Looking for the best eye cream?
The skin around the eye area is fragile and thin, and needs special care.
While some people advocate using your regular moisturiser, this may not be appropriate. Despite what you may have heard, the formulation of an eye cream is not the same as that of a face cream.
A face moisturiser may be too rich and cause milia. It may contain certain actives that are in too high a concentration for the delicate eye area. It may contain irritating ingredients that cause redness, inflammation or eye stinging. Or it may leave a greasy finish that can migrate into the eye and create blurred vision. Even a non-fragranced moisturiser may not be suitable.
A good eye cream needs to be just right, neither too thick nor too thin. It needs to include the right blend of ingredients to target specific eye area concerns: fine lines, dryness, puffiness and dark circles.
When it comes to an eye cream, you want to look for one that does more than just moisturise. After all, if you’re going to go to the extra effort and expense of using an eye cream, you want it to be doing something.
It should contain the right active ingredients, at the right concentrations, in the right formulation to deliver its benefits.
Unfortunately, many eye creams out there are just glorified moisturisers.
Benefits of eye cream
Eye creams can help in a number of ways. They can:
- hydrate, moisturise and protect
- plump the skin to reduce the look of fine lines
- soften and smooth the skin
- support repair and promote collagen production
- reduce the look of some dark circles
- reduce some forms of puffiness (when combined with gentle massage)
- brighten the look of the look of the eye area
It’s important, though, to understand that an eye cream cannot correct physiological changes that occur in the body, such sunken eyes, visible capillaries, expression lines and deep wrinkles.
An eye cream can help prevent, delay or improve the visible signs of premature ageing skin, but it can’t stop the ageing process itself. Like other skin care products, an eye cream is not a miracle worker. But then neither are most clinical treatments.
Skin that is hydrated is better able to perform its function of defence. A hydrated skin not only looks younger, it functions better too. Keeping skin hydrated strengthens the skin’s defences and enables it to be more resilient.
Finding the best eye cream
The best eye cream is the one you’re going to use consistently. Results come not just from the product itself, but the regular application of the product.
Make sure you use your eye cream day and night. Most eye creams are suitable for both, so in most cases you don’t need to have two separate products.
Eye creams, like any good moisturiser, should contain humectants to add hydration, emollients to soften and smooth and occlusives to hold in the hydration. Not sure what the difference is between them.
In addition, to humectants, emollients and occlusives that are suitable for the eye area, you should look for ingredients that prevent and help improve the look of your eye concerns.
Types of eye cream
When we talk about eye creams, we’re usually generally referring to eye care products. These include gel, gel-cream and cream formulations. There are also some that come in the form of a serum. Each has a slightly different texture and feel.
Which one is best depends on your skin type and preferences. Keep in mind that a gel typically has more water and less oils, plant butters and other nourishing ingredients.
Actives to look for
Brands typically make exaggerated claims for their products. While reading the side of box may be helpful, you need to dig a little deeper to prevent you blowing money on what could be nothing more than a basic moisturiser.
To find the best eye cream you’ll need to look at the ingredients label. This will help you do two thing:
- Tell you whether the product contains any active ingredients that target your eye concerns.
- Tell you whether it contains ingredients that may cause a reaction or irritation.
The ingredients label can seem a little overwhelming sometimes, so here are some ingredients that are particularly helpful for the eye area.
Antioxidants are protective and repairing. They help protect the skin against free radical damage caused by UV, pollutants and cigarette smoke. The more you can prevent damage by using protective clothing, applying sunscreen and ensuring a good dose of antioxidants, both topical and dietary, the younger you’ll look for longer.
Remarkably, antioxidants like Vitamin C, can play a protective role in the skin for up to 48 hours. Antioxidants can also support the skin’s naturally occurring repair process.
For the eye area, you want to look for gentle but effective antioxidants. These include Vitamin C derivatives, Green Tea, CoQ10, Green Tea, Glycine Soja, Niacinamide, Resveratrol and Vitamin E.
One of the biggest concerns around the eye area is fine lines and wrinkles. The eye area is one of the first to real our age, likely due to the skin being thin and the lack of application of sunscreen.
Actives such as Retinol and Peptides can help preserve existing collagen and promote new collagen. Increasing collagen in the skin can help to redensify it and smooth the appearance of unwelcome lines.
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that also helps to accelerate cell turnover, thereby improving texture and tone. But it can be irritating and drying, so it’s not recommended that you apply your face retinol cream to the eye area. These could be too strong and make your eye concerns look worse, not better.
There are many peptides that have similar effects to retinol, but without the downsides. They can promote Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid in the skin, as well as calm inflammation. Peptides are amino acids that make up certain proteins needed by the skin. Collagen, which is one of these proteins, is made up of three polypeptidechains. Peptides are gentler than retinol, so are well suited to the eye area.
Algae extracts, Aloe Vera, Collagen, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA and Urea hydrate the skin and keep it feeling comfortable. Ingredients that attract and hold moisture in the skin can plump it and make it look more youthful.
This effect only lasts for as long as you’re using your product, however keeping your skin hydrated has additional benefits. It helps keep the skin healthy and resilient, which is especially important when it comes to the skin of the eye area.
If you haven’t been getting enough sleep, have been overly stressed or just not caring for yourself adequately, you may get puffiness, dark circles and tired-looking eyes. Coffee Bean Extract and Caffeine are commonly used in eye creams.
You probably already know that Coffee Bean Extract and Caffeine are diuretics that can help expel excess water. They also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which further adds to their benefits for the eye area.
Additionally, they can improve the microcirculation and temporarily constrict the blood vessels under the skin to improve the look of dark circles.
I find, however, that these work best when combined with very gentle massage … and, of course, getting more rest, balancing your diet and drinking enough water.
Brightening ingredients are used to tackle the look of dark circles, shadows and hyperpigmentation.
Coffee Bean Extract and Caffeine, as already mentioned, can be beneficial for dark circles. But there are other ingredients that are also used, including Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Liquorice, Escin, Rutin and Chrysin. You can read more about Vitamin C and Niacinamide, both hero ingredients with multiple skin benefits, elsewhere on this website.
Rutin is a great antioxidant that has wound healing and skin brightening benefits.
Escin, derived from Horse Chestnut, boosts microcirculation, reduces fluid buildup and is energising. It’s also been found to calm redness.
Chrysin is another ingredient you might spot. Not only is Chrysin anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, it activates an enzyme in the skin that helps eliminate pigmented bilirubin and iron deposits underneath the skin. These deposits are what contribute to dark circles.
Some eye creams also contain Mica and Titanium Dioxide for their immediate whitening effects, making the whole eye area look brighter. While these don’t cover up discolourations, they can make the area look more illuminated and awake.
While the individual active ingredients are important, you also need to consider the overall formulation. The best eye cream needs to be able to penetrate the surface of the skin. It needs to have a lovely feel. And it needs to be stable and be well-preserved.
Skin care formulating is part science, part art. Even if you start out with the exact same ingredients, the formulation process can result in products that are very different.
But, do keep in mind, that an ingredients label is a great starting point
Brands and cosmetic chemists often have their own signature ingredients and formulations. For example, Laneige is expert in lightweight hydration. Alpha-H is known for its exfoliating ingredients such as Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid. Oskia Aurelia London focuses on improving skin health through the use of probiotics.
Many skin care companies will tell you that their products work synergistically together and therefore you should only use their products. In most cases, this isn’t true and you can combine different products from different brands.
You’ll have your own preferences when it comes to eye creams. However I like brands that have a strong focus on formulating with ingredients that are based on science, use effective delivery technologies and promote skin health. A skin care product’s delivery mechanism is just as important as the individual ingredients when it comes to results.
Packaging is an important factor when it comes to the best eye cream, even more so than other products.
You’ll find eye creams in jars, airless pump and even dropper bottles, depending on the consistency of the formulation.
A thicker and heavier cream is more likely to come in a jar as it’s difficult to get it to dispense from an airless pump. A product that comes in a jar doesn’t necessarily make it a bad choice, but it will contain more preservatives to counter those fingers inevitably being dipped in there.
I prefer to use a clean applicator when using my eye cream. The older the product gets, and the more you dip your fingers in there, the less effective the preservatives become. After all, I am applying the product to my eye area and I just don’t want to take the risk.
Don’t keep using eye creams that come in jars for longer that the recommended time after opening. You’ll find a symbol and number of months after opening information on most boxes.
If the eye cream contains actives that are sensitive to air and light – such as L’Ascorbic Acid, Retinol, Resveratrol and Vitamin E – look for something that comes in an airless pump as it protects these ingredients from degradation. Airless pumps also mean that fewer or no preservatives are required, which can be helpful if you have sensitive eyes and find them irritating.
I’ve talked about the various things to look for to find the best eye cream. But you’re wasting your money if you’re not also protecting your skin from UV damage.
The skin around the eye is especially prone to ageing and is usually overlooked when it comes to sun protection. This is why you need to be applying a sunscreen to the eye contour area, not just the rest of the face.
Many people avoid doing this because they find sunscreen migrates into the eyes and causes burning and stinging. This is more common with sunscreens using chemical filters. Instead, try a mineral formulation that’s been developed for sensitive or delicate toddler skin and is free of fragrance and essential oils. You may find that this does the trick.
But, if you’re still having eye issues, then you’ll need to try a dedicated eye sunscreen. These have been especially developed to minimise the possibility of getting into the eyes and of causing irritation.
Don’t overlook the importance of a healthy diet to keep the skin around your eyes strong and healthy.
Vitamin B12 and iron are two crucial nutrients. They play an important role in preventing the worsening of dark circles.
Antioxidants, found in colourful fruits and vegetables, help strengthen the skin barrier, fight free radicals caused by UV and support the skin’s repair process. Some antioxidants also contain compounds that help strengthen the delicate blood vessels of the eyes and improve circulation to the eyes.
Vitamin K is necessary for healthy blood vessels and helps reduces the appearance of dark circles. You’ll find Vitamin K in leafy green vegetables, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
Keeping it real
Not every eye concern can be addressed with an eye cream.
If you’re not seeing any improvement, consider whether there is a lifestyle, hereditary or medical component involved.
Unfortunately, not even the best eye cream is going to reverse sunken eyes, dark circles due to visible veins or hooded eyes, no matter how many pots you use.
Eye creams in our shop
We carefully select the eye creams we carry in our shop. We only select those that we have extensively researched and tested.
We hope you will enjoy them too and find they deliver results while also being lovely to use.
Comfort Zone Sublime Skin Eye Cream
Comfort Zone Sublime Skin Eye Cream is an elegant eye contour cream formulated with peptides, flavonoids, caffeine and escin to deliver multiple eye benefits. It’s perfectly nourishing and protective without being heavy.
This eye cream targets all the key eye concerns and helps the eye contour area look smoother, brighter and younger.
Comfort Zone focuses on science and nature, using clinically researched but gentle ingredients for the most delicate part of the face!
Pestle & Mortar Recover Eye Cream
Pestle & Mortar Recover Eye Cream is a lightweight, anti-ageing formula designed to improve skin tone and texture.
This eye cream is infused with a host of beneficial ingredients, including Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Irish Moss Extract and Coffee Bean, the quick-absorbing cream replenishes moisture, while minimising the appearance of fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. Pestle & Mortar uses actives in the right concentrations and leaves out anything that is necessary or unhealthy for the skin.
And it comes comes packaged in an airless pump container to protect its active ingredients.
Medik8 Advanced Night Eye
Medik8 Advanced Night Eye is a rejuvenating repair eye cream. It nourishes the under-eye area while you sleep so that tired and dull-looking eyes are a thing of the past. The cream melts into skin and quickly hydrates and smooths the delicate eye area.
Medik8 uses a signature antioxidant complex to protect against free radical damage, Caffeine and Hesperidin to boost circulation and brighten dark circles, and Matrixyl 3000 peptides to smooth fine lines.
It has a relaxing, soft aroma that’s like a gentle caress.
Medik8 Retinol Eye TR
Medik8 Retinol Eye TR is an advanced eye Vitamin A serum that specifically tackles those more resistant lines and wrinkles.
This eye serum contains clinically proven ingredient retinol to noticeably improve the telltale signs of ageing in the skin.
Medik8 uses time release technology to distribute the Retinol slowly throughout the night to enhance its absorption and reduce any potential irritation.
If you’ve tried lots of other creams to achieve a smoother, firmer and clearer eye contour area but aren’t seeing a difference, then step up your eye care game and incorporate the Medik8 Retinol Eye TR.
To get the best results, we recommend applying th Medik8 Retinol Eye TR first and letting it absorb before applying the Medik8 Advanced Night Eye. This is a power duo that delivers great results,
Yours truly in better skin