It's understandable to be self-conscious about the skin surrounding eyes. This area can be ultra-sensitive to what seems to be a long list of culprits—certain foods, a lack of sleep, too many tears, and the all-too-obvious passage of time, for instance—and sometimes it feels as though nothing can be done to smooth and tighten its appearance. That is, unless you select the right eye cream.
"An optimal eye cream can help tighten this thin eyelid skin, preventing wrinkles and eye bags," says dermatologist Ronald Moy, MD, of MFC Dermatology in Beverly Hills and the founder of DNA Renewal skincare.
In the years that Moy has focused on treatments and products that help reverse the wrinkles and sags that tend to occur around eyes, he's found that there are a few ingredients that make an eye cream "optimal." The first and most important one, he says, is epidermal growth factor, which boosts the collagen production needed for skin to appear more youthful. "It has been proven to 'thicken' under-eye skin over time and counteract bone loss," he says.
Other active ingredients like algae and plankton are also best since they can combat environmental damage brought on by sun exposure. Lastly, Moy says that brightening agents should also be considered for their ability to diminish the look of dark circles.
So don't let that self-consciousness get the best of you. Given Moy's easy-to-follow instructions, the four eye creams that he would recommend—which include these must-have ingredients—are sure to bring results fast. And if you really want to weigh your options, we found six more picks that have gotten the seal of approval from Sephora shoppers, just because.
"Ingredients that contain epidermal growth factor and DNA repair enzymes like the DNA Eye Balm make for the best eye creams," he says. It also contains the algae and plankton he recommends, too.
"This also repairs and brightens dark circles and prevent further damage," he notes.
Other than helping to de-puff and sooth eyelids, Moy says that this cream is also a "good moisturizer" that will help keep this area hydrated—therefore keeping wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
Although Moy does note that this option is much more of a splurge than his other recommendations, La Mer's serum can treat dark circles, prompt circulation, and build elasticity. In other words, the cost can definitely be worth it.
This popular day-to-night eye cream works on all skin types and has been proven to smooth out wrinkles, promote moisture, and block against environmental damage. Its key ingredient, black tea ferment, also brightens skin.
Thanks to its five forms of vitamin C and eight peptides, this award-winning pick manages to soften and smooth skin as it illuminates and strengthens it.
If you've been noticing that your eyelids are dry, then this option from Kiehl's—which is specially formulated to boost hydration using avocado oil and shea butter—is a wise choice.
All skin types can benefit from the high-performance retinoid in this cream, which lessens the appearance of dark circles and fine lines as it prompts collagen production.
Amino acids, organic acids, vitamins, and a peptide combine in this pick, which spurs cell renewal, diminishes wrinkles, and leaves skin feeling firm yet soft.
This non-toxic and fragrance-free option uses hyaluronic acid to create a smoother skin appearance, and its natural plant complex fights against puffiness and dark circles.