The Best Eye Creams That Dermatologists Swear By

From Kiehl's to Murad and brands you may have never heard of, these are what the experts approve.

Eye creams are the Marmite of the skin care world ― many find them completely unnecessary, others swear by them. Whichever camp you’re in, one thing is for certain: The area around the eyes is the thinnest skin you have, and considering the number of times you blink daily, this thin skin moves around constantly.

Zainab Laftah, a dermatologist at London Dermatology Centre in the U.K., explains that pollution, sun damage, poor sleep and general lifestyle might create a need to use an eye cream in your skin care routine. Nyla Raja, a dermatologist and the founder of U.K.-based aesthetic clinic Dr Nyla, agrees that the eye area will show the first signs of aging, so a specialized product can help with brightness, hydration and hollowness.

Sejal Shah, a dermatologist at Smarter Skin Dermatology in New York, explains that for some people, using a regular moisturizer up and around their eyes might be sufficient. “However, the benefit of eye creams is that they are specifically formulated for the thinner, more sensitive skin is this area ― the active ingredients might be the same, but may be at a lower concentration/potency in the eye cream ― and they contain ingredients to target issues specific to this area, which may not be a concern on the rest of your face.”

We asked board-certified dermatologists to share their favorite eye creams for targeting all sorts of concerns, including dark under-eyes, fine lines and more. Read on for their top suggestions.

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The Hydrating One
Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehl’s is a cult product, but you might not know they also make an eye cream that includes similar soothing and hydrating ingredients. This is nonirritating and will suit any skin type. Because of its essential oil, botanicals and lavender ingredients, it’s best used at night.

“The essential oils are particularly helpful at hydrating and restoring the skin, ideal for those with dry skin. Whilst squalane has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties targeting redness, puffiness and reducing fine lines,” Laftah said.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye cream, $30 (on sale)
The Retinol One
Retinol in an eye cream is a genius idea. Laftah is a big fan of this one, as it combines retinol with hyaluronic acid, making sure you won’t get any dryness around the delicate eye area.

“Retinol, a game changer, is your go-to ingredient for preventing fine lines," Laftah said. "It works by encouraging skin cell turnover and is highly effective at skin rejuvenation. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, is a humectant which acts by attracting and binding water to the skin to give that transient improvement in fine lines.” This cream is also recommended by Shah.

La Roche‑Posay Redermic R Eye cream, $46.95
The Pigmentation Savior
Dark eye circles are probably the most common under-eye problem dermatologists are approached for, Laftah noted.

“The cause is often multifactorial with genetic predisposition, increasing age, poor sleep, underlying skin and medical issues all playing a role,” Laftah said. “Ultraviolet light can worsen preexisting pigmentation. Therefore a sunscreen is an essential step in your daily skin care. Murad Essential-C eye cream contains in-demand ingredients SPF and vitamin C, both directed at reducing pigmentation.”

Murad Essential-C Eye Cream, $70
The All-Rounder
“One of my go-to eye creams is Alastin Restorative Eye Cream,” said Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology. “The specialized peptides in this formula are gentle but incredibly effective for collagen and elastin production for skin thickness and elasticity, which will improve under-eye discoloration, crepiness and thinning skin.”

Alastin Restorative Eye Cream, $85
The High In Hyaluronic
Different molecular concentrations of hyaluronic acid will ensure your eye area will be fully hydrated, Raja said: “This has a high concentration of hyaluronics, which address hydration, helping to make the eye look brighter.”

Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Eye Gel, $99
The Bag Eraser
If puffy eyes or under-eye bags are your main concern, Raja recommends the Intraceuticals Retouch Eyes cream.

“It is a powerhouse peptide serum that blurs out dark lines,” Raja said.

Intraceuticals Retouch Eyes, $54
Targets Dark Circles
Revision Skincare
With a potent mix of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this cream will target dark circles effectively as well as fine lines, and is one of Shah’s recommendations.

Revision Skincare Teamine Eye Complex, $86
The Double Defense
Raja really like the dual performing eye cream by Circadia, with one formula for the daytime and one for the night. “This is a day and night duo with different formulas to sync with your skin care needs throughout the day,” Raja said. “The day works to lighten under-eye circles by constricting capillaries, whereas the night formula focuses on repairing and increasing collagen formation, minimizing the formation of new lines as well as working to decrease fluid build-up and depuff.”

Circadia Full Circle Eye Repair, $119.80
Espresso For Your Eyes
100% Pure
An excellent budget option suggested by Shah, this 100% Pure eye cream packs a punch with the combination of caffeine that will boost the circulation in the eye area and help with dark circles and puffiness.

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, $29

Before You Go

Best Beauty Products Of 2019
Maybelline SuperStay Ink Crayon Lipstick(01 of 13)
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This isn't your average matte lipstick. “Because of the larger end, you won't get crisp precision, but this is by far the best drugstore longwear lip pencil I've ever tried,” Christine Cho, a makeup artist based in Toronto, told HuffPost. Available in 12 different shades, the brand claims the lipsticks last for up to eight hours (spoiler alert: they do) and are smudge-resistant. “The high pigment and longevity is shocking,” Cho said. “They’re so good I’ve actually kept them all for myself rather than adding them to my kit.”

Maybelline SuperStay Ink Crayon Lipstick, $9.49, Ulta
(credit: Maybelline)
Supergoop! Shimmershade Eyeshadow with SPF 30(02 of 13)
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“Eyeshadow with SPF! It’s about time,” Jessica Berto, medical aesthetics trainer at Project Skin MD, told HuffPost. “Supergoop! is leading the pack [when it comes to SPF products]. Our eyes are delicate, so many people aren’t able to put sunscreen on them.” Until the release of Supergoop! Shimmershade Eyeshadow, that is. “Not only does this eyeshadow have a soft beautiful shimmer, it has a mineral SPF 30 in it for sun protection, plus rose and Roman chamomile for hydration and soothing [properties].” Available in four shades, they can be used on their own or as a base underneath your regular eyeshadow.

Supergoop! Shimmershade Eyeshadow with SPF 30, $24, Sephora
(credit: Supergoop!)
Gucci Mémoire d'une Odeur Eau de Parfum(03 of 13)
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Did the fact that this campaign was fronted by Harry Styles hurt? No. But it wasn’t the only reason Gucci Mémoire d'une Odeur Eau de Parfum was such a major launch this year. Released in summer 2019 at the helm of creative director Alessandro Michele, it was Gucci’s first genderless, ageless and totally universal fragrance. In fact, the brand created a whole new olfactive family that it dubbed “mineral aromatic,” referring to its mix of unexpected scents, like Roman chamomile, Indian coral jasmine, sandalwood, cedarwood and more.

Gucci Mémoire d'une Odeur Eau de Parfum, $120, Sephora
(credit: Gucci)
Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots Ampoules Hair Treatment(04 of 13)
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These are “a great and speedy way to replenish your hair’s moisture in between salon visits,” Kirsten Klontz, a hairstylist who has worked with Kristin Cavallari, Nicole Scherzinger and Brooke Lynn Hytes of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (among others), told HuffPost. “They’re formulated with strengthening lipids and natural glycerins that work to fill the gaps in the hair's cuticle to help prevent breakage and split ends.” Although they just launched in North America, they’ve actually been out in Brazil for years (since 2008) and are a longtime hair care favorite of Brazilian women. Need we say more?

Pantene Pro-V Intense Rescue Shots Ampoules Hair Treatment, $1.99, Target
(credit: Pantene)
Starface Hydro-Stars(05 of 13)
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Even though the brand just launched in September, you’ve definitely seen these adorable yellow stars all over Instagram. They’re made of hydrocolloid, which is “a substance commonly used in surgical dressings that has been proven to accelerate breakout healing,” Berto said. "Its properties have been proven to draw out infection and protect from bacteria.” Rather than drying out zits with harsh creams and gels, Starface Hydro-Stars gently coax pus and fluid out, while preventing picking and squeezing, too. “They’re safe [to use] for all skin types, as well as [during] pregnancy,” Berto said. “They’re hitting all the checkpoints: safety, cleanliness and efficacy — and not to mention, they’re super cute!”

Hydro-Stars, $22, Starface
(credit: Starface)
Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum(06 of 13)
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At this point, you’re probably thinking, “What could be so innovative about yet another vitamin C serum?” But Summer Fridays, the brand that launched the ultra-popular Jet Lag Mask last year, has done it again with the CC Me Vitamin C Serum, thanks to the products inclusion of not one, but two different types of vitamin C, for peak skin-brightening. (Hence the “CC” in the name.) And while many vitamin C serums can be irritating, the serum is also formulated with squalane for soothing and hydrating benefits, making this a vitamin C serum everyone can use — no easy feat.

Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum, $64, Sephora
(credit: Summer Fridays)
Then I Met You The Giving Essence(07 of 13)
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“There are a few really big-name ingredients” in this one, Berto said about this launch from Then I Met You, the new skin care brand founded by Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam. “One is polyglutamic acid, a water-soluble peptide that holds four times more moisture than hyaluronic acid. Then I Met You’s The Giving Essence also has ellagic acid, which helps filter the UV rays and prevents collagen breakdown.” Sign us up.

The Giving Essence, $50, Then I Met You
(credit: Then I Met You)
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation(08 of 13)
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Charlotte Tilbury’s latest addition to her already beloved foundation line is her most impressive yet. The full-coverage foundation comes in 44 shades and instantly blurs skin for a matte finish. So what sets it apart? The comfort level, thanks to patented AirCool technology, which actually cools skin down during wear. Just a tip: “This foundation oxidizes slightly,” Cho said. “So choose a shade lighter, as your skin will end up slightly darker than expected upon initial application.”

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation, $44, Sephora
(credit: Charlotte Tillbury)
Function of Beauty Custom Hair Serum(09 of 13)
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Function of Beauty launched back in 2015, with a shampoo and conditioner system that offered people the ability to really customize a hair care routine, during a time when customization was beginning to take over the skin and makeup categories. The premise was simple (and successful): Take an online quiz to determine your hair’s main needs, then choose your color and scent and wait for your custom in-shower routine to arrive at your door. This year, the brand dove into the hair styling game, launching a custom serum. “It’s a mindful and modern brand that takes all the guesswork out [of hair care],” Klontz said. “Each serum is formulated to be lightweight and bring those dry ends back to life with your own unique formula.”

Custom Hair Serum, $19, Function of Beauty
(credit: Function Of Beauty)
Olive & June The Poppy(10 of 13)
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It’s not easy to update a bottle of nail polish. As far as beauty products go, it’s one category where there’s not a ton of room for improvement, which is why major, groundbreaking launches are not super common. But this past year, L.A.-based Instagram-famous brand Olive & June launched The Poppy, a patented nail polish topper that fits on top of any nail polish bottle handle and offers a better grip and way more ease when painting your own nails. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend less money on beauty treatments and spend more time DIYing things like manicures and pedicures, then you need The Poppy in your life.

The Poppy, $16, Olive and June
(credit: Olive & June)
Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream(11 of 13)
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An instant makeup artist favorite, this Tatcha moisturizer — which was released in March and inspired by Kim Kardashian — is now used by pros as a primer underneath foundation. It gives an “instant effect of hydration and glow,” Cho said. But be warned that the “plumping and firming effect takes up to 10 minutes, so it’s good to put this on a little while before makeup. It's also great on its own for a no-makeup look when skin doesn't require too much coverage. Sometimes I mix a little into foundation for rapid luminosity and radiance on set, or for clients who have neglected skin care.”

Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream, $68, Sephora
(credit: Tatcha)
Necessaire The Body Lotion(12 of 13)
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“Why would we use clean products on our face but not our body?” Berto asked. “Necessaire has created a thirst-quenching body lotion that will keep you hydrated. [It’s] fast-absorbing and full of multivitamins like A, E, and Omegas 6 and 9.” The recently launched brand was founded by Nick Axelrod (cofounder of Into the Gloss) and Randi Christiansen (previously of Estée Lauder). The best part? It doesn’t leave a greasy finish and is totally unscented. And we have to mention the super-minimal, ultra-chic packaging.

Necessaire The Body Lotion, $25, Nordstrom
(credit: Necessaire)
ColourPop BFF Liquid Liner(13 of 13)
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In February, everyone’s favorite affordable makeup brand, ColourPop, released its first-ever liquid eyeliner pens in seven different, highly pigmented shades (ranging from classic black to graphic white, and bright shades like blue, pink and red). Launched only two weeks after the brand’s first foray into the world of mascara (also called BFF and available in seven shades), 2019 was a great year for ColourPop when it came to showing off its impressive, long-lasting formulas, wide shade ranges, and of course, can’t-be-beat prices.

ColourPop BFF Liquid Liner, $8, Ulta
(credit: ColourPop)
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