How Found the Best Eye Cream

This research was originally conducted by the team at See their full study and top picks here:

The best eye cream comes down to using the right ingredients on the right issue. With so many options out there, though, it can be hard to determine which one that is! That’s why the team at began by compiling a list of 318 eye creams available on popular, online retailers like Ulta, Sephora, and Walgreens and those mentioned on beauty lifestyle websites like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Refinery29. Then, after consulting dermatologists and poring over skin care research, they set to figuring out which ingredients are necessary and which should be avoided.

best eye cream

They cut ingredients that are common skin irritants.

According to Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills and clinical instructor at the University of Southern California, “the skin around the eye is very thin and sensitive and will not always tolerate the same products that your cheeks and forehead can tolerate.”

The most offensive ingredients when it comes to skin sensitivity around the eye: synthetic fragrance, parabens, and mineral oils. “A lot of [eye creams] have parabens, a type of preservative, and fragrances thrown in. These two ingredients should definitely be avoided, especially if you notice any skin irritation,” says Dr. Rhonda Klein, a dermatologist based in Connecticut.

Certain natural oils, like avocado or coconut oil, can be really good in eye creams for moisturizing, but “mineral oil can be too occlusive, it blocks the pores,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the author of “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From A Top New York Dermatologist.”

RelatedFor Longer Lashes

They focused on the three major major issues that eye creams address: wrinkles, dark circles, and puffy eyes.

      The best ingredients for fighting wrinkles — Retinoids are a well-documented wrinkle fighter. Derived from Vitamin A, they help skin slough off old cells and encourages production of collagen. Peptides, small fragments of collagen and proteins, can also thicken skin over time and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Both retinoids and peptides can be drying, so a moisturizer is also key!

      The best ingredients for dark circle — The first thing to look for in the battle against dark circles is caffeine, which shrinks blood vessels to reduce the dark appearance. Antioxidants also help in preventing the future breakdown of elastin and collagen. Finally, sunscreen was key in both protecting skin from sun damage and help brighten up dark circles.

      The best ingredients for puffy eyes — Treating puffy eyes has some similarities to treating dark circles: caffeine and antioxidants are must-have ingredients here too.

Did You Know?

The difference between morning and night eye creams:  At night, your skin is actually primed for soaking-up moisturizers, which is why it’s good to have a creamier, more moisturizing eye cream at night. Another reason? If you’re using an eye cream with a retinoid; those are broken down by sunlight, so they won’t work during the day anyway.

You shouldn’t use eye cream on the rest of your face. The skin around your eyes is much thinner and therefore needs different care! Always be sure to check the ingredient list, and if your eye cream does cause irritation, stop using it.


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