“Eye creams can, and often do, show results if they are used appropriately and for a long enough time,” says Beer. The trick is to find the best eye cream for your skin’s needs. If you feel like you’ve been duped by the hundreds of eye creams on the market promising to erase your dark circles, puffiness and fine lines, you probably haven’t tried the ones on this reader-approved list. Our reviewers have tested all the potions, creams, and elixirs for the delicate eye area and boiled it down to these 12 eye creams that actually work. Ready to become an eye cream believer?
Of course we have all heard about the famous chilled cucumbers over the eyes. Not only is this common in blog posts and YouTube, but it was made famous in several movies and television shows. The theory is that the enzymes and astringent properties in cucumbers are anti-inflammatories which help reduce inflammation and swelling. Some blogs even claim they will get rid of wrinkles and tighten the skin. There is absolutely no scientific support for these claims. However, chilled cucumbers do feel nice on swollen eyes.
You may have noticed that common cucumber and tea bag treatment methods are not mentioned here. This is because these items are not recommended by eye care professionals. Cucumbers are over 90 percent water, and the rest is mainly inert fiber.
Quitting smoking also helps with a host of other health issues. You can add years to your life, get rid of stained teeth, and reduce your chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.
“While technically not an eyes-only cream, I use Sunday Riley Tidal around my eyes and it’s pure gold. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t have a strong scent, which is great. It seriously pumps up the hydration in my face and around my eyes, and makes my skin super soft too.” —Nina Bahadur, branded content editor
The 33 creams we tested came in variety of tubes and pumps. Our favorite designs let us portion out a small dab of cream: just enough to fully hydrate our eyes without turning our eye cream into an all-over-face cream. The worst shot cream out at the closest available target, sometimes because of a runny formula, sometimes because of a too-powerful pump. At best, this lack of portion control is a small annoyance, but since some of our anti-wrinkle creams ran upwards of $100, we wanted the ability to measure them out without wasting anything.
There’s a third form of pink eye that can cause eye puffiness too: allergy-related pink eye, which tends to affect both eyes at the same time and typically causes watery discharge and itching in the corners of your eyes. If you also experience a runny nose or sneezing when you have pink eye, it’s probably allergy-related, says Dr. Manusis.
We gave our remaining 21 products to eleven testers of various skin types, dry to oily. They applied each cream and waited ninety seconds — the amount of time manufacturers typically recommend waiting before applying other products. Then our testers noted how quickly each cream had absorbed into their skin, and whether it left behind any residue.
Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water will also reduce swollen eyes. Too much salt in one’s diet can cause the eyes—and other parts of the body—to swell. Learn more about healthy eyes and eye vitamins.
This can have a potential dual effect on puffy eyelids. First, if dark circles are caused by a visible network of blood vessels under the thin eyelid skin, then making the vessels smaller might reduce the darkness.
Common urban myths about how to reduce puffy eyes include putting cold spoons on your eyes to reduce the inflammation. It is claimed that the cold steel soothes the skin and reduces the puffiness and swelling. They even claim it will help tighten up the skin and relax the blood vessels. There is no scientific support for these claims. Another common remedy is to rest wet tea bags on your eyes to draw out the puffiness. You are supposed to soak tea bags in hot water and then let them cool down, and place them on your eyes for 15 minutes.  Some blogs claim that tea contains anti-irritant properties. This is not true. Tea leaf does contain antioxidants and caffeine; but certainly not anti-irritants.
There are many ways to help reduce puffiness around your eyes. Some remedies are simple, like drinking more water. Others are more involved, like getting cosmetic surgery. Here are some tips and tricks to try to get rid of puffy eyes.
I am glad to have stumbled upon this recipe and plan to make a batch ASAP. Do you know of anything that will help with the crepey skin on my eyelids, upper and lower? I’ve searched among commercial products, but haven’t seen any that mention crepiness specifically.
Do you wake up every morning with puffy eyes? If you’re tired of looking sleepy or under the weather, there are plenty of things you can try to give your eyes a lift. Read on to learn about quick fixes, long-term strategies for reducing puffiness and a few permanent solutions, too.
I am a huge fan of coconut oil and make all my own hand and face creams with it. We live by “if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth why would you rub it into your skin and into your blood stream?”. For some reason the cream will go bad though if left on the counter. It takes about 2 months or so but it will go dark and break up around the edges. It must be because it has had things added. So its important to only make what you will use.
As much as 75 percent of sodium found in American diets comes from processed or restaurant foods. To reduce your salt intake, steer clear of cured meats, cheese, pickles, and other processed foods. Prepackaged foods like instant soups are often high in sodium. Reading labels can help you identify excessive amounts of salt.
Some eye cream types contain ingredients that help firm the skin, like caffeine, retinol, or vitamin C. These may temporarily provide a firmer look to the eyes. Those creams that help to lighten skin around the eyes, especially dark circles may contain ingredients such as hydroquinone or Vitamin K. Occasionally you’ll find creams that offer anti-aging or firming benefits and reduce dark circles.
This happens because aging processes cause thinning of the membrane or “septum” that ordinarily holds back fat in both the upper and lower eyelids. As the membrane thins, the fat herniates and pushes forward. This is when bags or bulges start forming under the eye.
The incorrect way of putting eye cream, or any type of cream, on and rubbing it in would be not to wash your hands before the process. Even if you are at home and didn’t go out, bacteria are already on your hands. That’s why we wash our hands before we eat.
“I love this little cream because I basically live out of my gym bag, and it’s the only eye cream I’ve found that comes in a teeny mini size. The tiny jar alone is so helpful when I’m getting ready on the go. Plus, it really, truly works. This stuff is no joke—they mean it when they say it’s potent! I look less sleepy the second I put it on.” —Sara Gaynes Levy, health editor
If you are already starting to see signs of skin aging like fine lines, dark circles or eye bags then you should start searching for the Top Rated Eye Creams of 2018. These are products that reduce* the appearance of the different aging signs around the eye area.
A bad night’s sleep can lead to puffiness around the eye area in the morning – especially if you’re stressed. Stress causes changes to the salt balance in the body and if salt balances are off, your eyes can retain water as a result and swell.
If you’re one of the many women who think eye creams are just another way for the cosmetic industry to get you to buy more skin care products, dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD, PA, says you should reconsider. The skin around your eye is the thinnest layer of skin on your entire body, and therefore the most sensitive, he says. So using a cream made specifically for your eyes is crucial, especially as you age.
Other times we get puffy eyes after sleeping. This can be caused by too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. Puffy eyes can also be caused by lack of sleep or excessive alcohol intake. Additional causes of puffy eyes include:

Vitamin K 90 mcg per day for adult women; 120 mcg per day for adult men; 10–20 mcg per day for infants; 15–100 mcg per day for children and teens Regulates blood clotting; used in creams to reduce puffy and aging eyes Spinach; swiss chard; kale; broccoli; avocado; grapes; kiwi; soybean
The truth is that only very few are actually effective and some may even contain harmful ingredients. When you’re in the market for an eye cream, you need to be very careful and learn about the ingredients to look for in eye creams that are clinically proven to be effective and safe. You can also use customer feedback to gauge the effectiveness and safety of the eye creams you’re considering for purchase.
“I think eye creams are bullshit.” We got this response literally no less than a dozen times from while conducting research for this story. It’s understandable. No matter how much beauty ads promise, there really is no such thing as a magic cream that’ll make you look like a woman who always drinks enough water and clocks eight hours of sleep each night. Even if you are that woman (secrets, please?), dark circles can still be hereditary. However, there really is some truth to the best eye creams. No, they won’t entirely get rid of that puffy, blue-ish tinge or erase wrinkles overnight, but there are a handful of options with ingredients that actually do tighten, brighten, and generally make your need for concealer a little less. We didn’t make everyone in the office a believer, but we did find 13 recommendations that make good on their claims. Most of them anyway.
You do a lot to protect your body from sunlight. Are you doing the same for your face? Too much sun can make the skin around your eyes sag or wrinkle. Use sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats to protect your face from harmful rays.
The first and most common remedy is to ensure you are properly hydrated. Drink at least 8 x 8 oz glasses of water a day. It might sound like a lot, but simply leave your glass full and in front of you all day and before you know it you will consume 8 glasses by dinner.
Leave your contacts in for too long, and it could leave you with puffy eyes. A contact len is “a barrier to the eye,” explains Dr. McLaughlin. This barrier prevents oxygen from reaching the eyes, which can make your corneas swell. If you sleep in your lenses, you’re putting more stress on your corneas and make the swelling even more pronounced.
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Use this under-eye mask for 20 minutes right before bed, wake up, and you will see a difference in the brightness and texture under your eyes. This is a really great thing to use right before a big day if dark circles are an issue of yours. It also makes under-eye concealer glide on so well the next morning.
Tea bags can help soothe irritated and puffy eyes as they contain anti-irritant properties that can help reduce swelling – as well as relieving redness and irritation. Simply put two used teabags in the fridge for half an hour and then put them on your eyelids for 15 minutes.
Fine lines and wrinkles come from both sun damage and your skin making less collagen as you age. Collagen helps maintain skin’s elasticity. Vitamin C, peptides, and retinol have boosted collagen production, studies of skin creams show. Ceramide and hyaluronic acid also help; these are moisturizers that help prevent water loss in the skin and improve elasticity.
Allergy season and watery, puffy eyes go hand-in-hand. Here’s the good news: Those over-the-counter medicines that you take for your allergies, colds, or sinus infections can dry up your puffy eyes — along with your runny nose. 
To help you determine which eye cream is best for your needs, we tested and ranked a slew of eye formulas to find out which products are worth the splurge and which should be left on the shelf. Here are the best eye creams for treating a whole range of problems, from puffiness to dark circles to signs of aging.
Perfect for those mornings where you wake up feeling less than bright-eyed, Clinique’s Pep Start Eye Cream is a lightweight formula which instantly awakens the eye area, depuffing and diminishing dark circles as it hydrates.
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