23 Best Eye Creams to Nourish and Refresh Your Tired Eyes

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The use of moisturizers for your undereyes is a heated debate in the Allure office: about half the team believes slathering the best eye creams for dark circles over this delicate skin can help depuff and minimize the appearance of dark circles over time, while the other half seems to think they’re moisturizers in tiny tubs and offer nothing more than a placebo effect. There is one thing we can agree on: No one wants to look like they got roughly four hours of sleep.

Of course, we asked our dermatologist friends to weigh in on the matter. What we do know for a fact is that “eyelid skin is thinner than the surrounding facial skin, so it can be more prone to sensitivity and irritation,” Rhode Island-based board-certified dermatologist, Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, previously explained to us. However, not all eye creams are created equal, which is why we’ve combed through dozens (hell, probably hundreds at this point) of formulas to find the most effective creams and gels for all skin types

It ultimately comes down to the level of prevention you desire. “Because they are landing on thinner skin, eye creams have a tendency to be thicker — a higher amount of oil, less water — than facial moisturizers,” Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut tells Allure, comparing the use of an eye cream to “putting extra padding on a spin bike.” And that extra cushioning just might pay off, since it’s also known that the eye area is one of the first to show signs of aging such as sagging skin, fine lines, and crow’s feet. 

“As we hit our thirties, hyaluronic acid, our skin’s natural water absorber and plumper, begins to decline,” Dr. Gohara explains, which is why applying the ingredient topically and making up for lost hydration is of the essence. In fact, many of our go-to formulas are packed with HA and other powerful ingredients like blood vessel-constricting caffeine and collagen-boosting peptides to help fake a full night’s rest.

Ahead, you’ll find 23 of the best eye creams, including a drugstore favorite by RoC and a retinol eye cream from Sunday Riley, each formulated for the thinnest, most sensitive skin on your body. You won’t believe your eyes (wink, wink) once you see the transformative effects of our top picks.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Eye Serum

    Trust us, the Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Eye Serum is truly an eye-opening formula. Like your favorite latte, it’s infused with caffeine to stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation. This lightweight serum also contains Swiss ice wine, a type of wine made with antioxidant-rich frozen grapes, to moisturize and firm your delicate under eyes. 

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    Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

    You’ll definitely want to add Dr. Loretta’s Tightening Eye Gel as the last step of your skin-care routine (well, aside from SPF in the A.M.) because it nabbed a 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award for the best de-puffing eye cream on the market. Algae extract boosts collagen production while peptides are responsible for tightening the undereye skin. But there’s a bonus: the brand’s proprietary Chromabright complex fades uneven pigment, making this a great pick for dark circles, too.

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    Sponsored: Heimish Marine Care Eye Cream

    Heimish Marine Care Eye Cream is made with 51 percent of marine water and fermented seaweed extract to deliver an intense boost of moisture to the delicate eye area. This rich yet lightweight formula, also padded by ingredients like peptides and niacinamide, lessens the appearance of fine lines over time.

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    Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream

    Peter Thomas Roth’s Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream might sound a little intimidating with ingredients called Regu-Age, Reforcyl, and Gamma Proteins, but let’s focus on what those ingredients can actually do. In addition to a potent blend of 21 peptides and neuropeptides (which may boost collagen production), these ingredients work incredibly hard to minimize signs of aging, such as crow’s feet, fine lines, and deep wrinkles. Dark circles, puffiness, and lack of elasticity will also become much less apparent, thanks to daily use of this 2021 Best of Beauty Award winner.

  • Fortify+ De-Puffing + Protecting Eye Cream

    Puffiness? We don’t know her, thanks to 2022 Best of Beauty winning Fortify’s+ De-Puffing + Protecting Eye Cream. In the tube is collagen to reduce the appearance of fine lines, moisturizing aloe vera, and zeolite, a volcanic mineral that fights germs and bacteria with each use.

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    Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb

    Like a tall glass of water for your undereye area, Belif’s Moisturizing Eye Bomb kicks hydration into overdrive to ensure no dry skin is left behind. The line-smoothing cream promises long-lasting moisture and a visibly radiant finish, thanks to powerhouse ingredients like soothing tiger grass, glycerin, squalane, and ceramides.

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    The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream

    Don’t be deceived by the price tag — The Inkey List’s Caffeine Eye Cream is just as powerful as pricier options on this list. The caffeine in the cream helps flush away water retention that can cause puffiness, and peptides smooth over roughly textured skin on this delicate area of the face. 

  • Estee Lauder ANR Eye Supercharged Complex

    Estee Lauder’s ANR Eye Supercharged Complex features a peptide exclusive to the brand that protects the undereye area. This 2022 Best of Beauty winner also has sodium hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid) that hydrates and moisturizes skin all day and night long.

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    Isdin K-Ox Eyes

    Isdin’s K-Ox Eyes might have a hefty price tag for such a small tube, but trust us when we say that this 2021 Best of Beauty Award winner is the real deal. This potent serum is infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin K oxide to significantly decrease puffiness and dark circles, all the while keeping that area incredibly hydrated. (However, as with any eye cream, don’t expect results right away. Consistent use matters in the long run.) The pointed tip on the ceramic applicator is particularly useful for targeting all of the nooks and crannies around your delicate eyes. It’s the perfect cooling yet gentle wake-up call.

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    Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream

    A combination of skin-tightening marine algae and deeply hydrating squalane in this Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream smoothes and moisturizes the eye area so that makeup doesn’t crease or cake. This Allure Best of Beauty winner has a light texture that melts into skin with minimal rubbing. 

    We love it so much we added it to our limited edition 2022 Best of Beauty Allure Beauty Box. You can score the Allure Beauty Box here for access to even more editor favorites — for just $80. Check out beauty’s top subscription box on TikTok at @allurebeautybox.

  • Ren Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream

    Look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (even if you had a long night) with the Ren Dark Circle Eye Cream. This brightening eye cream is filled with hydrating hyaluronic acid to reverse dryness and vitamin C-rich elderberry flower to brighten dark spots and soothe puffiness.

  • Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinol + Niacinamide Eye Serum

    For those of you who aren’t into richer creams, this retinol-powered serum is a lighter alternative to treating your undereyes and lids. Sunday Riley’s 5 Stars Retinol + Niacinamide Eye Serum combines the two powerhouse ingredients, along with barrier-restoring ceramides, for a brightening, fine line-reducing treatment overnight. Your eyes will look refreshed and youthful before you can even hit the snooze button (again).

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    Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream

    Peptides, which boost collagen production in the skin, are essential for treating and preventing skin sagging. So when your undereye bags are drooping more than usual, whip out the luxury Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream. This ultra-rich cream is filled with firming peptides, along with vitamin C to even out skin tone and calming B3 (also known as niacinamide), to pamper your undereyes with an awakening treatment.

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    RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

    Retinol near your eyes sounds scary, but with this gentle cream, you’ve got nothing to fear. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, an ophthalmologist-tested, two-time Best of Beauty Award winner (2020 and 2021), slowly releases the vitamin A derivative to fight fine lines around your eyes. And because it also contains hyaluronic acid, it does all this while adding lots of hydration. As with all retinol-infused products, don’t forget to slather on sunscreen (at least SPF 30) during the daytime. 

  • Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Eye Crème

    The hint of yellow tint in 2020 Readers’ Choice and Best of Beauty Award winner Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème — which doesn’t actually contain banana, by the way — instantly brightens and color-corrects dark circles. Vitamin C and collagen support skin’s clarity and elasticity. 

  • BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

    Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson is the beauty expert behind this editor-beloved BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector, which picked up a 2021 Best of Beauty Award. This fragrance-free, creamy formula contains 5 percent pure, stabilized vitamin C (aka L-ascorbic acid) and antioxidant-rich green tea for major brightening benefits, while hemp oil and hemp leaf extract soothe inflamed skin. This, in conjunction with the Universal C Skin Refiner, forms a practically unstoppable duo in terms of brightening, firming, and smoothing skin.

  • Saturday Skin Yuzu Eye Cream

    Saturday Skin’s Yuzu Eye Cream feels like a dream when applied to tired undereyes, and the buttery formula helps concealer or foundation wear more smoothly on top. The antioxidant vitamin C- and niacinamide-infused formula coddles the delicate eye area and helps brighten it over time.

    We love it so much we added it to our October Allure Beauty Box lineup. You can score the Allure Beauty Box here for access to even more editor favorites — for just $23. Check out beauty’s top subscription box on TikTok at @allurebeautybox.

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    SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Eye Cream

    Pitera is the ingredient that has made SK-II the global phenomenon it is today. And while we’d assume it’s pretty highly concentrated in its fan-favorite essence, the SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Eye Cream has eight times more of the ingredient than any product before it. The result? A rich, deeply hydrating treatment that nourishes the area and provides vitamins and nutrients to brighten, firm, and prevent damage from pollution.

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    Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream

    When it comes to dark circles, little comes close to the Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream’s brightening boost. This antioxidant-rich, vitamin C-based cream effortlessly glides onto undereyes and lids and protects the skin from free radicals. It also contains a firming eight-peptide blend to lift undereye bags and cucumber for a cool, soothing feel.

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    La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Cream

    Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, spending $400 on one eye cream may feel extravagant, but the La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Cream is worth the investment. The star ingredient is caviar, which works to boost collagen levels and firm skin, providing hydration benefits. 

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    Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado

    This little white jar with its signature green text is a mainstay on top shelves around the world. Avocado oil in Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado is one of the most potent natural moisturizers and works to nourish and hydrate the undereyes.

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    Allies of Skin Peptides & Omegas Firming Eye Cream

    The Allies of Skin Peptides & Omegas Firming Eye Cream is a blend of nourishing ingredients like, as the name suggests, firming peptides and skin barrier-protecting omega-3 fatty acids. This rich, creamy eye moisturizer is also spiked with brightening vitamin C to tackle dark circles, vitamin E to reduce inflammation, and bakuchiol to act as a gentler fine line-smoothing alternative to retinol. What a compelling cocktail, right?

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    Trinny London BFF Eye

    If you search for the intersection between eye serums and concealers, you’ll find Trinny London’s BFF Eye waiting for you. After all, this 2021 Best of Beauty Award winner literally melts into your undereye area and looks just like your skin — but perhaps after a week’s worth of rest. This lightweight, non-creasing formula helps correct red and blue undertones, thus concealing the appearance of dark circles. In addition, hyaluronic acid boosts hydration, and stabilized vitamin C adds an undeniable brightening effect — and the cooling metal applicator will definitely wake you up in the mornings.

Check Out Some of Our 2022 Allure Best of Beauty Winners

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