These Powerful Eye Serums Are Like Amped-Up Versions Of Your Favorite Eye Creams

The Zoe Report/Amazon

The skin around your eyes is basically the bone china of your face: Thin, fragile, shows everything going on underneath, whether sun damage or a lack of sleep over the past several years. The best eye serums can help keep that all under wraps. Unlike eye creams, which mainly moisturize, serums are packed with higher concentrations of active ingredients (like hyaluronic acid, collagen, amino acids, retinol, and antioxidants) that target specific concerns (like inflammation, a loss of elasticity, and dark circles). So naturally, the best one for you will depend on what exactly you're hoping to achieve.

Most of these serums can be used day or night. But, just like the serums you use on the rest of your face, they’ll be even more effective applied overnight, when your skin naturally regenerates. Another tip: Although all of these serums contain some kind of hydrating ingredient, they may not be moisturizing enough on their own if your skin runs dry. Follow it up with a richer eye cream to double down on the treatment’s effects, and alleviate any tightness or dryness that serum didn’t address.

With that in mind, scroll on to shop six of the best eye serums on the market right now.

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The Best-Selling Serum

The relatively low price tag on this popular Vichy eye serum belies its impressive formula, which targets virtually every common under-eye concern: There’s brightening caffeine, hydrating hyaluronic acid, revitalizing adenosine, and chlorella extract for strengthening the delicate skin around your eyes. Mineral water also helps soothe redness and irritation, which makes this fragrance-free serum eminently suitable for people with sensitive skin. Hence why this has garnered well over 2,000 five-star Amazon ratings, and counting.


The Retinol Serum

When in doubt, pick something with retinol. This vitamin A derivative triggers collagen production to help promote firmer, brighter-looking skin — all of which your under eyes could probably use more of. Although you can use whatever retinol you’re using on the rest of your face under your eyes as well, this Murad eye serum is a gentler option. This contains both a fast-acting and a time-released retinoid, so its effects will keep working for hours after you apply it (ideally at night). Pomegranate seed oil and cotton wool grass extract deliver a full day’s worth of hydration, though if you have dry skin, you’ll probably still need to layer an eye cream over top.


The Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is another desert-island ingredient — it’s a powerful antioxidant that works to prevent and repair free radical damage, which will help revitalize and brighten up your skin. This Dermalogica eye serum contains a bioavailable (or highly absorptive) form of vitamin C, while chia seed oil and arjun tree extract offer replenishing and firming benefits. One Amazon reviewer commented that they saw an improvement in their skin’s tightness and radiance within three days of use, and pretty much everyone loves its light, refreshing feel. Apply this in the morning to help keep your skin protected from environmental aggressors (i.e., the sun) all day long. The light, citrus-y scent may help wake you up, too.


The Strengthening Serum

Fortifying your delicate under-eye skin with proteins and amino acids, like the kinds in this Elemis eye serum, can help reduce the look of unwanted dark circles, puffiness, and everything else that ultra-thin skin reveals. This serum features serine, valine, proline, arginine, and hydrolyzed wheat protein, to name just a few, while hyaluronic acid helps with plumping and smoothing. One Amazon reviewer dubbed this a “miracle in a jar,” but I’m inclined to think of it as a topical protein shake.


The Illuminating Serum

This Naturopathica serum includes very finely milled mica and silica, the same minerals that give makeup their shimmer. Your under-eyes won’t sparkle like you just packed Fenty Killawatt highlighter on there, but instead, they'll look softly, naturally luminous. Meanwhile, anti-inflammatory vitamin K helps reduce puffiness, and a good amount of lightweight plant oils (like camellia, grape seed, and antioxidant-packed sea buckthorn) provide a soothing, nourishing feel.


The Power-Packed Serum

This Dr. Dennis Gross serum combines everything we’ve talked about today — retinol, antioxidants, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and strengthening peptides — to create one truly unstoppable eye serum. Because he is an overachiever, Dr. Gross also threw almost every other high-performing skin care ingredient in here, like glycolic acid, cica, panthenol, and ubiquinone, one of the most potent antioxidants ever. If you like this formula, there’s a Retinol + Ferulic moisturizer, solution, and neck cream to match.