To the uninitiated, eye creams may seem like another grooming product you don’t need. But consider this: if the eyes are the window to the soul, would you want them sitting in a crappy frame?
The area around the eyes is often one of the first places on a man’s face to show signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. That’s because the skin around your eyes is thinner than other parts of your face and has less subcutaneous fat to cushion it. It’s easier for this delicate skin to show signs of dehydration, age, bad diet, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption — the list goes on.
The best way to prevent all of this is with regular use of eye cream. These products aren’t just more-expensive moisturizers. They’re typically formulated with a higher concentration of active ingredients to combat eye-specific issues. And just like working out, they produce the best results when they’re used consistently, so use an eye cream every morning and night after cleansing your face. Apply a small amount to the area under your eye and pat it in with your ring finger (aggressive rubbing can cause sagging and further damage).
While any eye cream is better than none at all, you can take it one step further by choosing one tailored to your specific eye conditions. Here are the best eye creams for any issue you can think of.
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream
Best for Dark Circles To combat dark circles under your eyes (like the kind you get after a night of insomnia), look for an eye cream that contains brightening ingredients like vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant helps to lighten darker pigment in the skin, which is what makes those raccoon eyes look darker than the rest of your face. This formula also has collagen-boosting ingredients which, over time, will help keep under-eye skin firmer and more alert-looking.
Clark’s Botanical Retinol Rescue Eye Serum
Best for Wrinkles Retinol is a powerful version of vitamin A which is has been shown to address fine lines and wrinkles by aiding in more consistent cell turnover (which slows down as we age). The problem is that most retinol products made for your face are too strong to use on the delicate skin around your eyes. This specially-formulated eye cream is safe to use around your eyes and is one of the gentlest, yet most effective retinols we’ve tested.
Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel
Best for Bags If you notice heavy bags under your eyes (which can look like sagging or sliding skin), look for an eye gel containing peptides like this one. Peptides are made up of amino acids and are fundamental building blocks of our skin. Without them, our skin loses elasticity, so adding them back in can help the skin under eyes remain firm.
Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller
Best for Puffiness Cucumber slices over the eyes is a cliche, but the idea is right. When your eyes are puffy, it’s all about cooling them down. Look for gels instead of creams which typically contain cooling ingredients like mint and aloe. This budget-friendly gel comes in a tube with a metal roller ball at the end, which helps to de-puff on application as well as give a little massage to help with lymphatic drainage (another possible cause of puffiness).
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream
Best for Dryness If you have dry under-eyes that look crinkly and flakey, you need to not only give the area more moisturization, but help it retain that moisture too. Look for an ingredient called hyaluronic acid, which occurs in our body and helps our cells retain moisture. This thicker cream is packed full of hydrating ingredients in addition to the all-important hyaluronic acid, so you get a major dose of moisture that you won’t lose as quickly.
Kiehl’s Eye Fuel
Best All-Around Eye Cream The best thing about this near-perfect eye cream is the applicator. It comes in an easy-to-use tube so you can put it directly on your eye area instead of dipping your fingers into a tub. It contains caffeine which helps perk up and de-puff tired eyes and vitamin B3 to help strengthen and balance skin. It’s especially useful when you have to go straight to the office from a red-eye flight or have a big meeting the morning after a sleepless night. But if you use it every day, you won’t need an emergency fix.
Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels
The Pro-Level Bonus The next generation of eye creams are stick-on patches that act like sheet masks for your eyes. If you have to look especially fresh for a big meeting, a big date or a big party, stick these under your eyes and leave them on for five minutes while you brush your teeth. They’ll instantly de-puff and brighten your eyes and make you look like you slept 12 hours — even if you didn’t. Then, put your normal eye cream over the area to keep it tight. Bonus points if you keep them in the refrigerator.