The 7 Best Eye Creams to Buy in 2018

Protect this delicate area with hydrating and brightening formulas

Eye creams, maybe just as much as serums, attract a certain kind of mystique. Plenty of questions surround this skincare category—what they do, why you can’t use face moisturizers instead and if they’re even necessary. At the most basic level, eye creams protect and hydrate the skin around your eyes with concentrated ingredients like Vitamin A, peptides, Vitamin C and even caffeine. Products that aren’t formulated for the eye area, like face moisturizers, can be too heavy for the delicate tissue and cause small, rigid bumps called milia if used under the eyes.

On top of that, different eye cream formulas will target specific concerns like minimizing wrinkles or even preventing them—though, if your eye bags and circles are a hand-me-down from your parents, the effectiveness of and success you have with topical products may vary.

But eye creams aren’t just for anti-aging. They can also brighten, de-puff and stimulate the circulation around the eye to wake up your face. They even act as a primer for concealer. With each product, a little goes a long way. When applying, use about the size of a Q-tip point for both eyes. Apply your cream with your ring finger, the weakest one, to avoid tugging on the skin, and use a soft and rapid tapping motion to help the eye cream skin into your under eye skin. Here, the best eye creams, from a light-as-air brightening cream to a super-affordable caffeine solution from The Ordinary that soothes puffy skin surrounding the eyes. 


OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
Courtesy of Sephora

Just like the popular banana powder referenced in its name, this lightweight Danish eye cream brightens dark circles under the eyes. As you smooth it on, yellow pigments color-correct circles for immediate results.

Meanwhile, glow-boosting Vitamin C evens out skin tone and collagen brings back elasticity and firms the skin. This eye cream doubles as a primer for concealer and even helps cut back on how much concealer you need, according to reviewers. Pack this cream in your gym makeup bag or your flight carry-on while traveling to reduce the number of products you have to lug around. More »

RoC® Retinol Correxion® Eye Cream-0.5 Oz
Courtesy of Target

Whether you’re venturing into eye care for the first time or want an effective product without dropping too much cash, this popular cream delivers. With the help of retinol, a smoothing Vitamin A derivative, this affordable product plumps up the surrounding skin and evens out dark circles. Reviewers said it even wears well under makeup, so no pilling occurs if you layer concealer on top. If you’ve never used retinols or retinoids before, the low amount of retinol in this cream serves as a good introduction. Still, start out with a tiny amount once every other day to test your tolerance. If you don’t experience irritation, build up to using this cream daily, both morning and night.  More »

ORIGINS GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff
Courtesy of Sephora

Whether you woke up late, slept facedown all night, or barely made it to bed before sunrise, two key ingredients in this eye cream will help you cover up the evidence: coffee beans and skin-brightening ginseng, all in a cheerful orange jar. Reviewers said they looked more well-rested, thanks to the caffeine reducing undereye bags and overall puffiness. The fragrance is minimal, and the product absorbs quickly. The peach-colored cream also leaves a slight, pretty shimmer underneath the eyes for extra luminosity that isn’t glaringly obvious. On no makeup days, use this refreshing cream instead of a concealer and pair with a tinted moisturizer or BB cream to let your skin breath. More »

Housed in an apothecary-style dropper like many of Deciem’s other products, this solution’s watery consistency leans closer to a serum than a true eye cream. Nevertheless, the high concentration of caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG), an antioxidant which comes from green tea leaves, do an impressive job of depuffing your eyes.

The dropper-style applicator makes it easier to dispense the right amount of solution. Use a drop at most for both eyes (one reviewer said she rubs the excess along her jawline), and be careful to wash your hands before touching your eyes (as in eyeballs) to avoid irritation.

Perfect for existing signs of aging like sallowness and wrinkles, this affordable find comes in an unassuming blue tube. Despite the humble packaging, it contains noteworthy ingredients like retinol and hyaluronic acid, which stimulate collagen production and hydrate for plumper skin. This in turn minimizes the appearance of fine lines and even crow’s feet, according to reviewers who saw improvement in as little as a few days. Like with any other retinol product, exercise caution when starting out and let your skin adjust before adding higher amounts to your skincare routine.

For fans of natural cosmetics, this option from 100% Pure is a great one. The inclusion of coffee bean and green tea in this cream’s ingredient list are promising if your concerns are mostly swelling and signs of fatigue, but what’s equally interesting is what it leaves out: fragrances, dyes, and chemicals that aren’t derived from plants. It’s also vegan. Even with a pared-down ingredient list, this caffeine-heavy eye cream brings reliable results. It depuffs, brightens and comforts tired eyes. The light cappuccino scent, housed in a compact tube, is a bonus, especially for coffee lovers.

BELIF Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream
Courtesy of Sephora

K-Beauty fans may already be familiar with another offering from this brand—the cult favorite, super-moisturizing Aqua Bomb eye cream. This product, however, focuses more on fighting signs of aging and fatigue. Peat extract, a main ingredient, is rich in antioxidants and hydrates, plumps, and aids in skin turnover, while the anti-inflammatory properties soothe and nourish the eye area. Reviewers were pleased with how quickly the cream absorbed into the skin with a light tap. Plus, you get a generous amount of product in the jar. Luckily, the product also pairs well with concealer, making it appropriate for your morning routine, no matter how rushed. More »


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