Crow’s feet, fine lines, and sagging skin are all concerns that may arise as you age, which raises the question: What is the best eye cream for wrinkles? For answers, we turned to three trusted dermatologists to weigh in on what ingredients to look for and which formulas they actually recommend.
Meet the Experts
- Dr. Dendy Engelman is a New York City–based, board-certified dermatologist, and Mohs surgeon who specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology.
- Dr. Michele Green is a New York City–based and board-certified dermatologist specializing in cosmetic treatments.
- Dr. Elyse Love is a New York City–based and board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic treatments with a holistic approach to skin wellness.
What Ingredients to Look For
“Our skin naturally loses collagen and elastin with age, which are important proteins in the skin that provide structure and elasticity,” Green says. “With the loss of collagen and elastin, the skin loses the ability to bounce back and becomes dull, thin, and loose, leading to the formation of wrinkles, especially in the delicate eye area.” Aside from aging, she notes that genetics, smoking, sun damage, and even pushing your face against your pillow while sleeping can contribute to wrinkle development.
Either way, your eye creams should both help stimulate the production of collagen and give the under-eye a moisture boost. With this in mind, consider retinol and vitamin C as key ingredients. “Retinol is the gold-standard anti-aging ingredient in skin care, and using eye creams with retinol can help soften fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes,” Green explains, emphasizing its usefulness in improving skin texture and radiance. As for vitamin C, the powerful antioxidant can protect skin from environmental stress, encourage collagen production, and plump skin. Similarly, caffeine is useful for its ability to energize and tighten skin and soften fine lines and wrinkles. For moisture, the customary hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin, and peptides will work wonders for the short term. Engelman advises relying on retinol and essential growth factors (ingredients that signal the production of collagen and elastin) to rebuild skin’s structural support from within.
Alas, read on to shop our picks.
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex
- Why We Love It: If you picked up this SkinCeuticals formulas to target dark circles, you’re in luck because it’s also a winning pick to target fine lines and wrinkles.
- Key Ingredients: Dr. Corey L. Hartman previously told Vogue that this is a stellar choice for mature skin if lack of elasticity is of concern. The rich cream is powered by a blend of peptides, blueberry extract, and complex ingredients that work to firm, tone, and replenish the under-eye area.
- When to Apply: According to SkinCeuticals, apply this under the eyes and around the brow once or twice daily.
SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Cream
- Why We Love It: The SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Cream offers basically all the qualities of a good eye cream: luxurious texture, powerhouse ingredients, and the ability to leave skin firm and radiant.
- Key Ingredients: According to Engelman, this product “combines key ingredients from the brand’s award winning Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum and HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator to instantly improve the appearance of lines while working overtime to correct the appearance of darkness and shadows.” What’s more, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and botanical extracts are included to ensure the under-eye receives the moisture and protection it needs.
- When to Apply: SkinMedica recommends applying a thin layer twice daily along the eye area.
Perricone MD High Potency Growth Factor Firming & Lifting Eye Serum
- Why We Love It: Expect a bouncy and supple under-eye with Perricone MD’s eye serum that comes at Love’s recommendation.
- Key Ingredients: “This gentle and lightweight eye serum contains growth factors to increase hydration and firmness of the skin,” she says. “[Additionally], niacinamide helps to improve the appearance of dark circles.”
- When to Apply: According to Perricone MD, apply this formula to the eye area morning and night.
Retrouvé RevitaliZing Eye Concentrate
- Why We Love It: Retrouvé’s eye cream’s main goal to supply skin with adequate hydration, though its silky balm texture is an added bonus.
- Key Ingredients: The concentrate, which counts Zoë Kravitz as a fan, is infused with a blend of squalane, vitamin E, glycerin, and botanical oils to quench thirsty skin.
- When to Apply: With its texture in mind, Retrouvé recommends applying this eye cream at night, unless experiencing intense dryness. If you’re planning to use before makeup, allow up to 15 minutes for the formula to absorb first.
Revision Skincare D.E.J Eye Cream
- Why We Love It: Although the cooling applicator of Revision Skincare’s eye cream is certainly part of its draw, it leaves a lasting impression due to the ease with which it tackles eye sagging and drooping.
- Key Ingredients: This elixir is powered by a blend of antioxidants, cucumber fruit water, prebiotic and postbiotic extracts, and a handful of other intelligent ingredients to provide visible firming and hydration while helping shield and balance skin from within.
- When to Apply: Revision Skincare recommends applying one pump of this formula around the eye area twice daily.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum
- Why We Love It: Murad’s eye cream is a Vogue-editor favorite to wave goodbye to crow’s feet and dullness over time without irritation.
- Key Ingredients: Through retinol, plant extracts, a marine kelp complex, and glycerin, the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum is formulated to improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
- When to Apply: According to Murad, apply this eye cream at night to the under-eye and lids.
iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex
- Why We Love It: Smoothing, hydrating, and brightening are three of the targeted benefits of iS Clinical’s eye cream to reveal a youthful-looking under-eye.
- Key Ingredients: Growth factors, peptides, extracts, centella asiatica, and vitamin K are the stars of the Youth Eye Complex. All of which come together to not only diminish fine lines and spur collagen production, but simultaneously de-puff and condition.
- When to Apply: According to iS Clinical, a small amount of this is best tapped along the eye area, avoiding the inner corners.
First Aid Beauty Hydrating Eye Cream
- Why We Love It: One of Green’s top picks, this eye cream has been found to notably replenish the under-eye, even for those with sensitive skin.
- Key Ingredients: “This contains hyaluronic acid, colloidal oatmeal, and caffeine to bring hydration to the skin around the eyes for a plumping effect and to diminish the appearance of crow’s feet and fine lines,” Green explains. “[Furthermore], caffeine has been shown to stimulate blood circulation, aiding in reducing puffiness and the appearance of dark circles.”
- When to Apply: According to First Aid Beauty, this cream is best applied to the orbital area morning and night. For a cooling treatment, feel free to store this in the fridge.
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
- Why We Love It: Drunk Elephant’s oft-talked-about vitamin C–infused eye cream has long been a beauty-enthusiast favorite, and it comes as a recommendation of Green to combat fine lines.
- Key Ingredients: “[This] contains potent vitamin C along with vitamin E and peptides to brighten the eye area and help the delicate skin repair from environmental stress,” Green says. “Peptides aid in collagen synthesis for firmer, younger-looking skin.” There’s also cucumber extract, ceramides, and plant oils to round out this complexion-boosting formula.
- When to Apply: According to Drunk Elephant, pat one pump of this cream to the under-eye using your ring finger.
When Should You Start Using an Eye Cream for Wrinkles?
“This is person dependent, but the early- to mid-30s is generally a good time to consider adding in an eye cream for the prevention and treatment of fine lines and wrinkles of the under-eye area,” Love suggests. However, it’s never too late to start! Once you incorporate your chosen best eye cream for wrinkles, Green says that “you may see an immediate plumping effect around the eyes with the help of hydrating ingredients.” She continues, “To notice the effects of the active ingredients catered to [signs of] aging, like retinol, it may take four to six weeks of consistent use to see an improvement.”