At the ripe age of 22, I noticed my first whisper of crow’s feet forming around my eyes… and promptly flew into a panicked frenzy. This being the early aughts, I was dependent on the kind associates at my local mall’s beauty counter for recommendations. Oh, how times have changed! What a gift to now have a world of information at our fingertips. Instead of wandering the aisles of Sephora with lots of questions, we tapped dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician, Natalie Aguilar for her recommendations on the best eye creams for fine lines.
Featured image of model and stylist Beth Hitchcock by Chelsea Francis.
If, like me, you’ve also wondered why the eye area even needs its own cream, we asked Aguilar to cover that too. Since the skin around the eyes is very thin, delicate, and prone to dryness (not to mention our eyes are also the most sensitive part of the face) eye creams have been specifically designed to target this area with gentle and hydrating formulations. Using regular facial creams can burn, irritate, cause redness and/or inflammation, and make eyes tear. Ouch, no thanks!
So, whether you’re dealing with quickly deepening crow’s feet or have noticed tissue paper-like, crepey skin forming around your eyes, we’ve got you covered with a list of the most effective eye creams for fine lines at a variety of price points. Plus, Aguilar answers all your burning questions about fine lines and wrinkles, including how to prevent and treat them.
Causes of crepey skin and fine lines
It’s no surprise that eye wrinkles are typically the first detectable signs of aging on our faces.
The skin around our eyes is extremely thin. As we get older we lose collagen and the ability to repair damaged skin cells slows down.
This loss of collagen causes the skin around the eyes to look crepey. On top of that, everything from sun exposure, eye rubbing, allergies, genetics, lack of sleep, diet, lifestyle, and excessive muscle movement, as well as dehydration can affect how quickly the eyes wrinkle. (Add that to the list of why staying hydrated is so important!) Even certain cosmetics like thick, matte foundations, can cause the skin around the eyes to look crepey-er than usual.
Aguilar’s tips for preventing fine lines and crepey skin:
- Avoid rubbing, pulling, and cleansing aggressively. Over time, this can irritate and cause inflammation that can discolor the area and create lines.
- Protect your eyes. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats when in the sun. Sun exposure can actually break down collagen and damage the skin, causing premature aging.
- Rest your eyes. Give you eyes a break by turning off all electronics and lights at least once a day.
- Use an eye mask. This is also an amazing way to rest, treat, and repair the skin around the eyes.
How to treat fine lines and thin, crepey skin around the eyes:
If you’re able, invest in quality products and make sure to always protect the eye area by wearing sunglasses and a hat when outside. Gently cleanse and moisturize the eye area and choose eye creams with active ingredients. But Aguilar says less is always more when it comes to eye creams.
If you prefer to use a rich, heavy eye cream then it’s best to stick to a single morning application so that eyes look fresh, bright, and hydrated. Too much heavy product can actually cause the skin cells around the eyes to work too hard. The area goes into overdrive absorbing and metabolizing ingredients in the cream that then, in turn, causes tired and dehydrated skin—which is decidedly not what we want!
Keep your eyes peeled for these ingredients:
- hyaluronic acid
- antioxidants like CoQ-10
- gentle retinol
14 Best Eye Creams for Fine Lines, According to an Expert
Biologique Recherche’s Crème Contour Yeux Et Lèvres Biofixine
Aguilar is a big fan of this powerful lip and eye cream. It is full of cell-communicating peptides and antioxidants, like squalane, to fight wrinkles. This product can genuinely fill in wrinkles and fine lines that have already appeared around the lips and the eye area. The metal tip applicator glides and contours nicely while cooling the skin. Aguilar suggests keeping this in the refrigerator to cool and combat puffiness.
Joanna Vargas Revitalizing Eye Cream
Target those pesky fine lines and wrinkles with a restorative eye cream. It’s enriched with peptides and antioxidants that brighter, smooth, and support skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Tata Harper Restorative Anti-Aging Eye Cream
Naturally powered by peptides, this eye cream uses clean ingredients like Spanish lavender, safflower oleosomes, and buckwheat wax to smooth and fight fine lines and wrinkles, plump the skin, and reduce puffiness and under-eye bags.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream
Say goodbye to fine lines, swelling, puffiness, and dark shadows. This nourishing formula uses purslane and skullcap to treat the delicate eye area combined with active omega lipids that help the skin retain moisture and give it a youthful, fresh appearance.
Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
This hydrating cream quickly and visibly firms the eye area, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles in as little as a week! It uses natural, powerful ingredients that seriously work.
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème
Packed with nutrients, this brightening, vitamin C-loaded eye cream brightens, reduces the look of fine lines, and gives seriously age-defying results. It’s rich with collagen and nourishing ingredients that your skin is bound to love. No wonder makeup artists love it!
Innisfree Orchid Youth-Enriched Eye Cream
This deeply moisturizing eye cream is a nourishing dream thanks to an orchid elixir and a boost of hyaluronic acid. It is available at a great price point given how effective it is at treating under-eye skin issues.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Eye Cream
Ceramidin and niacinamide make up this richly hydrating eye cream that moisturizes and smooths skin by adding a serious boost of moisture.
Olay Retinol Regenerist 24 Max Eye Cream
Drench your eye area with potent retinol to transform your skin while you sleep and wake up with smooth, moisturized, plump skin.
Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum
Tackle all the major visible signs of aging around the eyes with this satiny, nourishing serum. It’s made with copper peptides, powerful antioxidants, and black tea ferment to reduce wrinkles, smooth and soothe skin while improving radiance.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum
This eye serum has just about every ingredient your delicate eye area could possibly want. Retinol, bakuchiol, rambutan, and ferulic acid work together to visibly lift and smooth the area to reduce fine lines, while also deeply hydrating the skin so it stays supple and healthy.
Paula’s Choice Clinical Ceramide Enriched Firming Eye Cream
Ceraminds, retinol, and vitamin C revitalize the delicate eye area, making it brighter, firmer, and more youthful. It strengthens the skin’s natural barrier, which helps to firm and plump the skin and improves the look of wrinkles and loss of firmness. So long, crow’s feet!
Skinceuticals Eye Balm
This refreshing eye balm boosts firmness and neutralizes damage caused by free radicals while restoring lipids that help to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum
One of the newest offerings from Sunday Riley is a retinol-infused eye serum that smooths, hydrates, and treats the usual signs of aging overnight, so you wake up with smooth, youthful peepers.
This post was originally published on September 21, 2021, and has since been updated.
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