Last updated on Nov 19, 2019

The Best Eye Cream

Night and daytime creams to keep you bright-eyed, all the time. ​
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How We Found the Best Eye Cream

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404 Eye Creams Researched

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33 Products Tested

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6 Top Picks

The Best Eye Cream

The best eye cream smooths fine lines and lessens wrinkles, reversing the appearance of aging. We found six formulas with the peptides, retinoids, antioxidants, and moisturizers necessary to get the job done. You’ll need to wear any cream daily for months to see effects on eye wrinkles and elasticity, but, in the meantime, their silky skin-feel and pleasant scent make them a joy to apply.

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The 6 Best Eye Creams

    Finalists for Eye Cream
    Our six top picks and five runners-up for best eye cream.

    Our Eye Cream Review: Summed Up

    Kate Somer-
    ville Line Release
    Youth to the People
    Skin
    Medica
    Mizon Collagen Power
    Botanics All Bright
    Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release
    The Best
    Medium-Weight Eye Cream
    Lightweight Night Cream
    Heavy-Duty NightCream
    Medium-Weight Day Cream
    Lightweight Day Cream
    Heavy-Duty Day Cream
    Retinoids
    Peptides
    Alpha-
    hydroxy acid
    Fragrance- & mineral oil-free

    The Best Eye Cream for Nighttime Use

    Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream

    Best Night Cream (Medium Coverage)
    Kate Somerville

    Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream

    Pros

    Perfect medium consistency
    Precise dispenser
    Fragrance free

    Cons

    Pricey

    Why we chose it

    Perfect medium consistency

    Looking for a retinoid-based eye cream for wrinkles? A medium-weight formula is the best place to start if you have normal skin. Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream leaves your skin feeling hydrated and refreshed, with a substantial-enough consistency that you still feel the cream’s moisture on your skin 20 minutes or so after applying moisturized, but without the side-effect of greasiness.

    Precise dispenser

    Kate Somerville comes in a pump dispenser, our favorite container style for this product, which doles out precise amounts of eye cream as needed.

    Fragrance-free

    While other designer options carry a lightly floral (almost medicinal) scent on the first whiff, Kate Somerville is virtually odorless. Lack of perfume is important for skin sensitivity, but it’s also a boon if you are turned off by beauty products with potent or lingering odors.

    Points to consider

    Pricey

    Over a hundred dollars for a small pump bottle, Kate Somerville’s formula soothes your face but not necessarily your budget. But ultimately, it’s better to spend money on an effective, quality product like this one than on a slew of unsatisfactory pretenders.

    Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Eye Cream

    Best Night Cream (Light Coverage)
    Youth to the People

    Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Eye Cream

    Pros

    Quick absorbing
    Tester favorite
    Paraben-free

    Cons

    Comes in a jar

    Why we chose it

    Quick absorbing

    Lightweight night creams absorb quickly: After a minute or two, it might be hard to tell you’ve put anything on. We’d recommend this category for people with oily skin — or for anyone who doesn’t like the texture of heavy lotions. Of the many we tried, Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Eye Cream was the clear standout. It received the highest absorbency rating of all our retinol-based night eye cream and left our skin feeling smooth and soft.

    Tester favorite

    YTTP holds the honor of being our testers’ absolute favorite — more people called it out as being “the best eye cream” than any other cream we had them try.

    Paraben-free

    The jury is still out on whether parabens are as dangerous in low, repeated doses as some report. But if keeping the preservative out of your beauty regime is important to you, you’ll be glad to hear that YTTP is clear of it — the only eye cream out of all our top picks that can make this claim.

    Points to consider

    Comes in a jar

    YTTP has many positives, but it also has one notable downside: It comes in a jar, which exposes the ingredients inside to air and light more than a pump or squeeze-tube would. To preserve the potency of the cream, you’ll want to be extra careful to apply it only after washing your hands and store it in a dark, cool spot.

    SkinMedica Uplifting Eye Serum

    Best Night Cream (Heavy Coverage)
    SkinMedica

    SkinMedica Uplifting Eye Serum

    Pros

    Extra hydration for dry skin

    Cons

    Not compatible with sensitive or oily skin

    Why we chose it

    Extra hydration for dry skin

    Only one of our retinoid-based products had truly heavy coverage: SkinMedica Uplifting Eye Serum. If you have extremely dry skin, SkinMedica has the power to provide an extra level of hydration that we didn’t get anywhere else, with one tester describing the cream as “thick and luxurious.”

    Points to consider

    Not compatible with sensitive or oily skin

    Most of our testers weren’t huge fans of this option. It was repeatedly called out for being sticky and “gloopy,” and several testers felt that it didn’t absorb into their skin at all, instead of sitting on top like the sunscreen your mom once dolloped on your nose. It all comes down to skin type and personal preference: What feels overpowering on oily skin is likely to be a blessed relief to someone battling constant dryness.

    The Best Eye Cream for Daytime Use

    Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream

    Best Day Cream (Medium Coverage)
    Mizon

    Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream

    Pros

    Smooth and absorbent
    Easy-to-use dispenser
    Affordable

    Cons

    Slightly oily residue

    Why we chose it

    Smooth and absorbent

    If you’re looking for a peptide-based formula that can be worn during the day, coupled with middle-of-the-road absorbency, Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream is a sure bet. Testers noted that their skin felt smooth and moisturized with a thin residue that lingers like a layer of hydrating makeup.

    Easy-to-use dispenser

    Testers had no trouble dispensing the right amounts with Mizon’s basic squeeze tube.

    Affordable

    Mizon retails for just under $10 — a steal in a market of hyper-expensive potions.

    Points to consider

    Slightly oily residue

    If you’re someone who’s tempted to wash your hands after smoothing cream on them, then the barely-there residue of Mizon might drive you crazy. The hydration lovers among us found the lingering sensation of moisture to be just the after-effect they were looking for.

    Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On

    Best Day Cream (Light Coverage)
    Botanics

    Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On

    Pros

    Incredibly lightweight
    Genius application
    Great price

    Cons

    Hard to ration

    Why we chose it

    Incredibly lightweight

    For a lightweight, fast-absorbing day cream, Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On was our testers’ favorite. Skin feels smooth and moisturized with a barely-there layer of soothing, “invisible” coverage from this natural eye cream.

    Genius application

    Testers also loved the application style. Botanics uses a squeeze tube with a metal roller ball that feels wonderfully cool under their eyes. A perky little morning wake-up, and a two-in-one boost to your daily prep if you’re also concerned with puffiness. You could even go a step further and store it in the fridge.

    Great price

    Hovering between ten and twenty bucks, this smartly designed and formulated day cream is a bargain that feels like a splurge.

    Points to consider

    Hard to ration

    We unanimously loved the ease and fun of the roller ball applicator, but noted that this application style does make it trickier to tell exactly how much product you’re using.

    Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Eye Cream with Peptides

    Best Day Cream (Heavy Coverage)
    Skin Laundry

    Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Eye Cream with Peptides

    Pros

    Creamy feel
    Tidy and precise packaging

    Cons

    Not the best for oily or sensitive skin

    Why we chose it

    Creamy feel

    Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Eye Cream with Peptides leaves behind a silky, creamy skin-feel that testers pegged as one of their favorites. Unlike other thick creams, this one absorbs fairly rapidly. Your skin will feel nourished and moisturized, rather than greasy or sticky.

    Tidy and precise packaging

    Skin Laundry comes packaged in a tube, which makes it easy to dispense tiny, accurate amounts.

    Points to consider

    Not the best for oily or sensitive skin

    While Skin Laundry’s luxurious consistency didn’t bother even testers who typically stay away from thick creams, know that if you have easily irritated skin, its density may prove over-slick or clogging.

    How We Chose the Best Eye Cream

    Lots of options

    We started by compiling a list of every eye cream we could find — 404 of them. We pulled from popular online beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora plus retailers like Walgreens and Target, then we added in recommendations by established beauty brands like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Refinery29. Next, we reached out to dermatologists and cosmetic chemists for help deciphering ingredients and bold marketing claims.

    No drying or irritating ingredients

    “The skin around the eye is very thin and sensitive,” Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse told us, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills and clinical instructor at USC. “It won’t always tolerate the same products that your cheeks and forehead can tolerate.”

    To ensure a safe and soothing formula, we avoided fragrances and other known skin sensitizers: ingredients like lemon or mint to which your skin may develop an allergic reaction over time. We also ditched products with drying alcohols — denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol. These can eventually hurt the skin’s ability to retain moisture.

    Moisturizing sodium hyaluronate

    As we get older, our skin’s regeneration slows down by as much as 30% to 50%, losing elasticity and fullness. To combat this trend, you need moisture to repair and regenerate and collagen to build new, healthy skin.

    The one moisturizing ingredient that our experts unanimously champion: hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is most effective when it can reach the deeper layers of the skin (which is why it is a common ingredient for fillers and injections). Because it has a hard time getting past the outer layer of skin, HA’s salt derivative — sodium hyaluronate — is the best version for topical treatment.

    Wrinkle-fighting peptides or retinoids

    For collagen production, you need peptides or retinoids. Retinoids, related to Vitamin A, work more quickly than peptides to help skin slough off old cells and produce new ones. At high concentrations, you’re likely to see improvements in undereye wrinkles, skin thickness, and skin elasticity within four months. But the stronger and more effective the retinoid, the harsher it is. Peptides, newer to the field and less documented, has less risk of irritating the delicate skin around the eye area. A product with peptides or retinoids is the closest you can come to a true anti-aging eye cream.

    Skin-protecting antioxidants

    Apart from time itself, the main culprit behind skin damage is the sun. That’s why faces and hands tend to look more aged than chests or backs. Sunscreen is your biggest ally here, but antioxidants are also key in preventing skin cell damage. We ensured all of our finalists contain effective antioxidants.

    How to find the right eye cream for you

    Decide when you want to apply eye cream

    Do you prefer a morning routine to get you going or a night time routine to calm you down? That’s one consideration, the other is whether or not you want to use retinoids. These are present in night creams exclusively, and they remain the most fast-acting and well-researched anti-wrinkle agent on the market.

    “Retinoids are one of the most important ingredients in a skin care product. Most people should be using them.”


    Dr. Steven Greene Board-Certified Dermatologist, Medical Director, Advanced Dermatology & Laser Institute of Seattle

    That said, this class of ingredient becomes ineffective when exposed to sunlight. Day creams contain peptides, a more recent entrant to anti-aging science that’s less sensitive to sunlight and less likely to irritate skin. The flipside: expect to wait longer for results.

    Choose between light, medium, and heavy consistencies

    Next, decide whether you prefer a lightweight lotion that absorbs quickly — like Youth to the People (retinoid) and Botanics All Bright (peptide) — or a richer cream that lingers on the skin, like Skin Laundry (retinoid) or SkinMedica (peptide). If you’re not sure where to start, we’d suggest the medium-weight coverage offered by Kate Somerville’s Line Release retinoid cream or Mizon’s peptide cream.

    Avoid pots or jars

    The less contact your eye cream has with air and sunlight, the better. Retinoids degrade when exposed to light and oxygen, becoming less effective, and peptides may also be susceptible to oxidation. Pumps and tubes are better at protecting their contents than open pots, and also make portioning out a small dab of product easier. Lack of portion control is an annoyance, but also a waste, particularly if you plump for a luxury favorite.

    Integrate slowly

    Whether you choose a retinoid- or peptide-based product, take your time adding new ingredients to your skin care routine, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Starting by applying the cream once or twice a week, and give your skin time to adjust to the new routine. This is an easy way to check whether your skin is sensitive to the ingredients in your new eye cream — irritated skin will feel itchy and look red. If you’re using a retinoid-based night cream, irritation or redness may be a sign to switch to a peptide-based day cream instead.

    Eye Cream FAQ

    More Skin Care Reviews

    We have been taking a magnifying glass to ingredient lists for years, and along the way we’ve built up relationships with dermatologists and amassed a lot of valuable information about what’s helpful and harmful in skin care. Check out our favorite products in the reviews below.

    About the Authors

    The Reviews.com staff is dedicated to providing you with all the deep-dive details. Our writers, researchers, and editors came together from Charlotte, Seattle, San Juan, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Chicago to put this review together.