Taking care of the skin around your eyes doesn’t need to be complicated. But when looking for the best eye cream to address your specific skin concerns, you’ll have to take a few things into account. SELF spoke to skin-care experts about how to find the best eye cream for your different skin-care needs. And in search of products that actually manage to get the job done, SELF asked dermatologists for what they consider to be the best undereye creams out there. First, we dig into the most commonly asked questions when it comes to eye creams.
Are eye creams worth it?
Do you actually need to use a separate skin-care product just for your undereye area? It may seem excessive—especially if you’re already using a face moisturizer, a night cream, sunscreen (with at least SPF 30), and other products in your skincare routine to address your skin-care issues. And if you’re able to use those products on your undereye area without any stinging, irritation, or other problems, you’ll probably be fine to continue doing so.
But skin experts tell us there are some really good reasons to consider investing in a separate eye cream. “The skin around the eye is thinner and more sensitive than skin in other areas,” Arash Akhavan, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City, tells SELF. It’s an area that’s also especially prone to showing signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, and dark spots.
Which eye cream is best?
Not all eye creams are created equal. That means that the delicate skin around your eye contour is best cared for with products that meet a very specific set of needs. Some eye creams are made specifically to tackle crows feet and fine lines whereas others are meant to brighten dark undereye circles. You should look for a nourishing eye cream that hydrates, brightens, and increases cell turnover—all without causing irritation on a part of your face that’s notoriously easy to upset. Depending on your exact undereye skin needs, you may also be on the lookout for products that can provide a cooling sensation in the area to help with de-puffing and swelling, both of which can exacerbate the look of dark circles or tired eyes.
It’s true that the world of eye creams is incredibly varied, Mary L. Stevenson, MD, assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Health, tells SELF. Some are brightening eye creams that use vitamin C to lighten the appearance of dark circles, she says, while others contain retinoids or forms of vitamin A, that “prevent fine lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles, and also reduce the occurrence of milia (small white bumps), which are common on the lower eyelids.”
The world of eye creams is also constantly changing. That’s why Dr. Stevenson says she actually alternates between using two different eye creams. “This is one of the few products I change a lot, as it is a challenging area and we are constantly improving our treatments for it,” she explains.
Here are our experts’ recommendations for the best eye creams. It’s worth remembering that the skin underneath our eyes is incredibly delicate, so it’s crucial to use a light, gentle touch to lather them on. And if you’re ever unsure, speak with a board-certified dermatologist before diving in.