According to skin-care experts, most people don't need to invest in a specialized eye cream at all.
That's because the skin around the eyes benefits from the same good-for-skin ingredients that are used all over the face, namely antioxidants and emollient ingredients like shea butter, glycerin and others.
Furthermore, experts say a quality moisturizer is formulated in the same manner and includes the same ingredients as the best eye creams, it just comes in different packaging.
Reviewers praise Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum (*Est. $22 for 0.5 oz.) as an excellent eye cream that feels light and smooth on the skin, and is loaded with antioxidants. A quick look at the ingredients list shows the eye serum and our Best Reviewed Olay's Regenerist Regenerating Serum, Fragrance Free (*Est. $20 for 1.7 oz.) are nearly identical. However, beauty expert Begoun says the regenerating serum "provides three times as much product for the same price."
She gives the Olay Regenerating Serum her highest rating because it contains a large variety of "beneficial ingredients for all skin types," namely glycerin and niacinamide, which in this amount can increase the skin's ceramide and fatty acid content. It's also packed with peptides, proteins said to boost the production of skin-plumping collagen and aid in cell renewal and repair. The serum also contains antioxidants vitamin E and green tea extract, which protect skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that break down and damage skin cells.
Hundreds of users at TotalBeauty.com, MakeupAlley.com and Drugstore.com give Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum, Fragrance Free, high ratings, saying it leaves skin soft and moisturized. Reviewers praise the gel-like texture of both formulas, although the eye serum receives slightly lower ratings overall. This is likely due to the higher expectations that consumers generally have for eye creams. Olay's Regenerating Serum is also available in a fragranced version, but it isn't recommended for use around the eyes since it may cause irritation.
Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex (*Est. $45 for 0.5 oz.) also gets good marks from reviewers. It's very similar to both the Eye Lifting Serum and Regenerating Serum, but contains more niacinamide and caffeine for a tightening effect. Begoun says it's lightweight and leaves skin feeling smooth, but adds that the caffeine won't wake up tired eyes, nor can it do much for dark circles or puffiness. Several users at MakeupAlley.com, Drugstore.com and Amazon.com say Olay's Eye Restoration Complex makes fine lines less visible, but most facial moisturizers -- including retinol creams -- will do the same.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream – Night (*Est. $13 for 1.4 oz.), while not technically an eye cream, contains retinol, a derivative of vitamin A that has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines, as well as several antioxidants. This Best Reviewed wrinkle cream gets good ratings from users at MakeupAlley.com, who say it reduces the appearance of fine lines and visibly improves the tone and texture of skin in just a few weeks. Retinol can cause initial irritation in the form of dryness and flaking, but experts and users alike say that skin adjusts over time and the irritation fades. Reducing initial usage to once every two to three nights can also improve comfort levels.