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Eye creams are often misunderstood. Scores of people question their legitimacy and whether or not they're truly necessary for a well-rounded skincare routine. After all, can't extending a face serum or moisturizer to the eye contour suffice?
In short, not really. At the most basic level, eye creams protect and hydrate the skin around the eyes with concentrated ingredients—anything from retinol to vitamin C and caffeine. They are targeted treatments formulated specifically for the delicate skin around the eyes to avoid irritation. Your daily face moisturizer is, well, not.
Now, onto the benefits. Despite what you may think, eye creams aren’t just for anti-aging. While they are a powerful tool against fine lines and wrinkles, they can also brighten, de-puff, and stimulate the circulation around the eye for a well-rested look. Even if you pulled an all-nighter (which—for the record—we don't recommend), an eye cream can make you look more awake in a pinch.
Convinced yet? Good. Here, the best eye creams you can buy now.
Best Overall: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream
This cult-favorite eye cream has a loyal following and if you try it once, you'll soon be part of it. Inspired by banana powder, the brightening eye cream addresses signs of aging and reduces the look of pesky dark circles by color-correcting the eye area. It's powered by vitamin C and collagen, feels incredibly lightweight and blends easily for a smooth, well-rested canvas upon which to apply subsequent concealer.
Best for Puffiness: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
Housed in an apothecary-style dropper, this solution’s watery consistency leans closer to serum than a true eye cream. Nevertheless, the high concentration of caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG)—an antioxidant that comes from green tea leaves—does an impressive job of depuffing the skin around the eyes.
Best for Dark Circles: Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream
Whether you woke up late, slept facedown all night, or barely made it to bed before sunrise, two key ingredients in this eye cream will help you cover up the evidence: coffee beans and skin-brightening ginseng, all in a cheerful orange jar. Reviewers said they looked more well-rested, thanks to the caffeine reducing undereye bags and overall puffiness. The fragrance is minimal, and the product absorbs quickly. The peach-colored cream also leaves a slight, pretty shimmer underneath the eyes for extra luminosity that isn’t glaringly obvious. On no makeup days, use this refreshing cream instead of concealer and pair with a tinted moisturizer or BB cream to let your skin breathe.
Best for Wrinkles: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream
Perfect for existing signs of aging like sallowness and wrinkles, this affordable find comes in an unassuming blue tube. Despite the humble packaging, it contains noteworthy ingredients like retinol and hyaluronic acid, which stimulate collagen production and hydrate for plumper skin. This, in turn, minimizes the appearance of fine lines and even crow’s feet, according to reviewers who saw improvement in as little as a few days. Like with any other retinol product, exercise caution when starting out and let your skin adjust before adding higher amounts to your skincare routine.
Read more reviews and shop our picks of the best anti-wrinkle eye creams.
Best for Dryness: CeraVe Repair Eye Cream
If you’re plagued with dry under eyes, then you know how much of a pain it is to keep the area hydrated. Not only do you suffer from pesky flakes and uncomfortable dry patches but applying makeup over the area can be a total pain. If this sounds unfortunately familiar, then this classic drugstore eye cream from CeraVe will be your saving grace.
Featuring an uber-hydrating blend of antioxidants, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and jojoba oil, this creamy formula sinks into the skin leaving the area feeling moisturized, not parched. This is also a great option if you have sensitive skin as it’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores).
Best Budget: RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
Whether you’re venturing into eye care for the first time or want an effective product without dropping too much cash, this popular cream delivers. With the help of retinol, a smoothing Vitamin A derivative, this affordable product plumps up the surrounding skin and evens out dark circles. Reviewers said it even wears well under makeup, so no pilling occurs if you layer concealer on top.
If you’ve never used retinol or retinoids before, the low amount of retinol in this cream serves as a good introduction. Still, start out with a tiny amount once every other day to test your tolerance. If you don’t experience irritation, build up to using this cream daily, both morning and night.
Take a peek at our guide to the best anti-aging eye creams on the market.
Best Rollerball: Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brightener Eye Roller
This gel-meets-serum formula is made with brightening vitamin C, refreshing mint, and de-puffing caffeine to immediately cool and refresh your under-eye area. The micro-stimulating roll-on applicator is made with a cooling metal which helps de-puff and reduces the appearance of under-eye bags. If you want even more of a cooling-sensation, pop the eye cream in the fridge before use. You’ll look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed even if you're running on just a few hours of sleep. Both morning and night, gently roll the product under the eye from the inner corner to the outer corner, then pat in excess.
Best K-Beauty: Belif Peat Revital Eye Cream
K-Beauty fans may already be familiar with another offering from this brand—the cult favorite Moisturizing Eye Bomb. This product, however, focuses more on fighting signs of aging and fatigue. Peat extract, the main ingredient, is rich in antioxidants and hydrates, plumps, and aids in skin turnover, while the anti-inflammatory properties soothe and nourish the eye area. Reviewers were pleased with how quickly the cream absorbed into the skin with a light tap. Plus, you get a generous amount of product in the jar. Luckily, the product also pairs well with concealer, making it appropriate for your morning routine, no matter how rushed.
Best Natural: 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
For fans of natural cosmetics, this option from 100% Pure is a great one. The inclusion of coffee bean and green tea in this cream’s ingredient list are promising if your concerns are mostly swelling and signs of fatigue, but what’s equally interesting is what it leaves out: fragrances, dyes, and chemicals that aren’t derived from plants. It’s also vegan. Even with a pared-down ingredient list, this caffeine-heavy eye cream brings reliable results. It depuffs, brightens, and comforts tired eyes. The light cappuccino scent, housed in a compact tube, is a bonus, especially for coffee lovers.
Interested in reading more reviews? Shop our picks of the best under-eye concealers to hide dark circles and more.