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5 Tried-and-True Tips to Finding the Most Effective Eye Cream

Posted by Sarah Otto on
5 Tried-and-True Tips to Finding the Most Effective Eye Cream

As you approach your 30s, 40s, or maybe even your 50s, the question you should be asking yourself is not “what’s the meaning of life?” No, the thing you should be asking yourself is “Eye cream…?”


Jokes aside, eye cream has become a heated topic in skincare—some swear by it, others say “pass!” But eye cream is a necessary part of any balanced skincare routine. And it does have targeted effects, which is to moisturize the delicate eye area, de-puff, evade discoloration, etc. However, type “best eye cream” into any search engine, and you’re bound to become overwhelmed FAST.


So, what’s the secret to finding the most effective eye cream for your needs? Keep scrolling for five quick-and-dirty tips, plus a few of my personal favorites!

1. Top Priority: Grab the Right Ingredients

A high-quality eye cream will contain a nice blend of ingredients that help with the specific needs of the eye area. Consider this your handy guide:


  • Hydrating Ingredients: For a radiant, dewy glow 24/7, look for products containing hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalene, shea or mango butter, avocado, argan or rosehip oils.
  • Vitamins: Vitamin K has been known to help with dark circles by improving the appearance of broken capillaries. You can also opt for Vitamin A, retinol, or even a gentler, natural alternative, like bakuchiol, which helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Of course, don’t forget your Vitamin C for brightening and Vitamin B3 (aka, niacinamide) for calming.
  • Antioxidants: Fruits and veggies aren’t the only way to get those necessary antioxidants. Look for products with caffeine, green tea, berry extracts, MSM, DMAE, and CoQ10 help to brighten the appearance around the eye and fight pollution damage to this delicate area.
  • Peptides: While aging is a natural, beautiful process, there’s no shame in wanting to firm and smooth the appearance of fine lines! In this case, peptides are your best friend.

2. Choose an Eye Cream Based on Your Needs

Listen, I know what you’re thinking: But Sarah, what if I don’t suffer from dark circles? Do I really need to buy a product with Vitamin K? Well, not necessarily! The list above is just to serve as a guide to target your very specific needs. Luckily, the skincare market is filled with products tailored to your skin issues. So, whether you need a boost for dark circles, dehydration, fine lines or puffiness—you’re covered. In fact, go ahead and use these terms while searching for an eye cream online or while asking a sales rep at your favorite beauty store!

3. Yes, Texture Matters

Confession: I’m not a fan of gel or oil-based eye creams. Gels tend to be very drying (which is totally counterintuitive) and oils often seep into your eyes (ouch!). Instead, choose a rich, creamy texture that’s also super hydrating.

4. Keep It Simple

If you follow any of my posts, you’ve probably noticed a trend: No matter what skincare item you’re looking for—eye creams, cleansers, or serums—always keep it simple! Look for products with minimal ingredient lists and few botanical extracts. While it’s tempting to grab something that boasts an amazing aroma, skip the fragrance and essential oils (yep, many essential oils often pose allergen and irritant potential). Lastly, look for one eye cream that meets all your needs. There’s no need to stash multiple in your medicine cabinet. Instead, look for a product that multitasks (for example, one that targets dark circles AND dehydration).

5. Make a Few Lifestyle Changes

While eye cream is certainly a life-saver when it comes to de-puffing and hydrating, it’s not an excuse to ignore your overall wellbeing. Be sure to drink plenty of water, reduce stress (try meditation and exercise!), take care of your diet, and minimize alcohol. As always, don’t forget about sunscreen! For most of us, it’s wintertime, when the sun goes into hiding for a few months. But those UV rays are still totally real, so keep slathering on the SPF!

6: Bonus!

Because I like you guys, I thought I’d include a few other fun facts about eye cream. Once you find your perfect fit, keep it refrigerated so that the active ingredients last longer. And when it comes to application, try Gua Sha before applying eye cream to help with puffiness and lymphatic drainage, then, gently massage your cream into the eye area.


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Okay, so we just covered a lot of amazing info about choosing a great eye cream. But as promised, I’ve put together a list of my all-time favorite products to help you get started (because let’s face it, the market is totally oversaturated with some duds). Take a look and see if any of these eye creams fit your skincare needs (and your budget!):


Farmacy’s Cheer Up features natural Vitamin C, caffeine, hyaluronic acid and peptides to help brighten, firm and hydrate. I love this one because it’s a great price for all that it offers! It uses fantastic active ingredients, but it’s made with a very clean formulation.


I love CeraVe products, and this Eye Repair Cream is no exception. Featuring niacinamide, ceramides and hyaluronic acid, this super affordable option has great active ingredients that hydrate and keep the skin barrier in good repair. It also contains a marine complex that claims to help with dark circles and puffiness.


How cute is this bottle? Fitglow’s Eye C Firm features caffeine and Vitamin K liposome which may help constrict blood vessels and help with discoloration and dark circles. It also has some great ultra-hydrating ingredients such as argan, jojoba and rosehip oils, shea butter and hyaluronic acid.


BeautyCounter Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream ($69)


Pretty enough to sit on your bathroom counter 24/7, BeautyCounter’s Countertime features bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol, and Persian silk tree extract, which has been shown to help fade dark circles. It’s also blended with super hydrating shea butter.


Last, but certainly not least, Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Brightening Eye Cream features moisturizing aloe, avocado oil and squalene. It also has some powerful antioxidants like DMAE, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid, which help to brighten and reduce fine lines.


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Have a tip you’d love to share? Use an eye cream you didn’t see on this list? Leave a comment below!

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