The array of eye creams on beauty shelves can be almost overwhelming. Dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles .. We’ve been road testing the best for to find the perfect one for you
The basic overlying premise of eye creams is that products for the face and body aren’t sufficient for this very unique area. Why? Because the skin around the eyes is 10 times thinner and more delicate than the skin on our face, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes also hasten the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles.
Eye creams can address some of these issues. However, finding an effective eye cream can be difficult. Eye creams often advertised as “specially formulated” for the sensitive, thin skin around the eyes or claim to get rid of puffiness, dark circles, and sagging skin—yet, in many cases, they fail to live up to their promises.
What to Look for in an Eye Cream
First, it’s important to understand there’s no research indicating that specific eye-area ingredients differ from those you use on the rest of your face.
Avoid eye products that contain irritating ingredients, such as fragrant plant oils, synthetic fragrance, or sensitizing plant extracts, all of which can cause pro-aging inflammation.
What the eye area really needs are antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, in a soothing, fragrance-free formula. Hyaluronic acid (hydrates ), ceramides (retain moisture), retinol (promotes new cell growth or regeneration) and neuropeptides (increase the production of collagen and elastin), vitamin C (collagen production), and vitamin E ( nourishes and soothes skin).
Another beneficial ingredient for under the eye includes vitamin K (inhibits bruising and diminishes dark pigment or cast due to broken down blood cells). Kojic acid, arnica and licorice can diminish dark circles and lighten pigment under the eyes. Chamomile, tea extracts, and cucumber can help reduce puffiness.
Dark Circles, Puffy Eyes, and Sagging Skin
Dark circles under the eyes come from genes, sun damage, age, and blood build-up. Sodium ascorbate, or vitamin C, can thicken the skin and help conceal dark circles after about 6 months. Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, and kojic acid can also lighten dark circles.
Most importantly, during the day, whatever you put around your eye must contain sunscreen (something most eye creams lack).
- Medik8: Dark Circles (15ml). Designed to improve blood haemodynamics and microcirculation, lighten dark circles and relieve bags or puffiness. $62.00
- Sircuit: WHITE OUT+ daily under eye care (15ml). Improves skin hydration, firmness and elasticity. Strengthens and thickens the delicate skin around the eye. $84.95
Fine lines and wrinkles come from both sun damage and your skin making less collagen as you age. Collagen helps maintain skin’s elasticity. Studies show that Vitamin C, peptides, and retinol have the ability to boost collagen production. Ceramides and hyaluronic acid also help; these are moisturizers that help prevent water loss in the skin and improve elasticity. Note you can tighten and firm skin to a certain degree, but no skincare product can magically pull up drooping eyelids or sagging under-eye bags.
- Medik8: Retinol Eye. Boosts firmness, plumpness and epidermal hydration under and around the eye. $84.95
- Eyesential. Quick and temporary fix to the area around the eye. Not a permanent repair so it is actually classified as a non-colour cosmetic rather that a treatment. $95
- Sircuit: I. CEE U.+ firming anti-aging eye gel (15ml). Helps instantly lift and revitalise the look of tired eyes. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and crow’s feet. $144.95
Puffiness is a build-up of fluid and blood under the eyes or can be from simply not getting enough sleep. Some studies show that caffeine can help circulation, which could reduce puffiness, whilst other studies show that cold temperatures are just as effective. That’s why some people refrigerate their eye creams.
- CosMedix: Eye Genius Brilliant Eye Complex (7ml). A firming eye cream to renew the delicate skin around the eyes. $79.95
- Skeyndor Aquatherm: Soothing Eye Cream (15ml). When used daily, it softens the eye contour and rejuvenates the eye area. $65.00
If the puffiness is the result of fat pads that have shifted under the eye (which is a hallmark of aging skin), there are no creams in the world that can address it