“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?
Kate Somerville was our favorite by a very narrow margin. Both brands come with pump dispensers that dole out precise amounts of eye cream as needed. Both felt hydrating and refreshing, leaving skin moisturized without being too heavy. Kate Somerville is slightly pricier, at $125, versus Chanel’s $105. So why did we prefer the pricier option? It was virtually odorless. Chanel had a lightly floral (almost medicinal) scent on first whiff, which some of us enjoyed, but two unhappy testers reported fishy undertones as it dried. Chanel was also more prone to flaking as it dried. We’ll stick with Kate Somerville.
I mix beeswax pellets with just a little bit of rosehip oil (don’t want it to be greasy) and some quality frankincense oil (I order my oil through Tropical Traditions). The beeswax doesn’t melt into my eyes quite as quickly as the coconut oil, thus it stays off my eyeballs and I don’t get blurry vision. I’ve come to know that using this at night before bed is the best way. During the daytime I mix frankincense with grapeseed oil (soaks in right away) and use it under my powdered mineral make-up and it works out fine. At night I want something heavier though, so I stay with the beeswax.
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:
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler’s educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Why does it happen? Many things can contribute to eye puffiness, but the underlying cause has to do with fluid accumulation. For unknown reasons, fluid has collected around your eyes and the surrounding skin tissue. This tissue is among the thinnest in your body, so any swelling there is easy to see and hard to hide.
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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.
Lotus Herbals’ Nutraeye Rejuvenating And Correcting Eye Gel claims to treat the skin around your eyes with its rejuvenating properties. It claims to reduce under-eye dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles, and fine lines.
A similar action takes place in the eyelids. The closed, non-blinking eyelids during sleep potentially can swell in certain people prone to this problem. So in the mornings, you could wake up with unusually puffy, swollen eyelids. As soon as you open your eyes and blinking begins, some of this swelling can diminish in an hour or so.
Try a neti pot. Use this gizmo, which looks like a small teapot, to pour salt water into one nostril and let it drain out the other. It sounds weird, but it might help flush out all that extra moisture in your sinuses from seasonal allergies, colds, or infections.
The best thing for puffiness is to go cold. Tom Vichroski of CRDR Consulting, Inc., a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, recommends cool ingredients — literally. Keeping your cream in the fridge is the equivalent of giving your eye area a cold shower and helps reduce early-morning puffiness.
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.
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.
Place the filled containers in the refrigerator for less than an hour until the liquid returns to solid form. After it turns to a solid, there is no need to keep it refrigerated. The oils will not become rancid.

Part of Estée Lauder’s bestselling Advanced Night Repair range, the sciencey-sounding Eye Concentrate Matrix uses that same anti-ageing technology to target fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles and dryness while you sleep. The serum texture makes it a pleasure to use, too.
All of our consulting dermatologists and cosmetic chemists agreed that there is not currently enough scientific data to conclude whether parabens are actually harmful. That said, they encouraged those wary of parabens to seek out alternatives. The challenge is that there aren’t many. We could only find three paraben-free options, after nixing other potentially harmful ingredients: Both of the glittery Olay eye creams are paraben-free, as is Youth to the People’s medium-weight night cream. There’s also a fourth, if you can find it: Perricone MD Cold Plasma Anti-Aging Eye Treatment. But it’s not widely available from retailers like Amazon, Ulta, or Sephora, and we weren’t able to bring it in for testing.
The table below does not include all companies or all available products in the market but those that we promote as their affiliates. In full compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume that any and all links on the table are affiliate links, and we may receive compensation if you click one of these and make a purchase. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. All editorial content is written without prejudice or bias, regardless of sponsor or affiliate associations.
Exercise caution when using a new cosmetic product or trying a home remedy. If the condition worsens, or if you exhibit other symptoms, discontinue use immediately and contact your primary care physician or dermatologist for severe or persisting symptoms.
Hemorrhoid cream may do more harm than good, however, especially when used on the sensitive skin around the eyes or eyelids. Some hemorrhoid creams contain steroids, which can cause or worsen cataracts and glaucoma if used near the eyes. The eyes may also become irritated after using such creams.
One of the most common home remedies, as mentioned above, is the temporary use of hemorrhoid creams and ointments to reduce the puffiness in eyelids. A common active ingredient in these preparations is phenylephrine, a medication that constricts blood vessels, reducing their diameter.
The flip-side is that retinoids may work more quickly than peptides, although “quickly” is still relative. At high concentrations, you’re likely to see improvements in wrinkles, skin thickness, and skin elasticity within 4 months, but be prepared for a longer wait time with most over-the-counter creams. Just as wrinkles don’t appear overnight, happen overnight, even the best eye cream can’t fix them overnight.
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.
Make healthy changes to your diet. Do you tend to eat salty dinners frequently? This is a big cause of puffiness around the eyes, since the salt causes you to retain water in the face. If you go to bed almost every night with a lot of salt in your system, it can actually cause the skin in your eyes to stretch out and sag over time from getting filled with fluid. Start these new habits to reduce the chances that this will happen:
If propping up your head hurts your neck or you can’t fall asleep, you may also consider elevating the entire top end of your bed by a few inches. You can use bricks under the bed posts or buy special bed risers that are specifically made for this purpose.
Prescription-strength retinoid creams are another option for stubborn wrinkles, although they should be used with care. They have the potential to cause peeling, flaking, dryness, or acne flare-ups if you have sensitive skin. A dermatologist will be able to work with you to figure out what strength of retinoid is appropriate for your skin, monitor whether your skin is reacting well or poorly, and adjust your prescription accordingly.
Dermatologists don’t recommend the at-home kits as they’re less effective and there’s some danger of infection transmission. Don’t share needles with other people to prevent disease transmission. This approach isn’t a good choice for people who have a history of keloids or who easily scar.
Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) 0–4 yrs old 500 IU per day; 4–12 yrs old 1,000 IU per day; 2,300 IU for women and 3,000 IU for men per day Prevents night blindness; critical in function of eye; known to treat eye disorders such as pink eye, glaucoma, & dry eye syndrome Apricots; cantaloupes; carrots; pumpkins; spinach; broccoli
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Get some exercise. This improves circulation, which will help your body move fluid through your body, rather than letting it accumulate. If you have time, go for a run, do some yoga, or simply take a brisk walk.
There are two types of alcohols in cosmetics. The good guys are the “fatty alcohols,” like cetyl alcohol. This group of ingredients soothes and moisturizes and is a great addition to many moisturizers. The “bad” alcohols include denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol. These ingredients are sometimes added because they help active ingredients penetrate further into your skin — which sounds great, until you learn that bad alcohols achieve this by breaking down the outer layers of your skin. They can eventually hurt the skin’s ability to retain moisture. We took a hard line on these drying alcohols, cutting any products that included them.
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