The Top 10 Eye Serums for Wrinkles - The Dermatology Review

The Top 10 Eye Serums for Wrinkles

SKIN CARE REVIEWS

06.04.21DISCLAIMER

While you may be using a serum underneath your face moisturizer, what are you applying before your eye cream? If it’s a go-to serum, then it’s time you learned about the incredible benefits of an under-eye serum, including what it can do for the delicate skin around your orbital area that your cream cannot. 

Related: Best Face Serums

Eye Serums are best for softening fine lines and wrinkles while reducing dark circles and puffiness at a high level. The skin around the eyes becomes brighter, smoother, firmer, and more hydrated with regular use. Research suggests that the eye serum market is projected to gradually increase worldwide through at least 2026 for reasons such as “therapeutic properties” and that many of the key players in the beauty industry are increasing manufacturing to meet consumer demand for eye serums. 

Still, considering eye serum benefits sound a lot like those supporting eye creams, you may be a bit confused as to why you need one in your skincare routine. Let’s take a deeper dive on the topic, including suggestions for choosing the best eye serum to support your aging skin.

The List: 

The Best Eye Serum for Dark Circles and Puffiness: Stacked Skincare Firming Eye Complex, $78

The Best Retinol Eye Serum: Verso Super Eye Serum, $80

The Best Vitamin C Eye Serum: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Eye Serum, $70

The Best Eye Serum for Dark Circles: Lancôme Absolu Revitalizing Eye Serum, $135

The Best Fine Line Eye Serum: Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, $60

The Best Eye Serum for Wrinkles: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II, $69

The Best Eye Serum With Caffeine: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, $6.70

The Best Eye Serum for Puffy Eyes: StriVectin Peptight 360° Tightening Eye Serum, $69

The Best Eye Serum for Men: AESOP Parsley Seed Antioxidant Eye Serum, $81

The Best Eye Serum for Bags: REN CLEAN SKINCARE Keep Young & Beautiful Instant 

Eye Serum Versus Eye Cream

The difference between an eye cream and a serum is essentially the same as what characterizes the moisturizers and serums you’d use on your face. Eye creams are thicker and typically consist of more oils and fats. Eye serums are often water-based, lightweight, and less viscous. While creams are excellent for retaining moisture on the skin’s surface, serums typically contain more active ingredients that can penetrate more deeply due to their small molecular structure and liquid consistency. 

To be clear, this is not to say you should be ditching your eye cream for a serum alone. Both play an essential role in protecting, repairing, treating, and nourishing the delicate skin around the eye area. However, look at serums as boosters to help all of the benefits above happen a bit faster — and for the long term — since they work on a deeper level. Eye creams, on the other hand, can help address crepiness, texture, and moisture loss.

Eye Serum Ingredients to Avoid

The skin under the eyes is more delicate and sensitive than the rest of your body because it’s approximately 40% thinner. With that said, just because a product is formulated as a skincare product doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t come without consequences when used. That’s why you must do your due diligence by carefully reading the labels of any products you intend on using — eye serums and otherwise. Potentially irritating ingredients to avoid include: 

  • Alcohol: While there are several different types of alcohol that play a role in cosmetics and skincare products, some can cause side effects such as skin dryness, irritation, and a weakened skin barrier.
  • Butylene Glycol: Used in formulations to create a smooth, thick product that glides effortlessly onto the skin. It also has moisturizing properties. It can irritate the eyes at high concentrations and when there is significant contact.
  • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA): Used as a preservative in skincare products, protecting against the growth of mold, bacteria, and yeast. It also helps products to foam and lather. However, it can cause some irritation in some people.
  • Formaldehyde: A colorless, strong-smelling gas used in various industries and products, including building materials, walls, cabinets, furniture, and (surprisingly) personal care products. Many experts consider it a known human carcinogen.
  • Isopropyl Cloprostenate: A synthetic prostaglandin analog that’s used in eyelash growth serum products.
  • Parabens: A class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They have been linked to reproductive, immunological, neurological, and skin irritation problems.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A preservative used in many cosmetics and personal care products. It can cause mild irritation in some individuals — especially young children.

    As with an anti-aging eye cream, the best ingredients for an eye serum for aging skin include retinol, vitamin C, caffeine, niacinamide, vitamin E, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. Eye Serums containing retinol, peptides, or vitamin C are good for brightening and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Formulas containing vitamin K or caffeine can constrict the blood flow in the capillaries under the eyes so that darkness and puffiness under the eyes are reduced. Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient for increasing hydration without heaviness. Read more about these ingredients in detail in our post about the best anti-aging eye creams

    How to Apply an Eye Serum 

    As with your face products, an eye serum is to be applied before your eye cream. As a general rule of thumb, skincare formulas should be applied from the lightest to the heaviest. You only need about a pea-sized amount of serum for both eyes. Using your ring finger, gently dab the product underneath each eye, starting from the inside corner outwards. 

    Be careful not to apply the serum too close to the lash line (a half an inch below is best) so it doesn’t get inside your eyes, leading to irritation and puffiness. Don’t forget to apply product along the entire orbital bone, so that means right under your eyebrows, too. Be sure to wait approximately one minute (or until the serum has absorbed into the skin) to apply your eye cream. Repeat this process morning and night. 

    The Best Under-Eye Serums for Aging Skin

    The Best Eye Serum for Dark Circles and Puffiness: Stacked Skincare Firming Eye Complex, $78
    Whether you’re the type of person who is impatient when it comes to seeing results or you regularly experience puffiness, this is one of the fastest working depuffing under-eye serums you can find. Honey lotus extract tightens, lifts, and firms in approximately five minutes, with results lasting up to eight hours. But this isn’t just another quick-fix product. The brands’ proprietary peptide blend, along with a mix of potent antioxidants, reduces dark circles’ appearance in less than a month when used twice a day. 

    The Best Retinol Eye Serum: Verso Super Eye Serum, $80
    This popular eye serum is formulated with Verso’s unique Retinol 8 complex, which effectively firms, addresses hyperpigmentation, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates and plumps while a blend of peptides strengthens delicate under-eye tissue, restricts capillaries, and increases the frequency of lymph vessel contraction, diminishing the look of eye puffiness, dark circles, and lines. 

    The Best Vitamin C Eye Serum: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Eye Serum, $70
    This Dermalogica eye serum was formulated to target the signs of premature aging caused by environmental stress and dynamic wrinkles caused by repeated facial expressions. An extremely bioavailable vitamin C complex visibly firms under-eye skin, softens fine lines such as crow’s feet, and dramatically brightens, resulting in healthy, fresh-looking eyes.

    The Best Eye Serum for Dark Circles: Lancôme Absolu Revitalizing Eye Serum, $135
    No eye serum can get rid of dark circles overnight, but this one comes pretty close. After just one week of using the formula twice a day, dark circles are visibly reduced. Three weeks later, fine lines and wrinkles are diminished while the overall eye contour appears more rejuvenated, thanks to an exclusive blend of luxurious rose extracts. When it comes to instant gratification, this eye serum from Lancome leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and noticeably refreshed and youthful. 

    The Best Fine Line Eye Serum: Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, $60
    This Drunk Elephant eye serum contains a proprietary “Shaba Complex” comprised of copper peptides, edelweiss stem cells, black tea ferment, Co-Q10, and niacinamide to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, soothe, and improve under-eye skin tone and texture. This power-packed formula is also rich in sea buckthorn oil, vitamins A and E, and ubiquinone, a potent antioxidant that combats environmental stress responsible for premature aging. 

    The Best Eye Serum for Wrinkles: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II, $69
    While all of these formulas address wrinkles to some degree, this eye serum from Estee Lauder works overtime while you’re sleeping (the time of the day when the skin repairs itself) to address multiple signs of aging, including dryness, dullness, dark circles, and of course, wrinkles. An exclusive ChronoluxCB Technology harnesses the power of sleep to address adverse changes around the eyes that occur due to environmental stress, fatigue, and chronological age.  

    The Best Eye Serum With Caffeine: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, $6.70
    Fat deposits under the eye contour that have morphed into permanent puffiness cannot be treated with any The Ordinary eye serum. However, independent studies have shown that topical use of caffeine and EGCG (as used in this formula) can help reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles. Light-weight in texture and on your wallet, this potent antioxidant-infused under-eye serum will have you looking more well-rested.  

    The Best Eye Serum for Puffy Eyes: StriVectin Peptight 360° Tightening Eye Serum, $69
    This lightweight serum visibly tightens and firms the entire eye area while providing instant depuffing effects, thanks to a cooling applicator. StriVectin’s number one selling eye serum has been clinically proven to improve firmness, elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles, under-eye bags, and puffiness, so it’s genuinely an all-encompassing treatment product.

    The Best Eye Serum for Men: AESOP Parsley Seed Antioxidant Eye Serum, $81
    While men can partake of any under-eye serum on this list and elsewhere, AESOP is a bonafide, modern unisex skincare brand that prioritizes quality, integrity, and honesty over fancy packaging and influencer endorsement. Furthermore, 40% of males polled in a survey through ACUPOLL Precision Research, a nationally recognized firm, have never tried a skincare product designed specifically for men in the first place. This botanical, antioxidant-packed formula works to effectively hydrate, protect, and reduce dark circles — even for those with sensitive eyes because it’s natural and silicone-free. 

    The Best Eye Serum for Bags: REN CLEAN SKINCARE Keep Young & Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift, $46
    While we’re firm believers that beauty comes at all ages and in all forms, this formula immediately tightens, firms, lifts eye bags in a matter of minutes upon application, thanks to a liquid matrix of hyaluronans. Additionally, this lightweight gel-serum contains glycine betaine complex and phycocolloids to maintain moisture levels and strengthen the delicate eye contour. The effects are both immediate and cumulative, meaning you can apply morning, night, and whenever your eyes require a quick pick-me-up — even if you’re wearing makeup.

    Best Eye Serum: The Bottom Line

    Eye Serums are best for softening fine lines and wrinkles while reducing dark circles and puffiness at a high level. The skin around the delicate eye area looks brighter, smoother, firmer, and more hydrated with regular use. Under-eye serums are more focused on the benefits active ingredients can provide on a deeper level, whereas the goal of creams is primarily hydration. 

    Eye creams are thicker and typically consist of more oils and fats. Eye serums are often water-based, lightweight, and less viscous. While creams are excellent for retaining moisture on the skin’s surface, serums typically contain more active ingredients that can penetrate more deeply due to their small molecular structure and liquid consistency. 

    As with an anti-aging eye cream, the best ingredients for an eye serum for aging skin include retinol, vitamin C, caffeine, niacinamide, vitamin E, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. Eye Serums containing retinol, peptides, or vitamin C is good for brightening and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Formulas containing vitamin K or caffeine can constrict the blood flow in the capillaries under the eyes so that darkness and puffiness under the eyes are reduced. Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient for increasing hydration without heaviness.

    Sources:
    Global Eye Serum Market 2019 Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Segmentation, And Forecast To 2026,” EIN Presswire, September 2019.
    Drug Bioavailability,” NCBI Resources, October 2020.
    10 Stats on Men and Skincare,” Tiege Hanley, January 2020.

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