The 18 Best Eye Creams of 2022 for Wrinkles and Dark Circles

Our best overall pick is BeautyStat's Universal C Eye Perfector

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

Byrdie / Jessica Juliao

The thin, delicate skin around the eyes requires an eye cream to protect against environmental damage from UV rays, pollution, and to diminish signs of aging. A good eye cream also treats puffiness and dark circles.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our best overall pick is BeautyStat's Universal C Eye Perfector. The vitamin C- and CBD-infused formula helps stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation to ensure the delicate skin around the eyes is revitalized. For a more affordable pick, consider the retinol-infused RoC Skincare Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, which brightens and diminishes fine lines.

Board-certified dermatologist Naissan O. Wesley, MD recommends looking for anti-aging ingredients like retinol, peptides, and vitamin C; plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid; and ingredients that tamp puffiness, like caffeine. A good formula should not cause irritation to the delicate, thin skin around the eyes.

We went to work and tried some top-rated products that cater to a range of skin types, concerns, and budgets. Our testers used these eye creams for weeks at a time, reviewing each formula's texture and feel, ingredient list, and how well it lived up to its claims. We then combined these results with our own research and tapped a dermatologist for their expert recommendations.

Ahead, find the best eye creams with active ingredients.

Best Overall: BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

4.5
BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector
What We Like
  • Plumps and softens the under-eye area

  • Improves skin texture

  • Decreases puffiness and lightens dark circles

What We Don't Like
  • Slight tinging sensation

  • Expensive

This line was created by a cosmetic chemist with the most efficacious ingredients and pairings. In particular, vitamin C 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 plus CBD to help tamp down inflammation and puffiness.

Our home tester found this product to be a great makeup primer, instantly leaving her under-eyes velvety-smooth, By the end of the three-week testing period, she noticed a slight reduction in fine lines and dark circles—and a noticeable improvement in skin texture and puffiness.

Price at time of publish: $65

Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, cannabis Sativa flower/leaf/stem extract | Benefits: Brightens and smooths skin | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

Byrdie / Jenna Igneri

 

What Our Testers Say

"The most significant results were a noticeable improvement in skin texture; the bumpiness I noticed in some areas of my under eye had virtually vanished, and my eyes were significantly less puffy." — Jenna Igneri, Product Tester

Best Budget: RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Eye Cream

4.5
RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Eye Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Anti-aging formula

  • Lightweight in feel

  • Has a gentle effect

What We Don't Like
  • Might not work on sensitive skin

When it comes to finding an affordable, effective eye cream, dermatologists recommend this formula time and time again. It boasts the anti-aging superstar retinol and addresses not only lines but dark circles and puffiness as well, giving you plenty of bang for your buck. The lightweight formula is non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic.

Price at time of publish: $27.99

Active Ingredients: Retinol | Benefits: Smooths lines and de-puffs eyes | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

Byrdie / Leigh Weingus

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

While it is gentle and specially-formulated for your eye area, you are still dealing with retinol. If you want to play it safe, start by using it every other night at first, gradually increasing the frequency.

Best for Wrinkles: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream

3.9
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream

Ulta

What We Like
  • Thick enough for crow's feet

  • Smooths texture of skin

What We Don't Like
  • Might be drying for some

There are lots of eye creams to be found at the drugstore; this is one of the most effective options out there. It boasts tried-and-true retinol, coupled with a glucose complex that works to speed up retinol’s effects. The potent formula can smooth out crows’ feet, and generally even out the tone and texture of dry skin around the eyes.

Price at time of publish: $20.39

Active Ingredients: Retinol, hyaluronic acid | Benefits: Evens skin tone and reduces crow's feet | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

neutrogena rapid wrinkle repair eye cream

Byrdie / Jenna Igneri

What Our Testers Say

"When I used this cream for the first time, my skin immediately felt softer and more hydrated." —Jenna Igneri, Product Tester

Best for Puffiness: The Ordinary Caffeine 5% + ECGC Depuffing Eye Serum

3.7
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
What We Like
  • A little goes a long way

  • Still effective amidst inconsistent use

  • High concentration of caffeine 

What We Don't Like
  • Might be drying for some

Whether you pulled an all-nighter or just had one too many martinis the night before, a few drops of this eye cream is the secret to quickly tamping down puffiness. It boasts a powerful concentration of caffeine—a choice de-puffer, thanks to its ability to constrict blood vessels. There’s also epigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG, an intense antioxidant derived from green tea leaves that further helps boost this formula’s de-puffing prowess.

Price at time of publish: $7.50

Active Ingredients: Caffeine, hyaluronic acid | Benefits: Reduces pigmentation and puffiness | Size: 1 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

 Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

What Our Testers Say

"The combination of EGCG and caffeine is like a refreshing cup of tea for your eyes—it wakes them up and gets them ready to face the day." Joline Buscemi, Product Tester

Best with Vitamin C: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Vitamin C Eye Crème

4.3
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Vitamin C Eye Crème

Sephora

What We Like
  • Lightweight in feel

  • Moisturizing

  • Tackles wrinkles

What We Don't Like
  • Might not work on sensitive skin

The formula is packed with vitamin C to deliver long-term brightening benefits and collagen to improve elasticity and keep skin smooth. Clinically proven results in four weeks make this product pretty fast acting. Reviewers note its featherweight, silky texture is ideal for use under makeup and it contains color correcting pigment to conceal dark circles.

Price at time of publish: $42

Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter | Benefits: Brightens and hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

What Our Editors Say

"Like most eye creams, this one vows to target fine lines, reduce the look of dark circles, and support natural collagen production—only, it actually does instantly brighten your under-eyes." — Hallie Gould, Editorial Director.

Best Color Correcting: IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream

It Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Moisturizing

  • Reduces wrinkles

  • Provides subtle brightening to the face

What We Don't Like
  • Might be drying and irritating for some

A color-correcting eye cream delivers an instant brightening effect, quickly and efficiently neutralizing the look of dark circles. Beverly Hills dermatologist Naissan O. Wesley, MD, recommends this creamy formula, which has skin-barrier boosting ceramidess, and hydrating ingredients such as coconut oil and colloidal oatmeal.

Active Ingredients: Palmitic Acid, Shea Butter, Niacinamide | Benefits: Brightens and reduces dark circles | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Editors Say

"When I can't get a full eight hours of sleep (which is way more often now as a new mom), I turn to this eye cream to help me look more awake. It's super hydrating, glides on easily without tugging at the delicate skin, and doesn't irritate my eyes. It may not look obvious to anyone else, but I feel like my dark circles are less noticeable when I'm good about using this religiously." —Jessica Mahgerefteh, Commerce Editorial Director

Best Natural: Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm

Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm

 Courtesy of Alpyn Beauty

What We Like
  • Made of natural ingredients

  • Lightweight

  • Smooths the skin

  • Bears a pleasant smell

What We Don't Like
  • Thick consistency

  • Takes time to rub in

For those wary of using products with potentially questionable chemicals around their eyes, consider this clean cream, a Byrdie Eco Beauty Award Winner. It uses a litany of different plant-based extracts to impart everything from hydration to antioxidant protection. Particularly noteworthy is the addition of bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol that’s been proven to have equally as powerful wrinkle-fighting effects, without any of the associated irritation. 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: Bakuchiol, squalane, vitamin C | Benefits: Smooths lines and hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best With SPF: Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35

3
Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Comes in four shades to match skin

  • Applies in a cool, gentle way

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Hard to apply

Opt for a dedicated eye cream with SPF to use every morning. We’re big fans of this SPF 35-formula that has subtle tint (it comes in four shades) to instantly brighten. Wesley likes the cooling, metal applicator, which can help tamp inflammation and puffiness.

Price at time of publish: $74

Active Ingredients: 7.9 percent titanium dioxide, 6.7 percent zinc oxide | Benefits: Protects against sun damage | Dosage: Half a pump | Size: 0.2 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Splurge: La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Lift Serum

4.8
La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Lift Serum

 Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Tightens the skin

  • Lightweight in feel

  • Smooths the skin

What We Don't Like
  • Pump delivery needs work

  • Pricey

The dual-phase serum blends encapsulated beads with a gel-cream emulsion, both loaded with the brand’s signature caviar extract. The formula also includes ceramides to nourish and plump delicate skin around the eyes, but reviewers note its lightweight skin-feel. Its texture makes it a good choice for anyone prone to developing milia around the eyes.

Price at time of publish: $525

Active Ingredients: Caviar extract, ceramides | Benefits: Firm and tighten skin | Dosage: 1 pump | Size: 0.7 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

la prairie skin caviar eye lift serum

Byrdie / Jenna Igneri

What Our Testers Say

"Over the course of my testing period, my eyes continued to look and feel the best they ever have. I can’t say the serum faded my faint lines entirely, but my skin was so supple and soft that they were virtually undetectable." — Jenna Igneri, Product Tester

Best Brightening: Tatcha The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment

Tatcha The Pearl Tinted Eye Treatment

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Brightens the skin

  • Lightweight

  • Blends in quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Could come in more shades

The makeup-skincare hybrid contains pearl extract, a powerful antioxidant to target signs of aging, as well as brightening and firming niacinamide. It comes in three different tinted shades and reviewers note how easily it melts into skin.

Active Ingredients: Pearl extract, silk powder | Benefits: Illuminates and reduces dark circles | Dosage: Rice-grain amount | Size: 0.4 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Soothing Eye Cream

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Soothing Eye Cream

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Suitable for sensitive skin and eyes

  • Soothes the skin

What We Don't Like
  • Small size

This formula is free of common irritants like parabens, fragrance, and alcohol, which you should avoid if you're prone to sensitive skin. The addition of niacinamide and mineral-rich spring water brightens and hydrates the thin skin around the eyes.Reviewers with sensitive skin note the calming formula does not irritate.

Price at time of publish: $26.99

Active Ingredients: Thermal spring water, niacinamide | Benefits: Calm and moisturize | Size: 0.7 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Applicator: SheaMoisture Matcha Green Tea & Probiotics Eye Cream

SheaMoisture Matcha Green Tea & Probiotics Eye Cream

 Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Soothes, hydrates, and protects the skin

  • Has a cool feel

  • Provides the right amount of delivery

What We Don't Like
  • Might not work for sensitive skin

This formula is packed with hydrating shea butter and probiotics, which visibly target puffiness and brighten dull complexions. The addition of matcha green tea helps to de-puff and calm tired eyes. We love its cooling applicator, which deposits a sizable amount of product with each swipe.

Price at time of publish: $9.39

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, green tea powder, probiotics | Benefits: Moisturizes and reduces puffiness | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Stash it in the fridge, and it will feel even better going on.

Best Gel: Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream

4.8
Hydrating Eye Gel Cream

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Not greasy

  • Doesn't irritate

  • Blends in quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Flakes

  • Not super moisturizing

A gel formula is a great pick for those with oily skin or those who might not like eye cream with a thick skin-feel. Packed with lightweight moisture, the formula has a plumping effect on skin, and includes hyaluronic acid. Reviewers note it soaks in quickly without any stickiness. Also nice: It’s dermatologist-tested, ophthalmologist-tested, and hypoallergenic, another good pick for those with sensitive skin or eyes.

Price at time of publish: $11.37

Active Ingredients: Niacinamide, hyaluronic acid | Benefits: Hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Serum: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum

4.5
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum
What We Like
  • Reduces puffiness

  • Soothes the skin

  • Absorbs into skin well

What We Don't Like
  • Might be drying for some

  • Might be slow in results for some

The vitamin A derivative in this formula is well-known for effectively stimulating collagen production to smooth out wrinkles. Its paired with ferulic acid, a standout antioxidant to help prevent environmental damage. We love the texture of this lightweight formula; sheer enough to wear on lids in addition to under and around the eyes.

Price at time of publish: $69

Active Ingredients: Ferulic acid, willow bark extract | Benefits: Smooth lines | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum

Byrdie / Olivia Hancock

What Our Editors 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, Editor

Best for A.M.: Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Kiehl's

What We Like
  • Can double as a makeup primer

  • Very hydrating

  • Brightens the skin

What We Don't Like
  • Small size

This formula makes a great base for concealer, as reviewers note it helps grip makeup. Avocado oil and shea butter hydrate without feeling greasy on delicate eye skin, and also have a brightening effect.

Price at time of publish: $28.50

Active Ingredients: Avocado oil, shea butter | Benefits: Moisturizes | Dosage: Pea-size amount | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

What Our Editors Say

"This is the ultimate, hydrating eye cream--so strong that it can also be slathered on and used as an under-eye mask. I apply this when I look tired, and it perks up my face immediately. A little goes a long way, so each jar lasts me about six months." —Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director

Best Retinol-Alternative: AgeWell Enriching Eye Cream with Caffeine + Bakuchiol

Arbonne AgeWell Enriching Eye Cream with Caffeine + Bakuchiol
What We Like
  • Good for those who are pregnant

  • Made of plant-based ingredients

  • Brightens the skin

What We Don't Like
  • Might be drying for some

Although retinol is effective, it can be irritating to some. It's also to be avoided by those who are pregnant. This formula contains bakuchiol, a plant-based ingredient that’s been shown to have wrinkle-fighting effects nearly identical to that of retinol, but doesn’t elicit irritation. It’s a favorite of Wesley’s, who likes that it contains caffeine to target puffiness. Squalane and vitamins C and B3 help accelerate cellular turnover, and when paired with bakuchiol, can drive visible results.

Price at time of publish: $70

Active Ingredients: Bakuchiol, caffeine | Benefits: Refines and tones | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Multitasker : The Route The Sunny Eyes

The Sunny Eyes

The Route

What We Like
  • Formula targets puffiness

  • Contains hydrating ingredients

  • Soft focus diamond powder adds tinted sheen


What We Don't Like
  • Tint only comes in one shade


A hero product from this luxury, clinical-grade line, this brightening and lifting eye cream is designed for day wear, with a soft focus diamond powder that adds tinted sheen. You can use on its own, or as a makeup base, beneath concealer. The hydrating formula contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to plump and lift skin, while caffeine, pomegranate and green tea extract target puffiness.

Price at time of publish: $65

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, squalane | Benefits: Hydrates, de-puffs, lifts, brightens | Size: 0.5 fluid ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-free: Yes

Best for Deep Wrinkles: Revision Skincare D.E.J Eye Cream

4.5
Revision Skincare D.E.J Eye Cream

Dermstore

What We Like
  • Clinically proven to firm deep wrinkles

  • Proprietary formula promotes cellular turnover


What We Don't Like
  • Can feel heavy if used on upper lids

Prebiotics and peptides make this formula rich enough to have visible results on deep wrinkles and those that extend beyond the eyes. Clinical results within 12 weeks makes this formula pretty fast acting. Reviewers note a velvety skin-feel that helps cushion the eye area.

Price at time of publish: $109

Active Ingredients: Alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, palmitoyl tripeptide-38 | Benefits: Firms, smooths, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fluid ounces | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is BeautyStat's Universal C Eye Perfector. The vitamin C- and CBD-infused formula helps stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation to ensure the delicate skin around the eyes is revitalized. For a more affordable pick, consider the retinol-infused RoC Skincare Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, which brightens and diminishes fine lines. Another wallet-friendly option is The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + ECGC, a stand-out when it comes to combating puffiness.

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream

 Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Meet the Expert

Naissan O. Wesley, MD, FACMS, is a board-certified aesthetic and surgical dermatologist and widely-published author based in Beverly Hills, CA.

What to Look For In an Eye Cream

Fragrance-Free

Because the skin around your eyes is more sensitive, Wesley suggests avoiding formulas that contain fragrance, which can be one of the more common sources of irritation or allergy in this area. 

Tried-and-True Anti-Aging Ingredients

Wesley recommends sticking with ingredients that have proven benefits. Think classics such as retinol, peptides, and growth factors.

Moisturizing Ingredients

Signs of aging aside, the skin around the eye is naturally prone to being dryer than the skin on the rest of your face. Make sure the eye cream you pick has plenty of hydrating ingredients like skin barrier-strengthening ceramides, niacinamide, and/or hyaluronic acid. 

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

FAQ
  • How do you apply eye cream?

    Apply a small amount onto your ring finger and gently tap—don’t rub or tug—underneath and along the side of the eye. You can also apply eye cream along the brow bone underneath your eyebrow, but Wesley cautions against putting it on the actual upper lid itself, unless the product you’re using specifically says it can be used on this area.

  • When should you apply eye cream?

    “Most eye creams may be used morning and night,” says Wesley. “Twice daily application better ensures that the moisturizing or active properties of the eye cream have a chance to work.”

  • How long does eye cream take to work?

    While you may notice some benefits within a few weeks, most will take two to three months, or even longer, to work, says Wesley. But remember that long-term use will yield both benefits toward helping existing issues and prevent further signs of aging, she says.

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.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. A skincare junkie, eye creams have always held a soft spot in her heart because the lines around her eyes are her biggest complexion concern. She loves using the color-correcting Tatcha option featured in this article in the morning, and often rotates between many of the other options at night.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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