If you want to smooth, depuff, and brighten the delicate skin around your eyes, regular face cream won’t cut it. This is a job for a specialty treatment.

By Erica Metzger
Updated January 09, 2020
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I’ll never forget the shopping trip when my mom bought what looked like a tablespoon of eye cream for the same price as a pair of combat boots I coveted. Cue teen-angst scene. Mom, I totally get it now. These days I’m reaching for similarly petite portions that target dark circles, puffy bags, and dry, crepey texture. Why do my eyes need the extra TLC, anyway? “Our thin eyelid skin is prone to dryness, sun damage, and inflammation. It’s also an area of constant expression, which leads to wrinkles,” says Arielle Kauvar, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. Compared to the rest of my face, this area is showing age faster, so a targeted treatment makes sense. “Good eye creams contain many of the same anti-aging ingredients for the face but are formulated to avoid irritation,” Kauvar says. My faves don’t blow my shoe budget.

Image courtesy of Kora Organics

Best for Depuffing: Kora Organics Noni Radiant Eye Oil

I keep this organic eye treatment at my desk, so I can glide it around my eyes when they look puffy or tired. It’s become my afternoon pick-me-up. Caffeine (in the form of coffee seed oil) revs up circulation, and the rose quartz roller ball applicator feels like a massage.

Image courtesy of Walmart

Best for Overnight Repair: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream

Dab a little around your eyes before you go to sleep. Retinol works on wrinkles and dark spots; hyaluronic acid hydrates. I love that you can find these gold standard anti-aging ingredients at the drugstore.

Image courtesy of Mary Kay

Best for All-Around Anti-Aging: Mary Kay TimeWise Age Minimize 3D Eye Cream

I adore a good multi-tasker. With the antioxidant resveratrol to protect, Vitamin B3 to brighten, and peptides to firm, this is one of the hardest working eye creams around. Bonus: My concealers blends so nicely on top of it, so it’s like a primer too.

Image courtesy of Whole Foods

Best for Brightening: Avalon Organics Intense Defense Vitamin C Eye Cream

An organic vitamin C treatment at a great value; it moisturizes and fades discoloration. This formula is also vegan and doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances or colors.

Image courtesy of Tatcha

Best for Treating Dark Circles: Tatcha The Pearl Underlight & Eye Treatment

I no longer dread dark circles. This tinted eye cream is skin care and makeup in one, thanks to its magical blend of brightening pearls, green tea, silk powder and botanical extracts. Apply a tiny dot then very gently pat underneath your eyes and it’s like you added a flattering, youthful filter. Available in three shades.


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