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

BY Janeca Racho · March 4, 2019

Best Eye Creams 2

Whether it’s offering a sneak peek into someone’s soul or letting the world know you’ve been on a week-long Netflix binge, 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.

While your serums and moisturizers may do a good job preserving and maintaining the overall health of your skin, they may not be enough to provide that extra nourishment needed by your under-eye area. “The skin under and around the eyes is thin and can dry out easily. While there are oil glands on the eyelids, the skin can get dry, flaky and irritated, especially when exacerbated by cold, dry winter air or by windy, summer environments,” explains board-certified dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD. “Eye creams can be used for various reasons, including moisturizing, reducing inflammation, anti-aging, improving skin texture and reducing the appearance of dark circles.”

That said, deciding on which product can help your eyes look refreshed and rested can be a tad overwhelming, especially when you consider the wide variety of formulas available. Fortunately, narrowing down your options is not as hard as you may think once you’ve taken stock of your eye area’s most pressing needs and the best ingredients that will help address your concerns.

Best Eye Cream for Your Under-Eye Concerns

 Whether it’s eye wrinkles or morning puffiness giving you grief, there’s an eye cream that’s right for you. Below, we’ve listed down our top eye cream picks for every under-eye concern and budget.

FOR DARK CIRCLES

While the gloom under your eyes can often be blamed on lack of sleep, Dr. Shainhouse says dark circles can also be caused by several factors, including genetics, swelling, engorged blood vessels and even shadows cast by raised facial features. “Look for ingredients like arnica, vitamin K and caffeine to help temporarily shrink blood vessels,” says Dr. Shainhouse. These antioxidant ingredients are known to improve circulation and calm swelling, helping to minimize puffiness and preventing blood from pooling beneath your eyes and causing it to appear darker.

Splurge: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Eye Cream

If you’re looking for an eye cream that will banish those shadows under your eyes, look no further than this antioxidant powerhouse. Its powerful formula blends three percent vitamin E, two percent ferulic acid and 10 percent THD ascorbate–a type of vitamin C that is 50 times more potent than traditional forms–with olive oil, caffeine, jojoba and hyaluronic acid, delivering the ultimate pampering for your peepers. It relieves swelling and lightens dark circles while plumping up the skin and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.

Price: $65

Save: First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream

True to its name, this multitasking eye cream works hard at reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, refining wrinkles and fine lines, improving elasticity and protecting your delicate eyes from environmental damage. Thanks to its eye-opening formula that includes vitamin A, niacinamide, alpha arbutin, glycerin and FAB Antioxidant Booster

Price: $32

FOR WRINKLES AND CROW’S FEET

Your under-eye skin tends to be drier and thinner, so it’s no surprise that the first signs of aging most people notice are eye wrinkles and crow’s feet. Moisture is key if you want to keep fine lines under control, so Dr. Shainhouse suggests looking for eye products with hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, AHAs, ceramides, essential oils (like argan, coconut and avocado oils) and botanical extracts. “Moisturizing the skin makes the skin plumper, so lines appear less deep,” adds Dr. Shainhouse. Additionally, retinoids and peptides can help rebuild and encourage elastin and collagen production, slowing down the formation of new wrinkles and refining the appearance of existing ones.

Splurge: Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Treatment Cream

This dermatologist-approved eye cream is formulated for all skin types, especially for those with mature and sensitive skin. Its firming formula features an advanced blend of ingredients—antioxidants, vitamin E, titanium dioxide and dimethicone—that strengthens the body’s natural skin renewal process and boosts collagen and elastin production. The result? Noticeably brighter and more youthful-looking eye area in less time than traditional eye creams.

Price: $115.50

Save: SkinMedica Uplifting Eye Serum

It may be lighter on your wallet, but this rejuvenating eye treatment is a complete heavyweight when it comes to targeting crow’s feet, sagging skin and other signs of aging. Its anti-aging formula blends tried-and-tested wrinkle-fighting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, green tea, algae extracts and a non-irritating retinol. Best for mature skin, it blurs fine lines and creases, protects against free radicals and hydrates and plumps skin.

Price: $65

FOR EYE BAGS AND PUFFINESS

Eye bags and puffiness can be particularly daunting to deal with, especially when they’re caused by factors beyond your control–genes and the natural aging process. Most of the time, however, those puffy eyes are simply the results of poor circulation and fluid retention due to late-night junk food cravings, extended happy hours, allergies and lack of sleep. And while your body will naturally get rid of the excess water on its own, you can help the de-puffing and shrinking process along with an eye cream that contains caffeine, cucumber and antioxidants like green tea and vitamin C, which all work to reduce swelling by improving blood flow and tightening skin and blood vessels.

Splurge: NeoCutis Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye Cream With PSP

When it comes to rejuvenating and restoring vitality to tired and puffy eyes, this eye cream definitely doesn’t hold back. Best for all skin types, this gentle yet potent 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

Featuring an advanced complex of three peptides, botanical oils and vitamins, this triple-action treatment increases collagen production, circulation and capillary function to restore tone and texture and reduce swelling and puffiness. It also aids in brightening dark circles and refining wrinkles while helping to moisturize and firm the skin.

Price: $60

ANTI-AGING

Collagen and elastin production start to slow down in your mid- to late 20s and can be further accelerated by sun exposure and certain lifestyle factors like smoking, unhealthy diet, alcohol and poor sleeping habits. So when it comes to keeping wrinkles and crow’s feet at bay, it’s important to stay one step ahead. “While we can’t avoid getting older, we can try to slow it down by feeding our skin with the molecules and protein precursors it needs to protect and rebuild its collagen structure,” says Dr. Shainhouse. These include peptides and growth factors that can penetrate the surface layers of the skin and provide the necessary building blocks in creating new collagen and antioxidants (like vitamin C, green tea and acai and coffee berries) that help prevent UV-induced oxidation and collagen degradation, adds Dr. Shainhouse.

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.

Price: $98

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. Alpha hydroxyl acids rejuvenate the eye area, botanical extracts reduce puffiness and optical light diffusers improve the appearance of dark circles.

Price: $53

FOR SENSITIVE SKIN

When you’re already dealing with a highly reactive skin to begin with, choosing the best eye cream can be quite a challenge. Especially since the wrong formula or ingredient can quickly result in itchy, watery and puffy eyes. Your best bet? Hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic formulas that are free of skin-drying substances like alcohol and known skin irritants like fragrances, sulfates and parabens. “Consider an eye cream with soothing properties that will quickly reduce inflammation and skin irritation, which can trigger collagen breakdown and early skin wrinkling,” suggests Dr. Shainhouse. “Look for ingredients like green tea, aloe vera, chamomile and licorice root that will soothe skin and quickly bring down any inflammation.”

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 dark circles without the risk of irritating your delicate eye area. Thanks to its gentle, powered-by-nature formula that features superfood ingredients like wild plum juice, green tea extracts, wheat protein and grape oil. It brightens the eyes, protects from free radical damage and keeps skin hydrated while maintaining moisture and refining signs of aging.

Price: $70

Save: Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream

Formulated for sensitive skin types, this gentle eye cream soothes and protects the eye area with nourishing and soothing ingredients that include thermal spring water to calm irritation and tightness, dextran sulfate to diminish puffiness and antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to protect and maintain moisture. This dermatologist-approved formula is paraben- and fragrance-free.

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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