The Best Eye Creams for Your Under-Eye Woes and Budget

BY Janeca Racho · September 6, 2017

save vs splurge eye cream 2 I Dermstore Blog

Whether it’s offering a sneak peek into someone’s soul or letting the world know you’ve been spending your nights binging on Netflix instead of clocking in some quality sleep, trust the eyes to say it all. As the thinnest and most sensitive skin on your body, the area around your eyes is the first to show signs of aging and the consequences of inadequate sleep, squinting and sun damage. Needless to say, whether you’re in your 20s or 50s, the skin surrounding your peepers needs an extra dose of TLC. And that’s where eye creams come in.

What’s in Your Eye Cream

Formulated to address under-eye concerns your moisturizers or serums may not be targeting, “eye creams can be used for various reasons, including moisturizing, reducing inflammation, anti-aging, improving skin texture and reducing the appearance of dark circles,” says board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at the University of Southern California Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., F.A.A.D. Here are some of the top ingredients that are commonly found in eye creams:

  • Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances, like vitamins C and E, lycopene and niacinamide, that help combat free radical damage and oxidative stress.
  • Retinoids are a derivative of vitamin A that stimulate cell turnover and collagen production, which, in turn, improves complexion and reduces sun damage and signs of aging.
  • Peptides are amino acid compounds that link together to form certain proteins—the skin’s building block—and encourage elastin and collagen production. They’re a great alternative for those who have a sensitivity to retinoid products.
  • Arnica, Caffeine and Vitamin K contain properties that help improve blood circulation, reduce swelling and soothe muscle tension.
  • Hydrators and Moisturizers may differ in how they work, but they’re both key in making sure the skin gets all the moisture it needs. Examples of hydrators are hyaluronic acid, AHAs and glycerin, while common moisturizing ingredients are fruit extracts, essential oils and shea butter.

How to Pick an Eye Cream

When choosing the right product to add to your skin care regimen, you need not look any further than your skin’s needs and the ingredients list. To prevent and refine existing fine lines and other signs of aging, Dr. Shainhouse says to look out for antioxidant powerhouses like vitamins C and E as well as retinoids and peptides. On the other hand, hyaluronic acid and ceramides are best if you are looking to address dryness and boost hydration, while arnica, vitamin K and caffeine help improve the appearance of dark circles (which may be caused by genetics, inflammation and engorged blood vessels) and puffiness.

Whether it’s eye wrinkles or morning puffiness giving you grief, there’s an eye cream that’s right for you. Here, we’ve listed our top eye cream picks for you to splurge or save on!



Splurge: Replenix Eye Repair Cream

With its fast-acting blend of all-trans-retinol and hyaluronic acid, this eye repair cream works to fill in fine indentations, refine wrinkles and improve firmness and elasticity—all while hydrating and maintaining skin’s natural moisture. It comes packed with all the ingredients to banish under-eye bags and dark circles: peptides, ceramides and niacinamide tighten and even out skin tone, antioxidants reduce inflammation and counter free radical damage while caffeine, arnica and vitamin K improve blood circulation and ease muscle tension.

Price: $86

Save: Glycolix Elite Eye Serum

Featuring skin-loving vitamins C and E, green tea, hyaluronic acid, CoQ10 and vitamin A, this serum works to restore, plump and brighten aging eyes by boosting hydration and encouraging cell turnover. Want proof? Take it from one Dermstore shopper! “It’s only been three weeks, but I can already see the darkness disappearing under my eyes. And it doesn’t sting my eyes like some eye products do.”

Price: $42


Splurge: Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Treatment Cream

If your sensitive skin makes you wary about trying on new products, fret no more. This dermatologist-approved eye cream is formulated for all skin types and works best for mature or damaged skin. Its firming formula features an advanced blend of ingredients—antioxidants, vitamin E, titanium dioxide and dimethicone—that strengthen the body’s natural skin renewal process, leading to more noticeable results in less time.

Price: $112

Save: La Roche-Posay Active C Eyes

Crow’s feet and wrinkles got you down? This eye cream has you covered! Easy-to-apply and lightweight, this cream features L-ascorbic acid to smoothen texture and restore complexion, while citrus amara flower extract soothes and stimulates circulation. The result? Visibly radiant and younger-looking skin!

Price: $42.99


Splurge: NeoCutis Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye Cream

On the hunt for the best eye cream to erase those unsightly bags? One Dermstore shopper says your search may be over. “It makes the area above my eyes look like they did five years ago—no droopiness and the skin is smooth and firm!” Best for all skin types, this gentle yet effective eye cream features an advanced complex of PSP growth factors to stimulate cell regeneration. Hyaluronic acid and matrix proteins plump and repair sagging skin while antioxidants protect from environmental damage.

Price: $97

Save: PCA EyeXcellence

For this eye cream, 3 is the magic number! Featuring an advanced complex of three peptides to increase collagen production, circulation and capillary function, this triple-action treatment smoothens and brightens the eye area, reduces puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles and moisturizes and firms the skin. “I jumped on purchasing this product based [off] the great reviews and reasonable price,” writes one Dermstore shopper. “This helps keep the fine lines at bay without any burning or heavy feeling.”

Price: $50


Splurge: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

This nourishing eye treatment provides immediate and lasting anti-aging results to the eye area, thanks to its optical diffusers that instantly brighten the eyes and flavonoids and peptides that improve dark circles and puffiness. It also features blueberry extract and proxylane that nourish and boost elasticity. “How can something work so quickly and effectively? It was instantaneous that I saw relief from dark circles AND puffiness!” gushes one Dermstore reviewer.

Price: $97

Save: Dermaologica Total Eye Care with SPF 15

With a retexturizing and moisturizing formula that also features a chemical-free sunscreen, this eye cream lives up to its promise of total eye care! AHAs rejuvenate the eye area, botanical extracts reduce puffiness and optical light diffusers improve the appearance of dark circles. As one Dermstore customer puts it, it’s an “eye cream, sunscreen and luminescent in one!”

Price: $52


Splurge: Eminence Organics Wild Plum Eye Cream

Not all eye creams are created equal, but this nourishing eye treatment hits all the marks if you’re looking for a way to banish puffiness and tiredness. Blending wild plum juice, green tea extract and grape oil, this eye cream brightens the eyes, protects from free radical damage and keeps skin hydrated while wheat protein helps retain moisture and reduces signs of aging.

Price: $70

Save: Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream

This gentle eye cream soothes and protects the delicate area with nourishing ingredients that feature thermal spring water to calm irritation and tightness, dextran sulfate to diminish puffiness and antioxidants and vitamin E to protect and maintain moisture. “This is what I’ll use for life!” writes one Dermstore reviewer. “My eyes are very sensitive to eye creams and water like crazy—this doesn’t make them do that!”

Price: $27

Janeca Racho

With over 10 years of writing and editing experience, Janeca Racho has worked with clients in the fashion, entertainment, food, health and travel industries. An adventurer at heart, she will gladly trade her heels for ... Read More >

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