Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles? Here are 16 of our Top Anti-Aging Picks - The Dermatology Review

Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles? Here are 16 of our Top Anti-Aging Picks

SKIN CARE REVIEWS

11.23.21DISCLAIMER

Best eye cream for wrinkles — why is this an important topic? Your eyes are one of the first features that people notice about you, so when they look fatigued, wrinkled, or puffy, you come across as tired —no matter how radiant the rest of your face may look. 

During the aging process, the rate at which the skin cells renew slows down, so the skin around this delicate area begins to thin. Collagen and elastin production reduces, contributing to fine lines and a reduction in oil production, causing the skin to become drier — there are also fewer oil glands in this area. This is why you need an eye cream for wrinkles.

Under-eye wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging, but you can slow down this process a bit with the best under-eye cream for wrinkles. 

Not sure where to start looking for a top-rated eye cream for wrinkles? No worries. Here at the Derm Review, we’ve reviewed hundreds of products with a scientific lens to ensure you’re creating a skincare regimen that’s safe and effective. Ahead, 16 picks to help you get one step closer to finding the best anti-aging eye cream for wrinkles.

Related: Best Eye Creams

anti-aging cream

Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles: The List 

Formulyst Complete Anti-Aging Eye Cream, $85

Carrot & Stick The Eye Cream, $50

Obagi Elastiderm Eye Cream, $115.50

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, $50

Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream, $25.00

RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream, $24.99

Neocutis Lumière, $97

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream, $64

SK-II R.N.A. POWER Eye Cream, $139

La Mer The Eye Concentrate, $245

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, $11

Dr. Brandt 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream, $55

Skinmedica TNS Eye Repair, $102

Skinceuticals Eye Balm, $82

Caudalie Premier Cru Anti-Aging Eye Cream, $99

CHANEL Sublimage La Crème Yeux Ultimate Régénération Eye Cream, $260

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How to Choose the Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles

There are plenty of anti-wrinkle eye creams to choose from, whether you like to shop at your local drugstore or if you prefer boutique brands — and there’s a product for every budget. Eye creams come in different formulas, including gels, creams, oils, and serums

  • While the right formula can come down to personal preference, other factors come into play. Skin type, makeup usage, your age, and the type of climate you live in should all be taken into consideration. 
  • Creams are thicker and richer, while gels and serums are more lightweight and absorb easily, which means your makeup is less likely to slide off.  Some people choose a thicker eye cream for nighttime and wear a gel during the day.
  • Also, consider whether or not you’re trying to simultaneously address other concerns such as puffiness, dark circles, discoloration, etc., so you can choose a multi-tasking formula versus one that just targets under-eye wrinkles.

Related: Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles

What to Look for in an Eye Cream for Wrinkles

Along with evidence-based ingredients, top-rated eye cream for wrinkles should address fine lines, wrinkles, crepiness, loss of tone, and associated puffiness, darkness, and discoloration. These features are what make up the best anti-aging eye cream 2021 — and beyond. 

  • Additionally, read product and brand reviews as we write here on the Derm Review. Has the product won any awards? Do Dermatologists recommend it? What’s the average star rating? 
  • Also, while it’s not always 100 percent possible, try to avoid dark circle creams formulated with harmful ingredients like denatured alcohol, parabens, and fragrance and test on animals. Look for clean formulas with a mix of synthetic and natural, safe results-driven ingredients.
  • If you’re trying a new eye cream or experimenting with new ingredients, conduct a patch test first.

Best Wrinkle Eye Cream Ingredients

While this is not an exhaustive list of ingredients that can have a positive effect on delicate under-eye skin, these are a few of the most effective. 

  • Retinol

Arguably the most essential ingredient to look for in an anti-wrinkle eye cream is retinol, which is available over the counter. This vitamin A derivative helps encourage cell turnover and reduces the appearance of fine lines, and softens the look of under-eye wrinkles. Retinol can be drying and cause irritation, so look for a formula containing moisturizing superstars like hyaluronic acid.

  • Hyaluronic acid

Hydrates, plumps, and brightens the delicate skin under the eye area, which helps soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes. HA also improves skin elasticity.

  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C protects your skin from elements like the sun (though it is not a replacement for sunscreen), pollution, and cigarette smoke, all of which can speed up wrinkle formation. It also discourages melanin production in the skin, which helps hyperpigmentation issues (think brown spots), evens skin tone, increases radiance, and hydrates.

  • Peptides

Peptides help keep the eye area firm and smooth by stimulating collagen growth, which helps plump the under-eye area, softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

  • Niacinamide

Vitamin B3, aka nicotinamide (also known as niacinamide), has numerous benefits — which is why it’s an essential ingredient in many skincare formulas. When it comes to the eyes, it enhances the skin’s resilience, hydrates, calms inflammation, guards against free-radical damage, and brightens. 

  • Ceramides

Ceramides mimic the skin’s natural moisturizing systems, effectively preventing dehydration, which exacerbates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Coenzyme Q10 

CoQ10 protects the skin from sun damage and decreases the risk of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Vitamin E

It works as an antioxidant that also provides moisturizing and soothing properties.

  • SPF 

Sun protection is vital for preventing sun damage and wrinkling around the eyes.

Related: Best Firming Eye Creams

How to Apply an Under-Eye Cream for Wrinkles

Eye cream should be applied before daytime moisturizer and sunscreen and before your night cream because it’s lighter, and heavier formulas should go on last.  

Try not to use a lot of eye cream — a pea-sized amount for both eyes is enough. Using too much product makes it easier for the cream to enter your eyes, causing irritation, which will only exacerbate wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles. Here’s how to get the most out of your eye cream for wrinkles: 

 

Finger Application

  • Always apply your eye cream with your ring finger. It’s the weakest, so it will naturally have a gentle touch.
  • Use a small spatula to scoop up a pea-sized amount of product.
  • Gently tap small dots under your eyes, starting at the innermost corner and moving outward. Avoid applying cream too close to your bottom eyelashes. 
  • Gently pat the product on your skin. Avoid dragging, rubbing, and pulling — it makes wrinkles worse.
  • Wait two minutes to let the cream fully absorb before applying the rest of your skincare products and makeup.

 

With an Eye Cream Applicator

More and more eye creams are being formulated with an eye cream applicator, which are metal roller balls attached to the ends of tubes of eye creams that are meant to quickly cool the skin, improve circulation and reduce puffiness around the eyes.

Related: Best Eye Creams for Puffiness

As with your finger, you’re going to want to use a light touch, and you’re still going to want to work the applicator starting at the innermost corner and moving outward. 

Why You Need an Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Even if you’re armed with a silk pillowcase, extra-large sunglasses, and chilled cucumber slices, you still need an anti-aging eye cream. It’s a common mistake to think that your regular moisturizer can be applied around the eyes. 

Eye creams are formulated differently from facial moisturizers. Because the skin around the eyes is so thin and the eye area can be sensitive, the formulas tend to be thicker, richer, and contain oils and other deeply hydrating ingredients to compensate for the lack of naturally produced oils in this area. Not to mention, there are eye-safe amounts of active ingredients like retinol, as to not cause irritation.

Investing in a good eye cream for wrinkles helps prevent fine lines as well as treat existing ones. The best anti-aging eye creams pull double duty; they hydrate the eye area and help fill in lines, which means that everyone can benefit from using one, whether you’re in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60s, or have mature skin.

Dynamic Versus Static Under-Eye Wrinkles

A combination of skin movement (expressions, sleeping habits) and collagen and elastin loss are the leading causes of under-eye wrinkles — but free radicals, sun damage, and hormonal fluctuations can exasperate the aging process. Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process, while lifestyle habits and the environment influence extrinsic aging. 

There are two main types of eye wrinkles: dynamic and static. Dynamic wrinkles appear during muscle contraction when you make facial expressions. Wrinkles under eyes when smiling? They’re likely dynamic. While static wrinkles (caused by natural factors such as aging and gravity) may be more prominent with muscle contraction, they are visible all the time, even when the face is at rest. Eye wrinkles can be a direct consequence of both static and dynamic wrinkles.

FAQs

 

What causes eye wrinkles?

Aging isn’t the only cause of fine lines. Too much squinting, smoking, sun exposure, a poor diet, and rubbing your eyes can all contribute to the formation of wrinkles and crow’s feet. Even how you sleep is a factor – if one side of your face is constantly squashed and folded against a pillow, this can deepen wrinkles and crepey-looking skin around the eyes.

 

What are the different types of eye creams?

All eye creams are not created equally. Anti-aging eye cream for wrinkles is all about prevention and hydration; think of it as an all-around product. They tend to be packed with hydrators like hyaluronic acid to help plump up the eye area and contain sunscreen.

Anti-aging eye creams may also contain antioxidants like vitamins C and E. An anti-wrinkle cream focuses on softening the look of fine lines with ingredients like retinol (a vitamin A derivative). It may contain brighteners to help reduce the look of dark circles. Some eye creams do a little bit of both.

 

How can I get rid of wrinkles under my eyes?

Along with using an anti-aging eye cream, other measures you can take include wearing sun protection, quitting smoking, changing your sleep habits, facial exercises, regular exfoliation, addressing allergies, drinking enough water, and eating a healthy (balanced) diet. 

 

What’s the best treatment for under-eye wrinkles?

Chemical peels are considered a great under-eye wrinkle treatment that can effectively eliminate superficial — not deep — wrinkles by resurfacing the skin. Peels remove the top layer of skin, revealing a new layer, making fine lines and wrinkles less pronounced. You’ll have to regularly get peels to maintain results. 

 

Can under-eye wrinkles go away?

While a top-rated eye cream for wrinkles, sun protection, and a healthy lifestyle may lessen the appearance of fine lines or reduce their appearance, it may not be possible to avoid them entirely.

 

What home remedy gets rid of wrinkles permanently?

Here’s the thing: If a well-formulated eye cream can’t entirely get rid of wrinkles, a home remedy indeed won’t — but it won’t harm, either, and may be able to soften wrinkles’ appearance. Some DIY remedies to try are egg whites, a banana or cucumber mask, aloe vera, coconut oil, and olive oil. 

 

Does Vaseline reduce eye wrinkles?

Vaseline can make wrinkles less apparent because it adds moisture to the skin. However, only an eye cream with a proven active ingredient, such as retinol, can dramatically affect wrinkles.

Best Under-Eye Cream for Wrinkles

Formulyst Complete Anti-Aging Eye Cream, $85
Eyes may be the window to the soul, but they can also be host to a wide range of skin concerns, including wrinkles, puffiness, and bags. Formulyst’s Complete Anti-Aging Eye Cream is a multi-tasking formula targeting the various signs of aging around the eyes. 

The potent eye cream contains retinyl complex and peptide technology to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while hyaluronic acid and cucumber extract soothe and hydrate the delicate eye area.

Carrot & Stick The Eye Cream, $50
The Eye Cream from Carrot & Stick tackles every eye area issue, including dark circles, bags, and sagging skin. It does this thanks to plant-based ingredients, including Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin), which helps tighten and protect the delicate skin around the lids. At the same time, St. Paul’s wort (Sigesbeckia Orientalis) stimulates collagen and elastin to help restore vitality.

Obagi Elastiderm Eye Cream, $115.50
As we age, the elastin fibers in our skin degrade, which means that skin becomes saggy and lax. Around the eye area, this results in droopiness and crepiness. Obagi Elastiderm Eye Cream helps to reduce this with a combination of bimineral complex and malonic acid. The bi-mineral complex combines the minerals copper and zinc and is thought to help improve elasticity and moisture.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, $50
This best-selling, vibrant green eye cream contains avocado oil, beta carotene, and shea butter. These ingredients help nourish the eye area to keep wrinkles at bay while helping to plump fine lines, brighten the area, and reduce puffiness. This top eye cream is suitable for all skin types — including sensitive skin. 

Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream, $25.00
This anti-aging eye cream is a triple threat. It fights puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles all in one over-the-counter formula. Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is a skin brightener that targets discoloration or hyperpigmentation, making it effective for improving the look of dark circles. Niacinamide is another multitasker, helping to improve fine lines, redness, yellowing, and discoloration.

RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream, $24.99
This dermatologist-recommended drugstore eye cream for wrinkles is an affordable option for those with sensitive skin. The main ingredient is a mild form of retinol, the gold-standard ingredient for helping to reduce signs of aging. Retinol helps diminish puffiness by boosting collagen production — but it’s gentle enough not to irritate.

Neocutis Lumière, $97
This power-packed eye cream is formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and a patented blend of peptides called PSP (Processed Skin Cell Proteins) that work synergistically to brighten, de-puff, disguise dark circles, and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll need a prescription for this one, which is an excellent excuse to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream, $64
This anti-aging eye cream addresses multiple eye wrinkles, including crow’s feet, under-eye wrinkles, corner creases, and lid creases. The key ingredients include green and brown algae, turmeric extract, aqua peptides, and the brand’s proprietary KOMBU-Bounce Complex to help address the causes of wrinkle formation while serving as a natural wrinkle inner-filler. 

This potent, newly reformulated, anti-wrinkle eye cream reveals visible results in as little as one week.

SK-II R.N.A. POWER Eye Cream, $139
Like all SK-II products, this anti-aging eye cream for wrinkles is formulated with pitera, the company’s signature fermented ingredient. The velvety eye wrinkle cream zeroes in on dark circles, fine lines, and loss of elasticity, thanks to hydrolyzed soy protein, yeast protein, artichoke, and alfalfa leaf extract.

La Mer The Eye Concentrate, $245
This anti-aging eye cream may come with an eye-watering price tag, but La Mer has its band of devoted followers — and this is the brand’s best-selling eye cream. The Eye Concentrate is designed to tackle dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dryness, thanks to La Mer’s proprietary Miracle Broth, which contains fermented seaweed and minerals. Bonus points for the cooling metal applicator that helps reduce puffiness and gives an instant cooling feel.

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, $11
This CeraVe eye cream is chock-full of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, all of which work to restore and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier while softening the appearance of under-eye wrinkles. CeraVe developed an MVE Delivery Technology to deliver ceramides to the skin in a time-release manner for a continuous rather than burst effect. 

The formula is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and contains nourishing ingredients suitable for sensitive skin.

Dr. Brandt 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream, $55
This incredibly impressive needle-free wrinkle filler also brightens, protects against environmental stressors, and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, thanks to time-released retinol and proprietary Ruby Crystal Complex. A Hydra-Balance Complex (lemon tree honey, phospholipids, and an amino acid deeply hydrate and prevent moisture loss.

Related: Best Retinol Eye Creams

Skinmedica TNS Eye Repair, $102
This anti-aging eye cream uses human fibroblast conditioned media (TNS) to help fight wrinkles along the eye area  — think of them as are natural protein messengers. It’s formulated to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. Its rich texture supplies plumping moisture, thanks to hyaluronic acid. 

Dehydration lines are diminished, and radiance is boosted. Peptides and TNS smooth the eye area, helping to preserve a youthful appearance, while boron nitride provides a light effect that diffuses the look of discoloration.

Skinceuticals Eye Balm, $82
This anti-wrinkle eye cream is designed specifically for mature skin. It’s formulated for dry aging skin and features a synergistic combination of powerful yet gentle plant-based ingredients to nourish and smooth skin around the eye. This rich, hydrating crème explicitly targets three prime visible signs of aging — moisture loss, skin laxity, and free radical damage — as well as puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Caudalie Premier Cru Anti-Aging Eye Cream, $99
This best-seller is nicknamed “photoshop for the eyes” due to its incredible ability to visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles on contact and over time. Caudalie’s proprietary blend of resveratrol, viniferine, and grape seeds work together to lift, firm, brighten and protect against free radical damage. 

It deeply hydrates yet effortlessly melts into the skin, so it works well with makeup or alone as a natural highlighter to banish under-eye shadows. 

CHANEL Sublimage La Crème Yeux Ultimate Régénération Eye Cream, $260
This ultra-rich eye cream doubles as an eye mask when your under-eyes require an immediate moisture boost. Additionally, the brand’s exclusive Planifolia PolyFractioned Active-infused formula targets wrinkles and loss of elasticity. You’ll notice an immediate improvement in hydration, firmness, radiance, and tone. 

Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles: The Bottom Line

What is the best eye cream for wrinkles? Formulyst’s Complete Anti-Aging Eye Cream followed by Carrot & Stick’s The Eye Cream. 

During the aging process, the rate at which the skin cells renew slows down, so the skin around this delicate area begins to thin. Collagen and elastin production reduces, contributing to fine lines and a reduction in oil production, causing the skin to become drier — there are also fewer oil glands in this area. This is why you need an eye cream for wrinkles.

Eye creams are formulated differently from facial moisturizers. Because the skin around the eyes is so thin and the eye area can be sensitive, the formulas tend to be thicker, richer, and contain oils and other deeply hydrating ingredients to compensate for the lack of naturally produced oils in this area.

The best anti-wrinkle and anti-aging eye creams are packed with targeted ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamin C, and of course, sunscreen to help improve the appearance of fine lines while also helping to firm and lift the eye area. 

What’s the best eye cream for wrinkles, in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!

References:
Retinoids in the Treatment of Skin Aging,” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 

  • TDR Original review: May 20, 2018. Reply

    Under-eye wrinkles are a very common skin concern for women in their 30s. Wrinkles under the eyes are usually caused by repetitive facial movements, such as squinting. Prolonged sun exposure doesn’t help. They can also be caused by loss of facial volume. Therefore, we recommend products that support natural collagen production. Look for products that contain plant stem cells.

    The good news is there are products that can assist. So what is your favorite eye cream?

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