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Eye Cream Reviews

By: Angela Stringfellow on January 04, 2017

Editor's Note:
Eye creams are sometimes marketed with more promises than late-night infomercials, but can they deliver? Our research says yes, if you choose wisely and don't have unreasonable expectations.

Origins GinZing Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Fragrance free? -- Yes Available sizes – 0.5 ounces Key ingredients – Panax ginseng, coffee beans, magnolia extract, optic brighteners

Best eye cream

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream reduces dark circles and minimizes puffiness and under-eye bags. Formulated with coffee beans, panax ginseng, magnolia extract, and natural optic brighteners, this eye cream tackles every common problem around the eyes with a shimmery effect that immediately brightens dull skin. Users say it works almost immediately to give tired eyes a pick-me-up, and noticeably diminishes puffiness within minutes.

RoC Multi Correxion Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Fragrance free? -- No Available sizes – 0.5 ounces Key ingredients – Hexinol (hexylresorcinol)

Best drugstore eye cream

RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Eye Cream is a multi-function eye cream that's conveniently available at most drugstores and discount retailers. Users say it works just as well as more expensive eye creams to moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes, eradicating dullness, reducing dark circles and puffiness, and improving skin tone. Users say it works especially well to reduce the appearance of dark spots associated with sun damage or aging.

Buy for $14.49
Dr. Dennis Gross Eye Serum Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Fragrance free? -- Yes Available sizes – 0.5 ounces Key ingredients -- Ferulic acid and retinol, antioxidants, licorice root extract

Eye cream for dark circles

Users say Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum is the next best thing to a cosmetic procedure for treating dark circles. Ferulic acid and retinol help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while licorice root extract works to lighten dark circles and alleviate puffiness. Plus, it comes in a brown glass bottle with a pump applicator, protecting the valuable ingredients from light and air exposure.

Philosophy Uplifting Miracle Worker Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Fragrance free? -- No Available sizes – 0.5 ounces Key ingredients -- Provitamin p, biomimetic yeast, rye seed and marine plankton extracts, Persian si

Eye cream for puffiness

Some consumers store their eye cream in the refrigerator to get the puffiness-reducing effects of cold temperatures, but Philosophy Uplifting Miracle Worker Eye Cream has a built-in cooling effect even without refrigeration. Users say this eye cream absorbs quickly, and results are visible within just a few days of use. In fact, some users say it works so well that they've been asked if they've had cosmetic procedures done.

Buy for $41.78

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 noticeable.

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 the drugstore

In reviews, Hundreds of users swear by Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (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, Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate (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 Benefit Cosmetics It's Potent! Eye Cream (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 RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Eye Cream (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.

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Eye Cream buying guide

What every best Eye Cream has:

  • Ingredients that won't irritate your eyes.
  • Effective moisturizers.
  • Ingredients that specifically benefit the skin around the eyes.

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