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Are your eyes in need of a pick-me-up? Then it might be time to add an eye cream to your skincare routine. In this guide, we’re diving deep into this year’s best eye creams. Whether your eye area is in need of a major moisture surge, de-puffing, anti-aging benefits or something in between, we’re highlighting the best of the best.
Do You Really Need an Eye Cream?
An eye cream may not be quite as essential as the foundational cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen – but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. In fact, when used consistently, a well-formulated eye cream has the potential to completely transform the eye area. If you have specific concerns you’d like to tackle (such as fine lines, crow’s feet, puffiness or dark circles), we recommend adding a targeted eye cream to your routine. The key is finding a high-quality, expertly crafted formula – like one of the eye creams we’re recommending below.
What to Look For in an Eye Cream
When picking out an eye cream, you’ll first want to consider the specific concerns you’re looking to address. Common issues around the eye area include fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles and a lack of hydration. Once you know which concern (or concerns) you want to tackle, you can seek out an eye cream made with ingredients that target that need.
If you’re looking for an anti-aging eye cream, look for formulas made with vitamin C, retinol or peptides. All of these ingredients have been proven to firm the skin and soften lines. We also recommend seeking out antioxidant-rich formulas. Antioxidants can fight the effects of free radicals, which can damage the skin and lead to visible signs of aging.
Since dehydrated skin is more likely to show fine lines and wrinkles, moisturizing ingredients that plump the skin are incredibly beneficial. Some of the best ingredients for moisturizing the eye area include shea butter, cocoa butter, hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate, glycerin and squalane.
If you’re prone to dark circles, you’ll want to seek out formulas made to brighten the eye area. Some of the most effective formulas have ingredients like caffeine, niacinamide or vitamin C. Caffeine-infused eye creams are ideal for those looking to reduce puffiness. Ginseng is also highly effective, and one of the most common ingredients you’ll find in formulas targeted toward puffiness.
Eye Cream Application Tips
How you apply your eye cream is almost as important as the formula you choose. Since the skin around your eyes is thin and delicate, applying with a gentle touch is essential to avoid tugging and causing any irritation. We recommend picking up a small amount of the cream with your ring finger, and then gently tapping underneath your eyes and up to your brow bone. The ring finger has the lightest touch, which allows for a gentle application.
If you end up choosing a product with a slanted metal tip or rollerball applicator, keep the same general rules in mind. You’ll just gently apply by using the applicator directly on your skin, rather than applying with your finger. These types of applicators have a bonus cooling benefit, which is particularly great for those prone to puffiness.
For best results, you’ll want to apply your eye cream on a regular basis. Most eye creams can be applied both morning and night. However, if you choose an eye cream made with retinol, it’s best to stick with only applying it in the evening. This is because retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, and also degrades when exposed to UV rays. With all of this in mind, always refer to the product instructions for the most accurate information on frequency of application.
The 15 Best Eye Creams in 2023
Now that you know a bit about how to choose an eye cream and use it in your routine, let’s go over our recommendations. In our list of the best eye creams in 2023, we’ve chosen formulas that target a range of concerns. We’ve also chosen options for all budgets, which means you’ll be able to find an option that perfectly suits your specific needs.
The Blu Atlas Eye Stick earns the top spot on our list of the best eye creams of the year, because it has a top-quality, clean formula that truly does it all. This multi-tasking eye stick (which comes in a rollerball applicator) is designed with nutrient-dense ingredients that nourish the skin for brighter, less puffy, more youthful eyes.
This formula features ascorbic acid, a stable and science-backed form of vitamin C that stimulates collagen production for firmer skin and less visible fine lines and wrinkles. It also has brightening effects, and provides powerful antioxidant benefits. The ascorbic acid is joined by palmitoyl tripeptide-5, a peptide that is believed to offer additional anti-aging effects.
These ingredients work alongside niacinamide and caffeine-packed Coffea canephora seed extract, both of which minimize dark circles for radiant, more awake-looking eyes. Rose flower water further works to brighten and fight puffiness, while nutrient-dense algae extract fortifies and hydrates the skin. Ingredients like sodium hyaluronate lock moisture into the skin to fight dryness.
We always prefer using clean formulas in our routine, and the Blu Atlas Eye Stick checks off all of our boxes. It’s not only vegan and cruelty-free, but it is also made without synthetic fragrances, parabens, sulfates or phthalates. Even better, 96% of the ingredients are derived from natural origins.
If you’re concerned about signs of aging, you’ll want to take a look at this firming eye cream from Paula’s Choice. It’s powered by some of the best ingredients for softening fine lines and wrinkles (including deep wrinkles), and is infused with ingredients that hydrate and plump for soft and smooth skin.
The Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream is formulated with retinol, which works to firm, tackle fine lines and wrinkles and smooth the appearance of the undereye area. There is a low concentration (0.01%) of this vitamin A derivative, which means there is a minimal risk of it causing dryness or irritation.
Retinol works alongside two different peptides (palmitoyl tripeptide-5 and acetyl tetrapeptide-5) that provide additional anti-aging benefits, as well as brightening and firming vitamin C. The creamy, fragrance-free formula blends five different ceramides, which support the skin’s barrier and seal moisture into the skin for a plump and healthy under-eye area. A wide variety of additional hydrators also work to counteract dryness, including squalane and sodium hyaluronate.
As you probably know, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis is essential for protecting your skin and preventing premature signs of aging. Unfortunately, the delicate eye area is often forgotten. That’s why we love this Medik8 eye cream, which is made with SPF to properly defend the skin against the damaging effects of the sun.
In addition to the sun protection, the Advanced Day Eye Protect is formulated with a range of nourishing ingredients that address multiple concerns. Citrus-derived hesperidin boosts blood circulation to tackle dark circles for a brighter under-eye area. Antioxidant-rich caffeine further works to banish dark circles while fighting puffiness and defending the skin against the damaging effects of free radicals.
This Medik8 formula also features theobroma cacao seed extract, another antioxidant-packed ingredient that is specifically included to help protect the skin against damaging blue light that is emitted from screens. Moringa extract provides even more antioxidant power, while a peptide called carnosine adds anti-aging benefits to the formula.
Many formulas made with SPF can feel heavy on the skin, but this eye cream has a lightweight, non-greasy texture. The vegan and cruelty-free product also scores bonus points for being completely free of parabens, phthalates and fragrances.
You don’t have to drop a ton of cash to get incredible results, and the Versed Vacation Eyes Brightening Eye Gel proves that. This refreshing lightweight gel is loaded with ingredients that boost the skin’s radiance and lessen the appearance of dark circles while reducing puffiness.
The Brightening Eye Gel is formulated with caffeine-packed coffee extract and ginseng root extract, both of which play a role in de-puffing the eyes and fighting dark circles. Niacinamide works alongside these ingredients, further helping to lighten the appearance of the under-eye area.
This formula also features vitamin C, which adds even more brightening effects for optimal results. This antioxidant defends the skin against damaging free radicals while helping to reduce the appearance of signs of aging.
The Versed Vacation Eyes Brightening Eye Gel is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an eye cream that has a high-quality, clean formula at an affordable price. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain parabens or sulfates.
Another of our favorite dark-circle-busting eye creams is this one from Skinfix. In addition to brightening the under-eye area, the clinically proven formula is crafted to improve moisture levels while softening fine lines and reducing puffiness.
The Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Boost 360° Brightening Eye Cream is made with saccharomyces ferment, a fermented prebiotic yeast that works to boost radiance in the skin to lessen the appearance of dark circles. It works alongside a triple-lipid complex that is designed to mimic the skin’s natural lipids. This complex restores the levels of ceramides and fatty acids in the skin, improving overall function and softness.
In addition to these ingredients, the formula features a seaweed hyaluronate blend. This blend includes small particles that penetrate deep into the skin, where they dramatically improve hydration levels for plump, dewy, youthful skin.
What’s impressive about this formula is that it’s vegan and cruelty-free, and made without fragrances or phthalates. It’s also non-comedogenic and ophthalmologist tested, so you can feel safe applying it around your eyes.
Aesop is our go-to brand when we’re looking to infuse a bit of luxury into our grooming routine, and this eye serum does not disappoint. We particularly recommend it for anyone who would rather use a light, non-greasy formula than a rich cream. It’s crafted to address dehydration, signs of aging and discoloration for a radiant and youthful appearance. Like many of our other favorite products, it’s vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances or parabens.
The Exalted Eye Serum is crafted with sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a form of vitamin C that works to boost firmness and soften lines while brightening the skin and providing antioxidant benefits. It’s joined by niacinamide, which soothes the skin while diminishing dark circles.
Additionally, this serum features nutrient-dense sodium carrageenan, which hydrates and nourishes the skin. Panthenol works to boost moisture levels in the skin, while vitamin E adds extra antioxidant support. We like the addition of frankincense, cedarwood and juniper essential oils. These anti-inflammatory oils help soothe the skin, and create a woodsy and warm fragrance that calms the senses.
If your main concern is signs of aging around the eye area, you’re going to want to give this Peter Thomas Roth eye cream a shot. This formula is packed with an impressive 21 peptides and neuropeptides, which work in tandem to soften the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet and deep wrinkles around the eyes.
The anti-aging power of this formula doesn’t stop there. In addition to the peptides, this formula features powerful gamma proteins that improve elasticity for more youthful skin. These proteins boost radiance and target uneven skin tone and texture around the eyes.
The gamma proteins are joined by a 5% concentration of Regu-Age, a bioactive skincare ingredient that targets puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. The formula also has a 3% concentration of Reforcyl, which smooths the appearance of wrinkles while moisturizing the skin. Additional ingredients (including shea butter and glycerin) help improve moisture levels in the skin.
Glow Recipe crafts some of the best clean skincare products on the market, and this eye cream lives up to the company’s reputation. The vegan and cruelty-free formula contains a multi-tasking blend of ingredients that brighten the skin while hydrating and depuffing for radiant, youthful-looking eyes.
The Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream contains a potent 10% concentration of an encapsulated vitamin C complex, which includes vitamin C derived from guava. This complex boosts radiance and lightens the appearance of dark circles while firming the skin and providing antioxidant benefits. By encapsulating the vitamin C, this complex is gradually released to the skin over time to minimize irritation.
The formula also features a 3% concentration of niacinamide to further improve discoloration. At the same time, peptides and green caffeine work in tandem to firm the area while calming down any puffiness. Ingredients like glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and jojoba seed oil ensure the skin is left feeling soft, supple and hydrated immediately after application.
If you want a product that deeply moisturizes the under-eye area without feeling greasy or heavy on the skin, we recommend trying the Ceramidin Eye Cream with Niacinamide from Dr. Jart+. This formula has a light cream texture and is immediately absorbed into the skin, where it works to dramatically improve moisture levels for softer, supple skin.
This Dr. Jart+ eye cream is formulated with the company’s proprietary ceramide complex, which features a blend of five ceramides. The ceramides work to plump the skin with moisture and improve barrier function while minimizing the risk of water loss for long-term hydration.
This complex is joined by niacinamide, which not only brightens and soothes the under-eye area, but also supports the skin’s natural ceramide production so that it can stay moisturized. To maximize the moisture-boosting benefits, the paraben-free and phthalate-free formula is also infused with additional ingredients like squalane and glycerin.
One of the best eye creams for promoting younger and firmer eyes is the Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Firming & Lifting Eye Cream. Once applied, this cream immediately gets to work to deeply hydrate the skin as it firms, lifts and smooths out lines. It has been shown to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in just seven days.
This Biossance eye cream is made with a nourishing marine algae peptide complex, which includes pink marine algae. The algae ingredients in this complex reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and provide lifting benefits. Pink algae is also responsible for the formula’s pink hue, which naturally color corrects the skin to minimize the appearance of dark circles.
This algae complex works alongside paracress extract, which firms the skin and boosts elasticity while further smoothing out texture and lines for a youthful appearance. Glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and sugarcane-derived squalane also lock moisture into the skin and soften the complexion. As is the case with many of our other top picks, this clean formula is vegan and cruelty-free, and made without parabens, phthalates or fragrances.
Anyone prone to dark circles will want to take a look at this eye cream from Ole Henriksen. The multi-tasking formula is designed not only to seriously brighten the under-eye area, but also hydrate and smooth while softening signs of aging.
The power of the Banana Bright Eye Cream comes from a triple vitamin C complex, which combines real colloidal gold with three potent forms of vitamin C: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbic acid and 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid. This powerful complex improves elasticity and diminishes crow’s feet and other wrinkles while dramatically reducing the appearance of dark circles. The three forms of vitamin C provide antioxidant benefits and defend against damaging free radicals that can lead to signs of aging.
In order to instantly reduce the appearance of dark circles, the formula is enhanced with naturally derived mineral pigments. These pigments reflect light to help brighten the under-eye area.
Additional ingredients used in this formula include antioxidant-rich mandarin orange extract, as well as moisturizing and conditioning shea butter, glycerin and jojoba seed oil. The formula is vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates or fragrances.
While retinol is incredibly effective, it is also known to cause irritation and dryness. With this in mind, some people – especially those with sensitive skin – worry about adding this ingredient to their routine. If you want to access similar benefits while reducing the risk of negative side effects, we suggest trying out this ILIA eye cream, which is crafted with sea fennel extract. This gentle plant-based alternative to retinol works to firm and smooth the appearance of fine lines while visibly brightening the under-eye area.
The vegan and cruelty-free Bright Start Retinol Alternative Brightening Eye Cream is also formulated with avocado extract, a nutrient-dense ingredient that works to minimize the appearance of both dark circles and puffiness. Caffeine and peptides further work to revitalize tired eyes and calm down puffiness, while the latter adds additional anti-aging benefits.
This clean formula also contains additional nourishing and moisturizing ingredients that help seal in moisture and fortify the skin. They include avocado oil, glycerin, squalane and vitamin E.
This eye cream from clean skincare brand Clark’s Botanicals is formulated with some of our favorite skincare ingredients. It’s designed to rejuvenate and brighten the eye area while minimizing puffiness, hydrating and softening the appearance of signs of aging. In short, anyone can benefit from adding this multi-tasking formula to their routine.
The Anti-Puff Eye Cream is made with brightening and anti-aging vitamin C. It works alongside caffeine, which, as we’ve noted, is one of the finest ingredients for minimizing dark circles and puffiness for more awake-looking eyes. Hexapeptide-11 is also included in the formula to firm the skin and soften fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance.
In addition to these ingredients, the formula features antioxidant-rich algae extract, which defends against free radicals and hydrates the skin. Anti-inflammatory jasmine flower extract soothes the skin to minimize any irritation, while hyaluronic acid and glycerin plump and improve moisture levels. Vitamin E also adds extra antioxidant benefits to ensure the skin is adequately protected against damaging environmental aggressors.
This eye cream also earns bonus points for its clean formula. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, and is made without synthetic fragrances, parabens or phthalates.
Dark circles are no match for the La Roche-Posay eye cream, which has been clinically proven to minimize dark circles. In addition to the expertly crafted formula (which has been dermatologist, ophthalmologist and allergy tested), the metal tip applicator works to cool and depuff the eye area as the solution is being applied.
The fragrance-free and paraben-free Pigmentclar Eye Cream is formulated with niacinamide, which soothes the skin as it lightens the appearance of discoloration under the eyes. It’s joined by caffeine to not only brighten dark circles, but also reduce any puffiness to awaken the eyes.
These ingredients work alongside thermal spring water sourced from La Roche-Posay, France. This water is packed with antioxidant-rich selenium and other mineral and trace elements, and works to nourish and fortify the skin. Glycerin also locks moisture into the skin, while iron oxides and titanium dioxide protect against damage from blue light and other forms of visible light.
Our final recommendation is Holifrog’s Owel Multi-Peptide Eye Cream, which is designed to tackle some of the most common concerns around the eye area. The clean, vegan and cruelty-free formula effectively transforms fatigued eyes and reduces signs of aging while boosting moisture levels, helping you achieve youthful eyes and plumper, softer skin.
At the center of this formula are two peptides that provide anti-aging benefits. Acetyl hexapeptide-8 (a neurotransmitter-inhibiting peptide) reduces wrinkles created by facial movement, while dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate works deeper in the skin to further soften lines and wrinkles. Argania spinosa callus culture extract also helps to tighten the skin and reduce lines. At the same time, an amino acid–mineral complex stimulates collagen and elastin production for firmer, more lifted skin.
In addition to these powerful anti-aging ingredients, this cream is packed with plant extracts that are rich in antioxidants. Many of these extracts also have anti-inflammatory properties, and work to soothe the skin and minimize any irritation for maximum comfort. Mango seed butter, jojoba seed oil, white lupine seed oil and other ingredients also boost moisture levels while fortifying the barrier, promoting plumper and stronger skin.
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