Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on the body, making it the most susceptible to signs of aging and where these signs tend to show up first. (Hence why you may notice pesky wrinkles around your peepers before you spot them elsewhere on your face.) Now, moving onto the good news. Because this skin is so thin, it’s also where you can start to see the anti-aging effects of topical products—in this case, eye cream—show up the fastest.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
La Mer The Eye Concentrate tops our list as the best overall eye cream. Packed with nutrients and minerals designed to help minimize the signs of aging, this pick is a Byrdie community favorite. A great value option like RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream will fight dark circles and puffiness while helping you stick to your budget.
The bottom line: Finding and using a good eye cream (or eye product, such as an eye serum and patch, in general) is definitely worth your time. There’s obviously no shortage of options out there, made to treat everything from dark circles to sagging. But if crows’ feet are your primary complaint, you’ll want to seek out a formula that targets fine lines and wrinkles specifically. We conducted hours of research on the best eye creams to target a variety of concerns and skin types, from dry to sensitive. We evaluated products on active ingredients, formula potency, and results. After consulting a board-certified dermatologist, and taking some of the top-rated products out for a spin, we landed on the following best in show.
Ahead, the best anti-wrinkle eye creams, serums, and eye masks that actually work.
La Mer The Eye Concentrate
Full of antioxidants
A plant-like smell
While this may not be the right fit for the budget-conscious beauty shopper, the effects of this eye cream (a top choice for former Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue) truly do justify the price. Credit triple the amount of the brand’s signature Miracle Broth, a hand-harvested blend of youth-boosting nutrients and minerals that helps to minimize the look of lines in just 21 days. It also contains a powerful antioxidant to prevent future damage before it sets in, and comes with an applicator to massage it in with.
Price at time of publish: $260
Active Ingredients: Lime tea concentrate | Benefits: Restores brightness with healing hydration | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Eye Cream
Contains advanced retinol
Reduces puffiness in four weeks
Not for sensitive skin
When it comes to finding an affordable, effective eye cream, dermatologists recommend this formula time and time again. It boasts retinol, and address not only lines but dark circles and puffiness as well, giving you plenty of bang for your buck. Plus, it’s lightweight, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic.
Price at time of publish: $28
Active Ingredients: Retinol, lactose | Benefits: Addresses the three key signs of eye aging | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
What Our Testers Say
"Overall, I was very happy with RoC’s Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. I didn’t experience any irritation with it and saw some pretty immediate results as far as reduced dark circles and puffiness." — Leigh Weingus, Product Tester
Best With Retinol
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum
Addresses UV damage
Packaging could be filled with more product
Ferulic acid, or hydroxycinnamic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free-radical damage from pollution, ultraviolet light, or infrared radiation, all of which accelerate skin aging. It's found in the cell wall of plants like oats, brown rice, peanuts, apples, and oranges.
Team Byrdie is a fan of this formula, which uses arguably the best wrinkle-fighting ingredient of all-time: retinol. The vitamin A derivative is well-known for effectively stimulating collagen production to smooth out wrinkles. Here, it’s paired with ferulic acid, a standout antioxidant to help prevent environmental damage, plus brightening licorice root extract. Also noteworthy: The gel formula is lightweight enough that you can use it around the entire eye area, even on lids.
Price at time of publish: $69
Active Ingredients: Retinol, ferulic acid, rambutan | Benefits: Visibly lifts, smooths, and hydrates the eye area | Dosage: Small amount once daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: Oily, combo, normal skin | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
What Our Testers Say
"For me, the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum knocked it out of the park in terms of firming my skin and improving texture around my eyes." — Olivia Hancock, Product Tester
Best With Vitamin C
BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector
Velvety-soft in feel
Effectively reduces eye bags
Results not drastic to some
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, including the skin, but we cannot produce it on our own. For the skin, it helps to boost collagen, lighten discoloration, and fight free radicals.
This line was created by a cosmetic chemist, so you can feel confident knowing that the products contain only the highest quality, most efficacious ingredients, and pairings. In particular, vitamin C is the star of the show. The ingredient earns major props in the skincare world, but is especially choice for using around the eyes; it can help stimulate collagen production to diminish the look of fine lines, even out skin tone, and offers antioxidant protection. This formula uses a 5% concentration of a pure, patented, and extra-stable version of vitamin C to help tamp down inflammation or redness.
Price at time of publish: $65
Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, hemp oil | Benefits: Glides over skin without pulling on the delicate eye area | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best For Nighttime
Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Face Moisturizer
May cause skin to get flaky
Another good retinol pick, this is formulated to be effective yet gentle enough that you can use nightly without the irritation that often comes with retinoids. (FYI, saving any retinol product for bedtime is a good move since the sun can inactivate the ingredient.) Further minimizing the risk of irritation is the fact that this is fragrance- and dye-free.
Price at time of publish: $40
Active Ingredients: Vitamin B3, retinol | Benefits: Hydrates for 24 hours | Dosage: Small amount in PM | Size: 1.7 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes
No7 Restore & Renew Multi-Action Eye Cream
Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins and have a role in virtually all the biological processes that occur in our bodies, including the reparation of skin.
Works in four weeks
Fortifies and nourishes
May irritate eyes
Great eye creams come at all price points, though if you’re seeking a budget-friendly pick you can nab at the drugstore, this is the one for you. It uses the brand’s unique blend of amino acids, calcium, and ceramides to address not only wrinkles but puffiness too. And we love the targeted applicator, which makes it easy to dispense just the right amount.
Price at time of publish: $25
Active Ingredients: Shea butter | Benefits: Visibly reduces the appearance of puffiness and dark circles and targets the delicate skin around the eyes | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Vitamin C Eye Crème
Helps produce collagen
Product formula tends to separate
If you want to target both lines and discoloration, reach for this cream. True to the name it has a pale orange hue, inspired by the yellow ‘banana powder’ makeup artists use to help counteract dark circles. It’s loaded with vitamin C to both boost radiance and collagen production. So much so that in an independent clinical study of 37 women, 94% of users saw an average of 40% improvement in liens and wrinkles in just four weeks.
Price at time of publish: $42
Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, collagen | Benefits: Helps improve youthful elasticity | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Cream
Very lifting and firming
Leaves skin feeling firm
If you really want to treat yourself, try this indulgence, which is a top pick for Byrdie Senior Editorial Director Hallie Gould. At work is a caviar extract that not only address lines and wrinkles, but also lifts and firms, all while imparting a hefty dose of hydration. It’s ultra-silky and absorbs lightning-fast, ideal for using both morning and night. We also appreciate the included silver spatula, which means you’ll never have to dip your grimy fingers into the jar.
Price at time of publish: $415
Active Ingredients: Caviar extract, 24-karat gold | Benefits: Tones and tightens with reduced puffiness | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Clean Beauty
Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm
Made with wild-crafted extracts and brighteners
Plumps the skin
Can wear overnight and under makeup
Could be more moisturizing
For those wary of using products with potentially questionable chemicals around their eyes, this clean cream is choice. It uses a litany of different plant-based extracts to impart everything from hydration to antioxidant protection to, of course, wrinkle-fighting effects. And because it is a bit of a richer balm, it’s a great pick for those with very dry skin or who simply want to use a thicker product around their eyes.
Price at time of publish: $62
Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, licorice root extract, bearberry leaf extract | Benefits: Blurs imperfections, | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: Dry skin | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Sensitive Skin
First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Eye Cream
Hard to apply
The thin skin in the eye area is already more prone to irritation, and that’s even more so the case if your skin is sensitive to begin with. Enter this multi-tasker. It gets big points for being fragrance-free, as well as including specific soothing ingredients such as bisabolol and niacinamide. Still, it’s super effective, thanks to line-smoothing peptides plus a long list of other ingredients that work to hydrate and knock out dark circles, too.
Active Ingredients: Alpha-Arbutin, niacinamide | Benefits: Provides 5-in-1 smoothing and nourishing | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel
Locks in moisture
Reduces dark circles
Results not drastic to some
On the flip side, if you don’t love the feeling of heavy eye cream, try this lightweight gel. It contains two different youth-boosting peptides, plus squalane, a top ingredient for delivering weightless moisture. There’s also caffeine to reduce dark circles, never a bad thing.
Price at time of publish: $56
Active Ingredients: Acetyl tetrapeptide-5 , acetyl hexapeptide-8, sugar cane | Benefits: Reduces the appearance of puffiness and dark circles to keep your eyes looking bright | Dosage: Small amount twice daily | Size: 0.5 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Our go-to move with any gel product is to stash it in the fridge to make it feel extra refreshing when it goes on, so be sure to do that here, and this gel is no exception.
Epara Skincare Eye Serum
Absorbs excess serum
Made from botanical actives
Only natural ingredients
Too watery in consistency to some
As a general skincare rule of thumb, serums always give you a better bang for your buck when it comes to getting a higher concentration of active ingredients since they’re more lightweight than creams. This one touts a litany of them, including bamboo silk, niacinamide, and licorice extract to target wrinkles, as well as puffiness and tone. Plus, you can use it not only around your eyes but on your lids, too.
Price at time of publish: $103
Active Ingredients: Bamboo silk, niacinamide (vitamin B3) | Benefits: Helps reduce bags and puffiness | Dosage: One drop twice daily | Size: 0.53 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
SiO Beauty Super Eye Lift
Significantly reduces wrinkles
Combines compression and deep skin hydration
Hard to remove
Eye cream works, but it will take some time to see results. If you don’t have the luxury of time, try these patches. Wear them for a few hours or overnight; made of medical-grade silicone, they lock in skin’s natural moisture to intensify hydration and smooth out the look of lines, stat. Results are temporary but do get better and last longer the more you use the patches.
Price at time of publish: $25
Active Ingredients: Silicone | Benefits: Combines compression and deep skin hydration to smooth away wrinkles and help prevent future wrinkles | Dosage: Six to eight hours during daily sleep | Size: 0.81 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Eye Mask
KNC Beauty All-Natural Retinol-Infused Eye Masks
Stimulates blood flow
May dry out too quickly
For those days when you're short on your beauty rest, this eye mask gets the job done quick. Apply it for 20 minutes while you primp (or binge-watch videos) and let the all natural formula do the work for you. Not only will the cute shooting star design give you a gram-worthy glam moment, but it's packed with retinol to diminish fine lines and wrinkles for hydrated, de-puffed eyes.
Price at time of publish: $28
Active Ingredients: Collagen, rosemary extract, retinol | Benefits: Smooths, depuffs, and brightens | Dosage: 15 to 20 minutes daily before sleep two to three times a week | Size: 0.28 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best For Dry Skin
Dieux Skin Auracle Reviving Eye Gel
Under eyes appear more plump
Best used with moisturizer layered on top
Dry under eyes are never fun, and only emphasize pesky fine lines, dryness, and wrinkles. To treat dry, flaky under eyes, eye creams and gels are the best solution, especially this one from Dieux Skin. Glycerin is one of its star ingredients, which helps to keep the eye area looking and feeling plump, hydrated, and renewed. It also has multiple benefits for reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, so you get the best of both worlds.
Price at time of publish: $44
Active Ingredients: Glycerin, algae complex, palmitoyl tripeptide complex | Benefits: Plumps, smooths, and hydrates | Dosage: Once or twice daily | Size: 0.68 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best With SPF
SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50
Enhances skin tone
Tint is not universal
As is the case with any type of skincare in general, you can’t talk about anti-aging without talking about SPF. Daily sun protection is essential, particularly for the delicate skin around your eyes. So sport those sunnies whenever you’re outside and use this eye cream every morning. Along with that daily dose of oh-so-important SPF, it also contains nourishing ceramides that smooth and promote healthy skin. It’s lightweight and has a mousse-y texture, absorbing quickly so that you can easily layer makeup on top if you need to.
Price at time of publish: $31
Active Ingredients: Ceramides, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide | Benefits: Smooths, nourishes, protects, and brightens | Dosage: Once or twice daily | Size: 0.3 oz. | Best for: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
How We Researched & Tested
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list. Plus, we reached out to an expert to provide you with the most accurate and insightful results.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, and Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology. She is also a member of Byrdie's Beauty & Wellness Board.
What To Look For In An Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
"Eye creams can address multiple concerns that effect the eye area—wrinkles, puffiness, pigmentation—and each issue has a different hero ingredient (or multiple hero ingredients) that can help. But what to look for depends heavily on what you’re trying to address," explains Dr. Nazarian.
"Generally speaking, I prefer eye creams that contain additional anti-inflammatory and calming ingredients that make the overall product more tolerable, since this area is one of the 'uber-sensitive' areas of the face. I also think that antioxidants are a bonus in eye creams. They protect against environmental damage and help preserve skin from premature aging. Everyone benefits from that!"
If you have sensitive and/or dry skin, you might also want to consider eye products with fragrance-free formulas.
Eye products come in various forms: creams, gels, eye masks, to name a few. They each promise the same thing, but how they feel on your skin, even with make-up application, will differ from person to person. Cream-based products, for example, are more thicker, richer, and heavier on the skin, similar to your typical moisturizer, compared to eye gels. These products tend to be more lightweight, smoothing, and in some products, extra hydrating underneath the delicate area.
Can eye creams help treat wrinkles?
"Absolutely," says Dr. Nazarian. "Many ingredients in eye creams help with hydration, collagen, and enhancing the cell-cycle, which all lead to an improvement in wrinkles." Applying your eye cream once or twice daily (as directed) can help boost your results, too.
What are the best ingredients to have in an eye cream?
Depending on your desired results, the ingredients you choose for your eye cream is all about personal preference and goals. "I look for retinol, niacinamide, or hyaluronic acid," recommends Dr. Nazarian, especially if you're new to eye creams. "Caffeine is great for puffiness, and can be found in many different products." Both retinol and niacinamide are great for targeting wrinkles and dark circles, compared to hyaluronic acid, which will provide more hydrating and plumping results.
How do you choose the right eye cream for your skin type?
"It’s really less about 'skin type' and more about 'skin concern' for the specific area," Dr. Nazarian explains. "The right way to choose is to trust the science. First identify the skin concern, and then choose a product based on the ingredient that focuses on that concern and has the most science-backed evidence. The classic example is 'puffiness.' If you’re concerned about puffiness, products include hydrating ingredients or target pigment won’t be of much use, but products, from whatever brand, that contain caffeine, will be successful."
Pilkington SJ, Belden S, Miller RA. The Tricky Tear Trough: A Review of Topical Cosmeceuticals for Periorbital Skin Rejuvenation. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2015;8(9):39-47.