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Which Eye Cream would be BEST for YOU?

By: Jennifer O’Connor, Medical Esthetician and Med Spa Owner.

Do you need an EYE CREAM? I think YES! In most cases YES! But which one is right for you? See my video or read below as I reviewed 11 options and go over ingredients to help you better choose the best one for your needs! There are so many mixed opinions regarding if someone really needs an eye cream. I feel in most cases an eye cream is a necessary part of your skincare routine. Eye creams contain many ingredients proven to give results.

Full youtube video here: https://youtu.be/sQeaRgtWCjA

 

Lets talk a little about Peptides and Aging.

The dermis matrix consists of collagen and elastin.  Peptides stimulate skin fibroblasts to rebuild the extra cellular matrix including collagen 1, IV, fibronectin and Glycosaminoglycans (GAGS). The major molecular mechanism governing skin aging processes has been attributed to the loss of mature collagen and increased matrix metalloproteinase expression.

Collagen and elastins can and will get denatured or cross-linked by bad elements such as pollution, ultra violet rays, poor nutrition, chemical insults and also by the normal aging process called glycosylation (glycation). The denatured or cross-linked proteins can cause skin to sag, look dull, wrinkled, and thin. Peptides act as anti-glycating agents. They block proteins from attaching to sugars, keeping collagen and elastin in their free form. This anti-glycating effect gives skin elasticity, softness, and an anti-wrinkled look.

Basically, Peptides are amazing messengers in the skin that do so many things such as: hydrate, plump, increase collagen, protect, repair, firm and brighten. I feel you need an eye cream for many reasons.

In addition hyaluronic acid, retinols, AHA like glycolic acids, azelaic acid, vitamin c and other antioxidants have proven great results. Stem cells and Growth Factors are also proving to be amazing ingredients to incorporate!

Here are top reasons eye creams are important based on working with clients for over 18 years…

  1. Your under eye concerns are different than your face concerns. So for example, I use acne products and sometimes oil free products on my face. My under eye concerns are dryness, and fine lines and I’d like a little brightening. None of these are addressed with my day serums/creams.
  2. You only use serums on your face and your under eyes are dry with fine lines and crepey skin or puffy and dark.
  3. You use very active creams and serums on your skin containing high percentages acids like salicylic or glycolic. This could be too aggressive for the under eye area.
  4. You don’t use any serums or creams except SPF on the face and are starting to have under eye concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles or dark circles.
  5. Your face cream maybe too basic and solely provide hydration and not have enough active ingredients to address your under eye concerns.

These are just some reasons that come up for me daily with my clients. Since we were closed due to Covid I was on a mission to find out if price points made a difference and see also what worked well both from the drug store, department store and in my retail spa. I tested 11 creams.

 

My Favorite to least Favorite: Links to products are below.

It should be noted that everyone has different concerns and skin so what I loved might not be best for you so I have included key ingredients & descriptions for each so you can better determine what might be best for YOU. 

  1. Image AGELESS TOTAL EYE LIFT CRÈME .5OZ $50. This is such an amazing cream because of all the active ingredients. It contains Shea Butter which is in my top 4 choices. It kept me hydrated and my lines plumped and filled all day. So not only does it make your under eye look great it also it also contains so many active ingredients to combat aging concerns its a win-win! It does contain a retinol so it is advised to use only at night but I have used in in the fall and winter day and night to increase the results. So I will rotate other eye creams below during the day in the summer months depending how my eyes are looking!

DESCRIPTION: This luxurious formula targets signs of fatigue and aging in the delicate eye area, instantly and over time. It delivers plant stem cells, vitamin C and wrinkle-fighting peptides that work swiftly yet gently to reduce the appearance of fine lines, lax skin and puffiness.

BENEFITS: This exclusive polypeptide blend reduces irritation while resurfacing and visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. Improves firmness of

skin, decreases capillary permeability and increases lymphatic circulation, while decreasing puffy bags under the eye.

DIRECTIONS: Apply nightly to eye area.

PRO TIP: Use on vertical lip lines to treat signs of aging around the mouth.

KEY INGREDIENTS:

  • Blend of Glycolic acid and Retinol
  • Polypeptide Blend: Hespieidin methyl chalcone and Steareth-20-Dipeptide-2-Palmitoyl.
  • Apple Malus domestica fruit cell culture extract
  • Imperata cylindrica root extract
  • Algae extract
  • Ascorbyl palmitate
  • Glycolic acid
  • Sodium hyaluronate
  • Green tea (Camellia sinensis leaf extract)
  • Cucumis sativus (Cucumber fruit extract)
  • Grape seed (Vitis vinifera) extract
  • Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) extract
  • Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) extrac

 

 

2. Glowbiotics ANTI-WRINKLE ILLUMINATING EYE CREAM $49  For under $50 this is an amazing find! It also contains the Shea Butter which I loved in addition to so many actives and peptides. This has a cooling applicator tip that does feel nice and probably provides some immediate firming due to the cooling nature of the silver tip.

Description: Gone are tired, puffy eyes with our unique and soothing blend of peptides and lipids including our Reflecting Mineral Complex. This probiotic maverick works to reinforce firmness, tones the overall eye area, and directly targets those dark circles so you can truly put your best face forward.

  • Increasing volume and elasticity with a unique blend of peptides and lipids found in the Fill and Firm Complex
  • Brightening and illuminating the skin around the eye area with minerals from the Reflecting Mineral Complex
  • Hydrating and restoring the eye area with topical probiotics
  • Haloxyl reinforces firmness, tones eye area and targets dark circles

Balancing Complex – Balancing Complex is a powerful blend of topical probiotics and antioxidants designed to help balance and restore stressed skin while imparting a tightening effect.

  • Superox-C (Termanilia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract) extracted from the Kakadu Plum, the richest form of vitamin C (superfruit), helps visibly reduce wrinkles, boosts luminosity and energize dull looking skin while reducing the appearance of redness and improving overall skin tone.
  • SymGlucan (Beta-Glucan) helps reduce visible signs of aging, stimulate fibroblast growth and collagen synthesis while providing immediate comfort and moisture that improves firmness and elasticity of skin as well as protects cells against UV radiation.
  • ProRenew (Lactococcus Ferment Lysate) is a probiotic that stimulates the skin’s renewal process, accelerating it and improving its quality.

Reflective Mineral Complex – Reflective Mineral Complex is an infusion of minerals that diffuses light and helps provide a bright, shimmering appearance to the skin.

  • Mica naturally occurs in the earth and provides a natural looking glow while being non-irritating and calming.
  • Titanium Dioxide offers gentle protection to the eye area without causing stinging.
  • Iron Oxide enhances the skin’s appearance while evening skin tone.

Brightening Botanical Complex – Brightening Botanical Complex targets the root cause of dark under-eye circles with a blend of potent coffee seed extracts and peptides to help increase circulation and vascular pigment dispersion to rapidly brighten the appearance of the eye area.

  • Indufence (Alisma Plantago Aquatica Extract) is rich in purified alisma peptides to activate and optimize the skin’s natural immune functions without causing inflammation, similar to that of a probiotic.
  • Haloxyl (N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7) lessens under-eye dark circles, reinforces firmness and tones the eye area while eliminating blood originated pigments responsible for dark circle color and local inflammation.

Fill and Firm Complex – Fill and Firm Complex is a unique combination of peptides, lipids and botanical extracts that can instantly tighten the delicate eye tissue while increasing volume for a marked increase in density, elasticity and hydration.

  • Instensyl (Hydrolyzed Manihot Esculenta Tuber Extract) provokes lifting and smoothing effects.

3. It cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream $39 .  I couldn’t decide between this and the Mychelle C Cream because they were so similar but this was a little less expensive so I ranked it higher. This also contains the Shea Butter that I feel makes a big difference!

Description: While the exclusive apricot tint and Drops of Light Technology™ visibly color-correct and brighten, proprietary Anti-Aging Armour Rejuvenating Concentrate™ and other high-performance skin-loving ingredients—including a super ceramide complex, chrysin, licorice root, avocado and squalane—work to hydrate, smooth and refresh. You’ll see powerful results instantly and more dramatic results over time!

  • Transforming eye cream features the same anti-aging benefits as your best-selling Confidence in a Cream Moisturizer
  • Delivers clinically tested hydration; perfect for even the most sensitive skin
  • Exclusive apricot tint visibly color-corrects and brightens to make your eyes appear instantly more awake
  • Helps restore the look of firmness and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Infused with a skin-loving super ceramide complex, chrysin, licorice root, avocado, ginseng, collagen, peptides, green coffee and green tea, hyaluronic acid and squalane
  • Key Ingredients:
    Collagen: Skin-firming protein that supports elasticity for a youthfully smooth appearance.
    Niacin: B vitamin that improves skin barrier function and elasticity, promotes a more even skin tone, and helps combat the appearance of acne and hyperpigmentation.
    Ceramides: Naturally occurring lipids that retain moisture and help reinforce the skin barrier.
    Peptides: Help reduce the appearance of wrinkles for the look of smoother, firmer skin.
    Licorice Root: Antioxidant and skin- soothing properties and helps with improving the look of uneven skintone

4. Mychelle Perfect C Eye Cream Perfect C™ Eye Cream $35. This is a very clean line! Minimal ingredients and great results for under $40! Kept me hydrated all day. This is one of my favorites and one of my go to eye creams. Contains Shea Butter and I found this to be the one ingredient in my top creams that made a difference in the hydration levels and how my fine lines looked at the end of the day. It seemed keep them looking smoother!

Description: Vitamin C L-Ascorbic Acid & Cucumber Fruit Extract
Brighten & Hydrate, L-Ascorbic Acid, Plant Stem Cells and Hyaluronic Acid deliver humectant-rich nutrients and moisture to deeply nourish and help reduce the appearance of visible fine lines. Non-irritating. Dermatologist and Allergy tested.

  • MADE WITHOUT PARABENS, PETROLEUM, PHTHALATES, SILICONES, SULFATES, UREAS, ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCES, ARTIFICIAL COLORS.

5. THE MAX™ STEM CELL EYE CRÈME .5OZ $60 – This is a great eye cream and I stay hydrated all day! I think it is a little bit over priced but you literally need a pea size amount to cover both under eyes!

DESCRIPTION: This revolutionary eye treatment targets visible signs of aging with corrective peptides and high concentrations of premium growth factors derived from plant stem cells. This potent blend helps to decelerate the cellular aging process and protect skin’s own stem cells. It also inhibits visible signs of aging caused by free radical-induced oxidation, including the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes. Rejuvenates the eye area for a more youthful look.

BENEFITS: VECTORIZE TECHNOLOGY® delivers a complex of encapsulated ingredients time released up to 48 hours for a long lasting, intense effect. Stem Cell Complex prevents cell aging while protecting skins own stem cells. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Eliminates puffiness and dark circles around the eye area while reducing irritation.

KEY INGREDIENTS:

  • Acetyl hexapeptide-8
  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-38
  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-1
  • Haloxyl (N-Hydroxysuccinimide,Chrysin)
  • Actiflow EL (Saccharomyces cerevisiae extract)
  • Hyalusphere
  • VECTORIZE TECHNOLOGY® (anti-aging complex)
  • Plant-derived stem cells (4 strains):
    • Malus domestic fruit cell culture
    • Vitis vinifera fruit cell culture extract
    • Leontopodium alpinum meristem cell culture
    • Argania spinosa sprout cell culture

6. Derma – E Eye Lift $24.99 Contains peptides & B3. This is a good eye cream and is inexpensive. This would be a great starter eye cream for a younger client as it is not hydrating enough in my opinion to help with dry skin and fine lines around the eyes. It was good to start but didn’t keep me hydrated through the entire day.

Description: Formulated with nature’s firming agent DMAE that may help to support collagen health for a more lifted, firmer, tighter and more resilient look. Instalift, an antioxidant-rich blend of goji berry and glycopeptides, help add lifting and tightening power. Nature’s ”moisture magnet”, hyaluronic acid, holds up to 1,000 its weight in water helps to lock-in essential hydration. Together, Instalift and hyaluronic acid help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for younger-looking eyes.

7. Hale Cosmeceuticals HP Pentapeptide Corrective Eye Gel: $90. This is the highest price point I tried. This cream is also tinted but does have a nice brightening effect and this is an amazing eye cream but, I know not in everyone’s budget.

Description: This eye cream treatment helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles significantly while reducing puffiness and dark circles around the eye area, as well as improving the skins thickness. Applying this cream twice daily under the eye area and extending out towards the temples and brow line will aid in brightening the entire orbital area, while strengthening capillaries, and increasing circulation. Peptides:

Argireline TM – This neurotransmitter peptide Acetylhexapeptide-8 produces a Botox-like effect. The Snare (Snap Receptor) complex is essential for muscle contraction. Argireline mimics Snap Receptor thereby Snare complex is slightly disabled. Hence muscle contraction is impaired and relaxed. This will reduce fine lines and wrinkles especially on the forehead and around the eye area. This is a Relaxing peptide.

Eyeliss TM – This palmitoyltetrapeptide-3 prevents collagen cross-linking, works as an Anti-edema (fluid accumulation) active. This reduces inflammation, aids in decongestion, and improves skin elasticity and discoloration. This is an Inhibitory peptide.

Tego Pep 4-17 – An ideal active ingredient to help prevent and minimize the appearance of aging skin. It improves skin structure, wrinkles are less deep and pronounced and the surface is smoothed. This is a tetrapeptide with superior collagen boosting properties.

Matrixyl 3000– This combination of synergistic peptides stimulates collagen and elastin production and helps to repair damaged and aged skin.

8. Hale Cosmeceuticals Royal Silhouette Eye Therapy $85 This is a great eye cream but it is on the more expensive side of the ones I tried. That is really the only reason it is lower on my list. Here is a description:

Description: This Royal Silhouette Eye Therapy Serum uses one of the best things available for your skin— vitamin C. Their fat soluble anti-oxidant helps cell walls produce more collagen and elastin. Combined with the L-Carnitine that provides lipid balance to your cells mitochondria, you have supple, plump cells with great elasticity. What does that mean for you? Smoother, younger-looking skin!

That takes care of sagging, but what about dark circles? It combined pullulan—a biofilm that tightens, lifts and brightens skin—with roe enzyme to work with the vitamin C in reducing the sallowness that can plague your skin. Including a list of skin brighteners such as ferulic acid and copper chelates ensures you get smoother, more radiant skin. Skin Brighteners: Phytic Acid-Extreme, Ferulic Acid, and Copper Chelates enhance skin brightening effects to a more radiant skin.

 

9. Nivea Skin Firming & Toning Gel to Cream  $8-$15 Said to improve the skin’s firmness in a little as 2 weeks

This is really sold a body firming product but I was curious how it would do on the eye area. I also used it on my neck. This is great for the body and contains some great ingredients and it was less than $15 for 6.7 oz. It is enriched with Q10, L carnitine, and lotus extract. Coenzyme Q10’s been mainly found to act as an antioxidant. It’s believed to be involved in preventing both chronological aging (loss of firmness in skin as you get older) and photoaging (wrinkling and drying of skin from excessive sun exposure). Carnitine, also known as LCarnitine, is an amino acid-derived building block for proteins that assists with the breakdown of fats and lipids. In skincare, carnitine fat-degrading ability is known to help reduce excess sebum, a component present in skin’s natural oils. It is sold in many cellulite reducing products. This is highly fragranced and almost too much for the face in my opinion. It would be good for someone with puffy under eyes or perhaps even had some fat pads under the eye. It would be worth trying.

10. Cerave Eye Repair $15.99 but I found mine for less –

Description: It contains hyaluronic acid which is an amazing hydrator but in this case it was not hydrating enough for me. It contains Ceramides 1, 3 and 6-11 to restore skin barrier. Claims to help with dark circles and puffiness.

This is very popular and very inexpensive under $10 in some places. This is very basic with no real actives. This could be a good choice after a treatment like microderm or peel but I would like something even more hydrating than this. Perhaps applied over a hyaluronic serum it would be better. I’d recommend this for very sensitive under eyes and also for younger clients looking to start an eye cream that was inexpensive.

11. L’Oreal Age Perfect Rosy Tone Anti-Aging Eye Brightener $24.99 –

Description: Paraben Free is an anti-aging eye cream for mature, dull skin. This eye treatment has a unique whipped texture to instantly blur and help visibly color correct dark circles. This formula with Imperial Peony, reduces the look of dark circles, visibly brightens skin around the eye area and provides an overall healthier, younger-looking complexion

This has a very mat result on my skin. Alcohol is the 3rd ingredient so perhaps why it wasn’t super hydrating. It is tinted to give a brighter appearance but I didn’t find this to be the case. Could be OK for someone with oily under eye and darker skin tone.

Products mentioned: I make a small commission from your purchases. I appreciate your support!

Derma E Firming DMAE Eye Lift: https://amzn.to/34Tvwcd

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream: https://amzn.to/3jA4Z7R

Mychelle Perfect C Eye Cream: https://amzn.to/2EJ41rc

Glowbiotics Anti Wrinkle Illuminating Eye Cream: https://amzn.to/3brKTtG

Hale Cosmeceuticals Royal Silhouette Eye Serum: https://amzn.to/3hV2ZGE

Hale Cosmeceuticals HP Pentapeptide Eye Gel Travel Size!! https://amzn.to/2DlfRqA

Image The Max Stem Cell Cream: https://amzn.to/2EO961a

Image Ageless Eye Cream: https://amzn.to/3brLMm0

Nivea Skin Firming & Toning Gel -Cream: https://amzn.to/31QNjPe

IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream: https://amzn.to/2YZiXIv

It Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream Travel Size!: https://amzn.to/32QeR6t

Loreal Paris Rosy Glow Eye Cream: https://amzn.to/2ETvDJM