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
"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 (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 (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, (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 (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,
Rivaling high-end, pricey eye
treatments, (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
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.