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The reason it's important to use an eye cream separate from your general moisturizer is because the delicate eye area has different needs than the other parts of your face, Miami-based, board-certified dermatologist Janelle Vega, M.D., tells The Zoe Report. "There are fewer oil glands and the skin is much thinner," she explains. But choosing from one of the many eye-specific products on the market isn't easy, so TZR spoke with some of the top experts in the field to narrow down the best dermatologist-recommended eye creams, which are rounded up ahead. But first, some tips from the pros.
"Look for eye creams with active ingredients, like retinols, peptides, and antioxidants," says Dr. Claire Chang, M.D., a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in New York. “Eye creams with caffeine may also help with eyelid swelling.” Sidney B. Smith, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in practice in the Pacific Northwest, advises looking for a product targeted to your specific eye concerns (be it dark circles, puffiness, dryness, you name it). You can always change your eye cream as your skin evolves, he adds.
For more advice and to discuss other options in terms of eye care, speak with your doctors, advises cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, M.D. And for recs, scroll down to shop the best eye creams on the market that are loved by derms and editors alike.
1. NEOCUTIS Lumière Illuminating Eye Cream
“One of my favorite eye creams is Neocutis Lumière Eye Cream, which contains a gentle yet powerful combination of hyaluronic acid to hydrate, peptides to stimulate collagen, antioxidants to protect against environmental damage, and caffeine to help with swelling. This eye cream is preventative and helps plump and smooth out the eyelid area.”
—Dr. Y. Claire Chang, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology
2. Cerave Eye Repair Cream
“Younger patients should pick an eye cream with minimal [risk of] irritation, but that will help maintain the strength of the skin barrier. Cerave Eye Repair Cream is a great option for these patients.
For people who are starting to see changes in the skin around the eyes, they should choose a cream to help revitalize the weakened collagen and protect the skin from environmental factors. NeoCutis Lumiere Illuminating Eye Cream contains growth factors to help promote collagen, hyaluronic acid to maintain hydration, and antioxidants to protect against free radicals caused by environmental damage.”
—Janelle Vega, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of bialife.com
3. AMARTÉ Skin Care Eyeconic Eye Cream
“Eyeconic Eye Cream is my favorite [eye cream] as it contains nanoencapsulated 3.8% retinol — the best retinol percentage available over the counter. It gives vitality and resiliency to the eye area, and because the retinol is nano encapsulated, it’s extremely stable, so it delivers results quickly but with zero irritation. The sophisticated yet mild Korean formula deeply hydrates and nourishes skin to promote the skin’s elasticity and deliver noticeable results.”
—Dr. Craig Kraffert, M.D., board-certified dermatologist
4. Babor Skinovage Calming Eye Cream
“Babor Skinovage Calming Eye Cream is one of my favorites for sensitive skin. It provides intense moisture to the eye area, while soothing the skin and reducing the appearance of redness for a smooth, relaxed-looking eye area.”
—Sidney B. Smith, M.D., board certified dermatologist
5. EltaMD Renew Eye Gel
“I love this EltaMD product because it has peptides to build collagen, and hyaluronic acid to plump and mask dark circles. The gel makes it easy to layer and fast to absorb."
—Mona Gohara, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine
6. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Eye
Look for eye cream with hyaluronic acid, which "moisturizes, plumps, and smooths the skin [skin], especially around the eyes. It is a natural product found throughout our skin that rapidly hydrates skin, retains moisture, and restores the skin’s natural barrier and blocks water loss.” You can find a high concentration of hyaluronic acid in this Neutrogena Hydro Boost eye cream.
—Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D., Medical Director, Crutchfield Dermatology
7. Olay Eyes Deep Hydrating Eye Gel
“In general, eye creams should be extra moisturizing. The skin under and around the eye is very thin and very sensitive. They also should be free of allergens for this reason.” Brands like Neocutis, Neutrogena, Olay, and Cerave “make very good dermatologic products and specific eye creams.” Olay Eyes Deep Hydrating Eye Gel, for example, contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, cooling witch hazel, and cucumber extract.
—Jennifer Gordon, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, Westlake Dermatology
8. LilyAna Naturals Rosehip & Hibiscus Eye Cream
“LilyAna Naturals Rosehip & Hibiscus Eye Cream is packed with antioxidants A, C & E in addition to rose hip seed oil and hibiscus extract. It also contains B5 and aloe vera juice." These ingredients are all known to promote smoother, more evenly textured skin.
—Michele Green, M.D., board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, New York
9. Bliss Bright Idea Vitamin C & Tri-Peptide Collagen Protecting Eye Cream
"I love Bliss Bright Idea Eye Cream. It’s vitamin C-based, which I love, but it also includes a blend of collagen and peptides. This combination is really going to tackle so many areas of focus for people [...] I also love that it’s non-toxic and cruelty-free. Most people want an eye cream to either reduce dark circles, treat fine lines, or brighten the under eye. For this reason, I recommend either a vitamin C or retinol-based eye cream to almost everyone. Both of these ingredients are incredibly active and work to boost collagen production, which will help brighten and plump the thinner skin under your eyes. The brightening effect also helps reduce discoloration that could be causing dark circles. Of the two ingredients, retinol is stronger and can be irritating for a lot of people, so vitamin C would be a great place to start."
—Mona Vand, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)
Y. Claire Chang, M.D., Board-Certified Cosmetic Dermatologist, Union Square Laser Dermatology, New York
Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D., Medical Director, Crutchfield Dermatology
Mona Gohara, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine
Jennifer Gordon, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, Westlake Dermatology
Michele Green, M.D., board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, New York
Dr. Craig Kraffert, M.D., board-certified dermatologist
Mona Vand, Doctor of Pharmacy, and consulting expert for Bliss
Janelle Vega, M.D., board-certified dermatologist in Miami, FL, and co-founder of bialife.com
Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., board-certified dermatologist, New York