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By Maja Ivancic
Maja Ivancic

Beauty and Skincare enthusiast and the Lead Editor of BeautyBets, Maja's main passion in life is to serve equally beauty-obsessed women with the content they want 24/7.

Last Updated: October 26, 2021
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Your eyes are your window on the world and deserve extra special care. And, as the skin around the eyes is delicate it needs a specially formulated care routine to keep your peepers sparkling and looking their best.

At only 0.5mm thick, the skin in the eye area is the thinnest on the body and requires targeted support to stay healthy and maintain its elasticity for longer. The eye area can also be prone to dark circles, bags and sagging, so choosing the best eye cream should be at the top of your beauty must-have list.

But with a dazzling and eye-opening array of products and ingredients, from peptides and caffeine to hyaluronic acid and retinol, just how do you know which eye cream to choose? We take a look at some of the best eye creams currently on the market to help you decide.

Best Eye Creams

1. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

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With retinol and hyaluronic acid, Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair claims to offer visible results within one week by smoothing fine lines and brightening the under-eye area. And many users do report positively on its fast-acting formula, with dark circles reduced.

If general ‘wear and tear’ off the eye area is your concern and you are looking for a plumping and smoothing fix, then this easily absorbed anti aging eye cream could be for you. It may not be the biggest tube but a little does go a long way and it is free of parabens and mineral oils too.

Key Features
  • Retinols for fine lines, circles and dullness
  • Hyaluronic acid to plump the skin
  • Moisturizes and evens skin tone
  • Paraben free
Product Specification
  • Brand: Neutrogena
  • Model: 070501021231
  • Weight: 0.5 ounces

2. Baebody Eye Gel

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If eye bags and sags are your concern, then peek at this light eye gel from Baebody. Made with aloe vera to soothe, it also contains a peptide complex that can work wonders to de-puff and rejuvenate. An effective gel cream for eyebags, this refreshing gel is lovely to use and sinks beautifully into the skin and is hydrating enough to be used both day and night.

Hypoallergenic, Baebody Eye Gel can be used on sensitive skin and used regularly can also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging around the eyes. You just need to use a little and allow to fully dry before applying any makeup.

Key Features
  • Lightweight gel formula
  • Peptide complex to boost collagen
  • Soothing aloe vera plus vitamin E
  • For morning and night use
Product Specification
  • Brand: Baebody
  • Weight: 6.5 ounces

3. LilyAna Naturals Eye Cream

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Go natural in your eye care with this delicious-smelling eye cream which uses and advanced botanical formula to rejuvenate your skin. With those all-important vitamins and antioxidants, you also get rosehip oil, hibiscus and rosemary for natural anti-aging protection.

Safe for sensitive or reactive skin, this lightweight cream feels refreshing and can also help to reduce wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness over time. But it is its hydrating benefits that are immediately noticeable and, as it is not tested on animals, LilyAna Naturals Eye Cream is kind all round.

Key Features
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Antioxidants plus botanicals
  • Hydrates, smooths and de-puffs
  • Not tested on animals
Product Specification
  • Brand: LilyAna Naturals
  • Weight: 1.7 ounces

4. Cerave Eye Repair Cream

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Lighten up those dark circles and restore vitality to your eye area with this Cerave eye cream. Eye Repair is a potent formula that is gentle on the skin. It is also powered by hyaluronic acid as well as essential ceramides which work to restore the skin’s natural protective barrier, to slow down the signs of aging. Add in a nourishing marine and botanical complex and Cerave Eye Repair can leave you with brighter, hydrated and smoother eyes. Fragrance free, this Cerave eye cream is also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic so won’t clog or block your pores.

Key Features
  • Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides
  • Reduces dark circles and puffiness
  • Restores skin’s protective barrier
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
Product Specification
  • Brand: Cerave
  • Weight: 0.5 ounces     

5. RoC Retinol Correxion Line

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Formulated to tackle the three main signs of skin aging – wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles – this multi-tasker is one of ROC’s best-sellers. Combing pure retinol with ROC’s own mineral complex, this liquid formula melts into the skin but feels richly moisturizing without being heavy.

ROC claim you will see visible results within 12 weeks, with puffiness and dark circles reduced with one month. And while it won’t eradicate those lines, this formula does have a way of refining and softening so any wrinkles are not so obvious. This may not be for those with very sensitive skin, but ROC Retinol Correxion is non-comedogenic and a little really does go a long way.

Key Features
  • Tackles puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles
  • Retinol and mineral complex
  • Visible results within 12 weeks
  • Dermatologist tested
Product Specification
  • Brand: RoC
  • Model: 381370084167
  • Weight: 0.64 ounces

6. Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream

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Lack of moisture can make your eye area look dull and dehydrated as well as feel tired and uncomfortable. But with this gorgeous hydrating gel-cream from Cetaphil you can refresh the delicate eye area and restore a well-rested look. Hypoallergenic and non-irritating, Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-cream is suitable for sensitive skin and the lightweight formula absorbs quickly into the skin. With hyaluronic acid, licorice extract and vitamins E and B3, the result is nourished, brighter eyes and lasting 24-hour hydration.

Key Features
  • Gel-cream formula for all skin types
  • Hydrates, brightens and refreshes
  • Hyaluronic acid plus licorice extract
  • Opthamologist tested
Product Specification
  • Brand: Cetaphil
  • Model: 302993889168
  • Weight: 0.5 ounces

7. L’Oreal Paris Skincare Dermo-Expertise Eye Defense

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Non-greasy and with a light texture that feels lovely against the skin, L’Oreal’s Eye Defense is a nourishing and comforting eye cream that will become a bathroom cabinet favorite. Applied gently with your finger, it also has a cooling effect that works to de-puff and energize the eye area.

Formulated with caffeine to tackle dark circles and anti-aging hyaluronic acid, Eye Defense is a great all-rounder that is also sensibly priced. And as it is dermatologist/opthamologist tested, it can work with all skin types.

Key Features
  • Lightweight and non-greasy formula
  • Depuffs, hydrates and energizes
  • Caffeine to tackle dark circles
  • Anti-aging hyaluronic acid
Product Specification
  • Brand: L’Oreal
  • Model: U-SC-5026
  • Weight: 0.5 ounces

8. Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Eye Cream

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Natural skin care brand Burt’s Bees uses bakuchiol as an alternative to retinol in its popular firming eye cream. Gentler on the skin than cosmetic grade retinol, bakuchiol works to improve skin texture while evening out skin tone. It has also been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while restoring a healthy brightness to the skin. Fragrance free and boosted by hydrating vitamin E, this is a nourishing eye cream that can also be used on sensitive skin. A fabulous everyday eye cream to give your skin a natural boost.

Key Features
  • Uses bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol
  • Vitamin E to nourish and hydrate
  • Firms, brightens and evens out skin tone
  • Fragrance free
Product Specification
  • Brand: Burt’s Bees
  • Model: 792850892552
  • Weight: 0.5 ounces

Best Eye Creams Buying Guide

What to Look For In an Eye Cream

Formulated to soothe, hydrate and plump your delicate eye area, there are some essentials you need to consider when choosing a new under eye treatment, including:

Your eye care concerns - as well as general hydration, you may have other issues you would like to target and so matching a product to your specific eye care goals is the first thing to consider. Your priority may be fine lines and wrinkles, or it may dark circles and eyebags. You may be in your 20s looking for a light, all-round moisturizer or you have more mature skin and would like deeper wrinkle and eye lifting support. Matching your under eye cream to your own skin care needs will give you more targeted results.

Active ingredients – to tackle the various issues affecting the eye area, look for active ingredients appropriate to your own skin care concerns as well as key ingredients for overall skin health. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E as well as plant oils are a good ingredient to look for as they help to protect the skin from cell damage. Hyaluronic acid or ceramides help to plump the eye area while retinol (a form of vitamin A) can stimulate collagen in the skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Other active ingredients to look for in an eye repair cream include peptides which can help to firm up sagging skin and niacinamide which can help to lighten dark circles.

Consistency – with eye care products available as cream, eye gel or eye serum, you can match your eye care to your skin routine, with lighter liquids and gels a good option for daytime and adding a thicker night eye cream to use before bed.

Skin sensitivity – if you have sensitive skin or your eye area is prone to irritation, then opt for a non-allergenic anti aging eye cream formulated for sensitivities. Also, try to avoid any eye care products that contain artificial ingredients or added fragrances which may irritate the eye area.

Sun protection – and finally, an under eye cream which includes an SPF to protect the delicate skin around the eyes from the sun’s UV rays is always a good idea, whatever time of the year.

The Best Way to Apply Eye Cream

Your new eye cream should come complete with its own user instructions so you can get the very best results. But as a general guide there are a few steps to take when it comes to applying an under eye treatment effectively:

  • Eye cream is usually the first product to apply to clean skin, as it is a lighter formula to your normal day or night cream, as well as any sunscreens.
  • Make sure your hands are squeaky clean, then using your ring finger, scoop up a pea-sized amount of your eye cream. Your ring finger is your weakest finger and so will ensure you apply the cream to your delicate eye area with minimum pressure.
  • Now gently tap small dots of the cream under your eyes, starting at the inner corner and moving outwards to your browbone. Avoid getting any product in your eyes
  • Gently pat the applied cream into your skin, avoiding any dragging, stretching or rubbing, until the product is absorbed.
  • Wait for a couple of minutes so the cream can fully sink in before applying make-up or eye concealer.

FAQ

Is eye cream necessary?

The skin around your eyes is different to the rest of the skin on your face and so benefits from a cream that is specifically formulated to address its specific care needs.  Your eye area has the thinnest skin on your entire body, which is also dry as it has very few oil glands. This delicate skin can also be more sensitive and often shows the first signs of ageing as your eye area is regular moving – you blink around 10,000 times a day, as well as frown, smile and even crying. The skin around your eyes is also vulnerable to stress from squinting, sunlight, pollution and other environmental factors.

As a result, your eye area needs a cream that is carefully formulated to address these issues as well as to support effective drainage without blocking, clogging or irritating the delicate skin.

When should I start using eye cream?

The beauty experts are unified on this one – the sooner the better! Using a light eye cream for wrinkles before the first signs of ageing appear can help to delay and minimize fine lines, keeping your eye area looking younger for longer. And this means you are better using an eye cream from your 20s than waiting for those first fine lines to appear.

However, it is never too late to introduce an eye cream into your skin care routine, as these hardworking multi-taskers can improve skin texture and reduce eyebags and dark circles as well as hydrate and keep your precious peepers looking bright and healthy.

How long does eye cream take to work?

When you can expect to see the benefits of a new eye cream will depend on the product, its active ingredients and the eye care concerns you are looking to tackle. An eye cream for fine lines and puffiness that’s designed to soothe, de-puff and moisturize can take effect within a couple of days, when you should see some signs of improvement. But for more targeted treatments, such as reducing dark circles or an eye cream for wrinkles that contains retinol or hyaluronic acid, can take around six weeks of regular use before any results will be seen. The key is to use your new eye product consistently, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping hydrated and enjoy the gradual improvements you see in your skin.

Can eye creams actually eliminate dark circles?

Dark shadows around the eyes can make you look tired and can be caused by several things, including lack of sleep, dehydration, too much alcohol and poor diet as well as genetics and getting older. And there are certain ingredients you need to look for in an eye cream if you want to reduce their appearance. While an eye cream for dark circles cannot necessarily eliminate all those dark shadows, they can certainly improve their appearance, especially products that contain caffeine, hyaluronic acid and retinol, which also help to plumb and brighten as well as smooth out fine lines.