When it comes to eyes, fine line and wrinkles are the biggest concern for 85% of women (that’s according to a Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab survey of over 1,000 readers). And those two worries are followed closely by lack of firmness, dark circles, and under-eye bags. That’s why we were shocked to learn that over half of you don’t use an eye cream!
“Eye creams differ from face creams because they’re formulated specifically for the delicate eye area. It’s important to use one to keep skin hydrated and plump,” explains GH Beauty Lab chemist, Danusia Wnek. “Plus, some also contain brighteners to mask under-eye darkness and help you look more awake.” That’s why it’s worth it to invest in a great eye treatment — there’s no better way to prevent aging around the eyes.
How we test eye creams
When testing eye creams in our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, we recruited 245 women across the country to help evaluate the top creams on the market. Each consumer blind-tested a product for four weeks, then provided feedback on ease of use, performance, and overall satisfaction.
Meanwhile, in the Lab, we tracked lines and wrinkles around users’ eyes using our VISIA Complexion Analyzer both before and after four weeks of eye cream use. Skin firmness was assessed using a Cutometer, a device that measures skin’s elasticity (ability to bounce back). We also measured moisturization over six hours using a Corneometer machine, which determines skin’s moisture content.
After we compiled all of these data points and scaled results, we were able to definitively find the best eye creams on the market. It’s worth noting that half of the eye creams below are so great that they earned our Good Housekeeping Seal, which means that if the product doesn’t perform, we’ll refund you in full!
Make sure you apply eye cream to clean, dry skin (with clean hands!) around the eye orbital area before your facial moisturizer to reap all the benefits. Here are our Beauty Lab’s expert picks for the best eye cream, no matter your skin type, concerns, or goals:
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Best Overall Eye Cream
Absolue Revitalizing Eye Cream
Lancôme’s luxe, vitamin-packed cream won the GH Beauty Lab’s latest anti-aging eye creams test, proving worth the splurge for hydrating and firming. The formula scored highest for increasing skin moisture, by 41% over six hours and boosted firmness by 29% over four weeks of use. Several testers said they could see a noticeable difference: “My bags are almost gone.”
Best Value Eye Cream
Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Eye Cream
RoC was a past overall winner in our Lab’s eye cream test. It excelled at tackling every eye-area issue, increasing firmness by 19% and hydration by 20%, reducing wrinkles by 10%, brightening dark circles, and depuffing — all with a price way below the average treatment! Testers said it also helped the look of crow’s feet and under-eye fine lines. “I noticed within days that the issues around my eyes were diminished,” said one.
Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles
Restore & Renew Multi Action Eye Cream
Tiny tube, big benefits: With smoothing peptides, No7 rose above the rest in the GH Beauty Lab’s test at diminishing crow’s feet and creases. “This visibly reduced the lines on and crepey texture of my skin,” a tester reported. In digital imaging with the Lab’s Visia Complexion Analyzer, the lotion minimized eye-area wrinkle size and severity by 13% in four weeks. It also ranked highly for making skin 28% firmer and more hydrated by 30%.
Best Firming Eye Cream
Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum
Infused with collagen-stimulating retinol, Murad’s serum was the strongest at tightening slack skin around the eyes. The light formula raised skin’s firmness by 33%, more than all other products in the Beauty Lab’s test, and moisture levels by 18%; it also reduced wrinkles by 7% and improved the appearance of bags. Users rated it nearly perfect for lack of irritation. “Finally, an eye treatment that actually delivered on its promises,” one tester raved. “The best I’ve ever used.”
Best Value Firming Eye Cream
SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
The most affordable winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s anti-aging eye treatments test, Garnier’s silky shea-butter-and-caffeine cream was a tester favorite as well as a fantastic skin firmer and softener. The formulation came in second for firming, with a 32% increase, and hydrating, with a 31% uptick, though it didn’t visibly reduce wrinkles in Lab assessments. It got great scores from testers for its pleasant scent. “I loved it!” and “Others noticed and asked what I’d done,” they raved.
Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles
TimeWise Age Minimize 3D Eye Cream
Shine a light on shadows and deflate bags with this GH Seal star Mary Kay cream containing skin tone-evening niacinamide, also a winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s eye creams test. It received the highest marks in Lab digital imaging analysis for improving the look of dark circles and among testers for decreasing puffiness and undereye bags. The treatment also upped hydration 24% and firmness 20%. “No more morning puffiness,” a tester revealed. “A magical product!” That’s why it’s a Good Housekeeping Seal holder.
Best Brightening Eye Cream
Eyes Brightening Eye Cream
With its makeup-like effects (thanks to light-reflecting minerals), GH Beauty Lab eye creams test winner and Good Housekeeping Seal star Olay blurs eye-area imperfections in seconds. “This was like a primer, quickly diminishing the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes that can interfere with makeup,” one reported. “It even lifted my upper eyelids, which had started to sag,” another said. The most-liked formula among testers, it firmed skin long-term by an impressive 29%, though it wasn’t as hydrating as others in Lab calculations.
Best Hydrating Eye Cream
Le Lift Crème Yeux Firming Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
With this rich, luxurious eye cream, you get what you pay for. A 2018 GH Beauty Award winner and the runner-up in our Lab test, the gentle formula was the most hydrating of all eye creams we tested. It increased eye-area skin hydration by an impressive 34% over six hours! It also earned near-perfect scores for texture and fragrance. Bonus, the product comes with facial massage techniques that you can incorporate during application.
Best Night Eye Cream
Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream
A great drugstore buy, this Burt’s Bees pick is a luxe-feeling, rich formula. Our Lab evaluations showed it improved skin’s moisturization by 21% and firmed it by 18%. You’ll likely want to apply it overnight, since its thick texture takes some time to absorb into skin. One tester said, “It left my eye area much more moisturized, and made it much easier to apply eye makeup!”
Best Retinol Eye Cream
Redermic R Eyes Retinol Eye Cream
La Roche-Posay eye cream absorbed quickly, reduced the appearance of fine lines, and diminished under-eye puffiness. It also contains powerhouse anti-aging ingredient, retinol. While the ingredient can sometimes cause redness or irritation, our Lab testers didn’t report any issues. “I didn’t really have much faith in eye creams until trying this one,” said one tester. Be sure to only use this at night, then apply sunscreen every morning, since retinol can increase sun sensitivity.
Best Lightweight Eye Cream
Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream
This Good Housekeeping Seal holder is perfect if you’re looking for a lighter formula without compromising hydration. Neutrogena’s unique gel-like texture absorbs quickly into skin and keeps the delicate eye area moisturized for up to 12 hours. Plus, it’s fragrance- and oil-free, making it great for nearly every skin type, from oily to sensitive.
Best Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin
Age Perfect Eye Renewal
L’Oréal’s eye cream performed well across the board in our Lab study, moisturizing, firming, and decreasing the look of fine lines over four weeks. Testers loved that this Good Housekeeping Seal holder was so gentle that it didn’t cause any redness or irritation. “I’ve never had an eye cream work as effectively as this one,” said a tester. “My skin is very sensitive and most eye products irritate it. This one didn’t bother my skin at all!”
Best Depuffing Eye Cream
TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Eye Renewal Cream
This Good Housekeeping Seal holder reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and moisturizes dry, crepey skin for up to 12 hours. We also love the tube’s smart design; squeeze out some product and gently use its metal applicator tip to smooth onto skin. The immediate cooling sensation will help depuff eyes!
Best Lifting Eye Cream
Lift & Luminate Triple Action Eye Cream
No7’s cream visibly improves three of the top signs of aging in the eye area: wrinkles, lack of firmness, and uneven skin tone. A study showed that consumers noticed improvements in as little as two weeks. It’s also a Good Housekeeping Seal holder, so if it fails to perform, we’ll refund you in full.
Best Eye Cream with SPF
Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50
Formulated specifically for the delicate eye area, this SkinCeuticals sunscreen is perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. This gentle mineral sunscreen not only offers UVA and UVB protection, but also hides dark circles with its sheer tint. Our GH team reported ”no stinging, tears, or irritation.”
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