Identifying your eye issues—puffiness, dark circles, wrinkles, dryness—is easy. Finding an eye cream that will make them disappear? Not so much. This guide takes away the guesswork.
A wrinkle, whether on the cheek or around the eyes, has the same number-one enemy: retinol. Apply a cream that contains it at night—UV exposure can break down the potent ingredient. We like Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Eye Cream. If you find retinol too harsh on the delicate eye skin, go for a product with peptides, which, like retinol, stimulate collagen production. Try Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology Intensive 3-in-1 Eye Cream.
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For Dark Circles
The only kind of punch you want anywhere near your eyes? The one-two combination of a treatment cream (long-term benefits) and a tinted formula (immediate circle masking). Olay Regenerist Eye Regenerating Cream + Touch of Concealer has niacinamide to help fade discoloration over time, while its skin-tone hue instantly tones down darkness.
When you wake up with puffy eyes, you could soak black tea bags in cold water and place them over your eyes. Much simpler? An eye cream with skin-tightening caffeine. One that is distributed through a cooling applicator will deflate the area even faster. Estée Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator uses NASA-inspired technology to keep its ceramic tip permanently chilled.
If the skin under your eyes is as dry and thirsty as the Sahara, consider these creams a tall glass of water. RéVive Moisturizing Eye Renewal Cream relies on hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water—meaning it'll flood your skin with moisture. And Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream helps stop the dryness cycle by decreasing your skin's level of a molecule called Serpin B3, which disrupts the creation of healthy cells and makes your skin rough and fragile.
For Senstive Skin
Skin that reacts angrily to everything it touches may make you hesitant to reach for a serious eye treatment. Don't be. Many companies now offer gentler formulas specifically made for sensitive skin. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream slowly releases retinol over time to prevent inflammation. "The time-release concept is a winner—it will likely have similar efficacy to regular retinol, in a gentler way, since you only have so much on the skin at any given moment," says dermatologist Ranella Hirsch. Or try paraben- and fragrance-free Eau Thermale Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream; it contains chamomile and the company's signature thermal spring water to soothe and soften, dextran sulfate to reduce puffiness, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate.
Because the skin around the eyes is so thin, it's extremely susceptible to sun damage—but also to turning red and itchy when slathered with regular sunscreen. To slash your chances of potential inflammation, choose a formula designed just for the eyes that uses physical (not chemical) sunblocks. Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care Ultra Protection SPF 30 fits the bill; plus, it has vitamin E to ward off free radicals.
Need a lift? You don't need surgery to firm up sagging skin. Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Eye Cream uses an ingredient called Elemi PFA to restore tensin, a protein naturally found in the skin that anchors cells and controls how they connect. "This can tighten and reinforce the skin," says dermatologist Jeannette Graf.
Your eyes don't have to look old just because you prefer to be green. Korres Quercetin & Oak AntiAgeing AntiWrinkle Eye Cream uses rhodiola rosea extract to reduce puffiness, as well as a yeast-derived agent to improve microcirculation, which will decrease the appearance of dark circles. Josie Maran Argan Day + Night Eye Cream gives you two creams in one jar: The day concoction in the top compartment brightens with vitamin C, while the night cream on the bottom has an amino acid to treat fine lines; both formulas contain a botanical complex that strengthens collagen.
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