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We updated this article in April 2023 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive research done by our team.
Wondering how to prevent wrinkles or reduce fine lines around your eyes? There are so many products available—from anti-aging serums to anti-aging creams. But, the best eye creams for wrinkles are potent and could just be the powerhouse product you’ve been looking for. After all, there’s a reason why the skin around the eyes tends to wrinkle and show other signs of aging first: The skin in that delicate area is thin, and sensitive to stretching and sagging—which means it matures faster than other parts of your face.
Meet the experts: Tara Rao, M.D., dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group; Joshua Zeichner, M.D., dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital; Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine; Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., the founder of Entière Dermatology; Debra Jaliman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist.
If maintaining a radiant complexion is important to you, then regularly using an eye cream can make a big difference. So consistency is key. The thing is, there are thousands of options available, and it can be tough to know what to look for in an ingredients list. Even if you do know what to look for, tracking down something that checks all the right boxes can be exhausting.
Our top picks
Ahead, we talked to dermatologists to find out exactly what should be in an effective eye cream for wrinkles, puffiness, darkness, and more—and the best over-the-counter options to try.
Best Overall: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream
This eye cream contains retinol to speed up cell turnover and effectively banish fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet. It also contains hyaluronic acid to offer extra moisture and plump the skin, according to Dr. Jaliman.
Promising review: “I freaking love this product! I am 54, but everyone guesses I’m in my late 30s to early 40s,” wrote one customer. "The fine lines are magically disappearing! It is the best I’ve ever used. I have used ALL of the expensive products trying to find the perfect one. I’m glad I’m done looking.”
Best Smoothing: RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Eye Cream
Those who have excessive wrinkling around the eyes may want to consider a retinol eye cream. Dr. Zeichner recommends this moisturizing option because it minimizes dark circles, puffiness, crow’s feet, and wrinkles without being too harsh on the delicate under-eye skin.
Promising review: “If you are willing to apply this daily you WILL see results. I have just begun noticing some actual reduction in my fine lines and wrinkles,” wrote one customer. “And even more surprising is that I am noticing that the deeper wrinkle between my eyebrows is fading. Is it gone? No. But the results are truly impressive and I am shocked! I really didn’t think over-the-counter retinal creams could work, but this cream has proven me wrong.”
Best Without Retinol: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream
This hydrating eye cream is gentle enough for your under-eyes and contains hyaluronic acid to plump and moisturize the skin. “It acts like a sponge to pull in hydration from the deep skin layers and even the air,” says Dr. Zeichner.
Promising review: “For almost two months, I’ve had problems with my eyelids being dry, cracking, itching, and burning like crazy being in a super dry climate,” wrote one customer. “They’ve been red and noticeably marred. Nothing I’ve tried has helped at all. In two days since I’ve had this stuff, it’s improved so much that it hardly hurts and the visible signs of cracking are almost entirely gone.”
Best for Puffiness: La Roche-Posay Redermic R Retinol Eye Cream
This eye cream helps reduce the look of wrinkles and puffiness with a blend of retinol and caffeine, all while remaining gentle on the sensitive eye area, thanks to the addition of hydrating thermal spring water and a lack of potentially irritating fragrances.
Promising review: “I’m on my second tube of this eye cream. It’s exactly what I have been looking for all these years,” wrote one reviewer. “I accept that I’m in my mid 40s and I have some crow’s feet. I would expect it at my age. I was more interested in finding a product that moisturized the under-eye area so that concealer could be easily and smoothly applied. I have never had any stingy feeling with this one. This definitely fits the bill and is well worth the price.”
Best for Eye Bags: Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate
This rich cream is a dream if you’re prone to dryness in your under-eye area. Your skin will drink up its antioxidants to combat fine lines and texture, puffiness, and dark circles. The heavy-duty formula feels ultra-nourishing and creamy on the skin, making this a great nighttime pick.
Promising review: “This eye cream is a game changer! I’ve used some of the most expensive eye cream out there and this blows them out of the water. You almost see a change the next day. I put a little dab on my hand while I was at the store and it left that spot smooth and tight for the rest of the day,” wrote one reviewer.
Best for Dark Circles: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex
“SkinCeuticals has been around a long time; they have a lot of research behind their products,” says Dr. Rao. This eye cream has a good mix of everything needed to diminish fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles: antioxidants, peptides, and sunscreen.
Promising review: “I do not have a good track record for staying with products, but I have been using A.G.E Eye Complex for almost a year for two reasons: 1. The creamy texture softens and eases my tired eyes. 2. My ‘mature’ eyes are now brighter and tighter than they were 10 years ago. This is the only treatment I use around my eyes,” wrote one reviewer.
Best Soothing: Baebody Eye Gel
With over 13,400 five-star ratings and counting, this eye gel is definitely worth adding to your skincare lineup. Designed to be used in the morning and night, this eye gel helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles, and bags. It has a lightweight texture that glides on smoothly over the skin and it includes vitamin E for moisture and elasticity. Plus jojoba oil and an amino acid blend for smooth hydration!
Promising review: “Give it time and use it religiously—this thing really works,” wrote one Amazon customer. “As a mother of four in her 30’s, I'm always running on minimal to no sleep, don’t eat right, and am always on the go. This actually helped take away the dark circles I was spending so much money on expensive makeup to conceal.”
Best for Sensitive Skin: Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Eye Cream
The retinol, niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3), and peptide blend in this drugstore eye cream make it a winner for dark circles, fine lines, and dull-looking skin without irritation. Just a dot of this rich formula delivers skin-smoothing radiance for a well-rested look. It also comes with a trial size Olay Regenerist Whip moisturizer as an added bonus!
Promising review: “The product has a great consistency. It absorbs quickly and provides a lot of moisture and hydration to the eye area,” wrote one customer. "My lines looked smoother after using it. The quality is equivalent to much pricier eye creams I have used in the past.”
Best Brightening: Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening + Depuffing Eye Cream
Beloved by celebs like Drew Barrymore, this eye cream visibly firms, brightens dark circles, and fights puffiness with caffeine. Infused with light-reflecting particles, it instantly rejuvenates tired-looking eyes, all while hydrating and protecting the thin skin.
Promising review: “I got a sample of this eye cream and I was really skeptical about it,” wrote one reviewer. “But this eye cream surprised me. I saw the results with just one use so I had to purchase it. I know it’s pretty expensive for an eye cream but I have to admit, so far this is the only one that has worked for me. What surprised me was how quickly it got rid of my puffiness. It’s worth every penny.”
Best With Vitamin C: Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Eye Cream
An eye cream that does it all—this multi-tasking, brightening formula contains not only antioxidant-rich vitamin C to keep darkness at bay, but also vitamin B3 (a.k.a. niacinamide) to calm and fight inflammation, and peptides to firm and plump.
Promising review: “The lines and wrinkles under my eyes are becoming much less noticeable,” one shopper wrote. “I have a few other skincare products by Olay and they all are amazing. And since I’ve been using products with Vitamin C and Peptides, I have been noticing much more positive results in my skin. This Olay Eyes Vitamin C + Peptide24 Brightening Eye Cream has quickly become my Holy Grail Eye Cream!!”
Best with SPF: Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40
Enriched with caffeine and broad spectrum SPF, this anti-aging eye cream smooths out fine lines and puffiness while protecting the delicate eye area. No stinging, burning, or irritation required—even for a sunscreen!
Promising review: “I have always avoided sunscreen under eyes until now. Also, there is a little bit of tint, so it is perfect for a day when you want to go a little natural, or for daytime outdoor fun that calls for a less made up look,” wrote one customer. “I can wear less makeup under my eyes now. Fewer layers, less time.”
SkinBetter InterFuse Treatment Cream
A 2021 Prevention Beauty Award winner, this eye cream earns a stamp of approval from Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin. She says it contains a special peptide that mimics Botox by “relaxing superficial muscles.” Additional hydrators, brightening vitamin C, and de-puffing caffeine are just extra perks.
This product doesn’t feature online reviews, as it’s sold on the brand’s site or at your derm’s office, but Dr. Levin confirms it’s one of the most popular picks in her practice.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer
The lightweight formula visibly reduces dark circles, fine lines, and bags under the eyes. “The caffeine constricts blood vessels to help remove excess fluid and hydrate fast to minimize the appearance of under-eye puffiness,” Dr. Zeichner explains.
Promising review: “This is a simply amazing little product,” wrote one reviewer. “It’s easy to apply, and it really really works. The results are immediately apparent, and it makes tired eyes feel refreshed. It also doesn’t leave a dried-up film like some of those instant-lift gels. The small size is great for travel.”
EltaMD Renew Eye Gel
Dr. Rao is a fan of this dark circle- and wrinkle-fighting eye cream because it contains a mix of antioxidants, peptides, and moisturizing ingredients. “It also has niacinamide, which is a good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can be used on any part of the face,” she says.
Promising review: “I don’t think I can say enough good things about this gel," wrote one customer. “I’ve been using it for about a month now and I have noticed a difference in the texture of skin underneath my eyes. It really does feel like you are smoothing silk underneath your eyes morning and night.”
Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35
“I like multitasking products, and this is three things: It’s a concealer and a sunscreen, and it has anti-aging properties,” says Dr. Gohara. “Eyes age quickly, so when it is used as a concealer, you’re getting ample SPF in that area.” (That’s why it earned a spot in our 2020 Healthy Beauty Awards!)
Promising review: “Why didn’t I know about this sooner,” wrote one customer. “Not only does it cover my dark circles but it doesn’t crease AND even minimizes the appearance of fine lines!! You do need to apply a little differently (pat in the product) but other than that it’s pretty low maintenance to use.”
Dermalogica BioLumin-C Eye Serum
If you don’t love the feeling of a thick cream, you’re in luck. Dermalogica’s fragrance-free, silky serum feels lightweight on the skin while delivering a surge of moisture. Their vitamin C complex also contains a unique peptide, so you get double the anti-aging power.
Promising review: “I have sensitive skin prone to redness and had absolutely no reaction at all. I also have some fine lines around my eyes and it seemed to just smooth them out. It goes on nicely under my day moisturizer. Actually didn’t need to wear makeup as my skin looked so fresh and healthy,” wrote one customer.
Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon swear by this eye cream and we can see why. Formulated with skincare ingredients like squalene and pink marine algae, it works to hydrate, moisturize, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area within seven days, according to the brand. It has a lightweight texture that glides on smoothly and melts down into the skin.
Promising review: “The difference in my under eyes was almost immediately visible. Much less crepey and a difference in the appearance of lines. I just started this product and can’t wait to see the benefits over the long term,” wrote one satisfied customer.
First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream
This rejuvenating eye cream helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while leaving the eye area looking smoother, firmer, and more youthful. Its key ingredients include oatmeal, aloe, ceramides, and vitamins C and E to help calm and soothe even the most sensitive skin.
Promising review: “I have naturally dark under-eye circles, and I noticed a brightening effect since using this product,” wrote one First Aid Beauty customer. “It’s very gentle, yet effective which is good for my sensitive skin.”
Peter Thomas Roth Vital-E Microbiome Age Defense Eye Cream
This eye cream from Peter Thomas Roth contains a special antioxidant blend, ginger root extract, and hyaluronic acid to brighten skin, boost hydration, and protect against harmful free radicals. What’s more, it packs caffeine to reduce puffiness.
Promising review: “You don’t need much for this product to make a BIG difference. I put it on every day and night under my moisturizers and I started seeing results after a week of use. The dark dullness under my eyes has noticeably lightened up and my fine lines aren’t as defined,” wrote one reviewer.
Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask
Glow Recipe is a cult favorite, so it’s no surprise so many of their products have won beauty awards. Among the greats is the avocado melt retinol eye sleeping mask, a creamy nutrient-rich eye mask made with potent ingredients like vitamin E, C, retinol, and hyaluronic acid. The formula works to reduce the appearance of dark circles while de-puffing the eye area. You’ll get brighter, smoother, more awake-looking eyes by morning.
Promising review: “This is a really lovely eye mask for those who want to target the eye area for anti-aging concerns,” wrote one customer. “I was nervous to put retinoids around my eyes but this doesn’t burn. It’s a light cream, sinks in quickly, and doesn’t irritate my skin. I usually apply it after cleansing my face at night, then I add my night cream on top.”
NEOCUTIS Lumière Bio-Restorative Eye Cream
This eye cream gets a stamp of approval from Dr. Jaliman. It contains skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, caffeine to fight puffiness, and an ingredient called PSP, a combo of wrinkle-fighting peptides and antioxidants unique to Neocutis.
Promising review: “I actually NOTICED a difference in my appearance after about two weeks of using it,” wrote one reviewer. “I had not changed anything else, I had not gotten any other treatments, and I was honestly shocked at what a game changer this is. I have always had bags and circles under my eyes despite products and treatments designed to treat this area. This product delivers.”
SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50
Even though SPF is so important in an eye cream, it can be tough to find a formula that includes one. This raved-about product from SkinCeuticals contains SPF 50 to prevent sun damage, ceramides to hydrate, and a brightening tint to even skin tone.
Promising review: “This solves so many problems when it comes to sunscreen around the eyes,” wrote one customer. “Before, I would have sunscreen get in my eyes through sweat or misapplication and then dealt with burning for a few hours. This product does not irritate, burn, or aggravate the eye area at all. It goes on like silk—and also offers some light coverage in the eye area. It is just great!”
How to choose the best anti-aging eye cream for wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles
What makes an eye cream anti-aging? Dr. Rao and Dr. Zeichner named a few key ingredients to look for regardless of your skin type or tone.
✔️ Hyaluronic acid: Found naturally in the skin, hyaluronic acid draws in water, which helps to hydrate and plump the skin. Many times, under-eye wrinkles are a result of dryness, Dr. Rao says, and hyaluronic acid is well-studied and shown to help reduce the signs of aging. (Check out these eye creams for dry skin if hydration is your main problem.)
✔️ Peptides: Copper peptides, polypeptides, and oligopeptides are thought to penetrate the skin and help build hyaluronic acid and collagen. These structural proteins hold cells and tissues together like glue, diminishing the look of wrinkles.
✔️ Retinol: This vitamin A derivative stimulates collagen production and promotes cell turnover to help reduce the signs of aging. Because the skin under the eyes is so sensitive, the dermatologists we spoke to recommended products with relatively low concentrations of retinol.
✔️ Sunscreen: “This one’s a no-brainer,” says Dr. Rao. Without proper protection, UV rays break down collagen and age your skin. (Unfortunately, SPF can be tough to find in eye creams, so supplement with your face sunscreen if necessary!)
✔️ Antioxidants: Vitamins C and E, ferulic acid, and berry extracts help reduce oxidative stress due to UV rays or pollutants, explains Dr. Rao. Antioxidants also improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The best way to apply eye cream
Now that you have an effective wrinkle-fighting eye cream, you need to actually use it! Consistency is key, and the way you apply your cream can make a difference in how well it works:
Do a patch test: “You’d be surprised how often people neglect to read the ingredient list because they’re caught up in the hype of the product,” Dr. Rao says. Before using any new product, test it on a small part of your skin to ensure it doesn’t cause an adverse reaction.
A pea-sized amount of product should be enough for both of eyes.
Use your ring or pinky finger to apply your eye cream to ensure you are using a light pressure.
Do not tug or pull at the skin, which only further promote wrinkles. Use a dabbing motion instead.
Make sure to apply your eye cream to the under-eye area, eyelids, and outer-corner of your eyes, where wrinkles often begin. Avoid direct contact with your eyes.
How we chose the best eye creams for wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles
We consulted Tara Rao, M.D., a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group, Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine and co-creator of MELĒ skincare, Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., the founder of Entière Dermatology in New York City, and board-certified dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules. We also conducted our own research, and sifted through tons of online reviews to find the best eye creams available.
Why trust us?
For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Additionally, Prevention also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.
Even if you diligently stick to a daily skincare routine, it's easily to overlook the delicate skin under your eyes or assume that your regular products will work just as well in that area. The reason the skin around your eyes ages much more quickly than anywhere on your face is because that area is so hyper-sensitive to stretching and sagging over time. With this in mind, you should use specialized eye cream products that are gentle and won't irritate your skin.
"The number one most important thing is that an eye cream has a moisturizer so that it goes on easily," said Dr. Tara Rao, MD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York. "The skin under the eyes is among the thinnest skin of the entire body, so you definitely want to have something that goes on easily because you can create friction too quickly, and that just worsens what you’re trying to do."
Ingredients to look for
• Hyaluronic acid:
Ingredients to stay clear of
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