Our eyes give away a lot. Had a rough night? Stressed? Been crying? Your eyes are likely to spill all the secrets, because the skin around them is incredibly thin. That’s also why it’s also one of the first facial features to show signs of aging. Therefore, the sooner you start showing your undereyes some extra love, the better. According to Dr. Pearl E. Grimes, Medical Director at the Grimes Center for Medical and Aesthetic Dermatology™, eye cream becomes an important skincare step as early as your twenties.
“Many women begin using eye creams once they notice fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area, often in their thirties,” she says. “But this important habit can begin with a gentle eye cream [before fine lines appear].”
If you’re already noticing fine lines in the undereye area, Grimes suggests incorporating retinol creams into your routine. “Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, boost the production of collagen, which plumps out the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” she explains. She also notes that retinol can improves skin tone and color, and helps even out the complexion — an added bonus if you have any discoloration around your eyes.
[Editor's note: Retinol shouldn't be used by those who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.]
As far as dark circles, there’s been much debate on whether or not you can actually get rid of them. Grimes says that it all depends on their root cause. “Sometimes dark circles can be genetic, other times it is due to sun exposure, allergies, environmental and lifestyle factors, such as lack of sleep, dehydration, poor circulation, smoking, stress, etc.” According to Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group™ in NYC, undereye circles caused by pigment (such as blood vessels near the surface of the skin) can often benefit from an eye cream.
However, circles caused by shadowing will not. If you’re not sure which category your circles fall into, Nazarian recommends applying a thick concealer to the area. “If the darkness improves, then it will likely respond to the right cream,” she explains. “If the darkness doesn’t improve, it’s likely shadowing.” (Topical treatments won’t do much to correct this, but you can discover other options for treating shadowy undereyes here.)
If your eye concerns can be resolved with a new cream — and you’re ready to slather it on religiously — keep reading. We’ve collected nine of the most top-rated, eye-opening favorites from Sephora® to simplify the shopping experience.It may be meticulously handmade in a monastery, but what makes the Fresh® Créme Ancienne® Supreme Eye Serum ($168) so beloved are the potent ingredients. A blend of botanicals and silk tree bark work to repair any visible signs of aging and also protect against damaging free radicals.The hefty price tag of the AMOREPACIFIC® TIME RESPONSE™ Eye Reserve Creme ($260) just might make your eyes widen, but the product boasts rave reviews to back it up. Shea butter, jojoba, olive, and sunflower oil are paired with the brand’s exclusive Chrono-T™ and beauty green tea extract, which has higher concentrations of amino acids and catechins than regular green tea. Date seed extract, avocado protein, and a mix of potent peptides are the power players in this Saturday Skin® Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream ($46) that helps refresh a tired, dehydrated, roughly textured eye area.According to fans, Guerlain® Orchidée Impériale® Eye Serum ($230) is another formula worth saving your coins for. If brightening and erasing fine lines is what you’re after, take notes from reviewers who said that after years of trying other brands, this is the only thing that truly worked for them. Harnessing the power of adaptogens, Obagi® Clinical Vitamin C Eye Brightener ($60) melds plant growth factors, fermented yeast, and Vitamin C for a formula that helps blur fine lines and hide shadows around the eye area.When moisture loss leads to dry, crepey skin around the eyes, the Mario Badescu® Hyaluronic Eye Cream ($18) can help fill in the gaps, smooth things out, and calm down any puffiness with cooling aloe, hyaluronic acid, and safflower seed oil. Use the metal rollerball applicator on the Bioeffect® EGF Eye Serum ($90) to bring down any puffliness, while the barley-based plant growth factors work to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. In the same way that the face version of this cream fills skin with a burst of moisture upon application, the Belif® Moisturizing Eye Bomb ($48) does the same, but in the most gentle way needed for delicate under eye skin. Fans of the One Essential Dior® Eye Serum ($72) say it has a rich and creamy texture without being oily. Red hibiscus is the star that helps detoxify and stimulate cells, which also improves circulation to fade dark circles.
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