Eye cream is one of those skincare products most of us still aren’t sure we actually need. While more mature skin can really benefit from an eye cream in order to target fine lines and wrinkles (if that’s what floats your boat), it can feel unnecessary for younger skin types or people who just aren’t fussed about disguising the signs of ageing. So can’t we just use our usual moisturisers all over our faces?
Turns out no. “A great eye cream has a formula which is gentle enough for the most delicate skin on our body,” explain VenEffect founders Rebecca and Cecil Booth. The skin around the eyes is particularly sensitive (and some of the thinnest on your face); therefore, it needs a special type of product. Booth recommends an eye treatment that’s fragrance-free and doesn’t roll up with makeup—that way it can be used both morning and night.
Application is also crucial. To apply eye cream effectively yet gently, tap it on with your ring finger and lightly blend. You don’t need to use too much or go too close to the eyes themselves. So now that we know that our delicate peepers could do with a special cream to care for them properly, which eye creams are actually worth the money? Keep reading to check out the ultimate edit of eye creams beloved by beauty editors, our fashion friends and some of our favourite celebs.
1. Best Eye Cream for Lines and Wrinkles
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If it’s fine lines and wrinkles that are troubling you, then reach for a retinol eye cream. Retinol is one of the only proven ingredients to help plump fine lines and wrinkles, so it’s ideal to use around the eye area. If you’re new to using retinol, you’ll want to start off slowly by using it once a week, gradually building up to every day as your skin tolerates it. This one from Beauty Pie not only is affordable but also has retinol and hyaluronic acid to help plump and hydrate the skin around the eyes too.
2. Best Affordable Eye Cream
For under £10, it doesn’t get much better than The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution if you want to address tired eyes, dark circles or puffiness. Much how the caffeine in our latte gives us a boost, it works the same way on the skin to wake up tired-looking eyes and help reduce eye bags.
3. Best Eye Cream for Pollution Defence
Pollution can wreak havoc on our skin, and the sensitive skin around the eyes can also be subjected to our commutes. Antioxidants are your best port of call for shielding the skin from pollution, and this cream from Lisa Franklin contains Kakadu plum (which is high in vitamin C) to protect the skin. It also boasts an impressive list of ingredients, such as peptides to plump and plant extracts to soothe and moisturise delicate skin.
4. Best Eye Cream for Pigmentation
Whether it be for dark circles, pigmentation around the eye area or skin that’s looking a bit blah or lacklustre, try this brightening new eye cream from Paula’s Choice (a brand I really trust for skincare). It uses vitamin C to brighten dullness and discolouration, while plumping peptides and hyaluronic acid help to hydrate and fill out fine lines.
5. Best Eye Cream for Tired Eyes
You’d be forgiven for thinking that tired eyes need a heavyweight eye cream to revive them. However, a heavy eye cream can add to the puffiness around the eyes. Instead, choose a lightweight gel-cream like this one from Estée Lauder to give tired eyes a wake-up call. In fact, this eye cream is part of the Advanced Night Repair range, which is loved by beauty editors and helps to supercharge the skin with hydration, de-puff and plump out dehydration lines around the eyes.
6. Best Eye Cream for Puffiness
Waking up with puffy eyes is no fun. As one of The Inkey List’s best sellers, this formula (as its name suggests) uses caffeine to perk things up in an instant by de-puffing the eyes. It has a cooling gel consistency that melts instantly into the skin, making it great to use on busy mornings and as prep for makeup too.
7. Best Eye Cream for Brightening
Bright, radiant eyes can be hard to come by in the mornings if you’re lacking sleep, but thankfully, this eye cream is like eight hours of sleep in a pot. It contains vitamin C and niacinamide to counter dark circles and give the skin a shot of radiance, and beauty editors love it. It also comes in two slightly tinted shades (one for fair to medium skin and one for medium to deep) to give a subtle concealing veil to the eye area.
8. Best Drugstore Eye Cream
If you want a no-frills, affordable yet effective eye cream, then I would encourage you to pick up this tube of CeraVe’s Eye Repair Cream. This is best suited for you if you want an eye cream without any aggressive actives that might irritate your sensitive skin. Not only is this fragrance-free and ultra gentle, but it also contains ceramides to help restore the building blocks of the skin when it’s irritated or compromised. I regularly reach for this whenever I have an eczema flare.
9. Best Eye Cream for Hydration
Dryness around the eye area can be a real Debbie downer. Not only can it feel tight and uncomfortable, but it can also prevent makeup from gliding on as smoothly. This super-hydrating eye gel sinks right in to the skin to quench parched skin with moisture while instantly plumping fine lines that often go hand-in-hand with dehydration.
10. Best Eye Cream for Firming
Let me preface this by saying that no eye cream will ever compare to the effects of an in-clinic firming or lifting treatment. However, if you do want to lift and firm the area around your eyes with skincare, this is a great eye cream for restoring elasticity and firmness to the area. The reviews speak for themselves, and many are calling this their holy-grail eye cream, despite the eye-watering price tag.
11. Best Eye Cream for Radiance
12. Best Eye Cream for Lifting
Lifting the eye area is only really achievable by in-clinic aesthetic treatments. However, if you want to slow down skin ageing in this area, then this eye cream is a good fit for you. It contains peptides, which help to regenerate the eye contour and keeps the skin around the eyes sculpted.