The use of moisturizers for your undereyes is a heated debate in the Allure office: about half the team believes slathering the best eye creams for dark circles over this delicate skin can help depuff and minimize the appearance of dark circles over time, while the other half seems to think they’re moisturizers in tiny tubs and offer nothing more than a placebo effect. There is one thing we can agree on: No one wants to look like they got roughly four hours of sleep.
Of course, we asked our dermatologist friends to weigh in on the matter. What we do know for a fact is that “eyelid skin is thinner than the surrounding facial skin, so it can be more prone to sensitivity and irritation,” Rhode Island-based board-certified dermatologist, Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, previously explained to us. However, not all eye creams are created equal, which is why we’ve combed through dozens (hell, probably hundreds at this point) of formulas to find the most effective creams and gels for all skin types.
It ultimately comes down to the level of prevention you desire. “Because they are landing on thinner skin, eye creams have a tendency to be thicker — a higher amount of oil, less water — than facial moisturizers,” Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut tells Allure, comparing the use of an eye cream to “putting extra padding on a spin bike.” And that extra cushioning just might pay off, since it’s also known that the eye area is one of the first to show signs of aging such as sagging skin, fine lines, and crow’s feet.
“As we hit our thirties, hyaluronic acid, our skin’s natural water absorber and plumper, begins to decline,” Dr. Gohara explains, which is why applying the ingredient topically and making up for lost hydration is of the essence. In fact, many of our go-to formulas are packed with HA and other powerful ingredients like blood vessel-constricting caffeine and collagen-boosting peptides to help fake a full night’s rest.
Ahead, you’ll find 23 of the best eye creams, including a drugstore favorite by RoC and a retinol eye cream from Sunday Riley, each formulated for the thinnest, most sensitive skin on your body. You won’t believe your eyes (wink, wink) once you see the transformative effects of our top picks.