The 15 Best Eye Creams of 2022

SkinBetter Science EyeMax delivers quick effective results.

In This Article

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Best Eye Creams of 2022

Alastin/skinbetter/Dermstore

Some say eyes are the windows to the soul. With that kind of pressure, we want them to look and feel as healthy as possible — that’s where the best eye creams come in. “Eye creams are specifically designed to use on the skin around the eyes to address common concerns such as dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines and wrinkles,” says Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell - New York Presbyterian Medical Center. “Because the skin around the eye is thin and delicate, it can be especially important to use products that are gentle on the skin and intended for the eyelid area.”

Like other skincare products, there’s an over-saturation of eye creams on the market, which makes it difficult to not only find one that works, but also find one that addresses your concerns. That’s why, along with Dr. Garshick we spoke to board-certified dermatologists  Rebecca Marcus, M.D. and Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, to learn more about what to look for when shopping for an eye cream, as well as some of their top picks. Overall, SkinBetter Science EyeMax nabbed our top spot for its all-in-one formula that delivers speedy results. 

So whether you want to minimize dark circles, reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, or banish puffiness, keep reading to find the 15 best eye creams of 2022.

Best Overall: skinbetter EyeMax AlphaRet Overnight Cream

skinbetter EyeMax AlphaRet Overnight Cream

skinbetter

What We Love: It delivers results in as fast as one month.

What We Don’t Love: Because it contains retinol it may be too harsh for those with sensitive skin.

There’s a reason retinol is a dermatologist-favorite ingredient: It can help improve a variety of skin concerns including fine lines, wrinkles, and other texture issues. Retinol is the hero ingredient in SkinBetter Science EyeMax where it’s formulated specially to address these concerns around your eyes. “When found in low concentrations in eye creams, retinol is an [excellent] ingredient for fine lines and wrinkles [around the eye area],” says Dr. Garshick 

This formula is all about gentle retinol, making it a standout eye cream and one of the reasons why it earned our best overall spot. “This all-in-one eye cream helps to address fine lines, wrinkles, crepiness, and dryness around the eyes using AlphaRet technology — a combination of a retinoid and lactic acid,” Dr. Garshick adds. It also utilizes a hydrating complex to keep skin moisturized and minimize irritation. When used nightly, results can be seen in as little as four weeks, which is pretty fast considering many products take upwards of 60 days to see results. If you have sensitive skin you may want to start out by using it only once a week, though, to allow your skin to adjust and build up a tolerance to the retinol. 

Price at time of publish: $115

Benefits: Fights fine lines and wrinkles | Size: 0.5 fl oz. | Active Ingredients: Retinol

Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles: IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream

It Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream

Ulta

What We Love: The formula is lightweight yet effective.

What We Don’t Love: It was recently reformulated, and we wish it still had an apricot tint for an added brightening effect.

Thick creams don’t inherently mean more skin care benefits. Case in point: IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream. Even though the formula is impressively lightweight, it still packs a punch. Newly reformulated with a two percent Super Peptide Concentrate, it’s designed to solve the four signs of eye fatigue: Crow’s feet, dark circles, dryness, and lack of firmness. The fragrance-free creamy balm is also infused with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate even the thirstiest skin for 48 hours.

Price at time of publish: $40

Benefits: Brightens and minimizes dark circles | Size: 0.5 fl oz. | Active Ingredients: Peptides, Ceramides, Hyaluronic acid 

Best Gel Eye Cream: SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel

SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel

SkinCeuticals

What We Love: The combination of antioxidants in the formula helps to prevent future signs of aging.

What We Don’t Love: It might not be hydrating enough for very dry skin.

You’ll be bright-eyed in no time thanks to this eye gel. On top of containing ingredients that reflect light, the formula is also spiked with a low concentration of vitamin C, so you get a major brightening effect without irritation. “It's fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin, so most people can tolerate it. Plus, it helps with the appearance of fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles,” Dr. Marcus says. While the gel texture is light and soothing, it may not be the best pick if you have very dry skin.

Price at time of publish: $98

Benefits: Minimizes fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles | Size: 0.5 fl oz. | Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Phloretin, Caffeine

Best Eye Cream for Puffiness: Bliss Rest Assured Dark Circle Reducing & Depuffing Eye Cream

Bliss Rest Assured Dark Circle Reducing & Depuffing Eye Cream

Target

What We Love: It instantly brightens under-eyes and reduces the look of puffiness.

What We Don’t Love: If you have sensitive skin, it can potentially be irritating due to the high volume of vitamin C.

Vitamin C, alfalfa seed, and Bliss’s Complete Eye Complex team up to brighten, smooth, and reduce puffiness, helping to improve the overall appearance of dark circles. “The complete eye complex includes key ingredients such as niacinamide, caffeine, and hexapeptides,” Dr. Garshick says — that translates to smoother skin and a fresh, wide-eyed look.

The fragrance-free formula works for all skin types, leaving the under-eye area hydrated and refreshed. Just be wary if you tend to have adverse reactions to vitamin C, as this formula is potent and can sometimes irritate sensitive skin. 

Price at time of publish: $22

Benefits: Depuffs and reduces dark circles | Size: 0.5 fl oz | Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Caffeine, Niacinamide

Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles: Charlotte Tilbury Refillable Magic Eye Rescue Cream with Retinol

Charlotte Tilbury Refillable Magic Eye Rescue Cream with Retinol

Sephora

What We Love: It contains encapsulated retinol, making the ingredient more effective.

What We Don’t Love: The thick formula can feel heavy.

Retinol is a superstar ingredient when it comes to eye creams, but sometimes it doesn’t penetrate skin as deeply as it could. Enter: Encapsulated retinol — a retinol molecule inside a carrier system that allows the ingredient to go deeper into the skin before it’s activated for maximum results. That’s exactly what you’ll find in this eye cream to improve overall skin texture and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. 

“This is a fabulous eye cream that has a lot of fantastic ingredients,” Dr. Marcus says. “It has a wonderful, luxurious texture, and [contains] coconut oil and shea butter which are extremely hydrating and nourishing. It also has antioxidants including vitamins C and E, which are soothing, brightening and stimulating.” Plus, to help your wallet and the planet, the jar is refillable.

Price at time of publish: $65

Benefits: Improves texture, depuffs | Size: 0.5 oz. | Active Ingredients: Vitamins C and E, Retinol

Best Eye Cream for Oily Skin: Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment

Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment

Alastin

What We Love: It contains green tea, which is great for those with oily eyelids as it helps to balance sebum production.

What We Don’t Love: The pump can sometimes get jammed.

Not just for sipping, green tea is one potent antioxidant. Rich with vitamin E, it nourishes and hydrates skin while helping to reverse the effects of sun damage, safeguards skin from environmental aggressors, and fades dark spots. Green tea is also great for oily skin, since it fights acne and helps balance sebum. (That means your eyeshadow won’t be sliding off oily lids by the end of the day.)

Price at time of publish: $90

Benefits: Brightens, minimizes hyperpigmentation | Size: 0.5 fl oz. | Active Ingredients: Green tea, Niacinamide, Tetrapeptide-30

Best Eye Cream for Dry Skin: Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Sephora

What We Love: The rich, creamy formula feels very luxurious.

What We Don’t Love: Because the cream is so thick, it can take some time to soak into the eye area.

When your lids feel like the desert, Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado will bring back that bouncy, healthy skin feeling. You can thank avocado oil, beta-carotene, and shea butter for the instant and lasting hydration. The ultimate superfood, avocados are just as good for your skin as they are for your diet — rich in omega essential fatty acids, avocado oil helps retain moisture.

More than a mundane moisturizer, the formula also improves the appearance and feel of skin texture, de-puffs, and brightens. While we love the thick formula, it can take some time for it to fully soak into skin. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Benefits: Hydrates, de-puffs | Size: 0.95 oz. | Active Ingredients: Avocado oil, Beta-carotene

Best Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

Amazon

What We Love: The nourishing formula gently strengthens the skin barrier.

What We Don’t Love: Makeup doesn’t always go on smoothly after applying this cream, so you may want to stick to using it at night.

Have a delicate complexion? You’ll want to look for a hydrating formula to minimize the potential for dryness, given the eyelid skin is so delicate. “CeraVe Eye Repair Cream is a drugstore favorite that uses hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help hydrate the under-eye skin while strengthening the skin barrier, helping to improve the appearance of dark circles and puffiness,” Dr. Garshick says.

Designed with sensitive skin in mind, this hypoallergenic eye cream is also infused with a marine and botanical complex, as well as niacinamides, to help brighten the entire eye area. It also boasts CeraVe’s MultiVesicular Emulsion Technology (MVE), which continually releases moisturizing ingredients to keep skin hydrated all day long. Despite the moisturizing capabilities, makeup doesn’t always apply smoothly over top, so you may want to use this only at night or on days when you don’t plan on wearing makeup.

Price at time of publish: $18

Benefits: Hydrates, strengthens skin barrier | Size: 0.5 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ceramides, Hyaluronic acid 

Best Drugstore Eye Cream: Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller

Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller

Amazon

What We Love: The cooling rollerball application is deeply refreshing and aids in depuffing. 

What We Don’t Love: Its effects aren’t very strong, so it’s not a great pick for those trying to reduce eye bags.

You know how caffeine helps wake you up? Well, it has a similar effect for your eyes. “Caffeine can be a great option to help address puffiness as it causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness,” Dr. Garshick says. Mint in the formula works as a mild astringent to help tone skin naturally, leaving peepers looking rested. Its stainless steel roll-on applicator has a cooling and stimulating effect, making it feel extremely refreshing on the skin, too. While it’s great for addressing minor puffiness, this won’t make deep eye bags disappear, so if that is your main concern you may want to opt for something else. 

Price at time of publish: $13

Benefits: Depuffs | Size: 0.5 fl oz. | Active Ingredients: Caffeine, vVtamin C 

Best Priming Eye Cream: Tatcha The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream

Tatcha The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream

Sephora

What We Love: It does double duty as a primer for makeup.

What We Don’t Love: It’s scented, which isn’t ideal for hyper sensitive skin.

No one wants their eyeshadow to glob up on the lids or have their eyeliner run as soon as it hits their skin, but some eye creams can make makeup application tough. Finding one that does double duty as a primer can make all the difference. Though it’s not technically a primer, Tatcha The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream acts as one, helping your makeup stay put all day.

The balmy texture melts right into skin, blurring the look of wrinkles and fine lines with liquid silk. Silk protein creates a protective layer of moisture on skin, while Japanese white peony boosts the natural skin barrier to lock in hydration. Designed to work for all skin types, the nourishing formula also tackles dullness and puffiness. 

Price at time of publish: $62

Benefits: Primes, hydrates, minimizes dullness and puffiness | Size: 0.5 oz. | Active Ingredients: Japanese white peony, Silk protein

Best Vegan Eye Cream: Andalou Naturals Deep Hydration Reviving Eye Cream

Andalou Naturals Deep Hydration Reviving Eye Cream

Ulta

What We Love: It has a soothing, silky texture. 

What We Don’t Love: The formula can be thin and watery.

When you’re looking for hydration, hyaluronic acid is an ideal ingredient to seek out — and this eye cream is chock full of it. “Hyaluronic acid can help to plump the skin, improving the appearance of fine lines,” Dr. Garshick says. It’s also infused with bio-designed collagen to repair the skin’s elasticity, which naturally decreases with age. “Along with collagen, it's also incorporates Fruit Stem Cell Science which helps to brighten the eyes. It can be used one to two times per day, and leaves the eyes looking plump and refreshed,” she adds. Be wary that the formula isn’t as thick as some of the other products on this list. In fact, some find it thin and watery, which isn’t a bad thing, but if you prefer a richer cream, this won’t be for you.

Price at time of publish: $21

Benefits: Hydrates, brightens, plumps | Size: 0.45 fl oz.| Active Ingredients: Collagen, hyaluronic acid 

Best Eye Cream with Vitamin C: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Vitamin C Eye Crème

4.3
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Vitamin C Eye Crème

Sephora

What We Love: Its advanced delivery system helps vitamin C penetrate skin more effectively.

What We Don’t Love: This isn’t the best pick for those with oily skin.

There’s a reason vitamin C is one of the most beloved and popular skincare ingredients out there: The tried-and-true antioxidant is known for its brightening powers; plus, the anti-ager also ramps up collagen production to keep skin firm and plump. This eye cream features a Triple Vitamin C Complex with a Gold Delivery System to help the active ingredient go deeper into the skin, working overtime to minimize crow’s feet and dark circles. If you’re wondering where the bananas in the name come into play, it relates to the the light-reflecting yellow mineral pigments in banana powder, which makeup artists use to color correct and brighten — and this eye cream does the same thing. 

Price at time of publish: $42

Benefits: Brightens | Size: 0.5 fl oz | Active Ingredients: Vitamin C 

Best Eye Cream for Hyperpigmentation: Pond’s Rejuveness Lifting & Brightening Eye Cream

Ponds Rejuveness Lifting & Brightening Eye Cream

Pond's

What We Love: Made with vitamin B3, it helps to even tone and smooth texture. 

What We Don’t Love: Those with dry skin might not find it hydrating enough.

Seeing spots? Pond’s Rejuveness Lifting and Brightening Eye Cream works to minimize them. “This vitamin B3-containing eye cream evens out skin tone and reduces hyperpigmentation to improve under eye discoloration,” Dr. Garshick says. It also features retinol to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, but it won’t leave skin feeling dry or irritated because vitamin B3 also helps strengthen the moisture barrier. Since it’s designed to be hydrating as well, it infuses the eye area with moisture. It also boosts skin’s elasticity, leaving the delicate skin looking tighter and lifted.

Price at time of publish: $24

Benefits: Brightens, lifts, minimizes fine lines | Size: 1 fl oz. | Active Ingredients: Vitamin B3, Retinol

Best Eye Cream with SPF: Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35

3
Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Anti-Aging Renewal Therapy for Wrinkles & Dark Circle

Amazon

What We Love: On top of addressing fine lines and wrinkles, it also provides significant SPF protection.

What We Don’t Love: It’s tinted, but only comes in four shades that skew light.

Safeguard your skin with this triple threat eye cream that provides SPF protection, deeply nourishes the delicate eye area, and works as a light concealer, too. The perfect blend of makeup and skincare, Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 is quite the multitasker. 

“Available in different shades, this eye cream brightens and hydrates, using antioxidants and hyaluronic acid while also protecting the skin from UV radiation,” Dr. Garshick says. “Additionally, through the use of peptides, it also helps to improve firmness and the overall appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

Price at time of publish: $74

Benefits: Sun protection, hydration | Size: 0.23 fl oz. | Active Ingredients: Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide, Peptides

Best Plumping Eye Cream: Kat Burki Complete B Repair Eye Crème Complex

Kat Burki Complete B Repair Eye Crème Complex

Nordstrom

What We Love: The plumping formula instantly makes you look more awake.

What We Don’t Love: The pot is very small, so you’ll probably need to restock often.

Dehydrated skin is dull, which can make you look even more tired — so let Kat Burki Complete B Repair Eye Crème Complex come to the rescue. Ingredients like vitamin B and peptides help you fake the look of a full night's rest while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The plumping effect comes courtesy of the special B vitamin complex, which draws water to the surface of the skin to refresh eyes, and stimulates healing. Then there’s the brand’s signature KB5 Complex that protects from environmental damage, while juniper extract reduces inflammation, and neuropeptides tackle dark circles and hyperpigmentation. 

Price at time of publish: $195

Benefits: Plumps, minimizes fine lines | Size: 0.5 oz. | Active Ingredients: Vitamin B complex, Peptides

What to Keep in Mind

Skin Type

Just like with any other type of skincare product, your skin type should determine how you shop. When it comes to eye cream and skin type, the texture of the cream is important. Typically, those with oily skin will want to opt for a lighter formula, such as a gel or serum (like Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment), while those with dry skin will do better with a rich cream (like Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado). 

Skin Concerns

When shopping for an eye cream, first decide what you want it to accomplish. Most labels will specify what the eye cream is designed to help with, so read those carefully. If thirsty skin is your main concern, seek out a hydrating formula with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides to strengthen the natural skin barrier. (CeraVe Eye Repair Cream contains both of these powerhouse ingredients.) If anti-aging is first on your list, opt for a formula with retinol and peptides (like our best overall pick SkinBetter Science EyeMax) to help turn back the clock. As for brightening, eye creams with vitamin C (like OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright+ Vitamin C Eye Crème) are ideal.

Your Questions, Answered

What does eye cream do?

“Eye cream can have several different purposes depending on the ingredients and what someone's looking for,” Dr. Marcus says. Their primary purpose is to hydrate the delicate skin around the eyes. But they can do so much more: Some eye creams have active ingredients to target specific concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles, and even puffiness.

How should you apply eye cream?

“Use approximately a pea-sized amount or less and apply with very gentle pressure using your ring finger,” says Dr. Murphy-Rose. You shouldn’t just rub it in though, urges Dr. Garshick. “Gently tap and pat it into the skin, moving from the innermost to outermost area,” she recommends. This method is better than rubbing and pulling at the skin, which can be irritating to the eye area. “Some eye creams may be designed with a metal applicator that can provide a cooling effect that can be applied directly to the undereye area to reduce potential puffiness, too,” Dr. Garshick adds.

When should you apply eye cream?

According to Dr. Murphy-Rose, you can apply an eye cream twice a day. That said, “the best time to apply an eye cream is at night before bed to help lock in moisture overnight,” she says.

Why Shop With Us

Celia Shatzman is a freelance writer for multiple publications including InStyle and Forbes,and has nearly two decades of beauty writing experience. To compile this list she took into account many eye creams she has tested over the years and consulted with three leading dermatologists — Dr. Marisa Garshick, Dr. Rebecca Marcus, and Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose — to lend their expertise and share their favorite products. 

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.

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