Already have an account?
Get back to the

The Best Eye Creams That Fight Puffiness, Dark Circles, Wrinkles and More to Help You Look Younger

And the how-to video that shows you the right way to apply eye cream

Fine lines, crepiness, dryness, dark circles, puffiness — the list of potential issues that can crop up around your eyes can be a lengthy one. The good news: A dedicated eye cream can help target all of these concerns in one simple swipe. While you can’t actually turn back the clock on getting older, a well-formulated eye cream can go a long way toward your goals of aging gracefully. And not to mention, using one can help make you look fresh and bright-eyed. Maybe you’re wondering why you can’t just use the anti-aging face cream that’s already in your medicine cabinet? It’s a valid question, but according to dermatologists, using a dedicated eye cream is well-worth the extra time and money. Keep reading to learn exactly why that is, how to apply an eye cream and a round-up of the best eye creams that will work for you.

The benefits of using an eye cream

“The skin around the eyes tends to be thinner and more delicate and often needs extra help to address fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging,” explains Gloria Lin, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. You can also expect to see issues here that you may not see elsewhere on your face and/or even earlier than you would in other spots.

Closeup of a jar of eye cream

Additionally, “Investing in products that are specifically formulated for the eye area is important because the skin here tends to be more sensitive than the rest of the face,” says Dr. Lin. Eye creams are made so that you can reap the benefits of the active ingredients they contain (more on those below), without having to worry about the potential for any unwanted, irksome irritation.  

To learn more about why it’s beneficial to use eye creams, watch the below video from dermatologist Gaile Robredo-Vitas, MD.

What to look for in an eye cream

Not sure what you should keep an eye out for when selecting an eye cream? Think about your particular eye area concern. “Consider the target issue and seek out an eye cream with ingredients that can target that, advises Kseniya Kobets, MD, a board-certified dermatology and Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Montefiore Einstein Advanced Care. Here, some things to keep an eye out for based on your under eye skin concern.

For puffiness

Look for caffeine, an ingredient that helps constrict blood vessels and boosts circulation, suggests Dr. Kobets.

For wrinkles

Eye creams with retinol are ideal for helping to soften fine lines, says Dr. Lin. The vitamin A derivative helps to stimulate collagen for smoother, firmer skin. Peptides are another great option for similar collagen-boosting, line-fighting purposes, notes Dr. Kobets.

For dark circles

According to Dr. Lin, caffeine is another standout if your dark circles are the result of prominent blood vessels. If your dark circles are a result of hyperpigmentation or discolored skin, look for a formula with vitamin C, which helps to brighten the skin, she says. It’s also a good protective antioxidant.

For general anti-aging

Antioxidants are the name of the game, choice for helping to ward off free radical damage that can cause all kinds of signs of aging to skin. Dr. Kobets says vitamin E, niacinamide, resveratrol, and green tea are all good ingredients to seek out in an eye cream.

For hydration

To replenish and protect delicate under eye skin, glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid are all top-notch moisturizing ingredients, according to Dr. Kobets.

A good general rule of thumb: If you have sensitive skin, opt for fragrance-free formulas, advises Dr. Lin. (Fragrance is one of the most common irritants out there.) And if you develop milia, or little white cysts, after using an eye cream, the product may be too heavy or occlusive for your skin. “Some trial and error may be necessary to find the best eye cream for you,” she says.

Related: Best Toners for Mature Skin That Make Your Complexion Look Younger + Smoother

How to apply eye cream

Woman applying eye cream

First and foremost, a little goes a long way. According to Dr. Lin, you usually won’t need more than a pea-size amount for both eyes. “Apply the product in a semi-circular area under each eye, as well as underneath your eyebrow. Lightly tap it in with your ring finger, which has the lightest touch, and avoid rubbing or using too much pressure,” she says. (The key is to not pull or tug on the delicate skin around the eyes.)

You’ll want to use your eye cream at least once per day, though whether you do so in the morning, at nighttime, or both is a matter of personal preference. It can also depend on the consistency of the particular product you’re using. Some people like thinner eye creams for morning, since they layer nicely under sunscreen and makeup, and reserve thicker ones for bedtime, notes Dr. Kobets. Either way, she suggests applying eye cream after you’ve put on serum and/or moisturizer on the rest of your face, so that the eye cream doesn’t accidentally get diluted with the other products.

To see an in-depth tutorial on applying eye cream, watch the below video from celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau.

The 8 best eye creams

Keep scrolling to see the eight amazing eye creams recommended by dermatologists that offer something for any and every aging skin issue.

Best eye cream for wrinkles

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, one of the best eye creams

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

Crow’s feet be gone! “This is an excellent drugstore option that contains retinol to help with fine lines and wrinkles,” says Dr. Lin of one of her picks. “Since retinols tend to be drying and irritating, any retinol product you’re using for the rest of the face may be too harsh for the undereye area. But the slow-release retinol in this eye cream is formulated for the delicate skin in this area.”

Best eye cream for puffiness

La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eye Cream
La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eye Cream

Not only does this option have a metal applicator that provides a nice cooling effect, it also contains caffeine that constricts blood vessels, helping tamp down both puffiness and dark circles, says Dr. Lin of another one of her favorites. She adds that it’s fragrance-free, too, making it a nice choice for those with sensitive skin.

Best eye cream for dark circles

Alpyn Beauty Instant Bright Eye, one of the best eye creams
Alpyn Beauty

Alpyn Beauty Instant Bright Eye

Admittedly, no eye cream can fully eliminate dark circles. However, this one can help. It contains brightening niacinamide that works over time to diminish shadows. But the formula also delivers instant results, thanks to its peachy-pink hue that camouflages unwanted blue and purple tones.This makes it the perfect option to reach for on sleepy mornings as the instant eye-brightening effect lives up to its name.

Best moisturizing eye cream

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Firming & Lifting Eye Cream, one of the best eye creams

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Firming & Lifting Eye Cream

Dr. Kobets likes this option, lauding it for the use of squalane, an ingredient that’s both an emollient (meaning it softens skin) and is an antioxidant. Glycerin and panthenol also make this cream hydrating, while the marine algae in the mix offers additional anti-aging benefits, she says.

Best brightening eye cream

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Vitamin C Eye Cream
Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Vitamin C Eye Cream

The vitamin C in this eye cream, a recommendation from Dr. Lin, helps to brighten dark circles, while also offering antioxidant protection. It also contains vitamin E, another protective antioxidant, plus line-smoothing peptides, too.

Best multi-tasking eye cream

Versed Zero-G Smoothing Eye Cream

Versed Zero-G Smoothing Eye Cream

Looking for an eye cream that does a little bit of everything? This one is a jack of all trades. Its algae extract smooths wrinkles, peptides firm skin and olive oil delivers a heavy hit of moisture. As if that weren’t enough, it also contains mica to impart a subtle brightening effect to under eye skin.

Best drugstore eye cream

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

“This is a great, affordable drugstore eye cream. The hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides help combat dryness while also reducing the look of puffiness and dark circles,” says Dr. Lin of another one of her favorites. And it’s fragrance-free, too.

Best splurge eye cream

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Advanced Eye

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Advanced Eye

Even though this is more expensive, Dr. Lin says the price tag is well worth it, especially for mature skin types. “It’s designed to combat advanced glycation end products, molecules that are responsible for signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. It does that using ingredients such as peptides and antioxidant-rich blueberry extract.

For more skin care tips, click through these stories:

Glass Skin Is the Viral Beauty Trend That’ll Leave You Glowing — Here’s How to Get It

“I Tried Skin Cycling and Was Amazed at How Smooth and Glowing My Skin Looks Now”

Say Goodbye to Redness, Bumps & Irritation — Dermatologists Reveal How to Get Rid of Rosacea

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.