7 Best Eye Creams in 2020

After considering the best eye creams on the market today, we nominated the Olay Regenerist Retinol Eye Cream as our Top Pick. While it was more expensive than some picks, we liked that it was a great nighttime eye cream that included a proprietary Vitamin B3 and retinol complex blend to fight fine lines and other concerns with results appearing in as little as one use.

The best eye cream is an essential part of any skincare routine. To create our guide, we focused on the following aspects: purpose, ingredients, and price. We understand that everyone may have different needs that need to be addressed such as dark circles, under-eye bags, dullness, improving tone or texture, or even minimizing the appearance of fine lines. But other people may be more concerned with what’s inside their eye cream as opposed to focusing solely on its effectiveness. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks.

Top 7 Best Eye Cream in 2020

 #1  Olay Regenerist Retinol Eye Cream

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: An intensive eye cream packed with a proprietary Vitamin B3 and retinol complex blend for overnight skin tone improvement that comes with a trial size moisturizer.

Pros
  • Best for evening or sleeping use
  • Excels at the removal of wrinkles
  • Trial size of moisturizer included
Cons
  • Contains retinol, which increases sun sensitivity

If you’re thinking about incorporating an eye cream into your routine, you can’t go wrong with some of the staple brands like Olay. We’ve nominated their Reginerist Retinol Eye Cream as our Top Pick because we think it’s one of the best drugstore eye creams and one of the best eye creams for your 30s to help improve cell turnover.

This nighttime eye cream is designed to not only work to banish wrinkles, brighten, hydrate, firm, and smooth skin and even out your skin tone with results appearing after just one use. However, we have to remind you that if you use a cream with retinol in it, you must use sunscreen during the day. Even though this is a nighttime cream, retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. But aside from that, we like that Olay also includes a trial size of their Olay Regenerist Whip Fragrance Free Face Moisturizer with this eye cream. When you’re using your best-lighted makeup mirror to get ready in the morning, this will become an immediate go-to.

 #2  Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Eye Cream

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: An eye cream loaded with moisture-loving hyaluronic acid that can also double as a makeup primer, making this the best eye cream for dry skin that we tried.

Pros
  • Provides 24 hours of moisturizing protection
  • Great as a makeup primer
  • Excels with all skin types
Cons
  • Thinner gel texture
  • Scented formula may not suit all consumers

For people focused on increasing moisture, then products that feature hyaluronic acid are going to be your best friend. If you’re not familiar with it, hyaluronic acid is a naturally derived ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in moisture. And that means that parched skin can seriously benefit from this ingredient. That’s why we’ve nominated the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Eye Cream as our Honorable Mention and the best eye cream for dry skin.

But we also think for younger users, this is the best eye cream for your 20s, since it can double as a makeup primer. While this is a scented formula, we do like that this product promises to boost hydration for up to 24 hours. Similar to the other products in the Hydro Boost collection, this eye cream also has a water-gel texture that absorbs quickly without leaving you feeling greasy. We also like that this product is non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores. If you want your hair to look fresh too, you’ll also want to pick up some of the best hair clay.

 #3  L’Oreal Paris Dermo-Expertise Eye Defense Eye Cream

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: A product with hyaluronic acid and caffeine to banish tired eyes, with a fragrance-free formula, making this the best eye cream for bags and puffiness.

Pros
  • Plumps up skin and also brightens
  • Fragrance-free formula
  • Safe for all skin types
Cons
  • Texture may be too lightweight for some

Whether you had one too many all-nighters or you’ve been dealing with chronic under-eye issues, we think you’ll like the Dermo-Expertise Eye Defense Eye Cream from L’Oreal Paris. L’Oreal is another great accessible drugstore brand that we think is the best eye cream for bags and puffiness. This eye cream contains a powerful combination of caffeine and hyaluronic acid.

You already know that hyaluronic acid helps to keep your skin plump and moisturized. But the added caffeine helps to reduce puffiness and keep your eyes looking bright and rested. So, no one has to know that you were out late last night. In addition to correcting puffiness, we like that this eye cream can also reduce the appearance of dark circles and tackle fine lines around your eyes. Plus we like that this is a lightweight formula that’s non-greasy, fragrance-free, and safe for all skin types. This will soon be a necessity in your bathroom cabinet next to your best hydrogen peroxide.

 #4  Burt’s Bees Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin

Award: BEST NATURAL FORMULA

WHY WE LIKE IT: A clean beauty eye cream from a trusted brand that is approved by the National Eczema Association, meaning it’s safe for even those with the most delicate skin.

Pros
  • Approved by the National Eczema Association
  • Improves hydration and luminosity
  • Perfect for sensitive skin
Cons
  • Texture may be too thin for some
  • Lacks hyaluronic acid

When you have sensitive skin, finding the right product can be extremely tricky. So, if you’ve avoided traditional skincare brands because of their harsh ingredients, Burt’s Bees’ Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin might be the move for you. We say this because they’re the only pick in our guide that is approved by the National Eczema Association. Plus, this eye cream is made from 98.9 percent naturally derived products.

This natural eye cream contains a wealth of skin-loving ingredients like rice extract, aloe, shea butter, castor oil, beetroot extract, and sugar cane. However, if you have sensitive skin that’s also dry, this lacks the moisturizing agent known as hyaluronic acid. And if you have severely dry skin, some people found the texture to be too thin to be effective because the gel may dry too quickly before effectively penetrating all dermal layers. However, this is a great option overall if you’re trying to incorporate more clean beauty brands into your skincare routine. If you want to add to your morning routine, take a look at the best hair gel for men too.

 #5  Mizon Multi-Function Formula Snail Repair Eye Cream

Award: BEST FOR BRIGHTENING

WHY WE LIKE IT: An eye treatment packed with snail mucin, adenosine, and peptides that comes with a spatula for more hygienic applications makes this the best eye cream for dark circles.

Pros
  • K-Beauty innovative formulation that’s more effective
  • Contains snail mucin, which is known for its regenerative properties
  • Adenosine & peptide to target anti-aging
Cons
  • Not vegan or vegetarian friendly

Hands down, Korea is leading the way when it comes to innovating yet safe skincare advancements that effectively target skincare concerns without causing adverse reactions. If you’ve been thinking of jumping on the K-Beauty bandwagon but didn’t know where to start, allow us to introduce you to Mizon. Their Multi Function Formula Snail Repair Eye Cream is designed specifically to target multiple issues — dark circles, wrinkles, anti-aging, fine lines, crows feet, elasticity, and hydration. And the included spatula ensures that you won’t be accidentally introducing bacteria into the cream.

Thanks to ingredients such as niacinamide, this is the best eye cream for dark circles that we tried. However,the included snail music means this is not a vegan-friendly option. Still, we like that you get fine line and anti-aging support with the adenosine and peptide ingredients. Grab this after putting your best toothpaste away every morning to keep your face looking fresh.

 #6  Beauty by Earth Coffee Bean Eye Cream

Award: BEST FOR WRINKLES

WHY WE LIKE IT: A clean beauty eye cream that harnesses the power of coffee, among other natural ingredients, to banish wrinkles, making this the best anti-aging eye cream for your 50s.

Pros
  • Packed with anti-inflammatory agents
  • Naturally derived ingredients
  • Excels with the removal of dark circles
Cons
  • Heavily scented

Under-eye issues such as dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness can make even the youngest person look significantly older, or just plain tired. If you’re tired (no pun intended) of people asking you whether you got enough sleep last night, we recommend Beauty By Earth’s Coffee Bean Eye Cream. We think it’s one of the best anti-aging eye creams for your 50s because it harnesses the power of popular natural ingredients, such as coffee and aloe, to tackle common under-eye concerns.

While coffee seed extract is the primary promoted ingredient, you’ll find that you also get anti-inflammatory and anti-aging nutrients from other natural items like cucumber, aloe vera, pineapple, cranberry, and sea buckthorn extracts. The brand also infuses its cream with organic oils and buyers to boost hydration in the thin skin around your eyes. However, through our research, we found that this product does contain a strong fragrance, which may be a deal-breaker for people who are sensitive to scents.

 #7  Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: An all in one eye cream that addresses many common under eye concerns that’s safe for all skin types, while offering the highest collagen content in our guide.

Pros
  • Vastly improves the look and feel of your skin
  • Tackles anti-aging, wrinkles, & dryness
  • Safe for all skin types
Cons
  • Not vegan friendly

Mizon makes our list twice because they make effective products. If our Best for Brightening pick wasn’t what you needed, then you’ll like this alternative option from them — their Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream. We’ve nominated it as the Best Quality pick because it has the highest collagen content of any of the recommendations in our guide to help completely address signs of aging. Specifically, this eye cream contains 42 percent of marine collagen to help boost regeneration and improve elasticity.

But besides elasticity, this eye cream is designed to address anti-aging, wrinkles, and dryness. Plus the increased collagen helps to boost your skin’s radiance so that it looks healthier and brighter. And we like that this is safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin. While this isn’t a vegan-friendly formula, it is free from benzophenone, ethanol, parabens, artificial scents and colors.

How We Decided

Eye creams are an important component of any skincare routine, but they’re also incredibly personal. Depending on your skin concerns, your ethical beliefs, and any sensitivities you may have, the same eye cream can work differently for everyone. To create our guide, we focused on the following key features — purpose, ingredients, and price.

In our guide, we focused on the four most common complaints people have around the eye area: puffiness/under-eye bags, dark circles, fine lines, and crow’s feet, improving tone or texture, and dryness. Some of our recommendations are designed to address multiple issues while others are best for specific issues. For example, our Top Pick is designed to hydrate, reduce dark circles, and minimize the appearance of fine lines. However, it’s also the only option in our guide that includes retinol.

Next, we know that ingredients matter. For people who prefer natural or clean beauty brands, we recommend our #4 and #6 picks as both of these are primarily naturally derived. The #4 recommendation from Burt’s Bees might be the best choice for clean beauty and sensitive skin, since it’s 98.9 percent naturally derived and is the only product in our guide that is approved by the National Eczema Association.

If moisture retention is your biggest concern, then we recommend the Honorable Mention and Best on a Budget picks as these two are the only products that promote hyaluronic acid as a primary ingredient. Meanwhile, if you’re concerned about firmness in addition to other common under-eye complaints, both of the Mizon recommendations (#5 and Best Quality) are ideal with our Best Quality being the best option because of the high collagen content.

Best Eye Cream Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. Purpose
    Not all eye creams are designed to target the same skin concerns. Some people may need a cream that infuses moisture, while others may want to naturally and gradually brighten dark circles. Likewise, is your preferred eye cream designed for use in the entire eye area or just on your under eyes? Some creams are designed exclusively to be used overnight, while others are billed as a daytime cream. Always think about your goals behind purchasing an eye cream, and look for options that meet those needs.
  2. Ingredients
    Whether you’re focused on clean beauty or a product that’s specifically designed to target your problem issues, the ingredients matter. If you prefer a clean beauty eye cream, then you’re going to want to confirm that there aren’t any harsh chemicals or added perfumes. If you’re focused on key factors like moisture or rejuvenation, then ingredients like hyaluronic acid or retinol are going to be important. However, you’ll also want to consider the concentrations of the active ingredients. The total amount of an ingredient in your eye cream can impact how quickly it works or whether your skin might have a negative reaction to it. Still, most dermatologists and skin experts agree that hyaluronic acid and retinol are two naturally derived ingredients that are the most effective at improving tone, texture, and moisture in your skin.
  3. Application
    Some eye creams are sold in jars while others are available in tubes. While one isn’t inherently better than the other, experts agree that if your eye cream is sold in a jar, you should consider using a spatula to scoop out the amount you need rather than use your fingers. When you use your fingers, you can introduce bacteria into the cream, thus making it less effective and potentially increasing the risk of causing an infection. If you’re concerned about bacteria, opt for eye creams in pump containers.
  4. Frequency of Use
    Not all eye creams are meant to be used forever, or only under certain conditions. So, always read the instructions. For example, an eye cream designed for nighttime use might be heavier or contain ingredients that don’t react well with sunlight, making it a bad option for daytime use.
  5. Multi-Step Compatibility
    These days, multi-step beauty routines are very popular thanks to the rise of K-Beauty. However, not all skincare products play well together. If you buy an eye cream as part of a skincare set from a brand, then you know that it’s designed to work with the other products in the set. But if you buy an eye cream individually and plan to use it as part of a multi-step beauty routine, then you need to research the cream and confirm that neither the ingredients in your eye cream or your other beauty products will either cancel each other out or cause adverse reactions.

Eye Cream FAQs

What eye cream do dermatologists recommend?

A dermatologist would make an eye cream recommendation based on the current state of your skin and the problem areas that need to be addressed. However, dermatologists agree that a quality eye cream that moisturizers while infusing the skin with collagen is a great option for anyone — regardless of their skin concerns. Look for options that contain effective yet gentle ingredients like hyaluronic acid and retinol.

What age should you start using eye cream?

The short answer is, the earlier the better. While most people don’t think to add an eye cream to their skincare routine until they’re in their 30s, it’s a good idea to start using it in your 20s before you start to notice things like crows feet or drier skin.

How often should you apply eye cream?

You should apply it daily, and ideally in the morning and evening. However, keep in mind that some eye creams are made for use anytime, while others are specifically for day or night. While it’s not necessary to have a night cream, a good night eye cream is usually a little heavier to support better moisture penetration. Whichever option you choose, eye creams are usually the last step in a skincare routine.

Is there an eye cream that actually works?

Eye creams work. However, it’s important to pick a cream that’s addressing the specific concerns that matter to you. You’ll need to decide whether you want a multi-purpose cream or one that focuses on a sole issue such as dark circles, moisture infusion, In our guide, we recommended the Olay Regenerist Retinol Eye Cream as our Top Pick. While it does contain retinol — which means you need to use sunscreen during the day — it tackles a wide range of problems including dark circles, dry skin, targeting wrinkles, and improving brightness and tone.

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Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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