Looking For An Eye Cream? This Is What I Use
As a longtime beauty editor, I've been asked countless times for eye cream recommendations. And for years, my answer was disappointing: I don’t have one because I don’t use one. That’s not to say my under-eye skin hasn’t required TLC. Like most women, my eyes are aging faster than the rest of my face. But I found regular face creams (coupled with twice-a-year Botox) worked just fine at keeping my delicate under-eye skin smooth. Plus, an eye cream with too many bells and whistles often either irritated my sensitive eyes, made me puffy if I wore it overnight—or caused my concealer to pill if I applied it in the morning.
However, in the past year, my face-lotion-plus-Botox routine wasn’t delivering. My under-eye puffiness hung around for hours after waking, my fine lines seemed more deeply etched, and my skin just looked dryer and duller. So I started to play around with eye creams again and, this time, found not one, but three, I’d recommend to anyone looking for under-eye smoothing, bag-deflating—and deep hydration.
The primary difference between the three is texture, so you could rotate according to the weather or your skin’s current needs. For instance, I prefer richer, buttery creams in the winter when my skin is driest, and lighter, gel-like formulas in the summer when I'm oilier.
Note: I’m deliberately not saying these products will diminish dark circles. I’ve yet to see an over-the-counter topical make a dramatic difference in dark circles. If you want to improve the appearance of under-eye darkness, you need a good concealer—and a doctor (because fillers, peels and lasers can help. Topicals? Eh.) Disagree with me? Feel free to respond in the comments section below.
Anyway, here are three excellent eye creams I've found to hydrate, smooth and plump—without irritating or mussing my makeup. I’ve listed them thickest to thinnest.
Beauty Rx Ultra Hydrating Eye Repair Cream looks and feels like plush whipped cream, but absorbs quickly. This quality is key for me as I’ve found products that sit on top of my skin eventually migrate into my eyes…and sting. Also, despite its dense, cushiony feel, this cream has never caused me to breakout. I use this in deep winter, when my skin is super-parched. If your skin is dry 24/7, twelve months out of the year, this may be your year-round option.
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream would make Goldilocks happy, as it is neither particularly thick nor thin. It could be a year-round pick for normal to combination skin types, though I like it best for the fall and early spring, when my skin needs moisture but not a heavier cream.
Belif First Aid 360 Eye Care Mark is billed as a treatment product, but I see no reason you couldn’t use it daily. And I do. This is my summertime favorite. In addition to providing weightless hydration, this 'mask' soothes redness and deflates puffiness. I’ve seen it touted as an antidote for tired eyes, especially after a late night and too much wine. (At this point in my life, I feel like I need this antidote every morning.) It also feels cooling on the skin—you could keep it in the fridge to enhance this effect—making it an ideal option for hotter, humid days. Like right now.