Types of Eye Cream
General Purpose Eye Creams
While not every expert is convinced that a dedicated eye cream is any more effective than a good facial moisturizer, others note that their composition and ingredients can be a boost for the skin around the eyes as that tends to show the effects of aging sooner than other parts of the face.
Eye Creams for Dark Circles
While most skin care professionals say that cosmetic or laser surgery is the best way to get rid of chronic dark circles, eye creams designed to treat that condition can lighten the effect. Look for creams with ingredients such as vitamin K, kojic acid niacinamide (vitamin B3), sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) and hydroquinone.
Eye Creams for Puffiness
Puffy eyes can be caused by a number of things, most of which can be treated with a few simple at-home remedies. For more chronic problems, eye creams containing caffeine or retinol can offer some relief, as can eye gels, which tend to feel cooling.
Do you even need an eye cream?
Today's drugstore and
department store shelves are overflowing with eye creams that promise to do
everything from deflate puffiness and brighten dark circles to erase fine
lines. But is it just marketing hype? It depends who you ask. Some experts say
you can just use your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes; separate eye
creams aren't necessary. Other experts say eye creams really are different from
facial moisturizers. For example, In a WebMD article by Sonya Collins,
dermatologist Patricia Farris notes that eye creams tend to be thicker, with
more oil in them and special active ingredients to treat the thinner, drier,
quicker-to-age skin around the eyes.
What about dark circles
and puffiness? Again, opinions differ. Collins says that some studies report
that caffeine can help circulation, and that could reduce puffiness –
although cold temperatures have been shown to have similar effects, prompting
some consumers to store their eye cream in the refrigerator. For dark circles, she
adds, kojic acid and niacinamide (vitamin B3) can help lighten them, while
sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) can thicken the skin and make dark circles less
Ultimately, there's no
conclusive evidence that these treatments are effective, but there's no
evidence to the contrary, either. Caffeine, vitamin K and kojic acid aren't
harmful in any way, so experts say you can safely use eye creams that contain
these ingredients. That said, while many products can diminish the appearance
of dark circles and puffiness, they aren't a cure-all. For complete eradication
of these problems, skin-care professionals suggest cosmetic corrective
procedures or surgery.
Effective eye creams at the department store -- and
In reviews, Hundreds of
users swear by (Est. $35 for 0.5 oz.). It earns the most
reviews at Sephora.com, where more than 1,740 users contribute to a rating of
3.9 stars out of 5, with nearly 800 reviewers giving it a perfect 5-star
rating. Containing coffee beans, panax ginseng, and magnolia extract, along
with natural optic brighteners, Origins GinZing claims to reduce dark circles,
under-eye bags, and dullness. This eye cream has a slight, shimmery tint
designed to provide an instant brightening effect, which some users find too
shimmery but most love (even some who were initially caught off-guard upon
realizing that it's not clear).
Users say Origins GinZing
is hydrating, keeping the sensitive under-eye area moisturized throughout the
day. Editors at RealSimple.com recommend Origins GinZing for its brightening effects,
noting that testers say they appreciate the slight iridescence that masks
under-eye darkness. Editors at Cosmopolitan.com say the combination of coffee
beans, ginseng, and magnolia extract works quickly to help tighten skin in the
eye area, reduce puffiness, and brighten dark circles.
A few users point out that
because this eye cream is stored in a jar, it tends to dry out and lose its
creamy texture over time. At PaulasChoice.com,
beauty expert Paula Begoun gives Origins GinZing
Refreshing Eye Cream a middling score of 2 stars out of 5 for precisely this
reason, noting that it does contain some beneficial skin ingredients for the
eye area, but because of the less-than-ideal packaging, these helpful
ingredients won't pack their full punch throughout the lifespan of the product.
If you don't mind spending
a bit more, (Est. $60 for 0.5 oz.) is also worth considering. Not only does it
moisturize without stinging the delicate skin around the eyes (a test that many
eye creams flunk), but users say it also really delivers on its promises: Skin
looks smoother, tighter and brighter. This Clarins eye cream gets most of its
rave reviews from women over 35, although plenty of younger users like it, too.
It contains caffeine, which may help de-puff eyes, and users say it plays
nicely under makeup -- no gumming up their concealer or making their eye makeup
slide around. It's fragrance-free, eliminating a common source of irritation.
However, Begoun again gives
Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate a rating of just 2 stars out of
5, noting that while it moisturizes the skin, it will only temporarily reduce
the appearance of wrinkles. She says it's not what she'd consider a cutting-edge
formula, but "it will make skin look smoother and feel softer."
More than 115 users review
Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate at Amazon.com, where it earns a
rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. Like most eye creams, it receives mixed feedback,
although most users are pleased with their results, with some saying that it
minimizes the look of fine lines and reduces puffiness. Others, however, say
they noticed no difference after a few weeks of use and that they've had better
results from products that cost less.
Altogether, more than
1,000 users have reviewed (Est. $45) at Ulta.com and Sephora.com, and it earns ratings of 4.1 stars
and 3.9 stars out of 5, respectively. Editors at TotalBeauty.com name It's Potent! as one of the top 14
eye creams, based on its user rating of 8.8 out of 10. Reviewers say that as
its name suggests, It's Potent! is rich, thick and creamy, and it takes a small amount of cream for each
application to get results.
It's Potent! claims to fade dark circles and help to smooth fine lines,
and it contains peptides that work to promote skin tightness and firmness. With
a blend of hydrating botanical extracts, users say It's Potent! is nourishing and moisturizing. It absorbs
quickly, and many users say it works well as an under-eye moisturizer when
applied under makeup, and it won't cause makeup to run.
Opinions are mixed on
whether it really diminishes fine lines, and we did read a few isolated
complaints about It's Potent irritating some users' skin, causing a slight
stinging sensation or increased puffiness – possibly due to a sensitivity
or allergy to one or more ingredients. Begoun gives It's Potent! a rating of 2 stars out of a possible 5,
noting that it contains a film-forming agent that "can make skin feel
smoother and temporarily tighter, but it also puts your skin at risk of
irritation." Most users, however, report no negative effects and many say
their under-eye circles are noticeably lighter with continued use. Many users
point out that a little bit of this eye cream goes a long way, and a 0.5-ounce
jar can last as long as six to eight months with daily use.
If you're looking for a
low-cost product that offers results comparable to that of pricey beauty
brands, users say (Est. $15 for 0.5 oz.) gets the job
done. A multi-function eye cream that claims to moisturize the sensitive skin
around the eyes to reduce the signs of aging, reduce dark circles and
puffiness, improve skin tone and eradicate dullness, RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1
Eye Cream earns praise from more than 700 users posting feedback to Amazon.com,
where it earns a rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. About 8 in 10 users give it a
4-star or better rating, with most users praising its lightweight texture and
ability to fight skin discoloration, including both dark circles and brown
spots, which can occur as a result of sun exposure or aging.
While RoC claims it will
reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness in about four weeks of
consistent use, several reviewers say they see results in as little as one to
two weeks – and a few note that they started using this product on a
recommendation from a dermatologist. Some say they've used pricier eye creams
and haven't gotten results like they achieve with RoC Multi-Correxion 5-in-1
Eye Cream. As with many eye creams, however, a few users report adverse
reactions such as redness, stinging, or rashes after using this product, so
it's a good idea to test a small area of skin before using any eye cream.