How to Find the Best Eye Cream


In This Article:

The eye area is one of the first places to show signs of aging, and we can unequivocally tell you that great skincare plays a pivotal role in that anti-aging fight. However, finding an effective eye cream turns out to be no easy feat.

Eye creams are often advertised as being "specially formulated" for the sensitive, thin skin around the eyes or claim to get rid of puffiness, dark circles, and sagging skin—yet, in many cases, they fail to live up to their promises altogether. That's why people keep buying eye cream after eye cream and continue to be disappointed time and time again.

The good news: There really are skincare options that work beautifully to improve the appearance of wrinkles and other eye area concerns, but you have to keep your expectations realistic so you can get off the eye cream buying treadmill!

Read on to find out...

Recommended Eye-Area Products

What to Look for in an Eye Cream

First, it's important to realize there's no research indicating that skin around the eye-area needs ingredients different from those you use on the rest of your face. You may be wondering: "But isn't the eye area more sensitive?" Yes, it is more sensitive, but you should be handling the skin everywhere on your face with gentle care and non-irritating formulas! The eye area shouldn’t get the good stuff and the face the bad stuff—that just isn’t fair.

Especially troubling is that many eye creams contain skin-aggravating ingredients, such as fragrant plant oils, synthetic fragrance, or sensitizing plant extracts, all of which can cause damage that makes the appearance of wrinkles and dark, dull, dry skin worse.

What the eye area really needs are antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients, in a soothing, fragrance-free formula, just like what you need for the rest of the face.
In fact, if you're already using a gentle yet effective enriched moisturizer or serum, it may be perfect for the eye area, too, and here's why...

When You Need an Eye Cream

You don't necessarily need a separate eye cream if you're already using a well-formulated facial moisturizer or serum that has the right texture for the skin around your eye area. That type of face product can absolutely work effectively around the eye area, too.

The exception is if the skin around your eyes is drier (which is true for many of us)—in that case you need a more emollient enriched formula, and that's where the best eye creams excel.

We also understand that many women simply want a separate eye area product (as many of you have told us over the years, one of the reasons Paula finally made one for Paula’s Choice Skincare), and that’s a great option too. For our eye cream we’ve crammed the types of superstar ingredients mentioned above into our incredibly rich (almost balm-like) RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Cream. Anyone looking for soothing emollient hydration and supple, younger-looking skin will love it!

Important note: If you opt to use an eye cream from another company, make sure it comes in air-restrictive, opaque packaging to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable (no jars!). Eye creams in jars are a waste of money because they allow the superstar ingredients to degrade far too quickly!

Dark Circles, Puffy Eyes, and Sagging Skin

If you have puffy eyes that last all day long (not just in the morning) it is most likely the result of natural fat pads that have shifted under the eye area (which is a hallmark of aging skin). Regrettably, there are no creams in the world that can address this. If the puffiness is from issues such as fluid buildup or from not getting enough sleep, a soothing cream around the eye can help, but you also are going to need to make lifestyle changes to truly make a difference. Get the full scoop on what you can realistically do for puffy eyes here.

For dark circles, again it depends on their cause, but what is certain is that during the day, whatever you put around your eye must contain sunscreen (something many eye creams lack—more on that in a minute). At night, an enriched eye cream can help alleviate dull skin and increase reflective radiance which can be impressive. If your dark circles are really dark you will need to consider doing more. Learn what you can do for dark circles here.

In terms of sagging and wrinkles, all the same astounding antioxidants and skin-replenishing ingredients for the face are great around the eye area, too, but you must keep your expectations realistic. You can help skin look and feel firmer to a certain degree, but no skincare product can magically pull up drooping eyelids or sagging under-eye bags.

During the Day, SPF is Key!

Last but certainly not least, we’ll leave you with this. Sun protection is key for keeping the appearance of wrinkles and other eye area concerns at bay (you knew we were going to say that, right?).

If the eye cream you’re using doesn't provide sun protection, then your best option is to apply your eye cream and then follow it with an SPF-enhanced daytime moisturizer or foundation/concealer with SPF.

Our RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 25 is beautiful option that offers a subtle dewy glow + gentle mineral-based sun protection and is moisturizing enough to be used on its own!
Sunglasses are a nice extra measure of defense, for the eye itself as well as for skin around the eye, but they don’t replace the need for sunscreen.

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Eye Treatments.

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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