Science has yet to discover a single ingredient that can reverse the aging process. Often “marketing tool” ingredients like caffeine, peptides, or collagen are added to an eye cream formulation to enhance sales. But there is no scientific evidence that these ingredients have any real benefit or that they can reverse the aging process. On the other hand, dermatologists say these breakthrough anti-aging products are the real deal. The ability of an eye cream to improve the appearance of skin around the eye is more dependent on the product’s ability to increase the water content of the skin, which is basically its effectiveness as a moisturizer.
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.
Before you choose, you’ll need to decide when you want to use your cream: Night creams contain retinoids, the most fast-acting and well-researched anti-wrinkle agent on the market — but this class of ingredients quickly breaks down and becomes ineffective when exposed to sunlight. Day creams contain peptides, a more recent addition to the skincare arsenal: Peptides are less sensitive to sunlight and less likely to irritate if you’ve got sensitive skin, but expect to wait longer for results. We’ve found picks in both categories.
Also worth considering are NIOD Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate, and Eco Your Skin VOLUFILINE15 EYE ESSENCE. NIOD was the only true eye serum that made it to our list of finalists — it’s a liquid that comes in a dropper. It doesn’t absorb as quickly as Drunk Elephant or Mizon, with all of our testers reporting moderately oily residue. Eco Your Skin is heavier still — we almost bumped it into our “heavy creams” category. Its standout features is the size of its bottle. Unlike most of our finalists, which usually cap at 15 mL, Eco Your Skin comes in a 50 mL bottle. This helps explain its higher price tag ($70).
Eye creams, who needs them? Just about everyone, actually — no matter your age. While it’s beneficial to start using any anti-aging products in your twenties, eye creams are often the most forgotten when it comes to skin care.
Reduce stress. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to a number of physical symptoms including swollen or puffy eyes. Try yoga, controlled breathing exercises, or meditation. All of these help moderate stress and are thought to help improve overall circulation. 
Revitol is a popular name and has garnered a lot of loyal followers. Revitol eye cream addresses many signs of aging like Puffiness, Dark Circles, and Wrinkles. Unlike some brands found in the market, this eye care brand uses N-hydroxycicinimide, a substance that’s known to be a powerful solution for under-eye circles.
Some of the above are symptoms of orbital cellulitis. Although orbital cellulitis is not as common a disease as conjunctivitis, it does have devastating effects. When left untreated, it can lead to very serious complications such as a blood infection or meningitis.
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.
Of the many cult products Kiehl’s is known for, the Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado is one of our favourites. A rich, hydrating cream packed with nourishing avocado oil and shea butter, it is ideal for those with sensitive eyes since it’s ophthalmologist-tested, and great for dry skin too thanks to its luxurious formula.
“I have pretty bad dark circles (genetics, unfortunately) and have tried everything from super expensive to drugstore brands. It wasn’t until this that I noticed a difference—literally, after a day of using it. It’s super lightweight and makes it looks like I hit snooze just a little longer each morning.” —Azadeh Valanejad, social video producer
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.
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.
To de-puff after watching a tearjerker flick or getting misty-eyed at a wedding, apply a cold compress to your eyes for a few minutes. A splash of cool water and a dab of concealer can also help you hide that you were crying (but concealer can’t do much for actually making your eyes less puffy, unfortunately).
You should try and put some olive oil or castor oil on under your eyes before you go to bed.. It definitely helps! Made from Earth even makes an eye cream which has olive oil in it for use under the eyes called the Olive Night Cream. . .
The main difference between Estee and Botanics is application style. The Estee is a thin, cream-based formula with a tiny pump, good for dispensing precise amounts of cream. The Botanics uses a squeeze tube with a metal roller ball. Testers reported that the roller ball felt wonderfully cool under their eyes, but this application style does make it trickier to tell exactly how much product you’re applying.
Using these products occasionally is fine, but relying on them for days on end isn’t a good idea. “Using [over-the-counter eye drops and nasal sprays] for too long can make the problem worse and cause dependence,” warns Dr. Ellman-Gunther. “You should always confirm with a doctor what’s safe to use and for how long before using over the counter products for more than a few days.” Talk to your doctor about prescription meds as well.
“I get dry skin on my eyelids—I think because the skin there is so sensitive already and when I’m putting moisturizer on, I tend to forget about my eye area. This fixes that. I especially like that it’s all-natural and I know exactly what’s in it, rather than some sort of ‘amazing vitalizing serum’ that has vague descriptions of what it actually does.” —Emily Geraghty, senior producer
If your pink eye is triggered by a viral infection, you might also have cold symptoms, explains Kira Manusis, MD, an ophthalmologist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, in an email to Health. “In such cases it can be associated with an upper respiratory infection,” she says. “It often starts in one eye and spreads to the other.”
Most eye creams being sold today make unsubstantiated claims like offering instant results and the like. There are hundreds of eye creams on the market with each one claiming to be the ultimate solution for signs of skin aging around the eyes.
Ordinary swelling around the eyes means you have an excessive accumulation of fluids, called edema, in surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin in the body, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent.
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.
There is significant variation in price in eye creams, and many come in very small bottles. Trying out a few before buying can help, and sometimes cosmetics companies will offer small samples. Especially when an eye cream is greatly expensive, it’s a great idea to see if it works for you, rather than plunk down a lot of money to get a product that doesn’t work very well. There are a few eye cream variants that are sold by prescription only. Anything containing hydroquinone may be available in certain countries only by prescription, and some countries ban its use because it may be connected with a higher incidence of skin cancer.
For a lightweight, fast-absorbing day cream, you’ve got four options: Botanics, Estee Lauder, Philosophy, and Clinique. Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On was our testers’ favorite, leaving skin feeling smooth and moisturized while leaving behind so little residue as to be “invisible.” Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum (despite the name, it doesn’t contain retinoids or mineral oils) was the second most popular.
If hollow or aging eyes are your issue, try these collagen eye patches. They’re great for plumping, softening, and hydrating your under-eyes to make you look visibly more awake throughout the day. Again, these are best when stuck in the fridge overnight. I also love putting these on during the final stretch of flights, so I look a little more awake when I land.
Blinking for eyelids is like walking for legs. When idle, some people develop swelling in their lower extremities that goes away as soon as they start walking and muscles in the legs begin “milking” the trapped fluids (edema), which are released back into circulation.
It’s important to note that the positive effects of hydroquinone are reversed when skin is exposed to sunlight, so you should only apply at night. Some people also experience dryness, irritation, and other mild skin issues while using skin lightening products. Discontinue use if you have a reaction.
If you are drinking water late in the day your body may not have time to flush it out before bedtime, resulting in morning puffiness. This should resolve itself in a few hours. Otherwise you are probably retaining water due to consuming too much salt. Try to reduce your sodium intake.
I have been using Oriflame’s Optimals Seeing is Believing Multi benefits Eye Cream and trust you me it’s amazing. I have changed many eye creams and now finally I think I have found what I always needed. It is a lightweight eye cream which visibly reduces puffiness, brightens dark circles and helps smooth out fine lines.
Our two other finalists in this category were Philosophy Miracle Worker Eye Cream and Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment. Both absorbed easily and performed well, but testers weren’t quite as enthusiastic about them, lodging a handful of complaints about residue that felt sticky or overly drying. Still, if you want to explore additional brands, feedback was largely positive and both creams have all the powerhouse ingredients necessary to get the job done. All of our pump-based creams cost about the same — Estee ($66), Philosophy ($68), and Clinique ($50) — while our $14 rollerball surprised us with its performance and price.
“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
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If you don’t want the hassle of keeping your cream in a dark room, both Murad Renewing Eye Cream and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum are excellent runners-up, coupling pump-top dispensers with high absorbency. They’re more expensive than Youth to the People’s $35. All three come in 15 mL packages, but Dr. Dennis Gross runs about $69, and Murad is $80. But in return, they’re also a little more potent, getting their anti-wrinkle powers from retinol rather than the milder retinyl.
Some of the causes of this fluid retention are relatively harmless and unrelated to a more serious issue, such as not getting enough sleep or consuming foods with too much sodium. Other times, the puffiness is a sign something that needs to be addressed by a doctor, like an infection, says Randy McLaughlin, OD, a professor of optometry at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Treat your allergies. Puffy eyes are often caused by allergies, which inflame the face and cause water to collect there. You might see a big difference if you treat your seasonal allergies with a good allergy medication.
To avoid fluid retention and keep alcohol from setting up that anti-diuretic effect, try sticking to no more than one drink per night if you’re female, and two if you’re male. These are the CDC guidelines for moderate drinking, but if you still notice eye bloat, consider giving up the booze for good and limiting it to special occasions only.
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