I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Eye creams (and serums) aren’t necessary. Yes, the eye area is more delicate than the rest of the face. The skin there is thinner. But the ingredients that moisturize it, protect it from the sun, and help it stay younger for longer are the same ones used for the rest of the face.
It’s true some brands only pick the gentlest ingredients for their eye creams. But most don’t bother. Thy just repackage their facial moisturizers in smaller jars or tubes and yet charge more for them! You may as well just look for a gentle moisturizer that you can use all over the face, and save some money too.
But I know not every woman is ready for this radical step. Some prefer to use a separate product. Others need it because the skin on their eye area is different, maybe oilier or drier, than the rest of their face, or has other concerns that need to be specifically addressed.
If that’s you, take a look at this list of eye creams and serums. Imo, they are the best-formulated and gentler formulas on the market at the moment. Here they are:
Best For Anti-Ageging: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum ($65.00)
This is my favourite product for the undereye area, which is why it is at the top of the list (the other products are listed in random order). Seriously, if I used a separate product on the eye area, it’d be this one.
What’s so special about it? It’s a multitasker. It has moisturizing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin-lightening properties that make this a well-rounded option suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.
It contains licorice extract, which can lighten discolourations by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase that is responsible for melanin production. This also helps it get rid of dark circles that are caused by sun damage (if they are caused by anything else, this serum won’t help, sorry!). Oh, and licorice extract has anti-inflammatory properties too.
Ferulic acid is another favourite ingredient of mine. A powerful antioxidant, it can destroy three types of free radicals (superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide) that are responsible for premature ageing.
But the best ingredient in the formula is retinol. One of the few ingredients really proven to reduce wrinkles, it can stimulate collagen production which leads to firmer skin, and accelerate cellular turnover, which helps treat discolourations. The bad news is that retinol can cause irritations. To avoid that, use the serum only every other day or so until your skin has got used to it.
The only problem I have with this serum is that it doesn’t contain SPF. But then skincare products with SPF don’t provide adequate protection on their own, so you’d need to use a separate sunscreen anyway.
Best Simple Formula: Dr. Denese New York HydroShield Eye Serum ($65.00)
Usually, I don’t like simple skincare formulas because they tend to only moisturize skin and not provide anti-ageing benefits too. That’s not the case here. Dr Denese has kept this formula free from thickeners and other filler ingredients (like botanical extracts in too small amounts to do anything). Everything in here has a specific function, which means this formula is both simple and effective. Well done, Dr Denese!
HydroShield Eye Serum contains a huge dose of Dimethicone to help it spread easily on the skin and fill in fine lines and wrinkles, thus reducing their appearance. That’s how it fights wrinkles in the short-term.
For long-term results, instead, it uses retinol and a handful of other antioxidants, like linoleic acid and tocopherol, a form of Vitamin E. The serum is also loaded with ceramides, which can help repair the skin’s barrier when it is damaged and help skin retain water, preventing it from drying out. Its lightweight formula and matte finish makes it a great option for all skin types, particularly oily.
Available at: Amazon
Best At The Drugstore: Olay Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex ($31.00)
Olay is my favourite drugstore skincare brand. Its products are both well-formulated and reasonably priced. And they contain niacinamide, an anti-ageing superstar that does everything, from moisturizing skin, to reducing dark spots and the appearance of wrinkles. It can even help with acne, although I wouldn’t recommend this product to those with oily, breakouts-prone skin because of the high Isopropyl Palmtate. It can clog pores.
The rest of the formula is made up of silicones, which help reduce the appearance of wrinkles by filling them in; antioxidants, like vitamin E, which help fight free radicals, and a couple of peptides, which may help in the fight against premature-ageing too.
Best Multitasker: Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ($39.50)
This Clinique formula is a great multitasker. It provides some light hydration suitable for normal to slightly dry skin; contains a bunch of antioxidants, like vitamin c, that can stimulate collagen production and keep premature wrinkles at bay; and has a brightening effect that makes dark circles look less obvious.
That’s not all. It also contains SPF. Titanium dioxide an zinc oxide protect skin from both sunburn-inducing UVB and wrinkle-causing UVA rays without irritating skin (but you still need to use it with sunscreen!). Fragrance-free, this formula is perfect even for sensitive skin.
Best Vitamin C Serum: Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Advanced Eye Area Therapy ($98.00)
I’m usually not a big fan of Perricone products because I think they are way overpriced for what they do. This one is outrageously expensive too, but at least it is properly-formulated and works well.
It contains a huge dollop of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, a stable from of Vitamin C that can stimulate collagen production, brighten skin, and fight free radicals. It works even better when used with other antioxidants, and this formula contains plenty. Vitamin e, alpha lipoic acid, and borage seed oil are just a few examples.
This fragrance-free formula also contains some niacinamide, an ingredient every woman should include in her skincare routine. And the sooner, the better. Lightweight but moisturizing, the serum will suit most skin types except oily and acne-prone due to the high Isopropyl Palmitate content.
Before I leave you, a last word on DMAE, an ingredient Perricone loves to add to everything he creates. It is very controversial. It seems that, in the short-term it can thicken skin, but in the long run, damage it. It is quite new, so further studies are needed before we can know for sure how good (or bad) it is for skin. But here, its concentration is too low to cause any concerns, so don’t worry about it.
Do you use a specific product on the eye area? If so, what’s your favourite? And have you tried any of these?