How to choose the best anti-aging eye cream for wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles
What makes an eye cream anti-aging? Tara Rao, M.D., a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group and Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital named a few key ingredients to look for regardless of your skin type or tone.
✔️Hyaluronic acid: Found naturally in the skin, hyaluronic acid draws in water, which helps to hydrate and plump the skin. Many times, under-eye wrinkles are a result of dryness, Dr. Rao says, and hyaluronic acid is well-studied and shown to help reduce the signs of aging. (Check out these eye creams for dry skin if hydration is your main problem.)
✔️Peptides: Copper peptides, polypeptides, and oligopeptides are thought to penetrate the skin and help build hyaluronic acid and collagen. These structural proteins hold cells and tissues together like glue, diminishing the look of wrinkles.
✔️Retinol: This vitamin A derivative stimulates collagen production and promotes cell turnover to help reduce the signs of aging. Because the skin under the eyes is so sensitive, the dermatologists we spoke to recommended products with relatively low concentrations of retinol.
✔️Sunscreen: “This one’s a no-brainer,” says Dr. Rao. Without proper protection, UV rays break down collagen and age your skin. (Unfortunately, SPF can be tough to find in eye creams, so supplement with your face sunscreen if necessary!)
✔️Antioxidants: Vitamins C and E, ferulic acid, and berry extracts help reduce oxidative stress due to UV rays or pollutants, explains Dr. Rao. Antioxidants also improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The best eye creams for wrinkles
Whether you’re looking for something to plump deep-set wrinkles or a product to smooth fine lines and lessen the appearance of dark circles, you’ll find something that will work for you.
A.G.E. Eye Complex SkinCeuticals dermstore.com $98.00 SHOP NOW
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex
✔️ BEST OVERALL
“SkinCeuticals has been around a long time; they have a lot of research behind their products,” says Dr. Rao. This eye cream has a good mix of everything needed to diminish fine lines and wrinkles: antioxidants, peptides, and sunscreen.
Promising review: “I do not have a good track record for staying with products, but I have been using A.G.E Eye Complex for almost a year for two reasons: 1. The creamy texture softens and eases my tired eyes. 2. My ‘mature’ eyes are now brighter and tighter than they were 10 years ago. This is the only treatment I use around my eyes.”
Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream Neutrogena amazon.com $13.84 SHOP NOW
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream
✔️ BEST VALUE
This hydrating eye cream is gentle enough for your under-eyes and contains hyaluronic acid to plump and moisturize the skin. “It acts like a sponge to pull in hydration from the deep skin layers and even the air,” says Dr. Zeichner.
Promising review: “For almost two months, I’ve had problems with my eyelids being dry, cracking, itching, and burning like crazy being in a super dry climate. They’ve been red and noticeably marred. Nothing I’ve tried has helped at all. In two days since I’ve had this stuff, it’s improved so much that it hardly hurts and the visible signs of cracking are almost entirely gone.”
Walmart Retinol Correxion Eye Cream RoC walmart.com $17.94 SHOP NOW
RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
Those who have excessive wrinkling around the eyes may want to consider a retinol eye cream. Dr. Zeichner recommends this moisturizing option because it minimizes dark circles, puffiness, crow’s feet, and wrinkles without being too harsh on the delicate under-eye skin.
Promising review: “If you are willing to apply this daily you WILL see results. I have just began noticing some actual reduction in my fine lines and wrinkles. And even more surprising is that I am noticing that the deeper wrinkle between my eyebrows is fading. Is it gone? No. But the results are truly impressive and I am shocked! I really didn’t think over the counter retinal creams could work, but this cream has proven me wrong.”
Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 Colorescience dermstore.com $69.00 SHOP NOW
Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35
“I like multitasking products, and this is three things: It’s a concealer and a sunscreen, and it has anti-aging properties,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine and co-creator of MELĒ skincare. “Eyes age quickly, so when it is used as a concealer, you’re getting ample SPF in that area.” (That’s why it earned a spot in our 2020 Healthy Beauty Awards!)
Promising review: “Why didn’t I know about this sooner! Not only does it cover my dark circles but it doesn’t crease AND even minimizes the appearance of fine lines!! You do need to apply a little differently (pat in the product) but other than that it’s pretty low maintenance to use.”
Banana Bright Eye Crème OLEHENRIKSEN sephora.com $39.00 SHOP NOW
OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
This cult-favorite eye cream is infused with vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights cell damage, helps produce collagen to reduce lines, and brightens skin. Boosted with collagen, the hydrating formula instantly revives the face by minimizing the look of dark circles.
Promising review: “I used to wear a full face of makeup daily, but with a new baby I usually just wear mascara and some concealer on blemishes. This stuff is amazing at hiding the sleepless nights! When I put this on in the morning I feel comfortable going out in public without concealer to hide my bags/dark circles.”
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