12 Hydrating Eye Creams Derms Say Will Quench Even The Driest Skin

Picks for every price point and concern.Even when you’ve got the perfect dry skin routine down pat, there’s one pesky area that still seems to struggle: the skin around your eyes. This area, (which is up to ten times thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face, BTW) is highly vulnerable to the effects of environmental stressors. Add to that the fact that it produces less oil than the surrounding skin and you’ll start to understand why having a dedicated eye cream for dry skin is paramount for keeping this high-risk spot properly hydrated. “The under-eye skin, lids, and surrounding area is extremely thin, with the lowest elasticity, firmness, and oil production, and the worst barrier function,” says Gary Goldfaden, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Goldfaden MD skincare. This means that the area is poorly protected from dry air, UV light, and other stressors that cause visible signs of skin aging, which is why it’s one of the first places where fine lines and wrinkles occur. “The under eyes often develop the deepest wrinkles, and can have the appearance of being dry and dehydrated,” he adds. Tl;Dr: An eye cream for dry skin can be your saving grace. Below are 12 hydrating options that’ll soothe, nourish, and rejuvenate tired under eyes. The 12 best eye creams for dry skin, at a glance: Best for dryness overall: Drunk Elephant, Ceramighty AF Eye Cream with Ceramides, $60  Best drugstore: e.l.f. Cosmetics, Holy Hydration! Illuminating Eye Cream, $10 Best for wrinkles: Neocutis, Lumière Firm Riche Eye Cream, $115 Best drugstore for wrinkles: Cetaphil, Hydrating Gel Eye Serum, $23 Best anti-aging: SkinCeuticals, Eye Balm Hydrating Cream, $90 Best drugstore anti-aging: Cerave, Skin Renewing Eye Cream, $22 Best for dark circles: Farmacy, Wake Up Honey Eye Cream, $45 Best drugstore for dark circles: L’Oréal Paris, Age Perfect Rosy Tone Anti-Aging Eye Cream, $25 Best for sensitive skin: Avene, Eau Thermale Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream, $32 Best drugstore for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay, Toleriane Dermallergo Eye Cream, $30  Best daytime day cream: Bobbi Brown, Hydrating Eye Cream, $64 Best daytime drugstore eye cream: Neutrogena, Hydroboost Eye Gel Cream, $11 The 12 best eye creams for dry skin Best for dryness overall: Drunk Elephant, Ceramighty AF Eye Cream with Ceramides — $60.00 Key ingredients: 3% ceramide blend, 10% plant omega-lipid complex, oat kernel oil, linolenic and linoleic acid For the ultimate in under eye hydration, this Drunk Elephant formula has got you covered. Its top priority is strengthening the skin barrier (with the help of ceramides and lipids), which will help the delicate under-eye area hold onto moisture so it can stay properly nourished all day long. Speaking of moisture—you’ll get that from nourishing plant oils, which work overtime to soothe and soften skin. Size: 0.5 ounces Pros: Strengthens the skin barrier Contains antioxidants to soften and nourish skin Cons Doesn’t offer additional benefits Pricey Shop now Best drugstore: e.l.f. Cosmetics, Holy Hydration! Illuminating Eye Cream — $10.00 Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, peptides, cucumber extract, shea butter, green tea extract For just $10, you’ll get a long list of ingredients that dermatologists say hit on the big three of hydration—humectants that draw in water, emollients that soften skin, and occlusives to lock in moisture—plus the antioxidant benefits of green tea extract. “Holy hydration” is right. Size: 0.4 oz. Pros: Affordable Can be used morning and night Cons: Doesn’t offer benefits beyond hydration Shop now Best for wrinkles: Neocutis, Lumière Firm Riche Extra Moisturizing Illuminating Tightening Eye Cream — $118.00 Key ingredients: Proprietary peptides, caffeine, vitamin C This luxurious firming eye cream was previously dubbed a “holy grail” product for hydration by Deirdre Hooper, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Audubon Dermatology in New Orleans. It’s formulated to provide mega moisture thanks to a blend of peptides and glycerin. There’s also the brand’s proprietary growth factors that boost collagen and hyaluronic acid production, a burst of caffeine to soothe puffiness, and vitamin C for staving off fine lines, dark spots, and other signs of oxidative stress. It’s expensive but worth every drop. Size: 0.5 oz. Pros: Hydrates, firms, and plumps skin Combats and protects from fine lines, wrinkles, and more. Boosts collagen and hyaluronic production Cons: Expensive Shop Now Best drugstore for wrinkles: Cetaphil, Hydrating Eye Gel Serum — $23.00 Key ingredients: Vitamin B5, niacinamide, purified peptides, edelweiss, and rice lees extract Though retinol-infused formulas can help fend off fine lines around the eyes, they can be incredibly drying, which makes them a no-go for anyone looking to treat wrinkles on dry skin. This eye serum swaps in peptides as a “retinol alternative” to smooth skin sans irritation. What’s more, the inclusion of niacinamide helps reduce puffiness, while vitamin B5, edelweiss, and rice lees extract add a boost of hydration. Size: 0.5 oz. Pros: Hyrdates skin for 24 hours, reduces the appearance of wrinkles Dermatologist developed Gentle enough for daily use on all skin types Fragrance free Cons: May not deliver results on dark circles Shop now Best anti-aging: SkinCeuticals, Eye Balm Hydrating Cream — $90.00 Key ingredients: Vitamin E, silymarin, soy isoflavones We hate to say it, but at $90 a pop, this itty-bitty pot of skin-care gold is well worth the price. It’s a triple threat full of hydrators (vitamin E), antioxidants (silymarin), and skin-firming ingredients (soy isoflavones) to diminish the appearance of current signs of aging around the eyes while also preventing future ones from showing up. Even better? The balmy texture is a dream to apply, and won’t irritate even the most sensitive complexions. Size: 0.5 ounces Pros: Hydrating and anti-aging benefits Balmy texture melts seamlessly into skin Fragrance, dye, and alcohol free Cons: Expensive Shop now Best drugstore anti-aging: Cerave, Skin Renewing Eye Cream — $22.00 Key ingredients: Peptides, niacinamide, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, ceramides Sure, this drugstore diamond hydrates the skin under your eyes, but it also happens to do a heck of a lot more than that. This $22 tube contains ingredients that diminish dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles, which means there isn’t a single sign of visible skin aging it doesn’t address. The formula’s major standouts? Three different types of ceramides, which strengthen the skin barrier, and caffeine to make you look instantly more awake. Size: 0.5 oz. Pros: Hydrates skin and addresses multiple signs of skin aging Dermatologist developed and ophthalmologist tested Affordable Cons Doesn’t treat puffiness as well as other products Shop now Best for dark circles: Farmacy, Wake Up Honey Eye Cream — $45.00 Key ingredients: 3% vitamin C,  encapsulated caffeine, upcycled cranberry peptide, buckwheat-honey blend Vitamin C’s brightening prowess makes it a dermatologist’s favorite to use everywhere, and that includes under your eyes. The potent antioxidant visibly reduces dark circles and works in tandem with peptides and caffeine to squash puffiness. The real hero here, though, is the brand’s proprietary buckwheat-honey blend, which will keep skin hydrated even after many (many) hours of staring at a screen. Size: 0.5 oz Pros: Hydrates skin and works as an “instant eraser” for dark circles Diminishes puffiness and dark circles over time Cons: Feels a bit sticky upon application Shop now Best drugstore for dark circles: L’Oréal Paris, Age Perfect Rosy Tone Anti-Aging Eye Cream — $25.00 Key ingredients: Imperial peony, glycerin, dimethicone We’ve all had those mornings when we need our dark circles gone immediately, and this is the product to reach for to get the job done. It’s got rosy pigments that help offset the purple shades that come about with dark circles, and also contains peony extract to brighten the undereye area over time. Size: 0.5 oz. Pros: Hydrates skin and reduces dark circles both instantly and over time Contains pigments to color-correct discoloration Great for mature skin Cons: Only comes in one shade Shop now Best for sensitive skin: Avène, Eau Thermale Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream — $32.00 Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, chamomile, Avène thermal spring water A French drugstore favorite, this sensitive-skin-friendly eye cream is a true luxury here in the US (but still comes at a pretty A+ price point!). The hyaluronic acid in the formula puts in work to draw moisture into the skin and hold it there, and the thermal spring water offers the calming benefits the brand is known for. Size: 0.32 oz. Pros: Soothes and hydrates skin Won’t irritate sensitive complexions Opthamologist tested Fragrance free Cons: Standard-sized tube is smaller than any of the others on this list No benefits beyond hydration Shop now Best drugstore for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay, Toleriane Dermallergo Eye Cream Soothing Repair Moisturizer — $30.00 Key ingredients: Niacinamide, neurosine dipeptides, thermal mineral water Dr. Nazarian’s a huge fan of this eye cream for sensitive skin, and we are too. It’s made with La Roche Posay’s famed thermal water (which is so potent that people with severe eczema travel to France to bathe in it with miraculous effects), and as gentle as any formula can be. Add to that the antioxidant benefits from niacinamide and the restorative properties from neurosine dipeptides, and this is a product that anyone—sensitive complected or otherwise—can benefit from having in their collection. Size: 0.5 oz. Pros: Hydrates and soothes skin Allergy tested Fragrance and alcohol free Cons: Doesn’t offer benefits beyond hydration and soothing Shop now Best for daytime: Bobbi Brown, Hydrating Eye Cream — $64.00 Key ingredients: Enriched mineral water, aloe vera extract, witch hazel extract, jojoba seed oil, avocado oil, squalane Bobbi Brown may be known for her makeup, but this cult-fave eye cream is beloved by Dr. Nazarian and thousands of reviewers alike. It’s chock-full of plant oils that hydrate and balance the skin while immediately masking the appearance of puffiness and crow’s feet. Of course, it also lays seamlessly under whatever makeup you layer on top of it, making it the perfect pick for morning application. Size: 0.5 oz. Pros: Hydrates skin, diminishes puffiness, hides fine lines Creamy texture Sits well under makeup Cons: Takes some time to sink into skin Shop Now Best drugstore daytime: Neutrogena, Hydroboost Eye Gel Cream — $11.00 Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid This no-bells-and-whistles hyaluronic acid gel is the best-of-the-best drugstore buy for boosting hydration in your under-eye area before you head out for the day. The jelly texture offers a nice cooling effect, and you can go about your business without having to worry about caking or flaking for hours on end. Size: 0.5 oz Pros: Hydrates skin Cooling gel texture Sits well under makeup Cons: You may need to supplement with formulas that contain barrier-building ingredients to ensure maximum hydration Shop Now Why is the skin so dry under my eyes? While cold, dry air is the most common culprit behind under-eye dryness, Dr. Goldfaden names a few other factors that may leave the area looking less-than-dewy—including wind/dust/exhaust exposure, smoking, alcohol, salty or fried foods, allergies to ingredients in makeup or topical products, bad habits like rubbing and tugging at the skin, eczema, rosacea, and good old-fashioned aging (which, by nature, makes women’s skin dry all over due to depleting estrogen levels). “Because the skin around the eyes is incredibly delicate and often the first place to show signs of dryness, it’s not uncommon to find the skin is dry there, but not elsewhere,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. “The eye area is also subject to specific behaviors, such as rubbing and itching, from allergies or otherwise, and even constant irritation and rubbing from the removal of eye makeup and eyewear. And sometimes, the answer is as simple as a skincare regimen that’s too drying or harsh and decreases oil production.” What to look for in an eye cream for dry skin According to the pros, there are a few ingredients to look for to ensure a formula is designed for peak hydration. “I look for ingredients that are gentle, and either boost natural skin hydration, pull in water, or prevent loss of hydration from the skin,” says Dr. Nazarian. A few worthy examples that experts recommend are: Hyaluronic acid: This powerful humectant attracts moisture and holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, promoting hydration wherever it’s applied. Glycerin: Another powerful humectant, glycerin draws water into the skin and works for all skin types. Ceramides: Ceramides, which serve as the “glue” that holds our skin cells together, help to strengthen the skin barrier so that the skin is better equipped to hold onto moisture. Peptides: “Peptides are designed to provide collagen-boosters to your skin and improve circulation, so you can often expect reduced darkness and an increase in skin plumpness and elasticity,” says Dr. Goldfaden. Peptide-infused products are a great alternative to retinol for anyone looking to boost hydration, elasticity, and plumpness while also diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Vitamin E: This antioxidant-rich vitamin serves double-duty in protecting the skin from environmental stressors (and thus defending against visible signs of aging) while also improving softness and moisture. Squalane: Squalane works as a lubricant for the skin, delivering softening, smoothing, and moisturizing effects. FAQs Should you put moisturizer under your eyes? While you can certainly apply your standard moisturizer around your eyes, it’s important to know that these formulas tend to be less concentrated than actual eye creams—which means you’ll likely get more bang for your buck by investing in that extra nourishing eye care product to deliver peak hydration for delicate skin. It’s also worth noting that you should not, under any circumstances, try to repurpose your go-to body lotion to hydrate the skin under your eyes. “Some body products use different or higher concentrations of active ingredients, and might be too irritating to use under your eyes,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Specifically, many body products include an exfoliating element as a means of stimulating more moisture and improving smoothness, which would not be appropriate around the eyes and can increase the appearance of dryness.” Should eye cream be used at night? It can be! During sleep, the skin undergoes a natural repair and regeneration process, making it an ideal time to target specific concerns around the delicate eye area. That said, it can also be used during the day. Choose a lighter product (like one of our daytime-worthy options above) for all-day moisture that won’t weigh you down.

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