skin lots of hydration. Dry, dehydrated skin retracts and tightens, making fine lines and wrinkles look far more prominent. A rich, thick cream will quench parched skin, making it plumper, healthier, and diminishing the appearance of fine lines.

Eye creams that put cell production into overdrive usually contain retinol. Retinol is derived from Vitamin A. It not only boosts collagen production and speeds cell turnover, but also unblocks pores. By increasing cell turnover, retinol evens out discolorations like sunspots and smooths out fine lines. Increased collagen production means that your skin will naturally become more elastic, plump, and resilient. For many people, retinol results in clear, soft, refreshed skin with fewer lines. However, retinol can be a little too aggressive for some users, causing irritation and redness. For those with sensitive skin, creams with peptides achieve the same thing without the pain. If you decide to use a retinoid, be vigilant about using an SPF when you go outside, as it makes skin more sensitive to the sun.

If hydration is what your skin needs, there is a mountain of products to sift through. A good hydrating cream for fine lines shouldn’t act like a run-of-the-mill body lotion: it should deliver rich moisture while equipping your skin to retain hydration. Look for hyaluronic acid: it can hold 1000 times its weight in moisture, making its hydrating abilities nearly unmatched by any other ingredient.

As part of being healthy in general, drinking lots of water and staying hydrated will do wonders for your skin. If your body is dehydrated, even the best anti-aging cream can only do so much, so make sure you’re drinking your 8 cups a day!

Read more here for specific eye cream reviews to help find the best eye cream for fine lines.

Eye Wrinkle Cream

Differentiated from fine lines by their deeper, more pernicious appearance, wrinkles are what people spend thousands of dollars to get rid of, and what cosmetics companies invest millions of dollars in scientists to “cure.” Retinol or peptides give even deep-set wrinkles a run for their money, stimulating collagen production and improving elasticity. Combine that with a day and night cream chock-full of antioxidants, which prevent environmental damage and free-radicals.

AHA and BHA peels or creams are also a good way to reduce wrinkles. These treatments are often administered by a qualified aesthetician or dermatologist. They slough off old, dead skin cells and reach a new, less-wrinkles layer of skin. In addition to diminishing wrinkles, they also make your skin look brighter, dewy, and generally more vibrant.

As with fine lines, however, you should always remain hydrated as well as moisturized—your wrinkles will look less prominent and diminish naturally. To prevent further wrinkles, always wear at least an SPF 30. Even the best eye wrinkle cream can’t do much if you don’t take precautions and intake liquids.

Click here to read more about choosing an eye wrinkle cream and reviews of the anti-wrinkle eye creams.

Dark Circles

Dark circles can be a tricky foe to beat. Once you understand the causes of dark circles, it’s much easier to wade through the morass of eye creams that promise much but deliver little results.

Under eye circles can be caused by genetics, the anti-aging process, or lack of sleep. They can also be caused by a mirage: puffy eyes casting a shadow under your eyes that creates the illusion of dark circles, but is in fact a different underlying cause. “Panda eyes” are often a result of excess pigmentation due to sun damage or genetics and require something to even out skin tone, such as an ingredient specially formulated for the under-eye area which creates a boost in skin cell turnover. It may also be a result of excess tissue fluids or veins and capillaries becoming visible due to thinning, aging under-eye skin. Antioxidants like Vitamin C or peptides can help stimulate dermal fibroblasts, which will shrink bags and reduce fluid retention. Also helpful are creams which purport to increase microcirculation, speeding up blood flow which can often pool beneath the skin if it’s too sluggish: Butcher’s Broom is a natural ingredient that does just this.

If your dark circles are a result of late nights and early mornings, the easiest solution is to get more sleep. That’s not always possible for people, especially if they have particularly stressful or demanding jobs. You may not believe it, but caffeine, as a diuretic, can help draw water from the skin to deflate puffiness, which can cast shadows on the hollows of your eyes and make you appear more tired than you are. Get a moisturizer that contains caffeine and other invigorating ingredients like citrus. Antioxidants never hurt either. For an even more refreshing feel, put your cream in the fridge for a cooling, re-energizing sensation.

Click here to read about the best under eye creams for dark circles.

Sensitive Skin

While all eye creams are designed to be gentle on the sensitive skin around your eyes, if you have easily-irritated skin on your face, chances are that your under-eye skin is too delicate for regular eye creams. Look out for eye creams specifically marked for “sensitive skin.” Shy away from retinol, which is fairly aggressive on delicate skin, and instead plump for anti-aging creams with peptides.

Gentle ingredients like cottonseed extract improves the skin’s barrier function, maintaining natural moisture. Creams with aloe, whose natural cooling and soothing properties make it excellent for sensitive skin.  Vitamin C increases collagen production, and Vitamin E calms and protects skin. Avoid products with caffeine, common in anti-aging creams, as this can dry out sensitive skin.

To make sure that a prospective eye cream won’t irritate your skin, try comparing under eye cream reviews. This way you’ll get a sense of what others with your same skin type experienced and have a solid base of research when you finally go out and buy your eye cream.

bags under eyes


Best Under Eye Cream for Puffiness

Puffy eyes can be frustrating. Friends and colleagues may tactlessly ask “what’s wrong,” tell you that you look tired, or even ask if you’ve been crying! Puffiness is usually caused by a combination of easily avoided dietary choices that cause fluid retention, such as excess salt-intake, sleep deprivation, and toxins built up by alcohol or tobacco. It can also be caused by allergies that cause leaks in the subcutaneous capillary beds, causing the skin around your eyes to look swollen and puffy. Try cutting out salty snacks and alcohol from your diet and you should see miraculous results. The results of a late night can also create puffy eyes, which luckily disappear towards the afternoon.  If, however, your puffy eyes are more persistent, there are a few ingredients to look out for when choosing an eye cream.

Natural aging causes the sensitive skin around the eyes to become thinner and less resilient, leading to a creased, “baggy” eyes that make you seem tired or upset. The best thing you can do is give your under-eye skin a soothing, cooling treatment. Any eye cream will give it the hydration it needs, but products with chamomile, cucumber, and green tea extracts are particularly good for reducing swelling and firming up saggy eyes. Vitamin C and soy proteins, both antioxidants, are also great for puffy eyes. There are many roller-ball products with ceramic or metal applicators that massage your swollen eyes while delivering a cooling serum to the skin.

The tried-and-true method of placing cucumber slices or cool tea bags on your lids is another great—and cheap—way to keep puffiness at bay. It may not be a permanent solution, but it will certainly provide a cooling sense of relief.

Learn more about treating puffiness under eyes.

Bags Under Eyes

While it might seem like they’re the same as puffy eyes,  bags under eyes are a very different story. Puffy eyes involve swelling or water retention of the skin around the eyes. In contrast, “eye bags” are just the opposite. As we age, we lose collagen and elasticity, especially when it comes to under-eye skin. It may begin to droop or look slightly deflated, the hollows under your eyes becoming more prominent. This can also be caused by lack of sleep: our eye muscles become confused and droopy. However, the best under eye creams are specifically designed to target this problem. Firming eye creams and eye serums are the best route when targeting eye bags. Very often, creams that will zap puffy eyes will lift eyes afflicted with bags, making most cosmetics that target the former suitable for the latter. Caffeine, green tea and cucumber extracts all re-energize droopy eyes, while products with yeast complex help tighten and firm up the skin.

Click to find out how to get rid of bags under eyes.

General Tips 

  • Make sure to apply any cream you decide on in slow, circular movements to avoid damaging the outer layer of your skin. Applying it too vigorously can make puffy eyes worse.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking the proper amount of water in addition to a balanced diet will keep fine lines, dark circles, and puffy eyes from becoming more prominent.
  • Using an SPF religiously is a great way to prevent the appearance or proliferation of fine lines, dark circles, and sunspots.
  • Like medicine and milk, eye creams have an expiration date. This is usually located on the original packaging or box, so make sure to take a note of it.
  • Always do a spot test on a small area of your face—or even the back of your wrist—to make sure you aren’t allergic or otherwise irritated by your eye cream. Even the best eye cream can’t help you, if you have a bad reaction to it.

Researching the Best Eye Wrinkle Cream

Find the best eye wrinkle cream by researching the key ingredients and considering your particular skin type.

According to a recent consumer report, Americans spend over a billion dollars on anti-wrinkle products every year. With all that money, you’d think there’d be a national consensus on the best eye wrinkle cream. Unfortunately, it seems that the more popular the products become, the more products are manufactured. This makes it even more difficult to figure out which the best one is for you.

The same report found that out of 107 people who tested creams from the cheapest to the most expensive, no one cream worked better than the other. That is, some people had amazing results with drugstore brands, while others experienced no results. At the same time, some people found designer creams to be absolutely miraculous, while they didn’t work at all for others.

The two keys for choosing your eye wrinkle cream

1)      Focus on the ingredients- not the price! The actual ingredients found in the eye wrinkle cream can be present across different brands and products. Researching and finding the best ingredients is one of the keys to choosing the best anti-wrinkle cream for you.

2)      The second tip is: testing. Different skin responds differently to the same cream. How well the cream will work depends on the person—everyone has a different reaction, although some creams yield more positive results across the board than others.


Peptides are similar to Retinol (described below), but less aggressive and less likely to cause irritation on sensitive skin. A collection of short-chain amino acids, peptides are tiny enough to get through to your skin to stimulate collagen production, cell regeneration, and activating fibroblasts responsible for maintaing elastin production. Peptides don’t just moisturize your skin like other anti-wrinkle creams (although moisture is definitely important), they are synthesized to specifically target the root causes of wrinkles and, hopefully, begin to repair them. Peptides are usually more expensive than other anti-wrinkle ingredients, and while expensive doesn’t always equal effective, these little amino acids seem to do the trick for a large swathe of customers.

On the higher end, we have Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Peptide Complex, a specially-formulated peptide complex serum gentle enough for sensitive skin but which also takes a hard line on wrinkles. Formulated with hydroxytyrosol, or olive fruit extract, and oleuropein, olive leaf extract, it seems by many accounts to be worth the price tag. One user writes that it diminishes fine lines, tightens, and brightens the skin: “Finally! An anti-aging treatment that is gentle and works! I get compliments on my skin. I am glowing and smoother.” (Spreckles, Sephora) However, another reviewer writes that it is mainly good for “preventative” care, as “I haven’t noticed a dramatic change. It’s more of a maintenance product.” (depechelover101, Sephora)

A less drastic approach to peptides would be a BB cream, popular in Asia and now sweeping the West off its feet. Dr. Jart+ produces a Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++. The “pluses” in the name stand for bio-peptides in the formula, which are admittedly in small doses, but nevertheless improve firmness and elasticity. The rest of the product acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen, treatment serum, and primer or light foundation. Another good preventative or a treatment for very fine lines and early signs of ageing.

Best eye wrinkle cream | Applying Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles


The big daddy of anti-wrinkle products, retinol is the most popular and the most misused of them all. Derived from Vitamin A, retinol increases cell production, which means your skin will turn over dead cells much more quickly to reveal a new, less wrinkled layer of skin that is also brighter, dewier, and more glowing. In too high a dose, however, Retinol can cause peeling or redness, so make sure to choose a branded product rather than the straight stuff, which is sold for aestheticians and dermatologists. It can also irritate sensitive skin, so do a spot test and choose a low concentrated formula if your skin needs something extra gentle. Always remember to wear sunscreen when you use a retinol product, as it makes skin particularly sensitive to the sun.

Shiseido offers an unusual retinol treatment in the form of their Benefiance Pure Retinol Instant Treatment Eye Mask. Formulated with the brand’s “exclusive” retinol delivery system, this complex claims to visibly improve fine lines, crow’s feet, and other around-the-eyes wrinkles in 15 minutes. It can also be used around the lips to smooth them. For something that looks like a pack of cleansing wipes, this product has gotten rave reviews. One user writes, “Looking for pure retinols? This is your product hands down! Use it once a week or before an event to brighten up crow’s feet and minimize the fine lines and wrinkles.” (Juliastaggs, Sephora) Another writes more cautiously: “My eye area looks so much smoother after using these. I haven’t used them long enough to give an opinion on permanent effects, but they certainly have immediate benefits.” (girlguidejones, Sephora)

For those looking for a more traditional anti-wrinkle cream, Philosophy’s On A Clear Day Retinol Clarifying Lotion is a good introduction to retinol. Reactions from sensitive-skinned customers vary, however, so beware when taking the plunge for this one. One user wrote “My skin is sensitive so I really only use this a couple of times per week. In the morning my skin looks clearer and feels smoother. A little goes a long way.” (alafia3, Sephora) while another wrote that it was “too harsh for my skin.” (smpyt, Sephora)


Antioxidants work in the exact opposite way that retinoids or peptides do. Rather than buffing the skin, anti-oxidants build up the skin’s strength and offer unparalleled protection from environmental free radicals from pollution and harsh weather. Unfortunately, due to the unstable nature of anti-oxidants and vitamins, you’ll have to splurge to get the effects. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic  contains Vitamin C, E, and Ferulic acid—a derivative of a fern plant—to rejuvenate skin, reduce scars and discoloration, and enhance collagen strength. As a serum a few drops go a long way and it ends up lasting quite a while. Almost everyone who has tried it gives the impression that it’s the best anti wrinkle cream available. One reviewer writes, “ ‘You’re skin looks great!.’ Someone actually said that to me today, 57 year old me whose acne scars are coalescing with my wrinkles.” (Judith Paley, Another reviewer says that it’s the “best out there!” and “I swear it’s helped take years off my face. Now using it again, people comment all the time on how good my skin looks and I’m almost 40.” (Jen Fish, This is a serum, however, so make sure to follow it up with your favorite moisturizer; and since it has a high concentration of Vitamin C, use sunscreen, too, as your skin will be sun-sensitive after use.

Wrinkle Prevention and Care

Early fine lines are much easier to prevent—and easier to stop from worsening— compared to removing them- even with the best under eye cream. So whether you are worried about getting wrinkles or already have a few, make sunscreen a part of your daily life. Anything below SPF 30 is unsuitable. Wear it in the sun, wear it on grey rainy days, wear it when it snows. The growing hole in the ozone layer means that even in cloudy weather harmful, ageing UVB and UVA rays can penetrate the atmosphere—and your skin. Weekly exfoliation also helps your skin turn over dead skin cells that can build up on the skin and cause an ashy, dull appearance. Avoid smoking and excess alcohol, which can age the skin, too.

And while you should always practice these prevention tips, if the wrinkles have already progressed: choose the best eye wrinkle cream based on its ingredients and test to find the right one for your skin.