Many people use eye cream as part of a daily routine to combat wrinkles and lines under the eyes that come with age.
The best under eye cream will rehydrate and tighten up skin under your eyes, making you look and feel younger, especially when you use it regularly over a long period of time.
Looking for the best under eye cream on the market? Our panel went to work and found the best.
1. Amara Organics Total Repair Eye Gel
Amara Organics aims to rehydrate and restore the elasticity to the collagen in the skin below your eyes with their Total Repair Eye Gel. While the formula includes several very solid moisturizing oils and extracts, like jojoba and aloe, the real defining characteristic of this product is the focus on collagen-building factors like hyaluronic acid and MSM.
These compounds are similar to what you’d see in a joint supplement, but instead of restoring elasticity to cartilage, they are in Amara Organics Total Repair Eye Gel to restore elasticity to your skin. With dozens of additional nutrients, like peptides and amino acids, it’s definitely targeted at people who need serious repair to the skin underneath their eyes.
2. LilyAna Naturals Eye Cream
This potent blend of moisturizers and antioxidants is just what you need if your skin has seen a bit too much sun, wind, and dry air. LilyAna Naturals uses all-natural herbal extracts from aloe, coconut, rosehip, and hibiscus, alongside a whole host of vitamins (A, B, C, E) to moisturize, heal, and nourish your skin.
This eye cream is firmly in the restorative camp, meaning you’ll see the best results after several weeks of use, once your skin has had a chance to absorb the nutrients and start putting them to work.
3. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
RoC’s under eye cream uses the powerful anti-aging compound retinol to reverse the natural course of wrinkles in your skin. Retinol is a highly active form of vitamin A, and it’s been shown to have potent anti-aging effects in skin.
The one downside of retinol is that it can sensitize your skin to sunlight, so you either have to apply this eye cream only at night, or put a sunscreen on afterwards–preferably in the form of a non-clogging moisturizer.
As you’d guess, this is one of the best treatments for explicitly aging-related problems around your eyes, like crow’s feet and bagginess.
4. Niara Beauty Eye Cream
Niara Beauty Eye Cream is a great choice if you want to focus on hydrating and nourishing while steering clear of synthetic chemicals and contaminants. It’s 77% organic, and it’s built around an array of high-quality natural oils like coconut, rosehip seed, and neem seed.
It has several vitamins, too, so it will help revitalize your skin. It’s not the answer for serious wrinkle problems, nor is it going to lighten up dark circles under your eyes as effectively as some of the more powerful products out there, but if you are trying to stick to natural ingredients, it’s an excellent way to go.
5. Pure Biology Total Eye
Pure Biology’s under eye cream focuses heavily on moisturizing and directly delivering protein to the skin. However, its protein is literally just a protein isolate, not specific amino acids.
This broad spectrum approach is less popular than a more targeted approach, but Pure Biology cites in-house testing to attest to the efficacy of their formula.
It’s pretty well-reviewed, so it’s a good buy if your main problem is loose, wrinkly skin under your eyes.
6. Forest Heal Eye Gel
Forest Heal is not exactly the all-natural product it seems to be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Forest Heal Eye Gel is designed primarily as a topical supplement that both lightens and reduces wrinkles in the skin under your eyes. It does this primarily through adenosine and niacinamide, two nutrients that can boost the shade of the skin under your eyes and
7. Baebody Beauty Retinol
Baebody’s under eye cream is focused on retinol’s anti-aging power, but the rest of the ingredients aren’t that impressive. Its main hydrating ingredients are fairly bland sunflower oil and palm oil, not the more potent and nourishing oils you might like to see like coconut or shea butter oil.
Shea butter oil is included, but it’s pretty far down on the ingredients list, meaning that it likely does not contribute much to the efficacy of this under eye cream.
8. Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals Blue Eye Gel
Blue Eye Gel from Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals gets its name from the blue algae extract that’s included as one of the main active ingredients in this under eye cream.
The real focus of this product is antioxidants from natural sources, hence the blue algae, the spirulina, and the other green plant extracts that are designed to be rich in antioxidant compounds for fighting the damage to skin that happens with age and especially with exposure to sun.
9. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift
L’Oréal Paris’ Revitalift is a fast-acting anti-wrinkle cream. It uses an array of plastics and polymers to tighten and lift up the skin under your eyes, so it’s a fast-acting stopgap that can help you look better, but won’t actually do anything to attack the underlying problem of aging and skin deterioration.
Make no mistake, sometimes you do need a fast-acting stopgap, but it can’t be the only tool when trying to fight back against aging, puffiness, and bagginess under your eyes.
10. Olay Total Effects 7-in-one Anti-Aging Transforming Eye Cream
Olay has a name for offering plain and straightforward cosmetics that accomplish a given task, but they may be overreaching in this case.
Doing seven things at once is a tall order for an economy cosmetic, and it doesn’t have the high-powered ingredients to tackle all of the challenges it’s trying to overcome with this eye cream. It has the basic vitamins you’d want in an eye cream, but it doesn’t have the advanced cosmetics compounds to boost their power.
Eye cream benefits and side effects
Under eye cream, as the name suggests, is a cosmetic product that is specially formulated to fight back against bagginess, dark circles, and puffiness under your eyes. These can be the result of a lack of sleep, aging, wrinkles, dried out skin, or poor overall skin health.
Under eye creams typically use one or more of a set of strategies for reducing puffiness, darkness, and wrinkles underneath your eyes.
The first of these is pretty straightforward, and that’s hydrating skin that has become dried out. By using an eye cream that contains hydrating ingredients (also found in face moisturizers), you can help restore elasticity and health to skin that has become wrinkled and dried out.
However, not all moisturizers are created equal. According to an article by Dr. C.W. Lynde at Toronto Hospital published in the periodical Skin Therapy Letter, proper moisturizing treatments have a four-step process by which they restore hydration to the skin (1).
First, they must repair the skin barrier, then increase the water content of the skin cells. After this, they need to prevent the loss of water across the skin barrier, and finally, they need to restore the ability of something called the lipid barrier to retain water. High quality moisturizers accomplish all four of these steps.
As reported in an edited series on oils in cosmetics, more effective moisturizing oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter oil. These tend to perform better than standard oils like sunflower oil or palm oil (2).
Another method to both heal and hydrate skin under the eyes is by using aloe vera. A 2006 study by researchers in Brazil investigated the hydrating and rejuvenating properties of aloe vera plant extract and tested them on human skin (3).
The researchers concluded that the aloe vera extract effectively rehydrated and re-invigorated the skin of 20 healthy female volunteers over the course of two weeks, indicating that aloe vera extract is a highly desirable ingredient in an under eye cream.
Another method of fighting under eye bagginess and wrinkles is through antioxidants. Much of the damage that happens to skin comes from reactive oxygen species, which are both generated naturally and occur during exposure to stressors like sunlight.
According to a 2002 article in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, oxidative damage plays a central role in many of the pathologies of the skin, including aging (4). However, antioxidants can prevent and even help reverse this damage.
Antioxidants usually come in the form of vitamins like vitamin C or E, and herbal extracts from algae or plant sources like spirulina. Look for these in your under eye cream, especially if your face has seen a lot of sunlight.
When it comes to reversing the aging process in your skin, one of the best ingredients for doing this is retinol. It’s a highly active form of Vitamin A and can be found in several high quality eye creams.
A 2007 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology demonstrated the effect of retinol in elderly volunteers at a nursing home, who were an average of 87 years old (5).
In a randomized design, the study participants were given one cosmetic to apply to their left arm and one to apply to their right arm. One of these treatments was a retinol based anti-wrinkle cream, while the other was a placebo, but the study participants did not know which was which.
After 24 weeks, the researchers compared skin biopsies to examine the effect of the treatment. They found that the retinol treatment significantly reduced fine wrinkling and improved skin hydration. From this, we can conclude that skin wrinkles can be effectively reduced via a retinol containing product, so if your main under eye problem is wrinkles, look for a retinol containing under eye cream.
Retinol seems to be especially effective when combined with antioxidants. That was the conclusion of a 2004 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology which evaluated the efficacy of a cosmetic preparation that included both retinol and vitamins C and E on under eye darkness and wrinkles (6).
Over the course of the eight week study, the researchers observed a significant reduction in darkness and under eye wrinkling in the subjects given the under eye cream with retinol and the antioxidants.
It’s not precisely known why retinol seems to work well in conjunction with antioxidants, but the efficacy of the combination is hard to argue with, so for best results, seek out an under eye cream that has both antioxidants and wrinkles in it if you are going the anti-aging route.
In large part, a well-made under eye cream should be free from negative side effects. There is one exception, however, and that is products that include retinol, which is sometimes referred to as vitamin A1.
This compound can do wonders for reversing aging in your skin, but it does have the tendency to make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight, a condition called photosensitivity.
As a result, people who apply a retinol containing under eye cream to their face, then go out in sunlight, often find themselves getting sunburned or getting red, irritated skin.
This can be avoided one of two ways. First, simply use your retinol containing under eye cream at night only, so it won’t be exposed to sunlight soon after application.
Second, use a sunscreen containing moisturizer that you apply to your skin after applying the retinol containing under eye cream.
Under eye cream, when used correctly, can go a long ways towards reducing bagginess, puffiness, darkness, and wrinkles. For optimal results, you want an eye cream that uses moisturization, antioxidants, and possibly retinol or another anti-wrinkle compound to battle all of the causes that can detract from your appearance under your eyes.
With some patience, you’ll see fewer wrinkles, less loose and baggy skin, and reduced puffiness around your eyes in short order.