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These are the best eye creams of 2024, tested and reviewed

Whether you want to reduce puffiness and dark circles or blur out wrinkles and fine lines — we've got the anti-aging serum for you.

three eye creams on a bright backdrop
The best eye creams of 2024 are from brands like Paula's Choice, RoC and Sunday Riley (Amazon, Dermstore)

Eye creams are one of those products that no one really thinks they need. I get it, it seems silly (not to mention expensive) to use separate goops and glops for different parts of your face — a bit of a beauty industry "buy more stuff" scam. But no matter what your skin type, the best eye creams serve an important anti-aging purpose: "Although you may think you can use any facial moisturizer, the truth is the active complexes needed to treat the more delicate area around the eye are in fact different," explains cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban. "This area specifically is prime for puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines which should be addressed differently than other areas of the face."

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Every dermatologist and aesthetician I spoke with for this story echoed Dr. Shamban's sentiment, explaining that using a high-quality eye cream is a good idea no matter what your age: "Women as young as 18 should be using eye creams!" says Kimberly Austin, an aesthetician at the Los Angeles-based 7QSpa (Kim Kardashian is a client)."They promote a smoother, plumper and firmer appearance [to the area]. Plus, it’s easier to maintain great skin than to reverse aging."

If your skin concerns include treating puffy eyes and improving skin elasticity: "Generally look for antioxidants [like vitamin C] to protect and actives [like retinol] to correct," says Dr. Shamban. "You want to improve circulation and oxygenation in this area. Retinol, peptides/peptide complexes and ceramides — along with brighteners like niacinamide, vitamins C, E and K — are all top ingredients. Also look for tightening ingredients like caffeine and/or calming ingredients like green tea, calendula and chamomile. Any combination of these can be great for eye cream." Whatever cream — or gel — you choose, it should be thick and/or dense so it doesn't run into the eyes. Lastly, look for gentle formulation without harsh ingredients like acids: "Some moisturizers may have concentrations of acids that are not as suitable for the eye area and can cause irritation," says Dr. Shamban.

Over the years, I've tested dozens of eye creams and for this story, I pulled out my top 20 and whittled it down to the 8 best. I rated them on hydration, absorption, value, texture and scent. These are the best eye creams I've found so far this year.

Sunday Riley's products are almost uniformly best-in-class and this extremely hydrating, almost instantly/magically depuffing serum is no exception. It's packed with caffeine, ginseng and the anti-oxidant lutein and it's nearly scent-free which makes it a great option for sensitive skin. The texture is silky and it both brightens dark circles and absorbs quickly, leaving behind a dewy glow I found pleasant. One downside is the absence of retinol, which means it's not helping to build collagen in the area. Still, it's a high-quality cream that works well in a rotation, along with my second favorite from RoC.  

Pros
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Lightweight formula absorbs fast
  • Effectively brightens and depuffs undereye area
  • Silky texture
  • Ultra-hydrating
Cons
  • On the higher end, price-wise
  • Doesn't contain retinol
$55 at Amazon

If you're looking for a retinol treatment for eye bags, crow's feet and the under-eye area overall, this is for you. RoC is the premier name in over-the-counter retinol and its eye cream is highly rated, with nearly 20,000 5-star Amazon reviews. It's excellent for improving the appearance of both fine lines and dark circles and it's dermatologist recommended too. My only complaint is I wish it contained more antioxidant, nourishing ingredients. But for the price, it honestly cannot be beat.

Pros
  • Targets crow’s-feet, fine lines, puffiness and dark circles
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Lightweight texture
  • Absorbs easily
  • Affordable
  • Contains hyaluronic acid to keep eye area hydrated
Cons
  • Does not contain antioxidants
  • Formula is a bit harsh, may not be appropriate for ultra-sensitive skin
$22 at Amazon

I've tried a LOT of eye creams. And, for my money, CeraVe makes the best drugstore de-puffing/under-eye brightening treatment currently on the market. Not only does it feel good on your skin (absorbs quickly, no gross pilling), it's also fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. And you don't have to take my word for it. Olivia Wilde also loves it. So do thousands of reviewers, who say it's like "Botox in a cream." I'm not sure about that claim, but I do know this is a quality skin-care staple at a price everyone can afford. 

Pros
  • Wallet-friendly
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Lightweight, non-greasy
  • Fragrance free
  • Ultra-hydrating
Cons
  • No retinol or collagen-building active ingredients
  • Effects not as noticeable as some of the pricier options with more potent ingredients
$11 at Amazon

It's hard to find a better quality eye serum than this vitamin C version from Paula's Choice (it's clinically formulated to brighten under-eye discoloration while smoothing and firming the delicate skin in this area). The texture is lightweight, supple and extra emollient and, while it doesn't contain retinol, for the ideal mix of antioxidants and actives, this is another cream I'd add into rotation with RoC.  

Pros
  • Clinically proven formula
  • Brightens and lightens dark circles
  • Lightweight
  • Moisturizing
  • Highly concentrated ingredients
Cons
  • Potent formula may not work for sensitive skin
  • Without retinol, is not the best for building collagen and softening fine lines
$39 at Dermstore

With so many commercial products to sort through, sometimes I just want a doctor's take and this eye cream from facial plastic surgeon Dr. Kay Durairaj delivers everything I could ask for in an eye cream. It's one of the very few containing prescription-grade Retin A (Retin A derivatives have been clinically proven to tighten and improve the thickness of crepey skin). It's also scent-free, glides on easily and the texture is rich and luxurious-feeling. Unlike many retinol/Retin A products, it's highly moisturizing and, with so many skin-fortifying ingredients (including vitamins A, C, E plus green tea extract), it's truly a pleasure to put on your skin. If I have one complaint, it's the price, which is steep, but honestly this is among the best creams I've ever tried. 

Pros
  • Potent Retin A formula revitalizes crepey skin
  • Highly moisturizing
  • Dermatologist created
  • High-quality ingredients including vitamins A, C, E plus green tea extract
Cons
  • Pricey (but effective)
$105 at Amazon

First Aid Beauty's Eye Duty contains a potent mix of niacinamide, pumpkin seed oil and caffeine to brighten dark circles and depuff under eyes. The cream itself is a bit thick, the color is golden and leaves a bit of a shimmer once applied. The dark circle reduction is no joke (I saw a difference after one week) though the product does not contain retinol and the pigmented formula may be too light for deeper skin tones. 

Pros
  • Brightens dark circles
  • Hydrating
  • Depuffing
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Does not contain retinol
  • Package is small
  • May be too lightly pigmented for deeper skin tones
$25 at Amazon
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$36 at Macy's$36 at Kohl's

This Jennifer-Aniston-approved serum stick is the ideal delivery system for softening fine lines, prepping skin for makeup and targeting dry patches. It's made of 80% squalane — a known skin fortifier — and is also fragrance-free, cruelty-free plus dermatologist-tested. When I've tried this ultra-silky balm it's left behind a dewy finish wherever it's been applied and it's beyond amazing for smoothing the undereye area before applying concealer, to avoid makeup settling into fine lines.

Pros
  • Super moisturizing
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • All natural and cruelty-free
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Convenient packaging is excellent for air travel
Cons
  • Some reviewers say it's "thick" and too greasy
  • Does not contain caffeine or retinol
$47 at Amazon

Delicate under-eye skin needs extra nourishment, which is why experts often recommend nighttime treatments applied before you go to bed that work while you snooze. This peptide-rich, eye-skin-fortifying cream has racked up more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon for its lightweight, gel-like consistency which absorbs quickly into skin and is never greasy. Our testers noticed a decrease in morning eye puffiness after using the product for just two weeks. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Good for treating morning puffiness
  • Non-sticky, non-greasy
Cons
  • Reviewers complained of product value (not enough product for price)
  • Some users found the scent off-putting
$30 at Amazon

At nearly $90, I considered it too pricey, but the high-quality serum is otherwise too good not to include. Reviewers say the brand's retinol-enhanced elixir helped "disappear" their fine lines, and one reported, "This is the best eye serum I've ever tried. It’s so light and moist, I never used an eye serum like this before — love it!"

$89 at Murad

This TikTok famous eye cream worked just fine for me — it was definitely hydrating — but wasn't quite the wonder product some users say their mothers, aunts and grandmothers have used for generations to revolutionary effect. 

$34 at Walmart
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$65 at Macy's$65 at Nordstrom

This cream from the earth-friendly, boutique-beauty brand Versed combines algae extract, peptides and olive oil to soften crow's feet and under-eye lines. The texture is rich and luxurious, like a product that costs ten times as much.

$9 at Versed

I tried two famous eye creams that make all the best lists — Revision Skincare D.E.J. Eye Cream and Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream — and, at $118 and $225, I found neither lived up to the hype, especially at their respective price points.

Eye creams aren't just there to prevent skin issues like fine lines and discoloration, they also help to treat them: As we age, the orbital area becomes a veritable cornucopia of "mature skin" problems — from puffy under-eye "bags" to dark circles to crepe-y eyelids to wrinkles, the best eye creams work not only triple, but often quadruple, duty. Research on the efficacy of eye creams shows that our skin responds to consistent application of targeted ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. All skin is different, but, in concentrated doses, these ingredients have been shown to improve the texture and appearance of the under- (and over-) eye area over time.

Eye creams should mainly be applied to the area under the lash line (but not too close to the eyes), continuing to right above your cheek bone. You can — and I for sure do — use eye creams on your upper lids and on the sides of your eyes to treat the wrinkles there (also known as crow's feet).

Eye creams are used in place of moisturizer in the areas I mentioned above, so it doesn't actually matter which goes first.

Every pro I spoke with recommended applying a "pea"-sized amount — eye creams tend to be concentrated, you don't need a lot — dotted and dabbed carefully under the eye and along the top lid with the soft top of your ring finger. The most important rule to follow with eye cream: Never rub the area or sweep the product on in a way that drags or tugs at the skin in this area of the face, which is delicate and can be damaged more easily than you'd think. For best results, apply eye creams morning and night.