Call me Pollyanna, but I think it's safe to assume that the majority of the world’s population is uninterested in contributing to animal cruelty in the name of buying skin care products, whether they’re self-proclaimed animal lovers or not. And considering how
good the best cruelty-free eye creams are, that’s actually a pretty simple request to fulfill. Brightening, firming, plumping, hydrating, rejuvenating: These eye creams do it all, and they just so happen to hail from brands that are certified cruelty-free. Read more: The 13 Best Dermatologist-Recommended Eye Creams In 2021
The caveat: The
FDA doesn’t regulate the term “cruelty-free” on cosmetics labeling. That means companies can claim that their finished products are cruelty-free, though they may have contracted raw materials suppliers or labs that do conduct animal testing. So in the absence of federal regulation, the safest way to ensure that a brand is truly cruelty-free, throughout every step of the production process, is to check that they’re certified by Leaping Bunny or PETA — as every company on this list is.
Another important note: “Cruelty-free” doesn’t necessarily mean “vegan.” Some products from brands that don't test on animals may still contain sustainably sourced,
animal-derived ingredients — like beeswax from worker bees, lanolin from sheep’s wool, or caprylic acid from milk. Sometimes, brands publish lists of their products that are and aren't vegan, which make things easier for those seeking vegan skin care products.
Absolutely no animals were harmed in the making of the nine
best cruelty-free eye creams featured here. Scroll on to shop them now. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team. 1 The One With Coffee
Caffeine works to reduce puffiness on your skin for the same reason a cup of coffee can help alleviate headaches:
It’s a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts blood flow and reduces swelling as a result. This Beauty By Earth eye cream contains this buzzy ingredient in two ways — the seed extract, and the essential oil — plus other soothing and cooling ingredients, like cucumber extract, aloe, and sea buckthorn extract, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. The consistency is pretty fluid, but dries down quickly to a matte finish. 2 The One With Hemp
Turns out CBD skin care is not just a marketing ploy (though it is that, too):
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, and it’s rich in omega fatty acids that help nourish your skin and boost its glow. This Andalou Naturals eye cream is infused with hemp seed oil and hemp extract to help reduce the look of unwanted dark circles and puffiness, while antioxidants like resveratrol, vitamin C, and vitamin E promote a generally brighter complexion. Squalane and hyaluronic acid contribute to its lightweight feel and ultra-blendable consistency. 3 The One With Algae
Most of OSEA's products contain
USDA certified-organic seaweed, sustainably sourced from a family-owned cooperative off the coast of Patagonia. Other than having a cool origin story, Gigartina Skottsbergii, the type of red algae packed into their Firming Eye Cream, has proven skin care benefits, too — it helps hydrate, firm, and protect — thanks to its stores of antioxidants and minerals. A plant-based amino acid complex and mineral peptides support collagen production for plumpness and elasticity at the same time. 4 The One With Retinol
what retinol can do for your skin (namely, everything), but it can be overly harsh on the delicate skin around your eyes — which is what makes this Goldfaden MD eye cream so genius. In here, retinol and retinol palmitate are buffered by skin-soothers like allantoin, hyaluronic acid, and rice bran extract — which all bring their own brightening and firming benefits to the table. Hence why one, self-proclaimed “eye cream connoisseur” on Amazon declared this “the best eye cream ever!!” 5 The Balm
If your under eyes tend to feel very dry or itchy, try this
Dr. Hauschka Eye Balm. Its rich, semi-solid texture feels a bit like Vaseline, if Vaseline were made of 100% naturally derived ingredients — like jojoba oil, beeswax, cocoa seed butter, and smoothing silk powder. Pro tip: As this contains similar ingredients to a cleansing balm, it can double as an eye makeup remover if you’re in a pinch. 6 The Gel
If you’re looking for something more refreshing,
this eye gel from Bliss is a better choice for you. As its name says, this achieves everything you could want from a lightweight eye cream — it depuffs, brightens, tightens, and hydrates — thanks to caffeine, peptides, and antioxidants in the formula. The smooth rollerball applicator provides even more cooling benefits, especially if you store it in the fridge. 8 The Splurge
The unofficial queen of clean, luxury skin care, Tata Harper sources many of their ingredients directly from their own
organic farm in Vermont, produces everything on the premises, and packs it all into recyclable glass bottles. Which helps justify the price tag on this eye cream (and all their other, covetable products). This contains 30 high-performing botanicals, like arnica to reduce swelling, hydrating aloe, and cica, an ingredient that's beloved in Korean beauty for its calming, strengthening, brightening, . and hydrating benefits 9 The One That Doubles As A Highlighter
TULA eye balm stick deposits a rose-tinted glow that’s subtle enough to look natural, but concentrated enough that it’ll still peek through under your makeup. Beyond that hint of illumination, this helps smooth and rejuvenate your under eyes, thanks to rosehip oil, caffeine, and tingly xylitol in the formula. The retractable, hands-free application makes this easily transportable, too.
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