It’s never too early to start incorporating a quality eye cream into your beauty regimen so you can keep the dreaded crow’s feet at bay. Even better, it’s never too late for damage control if you’re already noticing a few extra laugh lines. But how do you know which of the myriad eye creams actually follow through on their promises of miraculous age reversal, brightening and de-puffing? In this case more expensive doesn’t necessarily equal more effective so it pays to do your homework. It’s also a good idea to sample a few creams to see which ones feel great to you and work well with your other products.
Before you get started, here’s a bit of expert advice on application. After all, you can’t find the best eye creams if you aren’t using them properly. In an interview with Allure clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC, Jeannette Graf, points out a common mistake: “Everyone just covers the crow’s-feet, and I don’t understand why, because the ‘eye area’ [referred to on the eye-cream packaging] is the entire upper brow, outer crow’s-feet, and under the eye. You’ve got to put something under your brow bone. That area can get crepey and loose and wrinkled, so you want to keep everything as firm as you can.” So obvious, yet who knew?
Eye cream isn’t just a heavier version of moisturizer, there are certain key ingredients—whose effectiveness is backed by research—that tackle different problems so read those labels! Here’s a short list of the biggies.
Read Related: 15 Easy Beauty Hacks to Lessen Under Eye Dark Circles
• Retinol: A form of vitamin A and a popular and effective antiaging ingredient. This is the OTC version of retinoic acid so it’s milder and gentler on your skin, though it can cause redness and irritation in some people.
• Hyaluronic Acid: It suddenly seems like hyaluronic acid is in every skin care product these • days. Your body makes hyaluronic acid for connective tissue and to keep skin plump and moist on the inside. Used topically, it helps your skin absorb and retain moisturizer and vitamins.
• Niacinimide: Also known as vitamin B3, this one is a must if you’ve got uneven skin tone or acne. It helps your skin retain moisture and stimulates microcirculation for super healthy cells.
• Peptides: Copper peptide in particular has been shown to help increase collagen and elastin production to repair skin and help reverse the signs of aging.
• Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): This is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect against sun damage.
• Ferulic Acid: Expect to see a lot more of this plant-based antioxidant. Research has found that when combined with vitamins C and E, it doubles their sun protection and greatly increases their antioxidant capabilities.
• Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA): This helps exfoliate, firm and smooth skin.
• Vitamin C: It’s great for us inside and out. In eye cream it’s a fabulous antioxidant as well as helping to build collagen and elastin.
• Caffeine: Excellent for banishing puffiness and dark circles. In a pinch you can put warm coffee grounds or tea bags on your eyes to reap the benefits.
Or you can splurge on Tata Harper Restorative Eye Créme ($90), Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off! ($29), Lancôme Génifique Yeux Youth Activating Eye Cream ($65) and just in time for summer Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox De-Puffing Eye Cubes ($50).