The 17 Best Eye Creams for Dry Skin of 2023

We can’t stop reapplying Dieux Skin Auracle for its incredibly hydrating formula that also helps address dark circles and fine lines

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Best Eye Creams for Dry Skin

InStyle / David Hattan

Contrary to popular belief, eye creams are not a scam. In fact, they're an essential part of any healthy skincare routine. 

“The skin around the eye is very thin and delicate. It’s also one of the first areas to show signs of aging,” says Dr. Michael Somenek, a board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Washington, DC. He adds that regular application of quality eye creams can prevent the signs of premature aging by providing consistent hydration to the eye skin.

Because the under eye area is thinner, it’s unable to retain moisture as easily as other parts of our body. Without proper hydration, the area can become dry, especially in the winter, leading to taut-feeling and dull looking skin. It also can make under eye concealer look cakey or flake, calling more attention to the area. 

We asked five experts for their favorite eye creams for dry skin, plus ingredients to look for and the best way to apply it. Keep reading for everything you need to know about eye creams for dry skin, but hadn’t thought to ask yet.

Best Overall

Dieux Skin Auracle Reviving Eye Gel

Dieux Skin Auracle Reviving Eye Gel

Dieux Skin

What We Love
  • It works for all skin types and addresses dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness — all while being sustainable.

What We Don’t Love
  • Though it’s formulated to be hydrating, the brand recommends using a moisturizer over it for those with ultra dry skin. 

Some products just have it all. Dieux Skin’s new eye cream, Auracle, hydrates while reducing the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines and wrinkles. The gel-serum texture contains a handful of innovative and renewable ingredients, including 10 percent glycerin, which helps to keep skin moisturized and protected, algae polysaccharides to visibly camouflage dark circles and discoloration, and peptides to boost skin’s firmness and minimize puffiness. 

This gentle hydrating cream is perfectly safe for sensitive skin too, and can even be used on the eyelids without triggering a milia flare-up. In clinical studies, Auracle was shown to leave skin feeling immediately softer, and in several weeks time, fine lines appeared fainter. 

Yet, the formula isn’t the only impressive part. Dieux Skin is dedicated to transparency, showcasing a complete breakdown of the brand’s cost of ingredients, packaging – 100 percent recycled aluminum – and markup. Plus, $1 of every sale is donated to LGBTQIA+ communities internationally. 

Price at time of publish: $44

Key Ingredients: Marine algae, peptides, glycerin | Size: 0.68 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best Budget

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Eyes


What We Love
  • Lightweight and fast-absorbing, this gel-cream is a great option under makeup.

What We Don’t Love
  • It’s not hydrating enough for those with extra dry skin.

If you’re a fan of Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost line, you can’t miss the collection’s gel eye cream, which soaks into skin instantly and provides all-day comfort for under eyes. The cooling gel contains one main active ingredient: hyaluronic acid, a molecule known to absorb and hold water. 

Though if your skin feels chronically dry, this lightweight gel product probably won’t be moisturizing enough.

Price at time of publish: $15

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best Splurge

Macrene Actives High Performance Eye Cream

Macrene Actives High Performance Eye Cream

Neiman Marcus

What We Love
  • This long-lasting and super-rich cream feels like a soothing balm, making it perfect for those in need of a deep dose of hydration.

What We Don’t Love
  • The thick cream can take a while to absorb. 

This clever cream is created by Dr. Macrene Alexiades, who happens to hold three Harvard degrees, her own research company, a buzzy dermatology practice, and far too many honors and accolades to mention. If that wasn’t impressive enough, she also has her own line of hyper-active skincare, designed to provide minimal, effective solutions for all skin needs and woes. 

Her High Performance Eye Cream contains 38 plant-based active ingredients (including peptides, hyaluronic acid, and caffeine) to visibly brighten, reduce the appearance of fine lines, combat puffiness, and firm the skin. Basically, it’s everything you need in one simple – and recyclable – glass bottle. 

Price at time of publish: $135

Key Ingredients: Peptides, hyaluronic acid, caffeine | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best Drugstore

CeraVe Skin Renewing Eye Cream for Wrinkles

default image
What We Love
  • Its light consistency absorbs easily into skin, providing a moisturized foundation for makeup.

What We Don’t Love
  • Due to its quick absorption, it isn’t long-lasting.

Developed with dermatologists, this hydrating and firming eye cream is a foolproof – and affordable – solution. Brewed with peptides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramides and caffeine, this formula works quickly to improve skin elasticity, discoloration and puffiness around the eyes. However, the featherlight texture might leave some skin wanting more moisture. 

Price at time of publish: $18

Key Ingredients: Peptides, niacinamide, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, ceramides | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best for Sensitive Skin

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Ointment

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Love
  • Simple, cost-conscious and effective, Aquaphor makes a fantastic nighttime eye cream.

What We Don’t Love
  • Its thick occlusive texture is naturally greasy, which can cause under eye makeup to slide. 

Believe it or not, Aquaphor’s occlusive is a great solution for sensitive skin. “If you suffer from eczema and have excessively dry skin, try applying Aquaphor to your under eye area nightly,” says Dr. Lian Mack, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist. 

“The occlusive properties of Aquaphor help to create a seal for the skin, locking in moisture,” she adds. “While Aquaphor is not marketed specifically as an under eye cream, it works well for dry eye skin.” 

You often hear of slugging with Vaseline, but Aquaphor is a tad different. It's a petroleum jelly-based ointment which also contains lanolin, glycerin, and a few additional hydrating ingredients. 

“Petrolatum is a thick and occlusive emollient that helps prevent 99 percent of transepidermal water loss,” says Dr. Rachel Westbay, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist. “Some patients with very dry eyes may find it helpful to layer on thick, occlusive emollients at nighttime, or as many times throughout the day as you’d like and can tolerate.” 

Price at time of publish: $6

Key Ingredients: Petroleum, glycerin | Size: 1.75 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best for Under Makeup

ILIA Bright Start Retinol Alternative Brightening Eye Cream

ILIA Bright Start Activated Eye Cream


What We Love
  • Designed specifically to work flawlessly under makeup, the cream’s brightening ingredients also neutralizes dark under eyes.

What We Don’t Love
  • Due to the caffeine and slight tint, it’s a morning-only solution.

ILIA’s first-ever skincare product, Bright Start Activated Eye Cream, is a lightweight, bouncy eye cream specifically designed to be concealer-friendly. It sinks into skin quickly without leaving a greasy finish, giving it all-day staying power under makeup. 

With ingredients like sea fennel extract, which is sustainability harvested off the coast of France, to address fine lines and wrinkles, upcycled avocado extract to hydrate and caffeine to reconcile puffiness and under eye bags, the silky-feeling cream glides right on with the help of a cooling ceramic-tipped applicator. Pro tip: Pop it in the fridge overnight so it doubles as a de-puffing tool white you apply. 

Price at time of publish: $46

Key Ingredients: Sea fennel extract, avocado extract, caffeine, peptides | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best for Dark Circles

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex


What We Love
  • Using innovative and patented ingredients, SkinCeuticals is effective in the fight against under eye discoloration.

What We Don’t Love
  • It's a pricey option that takes time to see a visible payoff.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, many things can trigger dark circles: Aging, genetics, allergies and of course, lack of sleep. They’re a stubborn foe, but by speeding up blood flow (via manual massage and circulation-increasing ingredients) and applying lotions filled with antioxidants, they can be tamed.

This eye treatment works on dark circles in two timelines: instantly and long term. For an instant cure, the A.G.E. Eye Complex tapped optical diffusers to reflect light, minimizing the appearance of dark circles. Over time, their patented, beechwood-based sugar molecule Pro-Xylane, along with peptides and flavonoids, work in tandem to diminish discoloration while also restoring skin’s firmness. 

In a 12-week controlled clinical study, patients saw a 29 percent improvement in puffiness, a 27 percent improvement in dark circles, and a 33 percent improvement in skin firmness when using the A.G.E. Eye Complex twice a day. 

Price at time of publish: $105

Key Ingredients: Pro-Xylane, flavonoids, peptides | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best for Wrinkles

StriVectin Peptight 360˚ Tightening Eye Serum

StriVectin Peptight 360˚ Tightening Eye Serum


What We Love
  • Targeting crepey skin, this eye serum is clinically proven to tightening the entire eye area with consistent usage.

What We Don’t Love
  • The serum can pill when skincare or makeup is layered atop it.

StriVectin is one of those brands that consistently understands the assignment — and the Tighten & Lift Peptight Eye Serum is no exception. The brand's triple peptide blend works alongside caffeine, microalgae and Kakadu plum extract to moisturize, support collagen production, and leave crepey skin feeling and looking firmer. As with all StriVectin products, the formula also includes the brand’s trademarked NIA-114, an optimized form of vitamin B, which has been clinically proven to strengthen the skin barrier. 

In 8-week trials, the eye serums showed 100 percent improvement in the look of firmness, 96 percent improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and 93 percent improvement in the look of under-eye puffiness. 

Price at time of publish: $71

Key Ingredients: Peptides, caffeine | Size: 1 oz. | Fragrance Free: No

Best for Puffiness

Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

Derm Store

What We Love
  • This award-winning eye gel is chock-full of potent ingredients to manage puffiness, dark circles and dehydration.

What We Don’t Love
  • It can cause makeup to cake and skincare to pill. 

One of the bestsellers in Dr. Loretta’s popular line is this Tightening Eye Gel, which addresses a long list of woes: Signs of premature aging, dark circles, puffiness, and crow’s feet. The lightweight gel includes patented ingredients to neutralize damage caused by free radicals and the sun, as well as marine algae peptides, leaving skin feeling supple and comfortable.

Pro tip: For immediate results, lightly dab it on with your finger then massage it in with a cooling tool, like ice globes, cryotherapy devices or even just freezer-chilled spoons. 

Price at time of publish: $60

Key Ingredients: Antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides | Size: 0.67 oz. | Fragrance Free: Yes

Best Brightening




What We Love
  • This effective cream feels great and is clinically proven to brighten dark circles.

What We Don’t Love
  • The results are subtle and long-term, so banish any expectations of overnight before and afters. 

Barcelona-based ISDIN developed K-Ox Eyes specifically to ease dark circles and puffiness. The formula includes darkness-reducing vitamin K, as well as a handful of circulation-boosting ingredients. 

Never heard of Vitamin K? It’s a particularly helpful ingredient in eye creams. “One of the best ingredients for the under eye, in general, is vitamin K,” says Dr. Westbay. “This vitamin works to improve swelling, dark circles, and circulation under the eye, which is perfect for creating a brighter and hydrated under eye.” 

Price at time of publish: $92

Key Ingredients: Vitamin K, hyaluronic acid | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance Free: No

Best for Fine Lines

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Gel-Cream

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Gel-Cream


What We Love
  • Proven and established, this eye gel-cream is a no-brainer option that provides significant results and benefits.

What We Don’t Love
  • The ingredients in the cream aren’t as clean and sustainable as other products on this list.

Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Eye is a silky formula designed to improve dark circles, fine lines, and overall aging around the eye. The gel-cream offers a mix of hyaluronic acid to attract water and keep skin moisture, along with vitamin E to counteract free radicals. The brand's trademarked FR-Defense technology protects against harmful environmental stressors.

As with all of Lauder’s best-selling Advanced Night Repair collection, extensive clinical studies have shown major results. It’s shown that skin will remain hydrated and plumped for up to 100 hours with just a single application; lines show a reduction in appearance in just one week and eyes look more rested after three weeks.

Price at time of publish: $70

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: No

Best with Retinol

Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum

Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum


What We Love
  • It provides a retinoid-strength solution to boost collagen, sans traditional retinol woes.

What We Don’t Love
  • This retinoid ester cream can still be far too strong for sensitive skin. 

We're all aware of the perks of retinol when it comes to reducing the signs of aging. But on the flip side, it's also known to wreak havoc on skin, especially for new users. Thankfully, Sunday Riley found a way to incorporate the superstar ingredient into an eye cream that won't dry out this delicate area. 

Two different retinoids work together to supercharge collagen production while the moisturizing complex of ceramides and olive oil keeps the skin barrier thriving. The formulation is thoughtfully rounded out with niacinamide, which not only brightens discoloration, but also targets crows feet and fine lines. 

Price at time of publish: $65

Key Ingredients: Retinoid, niacinamide, ceramides | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: No

Best Gel

Olay Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Hydrating Eye Gel

Olay Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Hydrating Eye Gel


What We Love
  • Olay’s classic gel treatment provides a cooling sensation upon contact.

What We Don’t Love
  • Eye gel doesn’t offer significant solutions beyond hydration. 

While there are dozens of products on the market to choose from these days, you can never go wrong with a beloved, reliable brand like Olay. The fragrance-free formula offers a mix of peptides and hyaluronic acid to help keep dry skin well quenched, plus it imparts an instant cooling sensation upon application. 

The refreshing eye gel is especially effective for those who would like an eye treatment that hydrates but doesn’t leave the eyes looking or feeling greasy or tacky. It’s also great for layering under makeup. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, peptides, niacinamide | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance- Free: Yes

Best Clean

Drunk Elephant Ceramighty AF Eye Balm

Drunk Elephant Ceramighty AF Eye Balm


What We Love
  • The creamy, whipped balm texture is buildable and richly hydrating.

What We Don’t Love
  • Some sensitive-skin users note irritation with use, perhaps from the fragrance. 

If your dry skin is seriously thirsty, this is the eye balm to grab. Formulated with a three percent ceramide blend and 10 percent plant omega-lipid complex, this moisturizer supports the skin barrier and also softens the skin’s texture with regular use. 

Dr. Westbay is a fan of this ceramide-boosted cream, noting it provides “immediate, noticeable hydration and softening,” while the omega-lipid complex’s fatty acids and antioxidants work to maintain the moisture balance, ensuring long-lasting hydration. To round out the rockstar ingredients list, calming oat oil soothes discoloration and linolenic acid improves the skin’s texture.

Price at time of publish: $60

Key Ingredients: Ceramides, antioxidants, linoleic acid | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: No

Best for Mature Skin

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado


What We Love
  • This thick balm aims to hydrate and reduce redness while also addressing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

What We Don’t Love
  • The deeply rich cream can cause milia or small bumps. 

Dr. Somenek recommends Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment for its luxurious texture and the long-lasting hydration it offers. Rife with avocado oil to nourish and visibility soften skin, along with shea butter, one of the best defenses against dry skin, this moisturizer is like a tall glass of water to your under eye area while still feeling light and airy to the touch. But don’t just take our word for it – 50 people in a clinical study reported that their under eye texture improved by 25 percent and their overall “tired” appearance was alleviated by nearly 20 percent.

Price at time of publish: $60

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, peptides | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

Saks Fifth Avenue

What We Love
  • Developed by a leading cosmetic chemist, it offers one of the highest percentages of vitamin C of any eye cream, making it one of the most effective formulas to treat hyperpigmentation.

What We Don’t Love
  • This high level of vitamin C can be intense for sensitive skin users.

Created by famed cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, Beautystat first broke the skincare mold with the Universal C Skin Refiner — the world's first 20 percent vitamin C serum, containing stabilized L-ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C) through a patented encapsulated system for maximum potency. 

Now, the brand’s Universal C Eye Perfector has a potent five percent L-ascorbic acid to eradicate sun spots, hyperpigmentation and fine lines. The velvety gel-cream formula also cleverly includes pure EGCG, the most effective form of polyphenol, derivative of green tea, to brighten and calm inflammation. Robinson also included hyaluronic acid and his patented CMH Repair Complex – a mix of caffeine, magnolia and help oil – in the formula for the kind of hydration that lasts all day. 

The before and after images are staggering, as are the clinical trial numbers: 84 percent of users showed significant improvements in skin brightness and radiance, and 71 percent saw improvement in dark circles. 

Price at time of publish: $65

Key Ingredients: L-ascorbic acid, caffeine | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best with SPF

Supergoop Bright Eyed SPF 40

Supergoop Bright Eyed SPF 40


What We Love
  • The illuminated, pearlescent tint adds instant brightness and serious sun protection.

What We Don’t Love
  • Applying it too close to the waterline can cause burning or discomfort (as does almost all sunscreens). 

We love this eye cream because it is so much more than just an eye cream. It’s a truly versatile skin and suncare hybrid product that contains one of the highest SPFs available for the eye area. It also includes probiotics, caffeine, and botanical ingredients to support, hydrate, and brighten the under eye area. Thanks to the SPF and slight tint, it’s ideal for a morning skincare routine online — especially on days spent outside. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide, probiotics, caffeine | Size: 0.5 oz. | Fragrance-Free: No

What to Keep In Mind 

Skin Type

Those with dry skin can find their eye area to be particularly and frustratingly dehydrated. “Eyelids frequently become dry relative to other parts of the body because eyelid skin is thinner than the skin on other parts of your body and face,” says Dr. Westbay. 

However, dry periocular skin may be caused by several other factors, too, including inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, allergies and the use of harsh or drying soaps and toners.

“For those with dry skin around the eyes, it's recommended to drink plenty of water, keep the area moisturized, and avoid harsh skincare products like exfoliants,” says Dr. Westbay. 

Active Ingredients

Dry skin around the eye area is both very sensitive and very reactive, meaning you only want to use a handful of tried-and-true ingredients. “Because loss of moisture is a huge factor in what causes and also perpetuates the symptoms of dry skin, choosing ingredients that prevent further water loss and/or directly hydrate the outer layers of the skin is key,” says Dr. Westbay. 


Humectants attract like a magnet, pulling moisture from the air onto the thirsty, outermost layer or skin. But humectants don’t just hydrate, says Dr. Westbay, they can also encourage the natural shedding of dead skin cells, improve the appearance of flaky skin, and enhance the skin’s own hydrating abilities. Look for the most popular: aloe vera, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, urea, and pantothenol.


Think of humectants and emollients as two inseparable best friends. While they’re great on their own, they work in greater harmony when paired together. 

“Emollients sit on the surface of the skin to lock in moisture and prevent evaporative loss of water from the skin,” explains Dr. Westbay. 

Think of it this way: Humectants draw the water onto the skin and emollients keep it there. Key emollients to look for are petrolatum and allantoin.

Ceramides and Peptides

Using products with ceramides and peptides can improve the strength and moisture of the skin in a natural way, says Dr. Somenek. Ceramides are naturally-occurring lipids within our skin that seal the skin barrier, keeping it healthy and intact, while peptides are amino acids that penetrate the skin barrier to rebuild and repair damaged cells. 

“Peptides support collagen production, so they’re ideal for thinning skin and fine lines,” says Dr. Somenek. 


Squalane can be found naturally in many plants, animals, and even your own skin (it makes up about 10 to 12 percent of your skin’s oil). 

“It is one of the most common lipids produced by human skin cells,” says Dr. Westbay. “Although squalane is produced naturally by the body, the production of this chemical slows dramatically after age 30, thus contributing to dry skin.” 

Squalane found in skincare is most commonly sourced from plants, including sugarcane and olives. 


While some eye creams include a light scent, those with sensitive, ready-to-turn-red skin should seek out fragrance-free iterations. 

“People suffering from dry eyes should also consider looking for products that are fragrance-free and without many additive ingredients,” advises Dr. Westbay, who adds that this is especially true if you have a condition like eczema.


“Ideally, eye creams should be cream-based, rather than lotions,” says Dr. Westbay. “Many lotions are alcohol-based, meaning they evaporate once on the skin, which can actually exacerbate dryness.”

Dr. Somenek agrees, explaining that “thicker, hydrating creams work better for dry skin around the eyes as opposed to oily skin, which benefits more from retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, and green tea extracts.”

Eye Health

Eye creams are formulated to go near the eyes — but not all formulas are eye-safe. “Eye creams must be formulated with the highest standards to ensure they don't harm ocular health,” says Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo, an ophthalmologist based in New Jersey. “The skin around the eyes is very thin, so creams can absorb very quickly and/or migrate into the eye.”

Your Questions, Answered 

How do you hydrate the skin around your eyes?

The best way to hydrate the skin around the eyes is to use creams that contain nourishing and calming ingredients. “Use a thicker or heavier cream with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, designed to strengthen the skin barrier and pull moisture to the skin, respectively,” adds Dr. Mack. 

How do you use an eye cream?

No matter what product you use, make sure you’re applying your eye product correctly. 

First and foremost, consider the pressure. Use either your index or ring finger to gently and delicately tap the cream onto the under eyes. But never drag or rub the product into the skin, as that could irritate the fragile area. And a pea-sized amount of cream between both eyes should suffice, notes Dr. Mack. 

After washing your face, dab the cream under the tear troughs and the periorbital area both morning and night, being especially careful to not get too close to the eyes, says Dr. Hilal-Campo, and consider avoiding the eyelids altogether. “It’s not recommended to apply eye cream on your eyelids unless the directions say it’s safe to do so,” says Dr. Somenek. 

If you find your eye cream constantly sneaking into the eyes and causing irritation, consider only using eye cream at night, when you’re less active, which will help prevent product migration into the eyes, says Dr. Hilal-Campo. 

Why Shop With Us 

Kristin Limoges is a freelance editor who has been reporting on beauty news and trends for more than a decade. She writes for numerous publications, including Byrdie, Harper’s Bazaar and WWD. To compile this list, she researched and tested countless eye creams (especially taking into consideration her ultra-sensitive under eyes). She also consulted with leading skin and eye experts — Dr. Marisa Garshick, Dr. Rachel Westbay, Dr. Lian Mack, Dr. Michael Somenek, and Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo — for their expertise and their favorite products.

Related Articles