As we continue to wear masks, it’s still all eyes on eyes.
Undereyes are the thinnest and most fragile skin on the body, making it the most susceptible to damage and irritation. While there’s debate around whether eye creams are necessary, these products are formulated differently than your favorite serums and moisturizers.
Eye creams include ingredients specifically made for undereye concerns, including ones that depuff and destress; treat lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation; and strengthen skin. They’re also crafted just for that delicate and sensitive skin under your eyes, so a dedicated eye cream provides all the benefits with none of the irritation that can occur.
The most common undereye concerns are circles and puffiness, which can be caused by genetics, lack of sleep, sinus problems, allergies and health problems. Other worries include sagging skin, lines and wrinkles, which can be caused by everything from sun damage to simply getting older.
There are a million eye creams out there, but there are a few I’ve tried or have been recommended to me by friends, family and professionals that target specific undereye issues. These are some of the best eye creams for your skin type, budget or preference. A little tip: store eye cream in the refrigerator for de-puffing effects.
I’ve said it before, but Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream is my all-time favorite eye cream. I’ve also heard from readers who’ve tried it that they’ll never stray from this miracle product. Its ingredients tackle almost all under-eye concerns, including dark circles, lines, sagging and puffiness thanks to vitamin C, peptides and antioxidants. It’s thick and creamy but fast-absorbing, and it never burns or irritates my eyes.
If I’m not using this eye cream, I can see the difference almost immediately. It’s pricey but worth every penny — and you only need a tiny dot under each eye. One bottle lasts me four to five months.
Best for hydratingThere is NOTHING worse to me than a dry undereye. It makes lines and wrinkles even more prominent, which makes us all look tired and beat. Undereye skin and lips are very similar — they are thin with no oil glands, which can translate to ultra dryness. Glossier Bubblewrap Eye + Lip Plumping Cream is made for both with super hydrator hyaluronic acid as well as antioxidants that instantly plump and smooth the delicate skin under your eyes.
Best for puffiness
Made with caffeine to reduce puffiness and Matrixyl 3000, a super peptide to strengthen skin and reduce lines and wrinkles, The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream is a perfect eye cream for puffy, tired eyes. Also, I am not joking when I say it’s available for under $11. All of the Inkey List’s products are crazy affordable but formulated by some of the top cosmetic chemists in the game, so you get the results of a luxury skin care product at a fraction of its price. Truly genius.
Best drugstore brand
Olay Ultimate Eye Cream is a drugstore holy grail product for a reason. Its vitamin B3 and peptides work together to fortify skin’s strength and boost its natural moisture production, which reduces signs of tired, stressed-out eyes like fine lines, puffiness and dark circles and provides hours of hydration.
This eye cream also includes a touch of concealer pigments that help to blur imperfections, brighten up your undereyes and make you look instantly refreshed and awake. You also can’t beat its convenience; you’ll find this eye cream in just about every drugstore or grocery store.
Best for lines, wrinkles
Retinol, one of the most potent topical retinoids, is amazing for your skin since it speeds up cell turnover, shedding old cells and bringing new ones to the top. RoC Skincare Retinol Correxion Eye Cream will tackle obvious wrinkles, loss of tone or elasticity (aka mild sagging and bagging), and uneven texture, and it will even help protect against free-radical damage, such as dullness and sullen skin.
This also is made with a super gentle retinol and, as mentioned above, specifically formulated for the sensitive eye area. This means you get all the work without harsh side effects like stinging and peeling. Still, to be cautious, use this twice a week to start and work up to everyday use. Also, if you wear this in the morning, make sure to wear sunscreen; retinol brings new baby skin to the surface, which makes skin more reactive to the sun.
Best under makeup
Rihanna does it again. One of Fenty Skin’s newest products, Flash Nap Instant Revival Eye Gel-Cream is quickly working its way up my favorites list. A two-in-one eye cream and concealer primer, this product hits my top undereye concerns. Made with horse chestnut, hyaluronic acid, Persian silk tree and green tea, it will help you fake a nap in a flash by brightening and reducing the puffiness in the skin around your eyes. After using Flash Nap, concealer goes on super smooth and even, and I’ve noticed it’s also less prone to settling into the lines under my eyes if I use this product first.
Best for brightening
Also made with vitamin C for brightening and tightening, Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream contains tiny pigments to reflect the light and instantly brighten undereyes.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT