We Asked 6 No-B.S. Derms For The Eye Creams That Actually Work

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Aimee Simeon

Last Updated February 3, 2021, 11:40 AM

“Do I really need an eye cream?” is a the skin-care question we’ve heard one too many times in our group chats or on pre-pandemic trips to Sephora with friends. While some may argue that eye creams are useless, experts say that’s simply a lie.
According to board-certified dermatologist Ryan Turner, MD, of Turner Dermatology in New York City, the under-eye area is extremely delicate compared to the rest of your face, which means it requires special care. “The skin is thin and responsive to fluid shifts in the face,” Dr. Turner explains. “The fragile capillaries in the skin also contribute to darkness under the eye.”
Because of the sensitive nature of the eye area, specific ingredients and doses are recommended to treat it. “Dedicated ingredients such as vitamin K oxide, caffeine, potent antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and retinoids are important to address concerns in that area,” Dr. Turner says. That’s why finding a good eye cream is necessary to keep the skin there healthy and radiant.
The category is filled with a ton of formulas, from high-end to mass market, but the real task is picking out the effective from the expendable. If you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of options when shopping for eye creams, we went straight to the source and asked the no-B.S. dermatologists we trust to give us their unfiltered opinions on the formulas that actually work, ahead.

Isdin Isdinceutics K-Ox Eyes

When it comes to effectiveness, Dr. Turner says this formula ticks all of the boxes. “This is one of my recent favorites that helps target dark circles and puffiness while hydrating the skin,” he says. “It contains the uncommonly-used vitamin K oxide, which focuses on the dark circles and has hyaluronic acid for hydration. It’s also packed with a special triple peptide combination, called Eyeliss, that may work to help lymphatic circulation and reduce leaky blood vessels.” Bonus: The ceramic tip-applicator cools the skin on contact, which helps to soothe puffiness.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

For shoppers on a budget, Dr. Turner recommends this caffeine-packed formula by The Ordinary. “This is a great cost-saving yet effective option that can help improve dark circles, hydrate the skin and reduce puffiness,” he says. “I like to keep mine in the fridge for an extra cooling effect on the skin during application to improve puffiness.”

Exuviance Age Reverse Eye Contour Antiaging Eye Cream

Board-certified dermatologist Noelani Gonzalez, MD, says that moisture is critical to minimizing the look of fine lines under the eye, and this formula provides a lot of it. “This eye cream’s unique combination of potent ingredients such as maltobionic acid plus PHAs helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and brighten the under-eye area.”

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex For Dark Circles

Board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Dr. Corey L. Hartman, considers this hero cream an excellent option for mature skin. “For mature patients that suffer from severe dryness and lack of elasticity, you can’t beat this intensely moisturizing cream, which contains blueberry extract to pack an antioxidant punch,” he says. “While the long-term effect is more youthful-looking skin, it also gives an immediate radiance upon application.”

Skinbetter InterFuse Treatment Cream

This navy-blue bottle is what clients are actually leaving Dr. Hartman’s practice with for brighter-looking eyes. “It’s a favorite in my practice for its ability to do it all,” he says. “It has a blend of vitamin C, caffeine, and neuro-calming peptides to fight puffiness and provide a brightening effect while locking in moisture through its use of humectants.” If you’re looking for a reliable eye cream that’ll protect your skin and keep you looking alert — this is it.