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Eye Cream Reviews

By: Angela Stringfellow on December 19, 2017

Editor's Note:
Philosophy Hope In a Tube is a good general-purpose eye cream with intense moisturizing while Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting EyeSwirl instantly brightens to disguise dark circles. Exuviance by NeoStrata Age Reverse Eye Contour has dramatic effects on tired, puffy eyes. We also name a few other eye creams to address common eye-area issues.

Philosophy Hope In A Tube Eye & Lip Cream Review
Best Reviewed

Best eye cream

A good basic, everyday eye cream, Philosophy Hope in a Tube is rich in emollients and fragrance-free, with a thick, creamy texture that can be used both around the eyes and the lip area. Reviewers say it's an intense moisturizer that leaves skin looking smoother and brighter, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, such as crow's feet. It can also help to alleviate problems like puffiness and dark circles.

Buy for $24.82
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting EyeSwirl Review
Best Reviewed

Best eye cream for dark circles

For instant brightening and hydration, reviewers say Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting EyeSwirl is both affordable and effective. It contains a blend of beneficial ingredients such as peptides and pica, a mineral pigment that creates a subtle reflective glow to instantly diminish the appearance of dark circles. It goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind, plus it has a texture that works well under makeup.

Buy for $14.42
Exuviance by NeoStrata Review
Best Reviewed

Best eye cream for puffiness

With antioxidants, anti-irritant ingredients, and beneficial peptides, Exuviance by NeoStrata is fragrance-free and gentle enough for use on sensitive skin. Thanks to its acidic pH, it can help to exfoliate the skin for a revitalized, youthful appearance. Reviewers say Exuviance has a dramatic effect on puffiness and also diminishes fine lines and wrinkles. While it's pricier than drugstore brands, a bottle can last for several months.

Buy for $59.99

Types of Eye Cream

General Purpose Eye Creams

The composition and ingredients in general purpose eye creams 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. These eye creams typically contain some combination of moisturizers and anti-aging ingredients, while some offer sun protection as well.

Eye Creams for Dark Circles

Eye creams designed to treat dark circles contain ingredients such as vitamin K, kojic acid niacinamide (vitamin B3), sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) and hydroquinone. Some contain skin brighteners -- mineral pigments -- that can lighten the effect of dark circles caused by lack of sleep, allergies, or genetics.

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, particularly if stored in the refrigerator.

Making the most of your eye cream

Eye creams are a great choice for the thinner, more sensitive skin around the eye. Because the eye area is delicate, eye cream should be applied gently by patting it on or softly massaging it into the skin. Avoid pulling or stretching the skin around your eyes, and give it a minute or two to absorb into the skin before applying any makeup. Use about a pea-sized dab; too much eye cream won't make it more effective. It will, however, make the cream more likely to work its way into your eyes, resulting in irritation.

Storing your eye cream in the fridge can extend the shelf-life of certain ingredients, such as retinol or Vitamin C. It's also more refreshing to apply a chilly eye cream than one stored at room temperature and the cooling effect can boost the de-puffing power of an eye cream.

Keeping your skin healthy and warding off the effects of aging is about more than just eye cream, however. Check out our reports on facial cleansers, facial moisturizers, wrinkle cream and sunscreen for the best products to complete your skincare regimen.

Finding The Best Eye Cream
Our Sources
"Eye Creams & Treatments"
"The Best Eye Cream"
"Before You Buy: We Rank the Best and Worst Eye Creams"

We found the best expert analysis of eye creams Beautypedia, where editors evaluate hundreds of eye creams based on ingredients, effectiveness and potential side effects. Reviews.com also conducts hands-on testing of several eye creams. We also consulted several expert roundups from sources like The Fashion Spot, Refinery 29, Marie Claire, and TotalBeauty, some of which consult with dermatologists and skincare experts to select the best products.

Users are the best source of feedback on how effective eye creams really are in the real world and how well they work for treating certain issues like dark circles or puffiness. For these insights, we consulted thousands of user reviews across sites like Amazon, MakeupAlley, Walgreens, Ulta and Sephora. To identify the best eye creams for dark circles, puffiness and general-purpose use, we evaluated both expert and user reviews focusing on ingredients and effectiveness, as well as considerations such as texture, feel and scent.

The best eye cream

If you have dry skin around the delicate eye area, both experts and users alike praise Philosophy Hope In A Tube Eye & Lip Cream (Est. $25 for .5 oz.) for its intense moisturizing ability. As its name suggests, it's intended for use around both the eyes and lip area. Beauty experts at Beautypedia call it a "thick, emollient-rich, fragrance-free cream" that's ideal for dry or dehydrated skin, not only around the eyes, but anywhere on the body. Because it comes in a 0.5-ounce tube, however, it's not practical for use as a full-body moisturizer, although it could come in handy for periodic trouble areas.

With standard moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, petrolatum and mineral oil combined with a few antioxidants including vitamins C and E, it moisturizes and revitalizes the skin around the eyes and lips, and it even claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in these common problem areas. The jury is out on just how well it works for those problems, however. Experts at Beautypedia say "it won't firm skin one iota," and while most users say it smooths out crow's feet and diminishes wrinkles, a few say they used it religiously for a month or two and didn't notice a difference at all.

Among hundreds of user reviews across Amazon, Ulta and Sephora, many are pleased with Hope in a Tube's effectiveness as a basic, everyday eye cream. Several users note that it helps with dark circles, undereye bags and puffiness, leaving skin looking both smoother and brighter. Reviewers like the thick, creamy texture, although a few say it leaves a slight greasy feeling behind.

If you have sensitive or prematurely aging skin, users say Dermaologica Age Smart MultiVitamin Power Firm (Est. $45 for .5 oz.) creates a smooth texture in the undereye area and helps to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Reviewers say it has an intense moisturizing effect and blends well with concealer to disguise problem areas and lines around the eyes, and they say it smells nice without being overpowering.

Like Philosophy Hope in a Tube, it can also be used around the lip area, and in fact, that's where experts at Beautypedia suggest you use it, noting that the flavor ingredients it contains aren't ideal for use close to the eyes. In addition to silicones and thickeners, it contains vitamins E, A and C, as well as antioxidants, plant oils and extracts, and anti-irritants to ease unwanted effects on sensitive skin. That said, Beautypedia experts say it's a "good antioxidant serum for all skin types," although it's not emollient enough to have a real firming impact on the lips -- but it will make them feel silkier and smoother.

If reducing the appearance of the signs of aging is your goal, EltaMD Renew Eye Gel (Est. $50 for .5 oz.) gets rave reviews from skincare experts at Beautypedia. Editors call it "a rather impressive, fragrance-free formula that treats skin to lightweight hydrating ingredients along with cell-communicating peptides and some good skin-repairing ingredients." Results are likely to include smoother skin and "a slight reduction in the appearance of wrinkles," which editors attribute to the presence of ingredients that stimulate collagen production.

Users also have good things to say about EltaMD Renew Eye Gel, with many noting that it's not greasy and absorbs well, and a few report that it has a cooling effect which is beneficial for tired, puffy eyes. In addition to reducing puffiness and under-eye bags, some users say it lightens dark circles, heals dry skin and diminishes the appearance of wrinkles. On the downside, while it does absorb into the skin quickly, some reviewers say they experience peeling after applying concealer over this eye gel. As with most eye creams and gels, there are detractors who say they didn't notice any results after using EltaMD Renew Eye Gel for several weeks or more.

Most eye creams receive some flak for over-promising their effectiveness on reducing wrinkles, but that's not the case with Alpha Skin Care Nourishing Eye Cream (Est. $15 for .75 oz.), which editors at Beautypedia say lives up to its claims. With antioxidant-rich plant oils to soothe the skin, vitamins C and E to reduce fine lines, and sodium hyaluronate to improve the skin's hydration levels, Alpha Skin Care Nourishing Eye Cream doesn't skimp on beneficial ingredients. This eye cream also scores points for its packaging -- an opaque squeeze tube with a small, needle-nose applicator -- which helps to protect the air- and light-sensitive ingredients and prevents users from squeezing out more product than needed.

The texture isn't as thick as what many would expect from an eye cream, so it may be too light for those who need intense hydration. Both fragrance- and paraben-free, Alpha Skin Care earns positive feedback from dozens of users, and some actually prefer the lighter texture as it's easier to blend with makeup. Reviewers say it absorbs quickly without leaving a sticky residue and smooths the delicate skin under and around the eyes, and some report using it on the lip area as well. A few users report that they experienced irritation or breakouts after using this eye cream, however.

Rivaling high-end, pricey eye treatments, CeraVe Eye Repair Cream (Est. $10 for .5 oz.) is a good choice for those on a budget but need an eye cream that's up to the task of combating the signs of aging and moisturizing the delicate under-eye area. Fragrance-free, CeraVe Eye Repair Cream contains a blend of niacinamide, ceramides and hyaluronic acid, as well several skin-repairing ingredients. Skincare experts at Beautypedia say it has a thick consistency that's suitable for the eye area but won't leave a greasy feel behind. Like Alpha Skin Care Nourishing Eye Cream, it's packaged in a protective squeeze tube to shield the cream from exposure to light and air, which can diminish the effectiveness of some ingredients.  

Hundreds of reviewers have mostly positive things to say about CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, with most agreeing that it's an effective moisturizer. Opinions are mixed on its effectiveness for other common issues around the eyes, such as fine lines and wrinkles, but a few users say they've noticed a dramatic improvement in dark circles and puffiness. Some reviewers complain that it doesn't absorb that well, while others don't notice any improvement at all. A few say this eye cream irritated their skin or caused a bumpy rash.

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  • Effective moisturizers.
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