The 5 Best Eye Creams (Oils, Serums, and More)

The desert island must-have skin-care item of every makeup artist we’ve ever met, eye cream can make a huge difference in how you look, particularly if you pat it on in the mornings before makeup or SPF. And clean versions, free of texturizers and fillers, can be the most potent and effective.

The first place on your face to show age or a late night, the skin around your eyes is famously thin and devoid of smoothing, plumping oil glands. Eye creams—or gels, serums, or even oils—are a way to (temporarily) get the skin around your eyes back on par with the rest of your complexion, and for this, we love them. Eye cream won’t permanently lift, brighten, depuff, smooth, plump crepiness—no cream will, and even plastic surgeons and dermatologists have limited options around the eye, though well-done Botox, certain fillers, and surgical fat removal and lifts do have more noticeable and long-lasting results than topical treatments.

So whether clean or conventional, eye cream is more about the moment than the long game (The conventional versions, however, bring potential irritants, endocrine disruptors, and more right to one of the most vulnerable areas of the body, so their negative consequences are arguably also more long-game in nature.)

Though it’s wonderful to use before bed, there are several reasons why eye cream does its very best work in the morning: Patting it lightly under and around your eyes feels soothing and helps depuff, and the moisture sinks in to smooth skin. It makes a bare face look better, and it makes any makeup you use—especially foundation, BB cream, or concealer—look significantly more natural. Make sure to give it a few minutes to sink in before applying anything over it, and a few more before doing eye makeup, to minimize smudging. Here, our five all-time favorite formulas, by type.

Best Eye Cream

goop by Juice Beauty Perfecting Eye Cream

goop, $90/$80 with subscription

The Perfecting Eye Cream deeply hydrates and soothes the delicate eye area, softening the appearance of fine lines. Richly emollient, it plumps skin for a more youthful appearance. Formulated with olive butter, sandalwood nut oil, and powerful peptides, this high-tech formula delivers immediate and ongoing results.

Lavido Alert Eye Cream

goop, $49

This delicate, water-based miracle-worker is spiked with plant-based hyaluronic acid and a complex of smoothing natural oils. It’s designed to help soften puffiness, dark circles and fine lines—plus it’s great under makeup.

Best Eye Gel

H.Hazel Honest Hazel Eye Gels

goop, $12

These patches feel so good under your eyes, and they refresh skin with cactus collagen, aloe vera, arbutin, and vitamins C and E in just fifteen minutes. Tip: Keep them in the fridge for an extra-cooling sensation.

Best Eye Oil

French Girl Under Eye Oil – Néroli

goop, $40

This miracle undereye elixir is actually an oil that sinks right in to smooth and brighten for a healthy glow. Made with skin-perfecting fatty acids and soothing essential oils (argan, jojoba, olive, camellia, rose hip, pomegranate, evening primrose, chia seed, ylang-ylang, and rose geranium among them), it comes in a rollerball that cools the skin to further help reduce puffiness, feels incredible, and fits easily in a back pocket or makeup bag—genius.

KORA Organics Noni Radiant Eye Oil

goop, $38

Organic noni fruit, tomato, and marine bamboo extract combine with kahai—an antioxidant from Colombia—coffee, and rose quartz into an eye oil that brightens and awakens the undereye area. It’s made with a rose quartz rollerball, which cools as it smooths the oil over skin. It feels incredible going on, then sinks right into skin, so it’s equally amazing in the day under concealer or at night as a hydrating treatment.

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