We sorted all other creams into the ‘day cream’ group. Day creams can be worn at any time — our finalists in this category all rely on peptides, which makes them more stable when exposed to sunlight than retinol-based creams. Our day creams also lack the mineral oils that show up in some night creams, allowing them to absorb quickly enough to be layered under makeup. But there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from wearing a “day cream” at night.
Toward that end, Dr. Rhonda Klein, a dermatologist based in Connecticut, told us to avoid fragrances, “especially if you have sensitive skin or notice any skin irritation.” No product will be truly scentless, but ones with synthetic fragrances (usually written as “fragrance” or “parfum” on ingredients lists) can be particularly irritating.
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.
Many causes of swelling and discoloration under the eyes aren’t serious and may respond well to at-home treatment. That said, if you notice these symptoms under just one eye or if they get worse over time, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor.
We made an exception for one product, Youth to the People, which comes in a jar but is one of the few paraben-free options we were able to track down. We take a closer look at parabens below, and while we don’t consider them a deal-breaker, we wanted to provide options for people who would prefer to avoid them.
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Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism – Facial puffiness and periorbital swelling occur due to infiltration with the mucopolysaccharides hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate,[4] pulling fluid into the interstitial space by osmosis.
This eye treatment from Kiehl’s is an old favorite of mine — I almost always have it in my medicine cabinet. The application process is kind of annoying, as you have to dip your finger into a sticky pot, which I don’t love, but this eye treatment is super hydrating as well as slightly pigmented, which means it helps with overtime treatment and brightening. This is worth trying if you want a little bit of lift to your eyes, but don’t necessarily feel like putting on concealer.
The majority of eye creams on the market are formulated with the same ingredients as most facial moisturizers. There are no special ingredients in eye creams that are specific to the skin around the eyes, but you should make sure you follow these dermatologist-approved rules for using moisturizer. Like the overwhelming majority of facial moisturizers on the market, eye creams are water based—water is often the first ingredient on the ingredients list. They contain humectants, like glycerin, that help draw water into the skin surface, and occlusives, like petrolatum or dimethicone, that limit water evaporation from the skin into the environment. Emollients are added to make the skin feel smooth and silky, adding aesthetic value to the product so the consumer likes how the product feels. Emulsifiers are added so the water and oil components of the emulsion don’t separate. All water-based products require a preservative to prevent overgrowth of mold and bacteria. Manufacturers also add thickeners, as eye creams are expected to be thicker than most facial moisturizers. A “marketing tool” ingredient (discussed below) is often added to enhance sales, and sometimes fragrance is also added.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
Whether you choose a retinoid- or peptide-based product, take your time adding new ingredients to your skin care routine, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Starting by applying the cream once or twice a week, and give your skin time to adjust to the new routine. This is an easy way to check whether your skin is sensitive to the ingredients in your new eye cream — irritated skin will feel itchy and look red. Even if you don’t see irritation right away, keep an eye on your skin as you move from applying eye cream every few days to a daily routine. If you’re using a retinoid-based night cream, irritation or redness may be a sign to switch to a peptide-based day cream instead.
Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to body bloating, which will have an effect on your eyes as well. Go easy on the diet sodas and other products containing fake sugar substitutes, or give them up completely. You can also try easing the eye puff caused by this fake sugars by consuming more inflammation-fighting foods like berries, tomatoes, and ginger. 
February 20, 2018 – We’ve updated our review to reflect the most recent research into anti-aging ingredients. We’ve also tested dozens of new finalists. We’re excited to recommend six new picks, all packed with the most effective ingredients we could find to help your skin battle signs of aging.
If you have pink eye, you would think you’d know it—this super contagious eye condition usually causes the mucus membranes that line your eyes to turn pinkish-red and swell up, releasing discharge as well.
Ingredients can vary depending on what type of issue the eye cream is trying to address. But there are some common components to keep an eye out for, including those that encourage collagen production, like niacinamide and retinol. Caffeine will help decrease puffiness by constricting blood vessels and light reflectors will illuminate those pesky dark areas.
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.
Peptides are a more recent entrant into the field of skin care, which means that they’re not as well documented. Kevin Gallagher told us that peptides were derived from medical research into wound healing, and he recommended them over retinoids because they have less risk of irritating the delicate skin around the eye area. “Peptides are small fragments of collagen and proteins that are meant to ‘trick’ the skin into thinking that its collagen is broken, and that it needs to make new collagen to replace it. Over time, it can help thicken skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles,” explains Shainhouse.
I bought the two ingredients (organic coconut oil and vitamin E capsules), did some melting and mixing and viola! I have the best DIY Homemade Eye Cream that is gentle and homemade, but very effective. I’ve seen a big difference in just a couple weeks.
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.
Lightweight night creams absorb quickly: After a minute or two, it might be hard to tell you’ve put anything on. We’d recommend this category for people with oily skin — or for anyone who doesn’t like the texture of heavy lotions.
Fillers — usually composed of hyaluronic acid, a hydrator that your body already produces naturally — can be injected beneath the skin to plump it up and smooth out wrinkles. A professional will help you determine what kind of dermal filler is best and where it should be used to achieve desired results. If you have a tear trough depression, for instance, Dr. Greene told us that it’s possible to plump it up to a more natural level. Any shadow the depression caused will disappear along with it.

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Fluid may also be more likely to get trapped in your lower eyelid as you age. Fluid retention is known as edema. The thin skin around your eyelid can cause fluid retention to be very prominent, resulting in puffy eyes.
There are plenty of eye cream ingredients that claim to improve blood circulation (like caffeine) or blood coagulation (like Vitamin K) which will theoretically reduce puffiness and dark circles. But the outer layer of your skin does such a good job protecting against invaders that it prevents most of these ingredients from penetrating deeply. You may be better off adding a cup of coffee or a spinach soufflée to your diet than waiting and hoping that these ingredients will sink in.
There are many eye creams on the market that may help puffiness. Some ingredients to look for in an eye cream include chamomile, cucumber, and arnica. They contain properties that may reduce inflammation and tighten the skin. Caffeine in eye creams and makeup may also help reduce puffy eyes.
In the United States, Congress passes laws to protect consumers’ health and safety. The Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) clearly states “articles…intended to affect the structure or function of…” skin are considered drugs, and as such, must get FDA pre-market approval before going to market. In addition, the manufacturer must prove safety and efficacy of that product. An eye cream, however, is not a drug—it is a cosmetic and doesn’t require FDA pre-market approval or need to demonstrate its safety or efficacy. Cosmetics are defined as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.” By law, manufacturers of cosmetics, including eye creams, may claim that their product improves the appearance of the skin, as many well-formulated moisturizers temporarily do, but they cannot legally claim that their product actually alters the structure or function of the skin, as this would make the product a drug and require FDA pre-market approval.
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