The skin surrounding the eye area can be ultra-sensitive to what seems like 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. However, with a combination of a few lifestyle changes (such as upping your hydration, getting enough sleep, and good sun protection hygiene), as well as a solid eye cream, smooth sailing is in reach.
"An optimal eye cream can help tighten this thin eyelid skin, preventing wrinkles and eye bags," says dermatologist Ronald Moy, MD, FAAD, of MFC Dermatology in Beverly Hills, and the founder of DNA Renewal skincare.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Ronald Moy is a cosmetic surgeon, lecturer, and author. Dr. Moy is also a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, and has published more than 200 scholarly articles on cosmetic and dermatologic surgery.
In the years that Moy has focused on treatments and products that help reverse wrinkles and sags that tend to occur around eyes, he's found 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 to combat environmental damage brought on by sun exposure. Lastly, Moy recommends considering brightening agents for their ability to diminish the look of dark circles.
How to Apply Eye Cream
To apply eye cream, place a pea-sized dollop of cream on your ring finger and dot around eye area in a semi-circle, from the inside corner around to the brow bone. Then tap to work the product into your skin; try to avoid pulling or stretching as the skin around your eyes is delicate. And, when adding a new skincare product to your routine, be patient for best results. Most products takes at least several weeks of consistent use before changes occur.
That said, which products works best? Scroll down for dermatologist recommended eye cream picks, according to Moy. We also scoured Sephora's top reviews to bring you six more products for a total of 10 best eye creams to try.
"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 algae and plankton ingredients he recommends.
"This also repairs and brightens dark circles and prevent further damage," he notes.
Other than helping to de-puff and soothe 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.
Below, read on for top eye creams, according to Sephora product reviews.
This popular day-to-night eye cream works on all skin types, and clinical studies have shown it 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.
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 ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid to create a smoother skin appearance, and its natural plant complex fights against puffiness and dark circles.