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Many brands manufacture eye creams for people who experience eye bags, dark circles, and puffiness. Some are allergy-safe and suitable for people who wear contact lenses.

A quick look at 18 of the best eye creams

This article explores what eye creams are and what to consider when buying a skin care product for the eye area. It also reviews a range of products available for purchase online and discusses some safety precautions.

Eye creams are cosmetic products specifically for use on the delicate skin around the eyes. Eye creams can help hydrate and brighten the skin and sometimes improves its firmness.

The skin surrounding the eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of the face. As a result, it may be more prone to dryness, the negative effects of environmental pollution, and sun damage.

Additionally, when someone blinks or uses facial expressions, the skin around the eyes can develop lines, wrinkles, and “crow’s feet.”

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: Products list all ingredients clearly.
  • Skin concerns: Products target a specific skin concern, such as dryness, oiliness, or aging.
  • Safety: Products contain ingredients that are safe for topical use.
  • Reputable: Products are from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
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Below are some of the best eye creams available to purchase online.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best overall: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

  • List price: around $20
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fluid ounces (fl oz)
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: time-released technology for all-day hydration
  • Con: some customers say the formulation is too heavy

This CeraVe cream contains ceramides to maintain the skin’s natural barrier and hyaluronic acid to retain the skin’s existing moisture. CeraVe also uses niacinamide to calm the skin.

CeraVe uses Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) technology to provide time-released delivery of particular ingredients in cosmetic creams. In this eye cream, MVE technology helps the skin stay hydrated throughout the day.

According to research, MVE techniques in skin care products have links to improved moisturization.

CeraVe claims this product has undergone testing by ophthalmologists. It is also allergy-tested and noncomedogenic. Additionally, the company states it is suitable for individuals with acne-prone skin.

Best with birch water: Eminence Snow Mushroom Moisture Cloud Eye Cream

  • List price: around $45
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: cruelty-free
  • Con: contains essential oils, which may irritate skin

This Eminence Organics eye cream contains snow mushroom, which reportedly pulls moisture into the skin and enhances its elasticity and barrier function.

Eminence states that other ingredients, such as birch water, promote hydration, reduce puffiness, and hide under-eye bags.

In addition, the company claims it does not test its products on animals and that this eye cream is soy– and gluten-free.

Buyers mention that this product is very thick, which can make it more moisturizing than other thinner alternatives.

However, the company does not disclose the full ingredient list on the website. INCIDecoder has a list of the ingredients as of 2020. The list shows essential oils and fragrances, including lemon. Such ingredients may be irritating or drying for some and can react to sun exposure.

Best for firm skin: SkinCeuticals Eye Balm

  • List price: $90
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 15 milliliters (mL)
  • Skin types: dry, normal, and sensitive skin
  • Pro: contains vitamin E and aloe vera for extra moisture
  • Con: more expensive than other options

This SkinCeuticals product is a hydrating cream reportedly suited to individuals with signs of aging around the eyes, such as crow’s feet and under-eye bags.

Its main ingredients include soy isoflavones, vitamin E, and silymarin. SkinCeuticals claims these ingredients help improve the skin’s firmness and nourish dry skin as they restore essential lipids.

It also has tocopherol, which is vitamin E, paraffin, and aloe vera. These can help hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. The petrolatum in the product helps protect the skin barrier and keep it moisturized.

Reviews are positive overall, with many praising the product’s effects on puffiness, eye bags, and fine lines. Most negative reviews argue that this is too expensive and that they did not see a long-term difference in the skin near their eye area.

Best for very sensitive skin: Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream

  • List price: around $29
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.33 fl oz
  • Skin type: sensitive skin
  • Pro: fragrance-free and vegan
  • Con: does not have any transformative properties according to reviews

This lightweight eye cream contains chamomile and dextran sulfate. According to the company’s website, these ingredients may help with soothing sensitive skin and reducing puffiness.

This eye cream also includes glycerin and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and moisturize the skin.

This product is free of fragrance and parabens. It is also vegan.

Buyers mention that this eye cream is gentle, lightweight, and good for their sensitive skin. On the downside, most customers report that they did not see any noticeable improvements aside from hydration and moisture.

This may be because the product contains no active ingredients that target long-term skin transformation. However, it seems gentle enough that most people could use it.

Best with potent retinol: Avène RetrinAL Eyes

  • List price: around $52
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: noticeable improvements of fine lines, according to customers
  • Con: may dry out the skin around the eyes

This Avène eye cream has four main ingredients, including retinaldehyde, hyaluronic acid, dextran sulfate, and thermal spring water.

The company claims these ingredients smooth fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles, and soften the skin.

Individuals should note that the retinaldehyde may cause irritation or redness as it works to repair the skin. In fact, one of the buyers mentioned that this cream dried their eye area.

However, many other buyers agreed that they found it to be moisturizing and started to see positive results within a few weeks. Some mention that they saw noticeable improvements in their lines and crow’s feet.

Best for under a moisturizer: Bioderma Sensibio Toner

  • List price: around $20
  • Formulation: liquid toner
  • Size: 8.4 fl oz
  • Skin type: sensitive skin
  • Pro: may reduce redness of the skin
  • Con: some ingredients may irritate the skin

This product is a liquid toner with a lightweight texture. Bioderma claims it provides a hydrating and refreshing effect.

The company also states that the ingredients in this toner reduce discomfort from dryness and lessen the appearance of visible redness.

According to the brand, the allantoin in the toner soothes the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. The xylitol and glycerin can help increase overall hydration.

The Bioderma website states that users can apply this toner to their face and eye area after cleansing in the morning or evening.

One caveat with this product is it contains fruit extracts and hydrogenated castor oil. Some people may find these ingredients to be sensitizing or irritating.

Best for filling lines and wrinkles: Skin Authority Dramatic Eye Lift

  • List price: $155
  • Formulation: gel
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin type: sensitive skin
  • Pro: reef-safe and cruelty-free
  • Con: very expensive in comparison to other options

According to customer reviews, Skin Authority Dramatic Eye Lift is a gel featuring a lightweight consistency. The company claims it is nongreasy, does not clog pores, and moisturizes the skin.

The product description states this cream helps lift sagging eyelids, lighten dark circles, and increase the skin’s firmness.

Its ingredients include evening primrose seed extract, grapefruit extract, and bergamot essential oil. These may be beneficial, but they can also be irritating to some people.

This product is cruelty-free and does not contain any added fragrance or parabens.

The reviews on the website are scarce but overall very positive. Most consumers say they noticed a considerable difference in hydration and filling of their eye lines and crow’s feet. However, most buyers are disappointed with the price point.

Best with hyaluronic acid: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream

  • List price: around $19
  • Formulation: gel
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin type: dry skin
  • Pro: may hydrate and plump the skin around the eyes
  • Con: may not be hydrating enough

This eye gel aims to moisturize the skin and contains hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin and helps keep the skin hydrated by binding to water molecules.

Neutrogena claims its formula is noncomedogenic (does not clog pores) and has undergone testing by ophthalmologists. It is also free of fragrance, oils, and dyes.

The paraffin and beeswax in the gel can help lock the hyaluronic acid in the skin and keep it moisturized.

Most buyers say they noticed a considerable difference in the hydration and plumpness of their eye area.

However, some mention that they still had irritation from using the product. One consumer mentioned severe eyelid swelling the day after using this gel.

This could indicate that some ingredients may be allergic or sensitizing to some people.

Best for crepey skin: Revision DEJ Eye Cream

  • List price: around $114
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: may help reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles
  • Con: the dispenser may not work well

Revision Skincare’s DEJ eye cream aims to provide intense hydration and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and sagging.

According to the website, individuals should apply a pearl-sized amount to the under-eye area and along the orbital bone twice per day.

This cream contains glycerin, panthenol, tocopherol, and squalane. These can help hydrate and moisturize the skin.

The brand says that they have studies that show this product to be clinically proven to rejuvenate the eye area, crow’s feet, and wrinkles. However, there is no indication if the studies were independent blind studies or sponsored by the company.

Buyers seem to like this product but state that the dispenser does not work well.

Best with green tea: Skin Authority Reviving Eye Brightener

  • List price: $88
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: may reduce redness and puffiness
  • Con: may not be hydrating enough, according to reviews

This natural cream formula uses chamomile, green tea, and ginkgo biloba leaf extract to minimize the appearance of puffiness, fine lines, and dark circles around the eyes.

Skin Authority states this product helps the skin retain moisture, while people can use it on their upper eyelid and brow line.

This cream also contains ubiquinone and sodium hyaluronate for retaining skin hydration.

Buyers say this product helped calm down redness and puffiness without being extra rich in texture. This lighter formulation can be an alternative to thicker products, especially in the morning and when going out.

Best serum with hyaluronic acid: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

  • List price: $15.70
  • Formulation: serum
  • Size: 60 mL
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Pro: cruelty-free and lightweight
  • Con: may pill after application

This product’s main ingredient is hyaluronic acid. Although naturally present in the skin, its natural function does not involve hydrating the skin.

As a result, this formula uses three forms of hyaluronic acid, which the manufacturer combines with vitamin B5 to help plump the skin and deliver intense moisture.

Additionally, this product is reportedly lightweight, oil-free, and vegan-friendly. It does not contain alcohol, oils, silicones, or water.

The Ordinary also states it does not test products on animals. Most of the brand’s products have limited specific ingredients to try and limit potential irritation or negative reactions.

Reviews are very positive, with some buyers saying that it is better to use it on damp skin and apply a thicker moisturizer on top to lock it in. Some customers mention that the product can pill, but this could relate to how they use this serum or combine it with other products.

Best for temporary transformation: Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx Eye Temporary Eye Tightener

  • List price: around $38
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 1 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: may help brighten and moisturize skin
  • Con: people may have to avoid water-based makeup

This product contains silicates and seaweed extract. According to the company, these provide an instant temporary tightening effect around the eye area, including firming of crows’ feet. It also contains peptides that help reduce the look of puffiness and under-eye bags.

The formulation includes vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. This may help brighten the skin around the eyes. Panthenol, glycerin, and butylene glycol can help soothe the skin, keeping it hydrated and moisturized.

Some reviewers posted before and after photos when using this product, saying it may temporarily reduce the appearance of eye bags, fine lines, and wrinkles.

However, as the company says, the effects are only temporary. Buyers seem to agree, as some say that when they applied hydrating makeup on top, the wrinkles appeared more aggressive. In fact, the brand states to avoid using water-based makeup to prolong the effects of the eye cream.

This suggests consumers should not use makeup or water-based sunscreens or switch to oil-based products. This may cause problems for those who cannot tolerate these oils, such as those with oilier skin types.

Best for affordable retinol: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Eye Cream

  • List price: around $20
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: oil-, paraben-, and dye-free
  • Con: may increase sensitivity to sun due to exfoliating ingredients

This eye cream contains retinol that targets lines, wrinkles, and dark circles around the eye area. This can help rejuvenate the skin over a long period by repairing and building the skin barrier.

This is free of mineral oils, paraben, and dyes. It contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and keep it plump.

Neutrogena says that this product can be used daily. However, because it contains retinol, some people may find it drying or irritating.

People using exfoliating ingredients need to take extra precautions with the sun as these ingredients can make the skin more sensitive and reactive to sun exposure.

Buyers seem to like this product, with most saying it helped improve their fine lines, brightness, and softness. Negative reviews mention that the product did not work on them.

Best for sun protection: EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Mineral Sunscreen

  • List price: around $41
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 3 oz
  • Skin types: combination and sensitive skin
  • Pro: some customers say it does not irritate the eyes
  • Con: some reviewers state it gives an ashy or orange skin tone

This physical sunscreen contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect against sun exposure. It also has iron oxides which can protect against visible light and provide the tint in the sunscreen.

The eye is a sensitive area because of the thinner skin. Physical sunscreens can help protect this area from UV damage while minimizing eye irritation that can occur with chemical sunscreens.

Several reviewers agree that this product did not irritate their eye area, even when they got it in their eyes.

However, the product has a tint, which does not work for everyone.

Those with darker skin tones may find this gives them an ashy look. Those with much lighter skin tones may find that this makes them look orange.

This sunscreen has a Protection Grade of UVA (PA) of PA+++. The maximum rating for UVA protection is PA++++, so those who require extra protection may wish to use another product.

Best for night: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream

  • List price: around $70
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: noncomedogenic
  • Con: may have a strong smell

Estée Lauder states that this cream can help reduce the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and the first signs of aging skin. Additionally, it may help relieve dry skin.

This cream is noncomedogenic, which means it should not clog pores or promote breakouts. It is reportedly lightweight, and the company recommends people apply it in the morning and before bed.

The active ingredients are tripeptide-32, sodium hyaluronate, and vitamin E, which help support the skin’s natural barrier and may boost hydration.

The product does not contain synthetic fragrances, parabens, drying alcohol, sulfites, mineral oil, paraffin, and phthalates. The packaging is recyclable and contains recycled or responsibly sourced materials.

Some users have found the cream effective at plumping and brightening the eyes. Others found it moisturizing and easier to use under makeup than similar products.

However, some found the smell too strong. It is also more expensive than some of the other options available.

Best for allergies: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermallergo Soothing Eye Cream

  • List price: around $30
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 1.4 fl oz
  • Skin types: sensitive skin
  • Pro: contains shea butter for extra moisture
  • Con: some reviewers reported skin redness

The company states that this product is suitable for people with very sensitive, allergy-prone skin. La Roche-Posay also says that the cream may soothe and restore the skin’s natural barrier around the eyes.

Some key ingredients include La Roche-Posay thermal spring water and niacinamide, which may help moisturize and soothe while balancing skin color. It also contains shea butter for extra moisture.

The product does not contain skin irritating ingredients, such as fragrances or preservatives.

The manufacturer states that the cream comes in airtight packaging that prevents contamination.

The majority of reviews online are very positive, saying that is helped hydrate the skin. However, some people reported redness after using the cream.

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

  • List price: around $55
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: cruelty- and fragrance-free
  • Con: may not be effective for all

This product reportedly brightens and smooths the under-eye area, while hydrating the skin and reducing crow’s feet, wrinkles, and fine lines. The manufacturer states that it also helps protect the skin from pollution and free radicals.

This cream uses three different sources of vitamin C and gold to help brighten the skin. Other ingredients include plant-based antioxidants to reduce the effects of environmental hazards.

It is cruelty- and fragrance-free and vegan. The cream is reportedly easy to apply and has a pleasing texture. Some reviewers say it works well with concealer.

However, some reviewers state they did not see any, or saw minimal, results.

Best for eye puffiness: BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

  • List price: around $65
  • Formulation: cream
  • Size: 0.5 fl oz
  • Skin types: all skin types
  • Pro: suitable for use under makeup
  • Con: contains silicone as one of its top ingredients

BeautyStat states that this formula can help reduce eye puffiness, dark circles under the eyes, and the appearance of crow’s feet.

It reportedly brightens the skin and is still gentle enough to use on the sensitive area around the eyes. The cream helps hydrates and firms the skin while reducing irritation and protecting the skin from free radicals.

Its key ingredients are 5% L-ascorbic acid, a proprietary repair complex, and a green tea extract. It contains optical diffusers, which may help blur imperfections in a person’s skin.

This cream has a pump dispenser for easier application. According to the manufacturer, one pump should cover the entire eye area. The cream reportedly has a light texture, and a person can wear it under makeup.

However, some customers say they did not like the powdery feel after application.

The following table compares the eye creams in this list on price, size, skin type, and more.

List priceFormulationSizeSkin types
CeraVearound $20cream0.5 fl ozall skin types
Eminencearound $45cream0.5 fl ozall skin types
SkinCeuticals$90cream15 mL• dry
• normal
• sensitive
Avène Eye Contouraround $29cream0.33 fl ozsensitive skin
Avène RetrinALaround $52cream0.5 fl ozall skin types
Biodermaaround $20liquid toner8.4 fl ozsensitive skin
Skin Authority Eye Lift$115gel0.5 fl ozsensitive skin
Neutrogena Hydro Boostaround $19gel0.5 fl ozdry skin
Revisionaround $114cream0.5 fl ozall skin types
Skin Authority Reviving$88cream0.5 fl ozall skin types
The Ordinary$15.70serum60 mLall skin types
Peter Thomas Roth$49cream1 fl ozall skin types
Neutrogena Rapid Repairaround $20cream0.5 fl ozall skin types
EltaMDaround $41cream3 oz• combination
• sensitive skin
Estée Lauderaround $70cream0.5 ozall skin types
La Roche-Posayaround $30cream1.4 fl ozsensitive skin
Ole Henriksenaround $55cream0.5 fl ozall skin types
BeautyStataround $65cream0.5 fl ozall skin types

The following are some factors individuals can look for when choosing an eye cream:

  • Ingredients: Some creams contain caffeine, which can reduce the appearance of under-eye puffiness. Skin care cream manufacturers can also include hyaluronic acid in their products as it helps moisture to penetrate the skin.
  • Skin type: Some eye creams have a noncomedogenic formula, meaning they do not clog pores. These products may suit those with acne-prone skin.
  • Formula: Some brands sell lightweight and nongreasy eye creams, which may benefit people in hot and humid climates.
  • Cost: Eye creams vary in price, so individuals may wish to tailor their research to creams that fit their budget.

Some benefits a person may get from using eye creams include:

However, there are some risks. For example, they may not be suitable for people who wear contact lenses. They could also irritate the skin.

A person who wears contact lenses may also wish to check if an eye cream’s ingredients are safe to use. A 2016 study states that retinoids may cause dry eye syndrome, leading to eye discomfort and intolerance for contact lenses.

There are not many studies that look at the difference between creams, serums, and gels on the eye area.

In general, these only differ by the formulation’s consistency and thickness.

Creams tend to be the thickest, while gels are lighter. Serums usually depend on the company’s definition, as individuals can find various products that claim they are serums, yet they have very different consistencies.

The standard is to consider a serum to have a middle consistency between a gel and a cream. However, there are products in liquid form that are also called serums.

The thickness of the product usually also relates to how moisturizing and heavy it is. The thicker the consistency, the heavier the product.

For example, the thickest creams may be better for use at night than during the daytime. This is because they may be shiny or unsuitable for use with makeup or sunscreen.

To ensure the appropriate use of skin care products, a person may wish to check the manufacturer’s instructions with every new cream they try. For instance, they should check if they can use a particular eye cream with other products they have, such as toners and moisturizers.

People can use the ring finger to apply products around the eye area. This may put less pressure on the skin compared to the index finger, which reduces rubbing and the risk of irritation or wrinkling.

However, there are no studies to date that confirm this claim.

More importantly, the eye area is generally much more sensitive than the rest of the body. Individuals may need to take extra caution not to get products into their eyes, as this can cause a lot of irritation and redness in and around the eyes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also recommends:

  • avoiding dyes or eyebrow tints
  • washing hands thoroughly before touching the eye area
  • making sure to keep skin care products closed and clean when not in use
  • never scratching the eye area

Individuals may consider seeing a doctor or dermatologist if they find that:

  • the products they tried are causing irritation or allergic reactions
  • they cannot see an improvement in their lines, eye bags, puffiness, or wrinkles around the eye area, despite using different products
  • they want to achieve better and faster results

A dermatologist can help pinpoint any potential irritation triggers or allergies. They can also help identify potential alternative treatments.

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about eye creams.

Who should use eye cream?

People concerned with dark circles, lines, puffiness, or other visible skin conditions may consider using eye creams. Usually, these conditions are signs of aging.

However, in some cases, a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer can also be as effective as an eye cream at a much cheaper price point.

Individuals should give more importance to the ingredients in the product rather than specifically finding a product for each body area.

Is anti-aging eye cream drying?

This differs from product to product as it depends on the ingredients and the formulation.

For example, products with acids or retinol derivatives can dry the skin as they work to remove dead skin cells and repair the skin.

However, if the formulation also includes hydrating and moisturizing ingredients, then this can balance the drying effects and provide a moisturizing, soothing barrier on the skin.

Does eye cream actually work?

It depends on the product, ingredients, and any studies that relate to that product or ingredients. It also depends on an individual’s expectations.

In general, a good fragrance-free eye cream that contains beneficial and tested ingredients can help. These ingredients include ceramides, retinol, and petrolatum.

However, there may be cases where there are other underlying health conditions in place, which can cause these symptoms. For example, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that diabetes can cause swelling near the eyes.

In this case, it may be better for individuals to consult with a dermatologist to find the best treatment and eliminate any other potential health issues.

A wide range of companies offer creams designed to reduce the appearance of under-eye bags, dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.

However, different eye creams will contain different ingredients. Therefore, a person should check whether the cream they choose suits their skin type and any skin problems they are trying to address.