Under eye cream products are used to decrease puffiness, reduce wrinkles, and diminish dark circles. The skin under your eye is thin and fragile compared to the rest of your face and body. Its fragile state comes from a reduced presence of sebaceous glands, collagen and elastin fibers.
It is also often the first area on the face to show signs of aging, which gives way to popular consumer demand for under eye cream products (1).
Best Under Eye Cream
1. LilyAna Naturals Rosehip and Hibiscus Eye Cream Moisturizer
LilyAna Naturals Rosehip and Hibiscus Eye Cream Moisturizer brightens, firms, hydrates, lifts, and tightens your skin to rejuvenate your eyes and make them youthful again. This cream does not contain any parabens or artificial colors or fragrances. It’s vegan, never tested on animals, and manufactured in the USA in a certified USDA organic facility that is registered with and approved by the FDA.
This formula was designed with advanced anti-aging ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, rosehip seed oil, and organic hibiscus flower extract. The high quality ingredients and the fact it can be used by almost anyone makes it our #1 ranked product.
2. Pure Biology Premium Total Eye Cream Serum
Pure Biology Premium Total Eye Cream Serum contains vitamin C, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of dark circles, bagging under the eyes, puffiness, wrinkles, and fine lines in both men and women.
It is manufactured in the USA in an FDA registered facility. It is also cruelty free, non-GMO and contains no parabens.
3. Baebody Beauty Morning and Night Eye Gel
Baebody products are made in the USA, never tested on animals, and are safe for all skin types. They also contain no parabens and no phthalates.
Baebody Beauty Morning and Night eye gel contains natural peptides, vitamin E, amino acids, and jojoba oil which provide elasticity and moisturization under your eyes.
4. Organys Spark Rejuvenating Eye Formula
Organys Spark Rejuvinating Eye Formula is vegan, never tested on animals, and uses safe and natural ingredients. It doesn’t contain any parabens or sulfates, and contains no other harmful ingredients. It is safe for men and women of all ages and skin types.
Organys Spark eye cream contains peptides, caffeine, vitamin C, and more to provide a quickly absorbing and rejuvenating eye product.
5. TruSkin Naturals Eye Gel Professional Formula
TruSkin Naturals Eye Gel Professional Formula is certified cruelty free, and made and manufactured in the USA. It is organic and comes in a bottle made from recyclable material. The lightweight gel is easy to apply and instantly cools your skin without clogging your pores, offering a refreshing moisturizer.
It contains a blend of peptides and amino acids is derived from plants. If you are allergic to some plants, you may want to test this on another area before applying to your eyes to be sure you are not allergic to any of the natural ingredients.
6. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
The RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream has a hypoallergenic formula containing retinol and a blend of minerals.
RoC Retinol is patented because of the potent ad effective formula that has undergone rigorous testing. This formula went through a year-long clinical study that shows the benefits of this product.
7. Burt’s Bees Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin
Burt’s Bees Eye Cream was specially designed for sensitive skin. It has been tested by both ophthalmologists and dermatologists but has never been tested on animals. It comes in a recyclable carton and was made in the USA. The eye cream contains no parabens, no phthalates, no SES, and no petroleum.
It is 98.9% natural and includes cotton extract. It is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, and the National Eczema Foundation has accepted this as safe for use. The cream has been clinically tested and proven to improve your skin, leaving it healthy and hydrated.
8. Kleem Organics Firming Eye Cream
Kleem Organics Firming Eye Cream uses high-quality ingredients and contains no toxins, no irritants, and is never tested on animals.
The Kleem Organics Firming Eye Cream only uses ingredients that absorb quickly without clogging pores, so your skin won’t be oily, shiny, or sticky. This product contains hyaluronic acid, caffeine, green tea, amino acids, plant stem cells, and vitamin E.
9. Brickell Men’s Products Restoring Eye Cream
This natural and organic anti-aging eye cream reduces puffiness and eliminates dark circles and under-eye bags in a formula specially designed for the needs of men’s skin.
Brickell Men’s Products Restoring Eye Cream includes aloe, protein, peptides, MSM, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and green tea. All their products contain organic ingredients and have been certified in over 20 countries.
10. 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream is cruelty-free, gluten-free, non-toxic, and palm oil free.
Vitamin C also assists the natural collagen production in your skin while the caffeine increases your circulation and stimulates your eyes.
How We Rank
The first thing we looked at when formulating our rankings for the best under eye creams, was the ingredients. All of the products on our list, like Brickell and Burt’s Bee’s, are made with natural ingredients. None of them contain parabens or toxins. They all derive their benefits from natural and plant-based ingredients. Most of them, like LilyAna Naturals, are vegan, and all of them include vitamins and minerals found naturally.
Next, we looked at how these products were tested. We made sure that these products were cruelty-free and none of the products on our list have been tested on animals. All of them are ethically made and ethically sourced for an eco-friendly product. Many of the bottles were made from recycled materials and all of them are made from recyclable materials. This makes them safe for animals and the ecosystem.
Finally, we made sure that they backed up their claims. All of these products, like Pure Biology Premium Total Eye Cream Serum, have undergone clinical trials that have proven that what they claim to do is accurate. They also undergo third-party testing in their manufacturing process, ensuring that they are made in the USA, where standards are more rigorous, and that their process has high-quality practices that do not detract from the quality of the product.
1. Retinol in under eye creams helps cells reproduce, decreasing wrinkles and fine lines. A study in the British Journal of Dermatology observed the use of retinoic acid in twenty individuals who had solar damage on their skin. Participants applied the cream for 12 weeks. They noted significant improvements after those 12 weeks, including decreased fine wrinkling around the eyes, reduced crease lines around the mouth and cheeks, and improvements in wrinkling on the hands, as well as reduced discoloration (2).
Another study examined similar consequences and results. The study noted that several surgical procedures are available to improve the skin damaged by sun exposure. Yet, topical retinoids are a less invasive method, and are proven to repair and prevent this damage (3).
A study in The New England Journal of Medicine also observed retinoids in skin restoration. 26 healthy participants applied a daily dose of under eye cream containing retinoids or cream containing a placebo.
All participants had photodamaged skin. The results showed that there was an 80% increase in collagen formation with the group that used the cream containing retinoids. Researchers concluded by saying that damaged skin may be partially restored by treatment with retinoids, indicating its reason for use in under eye creams (4).
2. Vitamin C in many popular under eye creams is also considered a major protective entity against skin damage, including ultraviolet radiation. Topical Vitamin C has many functions, including acting as an antioxidant and functioning as a biological co-factor. The topical application of Vitamin C has shown to improve skin damage caused by sun exposure. It was found in one study that Vitamin C levels in the skin became severely depleted after sun damage and exposure.
In fact, it’s partially the reason for the protective properties of the skin. Thus, without it, the skin is exposed to a variety of external factors causing harm and ultimately, damage. Creams, including Vitamin C, were thus concluded to have protective effects against sun damage and aging (7).
Combined Vitamin C and E are thought to have further effects. A 2003 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology examined the effects of Vitamin C, and E combined versus the effects of these two vitamins alone. The study concluded by suggesting that the use of these natural ingredients had more of an impact than either vitamin on their own (8).
Vitamin C may also reduce oxidative stress, giving way to its protective properties. A 2002 study in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Volume 33, Issue 10, examined Vitamin C as an oral supplement and its role in skin health. Vitamin C in supplement form wasn’t determined to be a particularly viable option for improving one’s skin. However, other studies have shown its use as a topical applicator in protecting and reducing skin damage (9, 10).
3. Peptides in under eye cream can provide many benefits to skin. Peptides are thought to protect the skin via anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (11).
Certain peptides may improve damage caused by the sun or age. Specific peptides were shown to have decreased or slowed damage to the skin over time and with regular use (12).
Peptides may have anti-aging effects. They may also strengthen the skin and its functions. Considering the under eye is the most fragile of all skin, this is an essential aspect to have in creams specific to this area.
4. Ceramides as an ingredient in under eye cream may help protect the skin and underlying structures. Ceramides are thoughts to provide a protective barrier to the epidermis. They may offer improvements in the moisture of the skin, as ceramides maintain the water-permeable barrier of the skin.
It’s been found that many skin disorders and damaged skin incidences have a lower barrier function. Ceramides are thought to be a natural ingredient to promote a healthy and well-functioning skin barrier, preventing and reducing damage to the skin (13).
A 2002 study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology specifically examined the effects of ceramides on the skin. A topically applied ceramide mixture was used in the study and measurements included transepidermal water loss and stratum corneum hydration. Researchers found that after just 14 days consisting of two applications per day, ceramides combined with skin lipids to improve barrier repair of the skin after damage (14).
5. Hyaluronic acid may reduce under eye puffiness or swelling, which is why many skincare companies producing under eye cream products include this ingredient. 50% of hyaluronic acid in the body is found in the skin. It works to retain moisture, reducing puffiness and damage (15).
A 2014 review examined hyaluronic acid and its use in moisturizing dry skin. The under eyes can become dry due to the climate or other factors. Surprisingly, even ingested hyaluronic acid was found to have moisturizing benefits, as proven by one study in the review (16).
A 2011 study in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences aimed to determine the use of hyaluronic acid in repairing damage in skin cells in vitro. Hyaluronic acid was found to reduce the inflammatory effect supplied by the immune system. In turn, it would possibly reduce wrinkles and especially, inflammation or puffiness (17).
Another study conducted in 2002 showed hyaluronic acid and its role in wound healing. It was found that this ingredient reduces oxidative damage, which has protective properties relating to the skin (18).
Also, this particular ingredient is thought to help reduce inflammation in wound healing and possibly aid with tissue regeneration. It does this by stimulating the body to build more blood vessels in the area. This allows more blood flow to the area it is applied to which promotes better healing, reduced inflammation, protection against damage, and helps regenerate the skin faster and better (19, 20).
Further, hyaluronic acid was found to improve eye health and reduce dry eyes (21).
6. Vitamin E in under eye creams has individual benefits in protecting and preventing damage to the skin. Experts agree that topical Vitamin E may be effective in protecting the skin from damage from ultraviolet radiation (22).
Vitamin E is a naturally occurring lipid-soluble antioxidant. This means it acts as a protector against oxidative stress and it also fights inflammation, combating photoaging. This information and evidence give way into why Vitamin E is a common ingredient in under eye cream products and why it may work to improve the look of under eye skin (23, 24).
1. Burning, scaling, and dermatitis have been associated with retinoid treatments and therapy. It is more common in specific retinoids, including tretinoin and tazarotene. Yet, retinaldehyde and retinol are considered less irritating. It’s important before applying any product to your face to read the ingredient list thoroughly, as well as apply a small amount to the skin of the wrist or forearm before applying it to more delicate skin, such as that of the under eyes (25).
2. Retinoids may also cause aggravation of eczema conditions, especially atopic dermatitis.
3. Vitamin E application may worsen the effects and appearance of scar tissue (26).
4. Vitamin E allergic reactions are rare, but they may occur in some individuals. Symptoms may include itching, a rash, swelling, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
5. For those with very sensitive skin, Vitamin C may also cause a slight reaction. While this is rare, symptoms may include mildly irritated skin. Most cases are mild, with no severe effects.
6. Ceramides may cause a burning, stinging, itching, or tingling sensation, especially in the first few weeks of use. If any of these reactions are severe, contact your healthcare provider. You may be better off finding under eye cream products that do not contain ceramides. Always perform a skin test of new skin care products before applying them to sensitive areas.
7. Hyaluronic acid in under eye creams may also cause an allergic reaction. If this occurs with any product, discontinue use. Again, always ensure you perform a skin test before applying products to sensitive areas.
8. Under eye cream ingredients may be unsafe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It’s important to discuss these items with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Find out from your healthcare provider which products are safe and which are not before using them.
9. There is some evidence indicating the hyaluronic acid may cause cancer cells to grow faster. It isn’t advised for people with a history of cancer or with current cancer to use these products (27, 28).
There is no standard when applying eye cream, but most experts recommend to apply as needed. There are no toxic ingredients that will build up and cause harm – unless you are prone to an allergic reaction.
If you apply too much and you don’t like it, you can always wash it off as most ingredients are water soluble.
If you have an allergic reaction to any under eye cream product, immediately wash it off, discontinue use, and consult your doctor.
Are eye creams really necessary? No, eye cream is not always necessary. If you don’t have problems with puffiness, dark circles or need to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, you can skip the eye cream and use a good facial moisturizer, especially if it is formulated for sensitive skin.
Do eye creams help dark circles? Eye cream helps reduce puffiness and dark circles with the help of potent Vitamin C, polyphenol-packed grape-seed extract, and a shot of gentle pro-retinol to improve the skin’s elasticity over time.
What is best for under eye wrinkles? Botox relaxes your muscles rather than filling in wrinkles, so using both the under eye creams and Botox treatment in conjunction with one another may be the best plan.
Can under eye cream be used as a concealer? Yes and no. Eye cream is more likely to slide on your eyelids than a concealer, and it’s a little too creamy for use on the eyelids.
Do cucumbers firm up the skin under my eyes? Cucumbers naturally tighten and firm your skin. The juice can also refresh your skin and tighten pores. Use this on puffy under eyes and fine lines around your eyes or anywhere on your face.
Can I use regular moisturizer as under eye cream? You can certainly use whatever moisturizer you’re using on the rest of your face to treat your eyes. But eye creams typically differ from regular facial moisturizers in a few key ways. For one, active ingredients such as retinol appear to be less irritating to delicate eye skin in lower concentrations. Eye creams are also almost always fragrance-free, which cuts out another possible irritant.
When should you start using eye cream? When it comes to skincare, the earlier the better. Many people start using eye cream in their 30s—when they start noticing the first subtle crease on the outer corner of their eyes—but even before you see a wrinkle, you can start as early as your 20s. That’s because the best results come from prevention.
Can I use BB cream for under my eyes? BB Cream is considered a sheer to medium coverage tool. You can use it under your eyes but if you are concerned about bags or discoloration and trying to hide specific blemishes, you may want to consider using concealer and then BB cream for optimal results.
Does castor oil help with dark circles? The antioxidants in castor oil prevent the skin from getting affected by free radicals. They also help in shrinking blood vessels and reducing fluid retention, which in turn helps in getting rid of dark circles.
Does baking soda reduce dark circles? The most effective face masks contain baking soda. Soda will remove the dark circles and bags under the eyes. Make a solution: a glass of hot water or tea, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, mix well. Soak cotton pads in the mixture and place them under the eyes for 10-15 minutes.
Can you use under eye cream on your face? Doctors agree that you can use an eye cream to moisturize your entire face, but it’s not any better than using an actual facial moisturizer.
What is the best ingredient for eye cream? For plump skin cells, nothing beats hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture from the air and holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Should I apply eye cream before or after a moisturizer? If your eye cream is richer and heavier than your moisturizer, it should go on top. If it’s lighter than your serum, make sure it goes under your moisturizer. Of course, always check the instructions on your eye cream’s packaging to see whether you should apply it before or after moisturizer.
Under eye cream products contain a variety of ingredients. It’s important, especially if your prone to allergies or have sensitive skin, to read the labels on all skin products. It’s high recommended to apply a small amount to your forearm or wrist and observing if there is any negative reaction before using it on your face. If you suffer from allergies, discussing your options with your doctor before use may also prove to be beneficial.
It is evident by studies and research that natural products seem to have fewer side effects (or less severe side effects) and more positive benefits. Many experts recommend seeking out creams for the skin with fewer chemicals in them as these may cause damage as opposed to help.
For Healthtrends #1 recommended under eye cream, click here.