I Scream for Eye Creams: The Best Eye Creams for 2021
Getting old may be inevitable but looking young starts with prevention. Moisturizing and massaging away wrinkles can become its own extensive routine, not only to keep the skin vibrant but to keep it healthy, which can quickly go awry if using a product not suitable for your skin type or concerns. Eye creams protect your delicate under-eye skin against pollution and UV rays while delivering a healthy dose of moisture to keep it supple and wrinkle-free for longer.
DISCLAIMER: The products are not presented in any particular order.
Our top picks
How to pick an eye cream
With any product going on the face, you want to take extra care and consideration to its ingredients and what it’s proposing to do. The skin around your eyes in particular is much thinner and sensitive and the proximity to the eye means that products and fragrances can cause irritation.
Skin type: At the end of the day is your skin oily? Dry? Neither? If your skin feels slick or looks shiny it might be oily. If it feels taught or flaky, it might be dry. If you notice both, you could be combination and feeling neither means normal. If you notice hives or tingling on your skin, you may have sensitive skin, meaning you should pay extra care to the ingredients and their dosage that you come into contact with to prevent any breakouts. Sensitive or not, you should be doing a patch test.
Skin Concerns: Are you prone to frequent breakouts? Wrinkles? Dark circles?
Ingredients: It helps to know the properties of different ingredients and how they chemically behave so you can get the most for your money and address your concerns. For example, Vitamin-C can brighten your skin and protect against UV rays but is unstable and becomes less potent in light and air. So, if you’re looking to brighten your skin with a Vitamin-C based eye cream, you might want to give consider to the bottle that it’s packaged in.
How we picked
We put our on-site cosmetic enthusiast to do over 30 hours of research on the best eye creams based on reviews, packaging, ingredients and everything else to consider. For this specific guide, we chose to stick to accessible drugstore to mid-tier brands to keep it accessible. Keep in mind that we are not dermatologists and everyone’s skin is different. While you can splurge on high-end brands that you might find in a Sephora or Hudson Bay, it can be pricey to experiment with trial and error on expensive products until you find what works for you. It’s also really not necessary.
Top rated drugstore eye creams
L’Oreal Revitalift LZR Eye Cream
This drugstore eye cream packs a powerful punch to combat wrinkles and puffiness with retinol, vitamin-C and the hydrating hyaluronic acid, meaning it gives you high-end ingredients at an over-the-counter price. Despite the stellar ingredient lists, it still manages to omit parabens, dyes or mineral oils. In addition to this, it comes in a tube with a cooling metal-tip applicator to smooth, cool and depuff eye-bags as you apply. However, be warned that both retinol and vitamin-C are potent ingredients and can irritate those with sensitive skin, as some users have complained.
- Cooling applicator.
- Not suitable for sensitive skin.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream
Best suited for dry skin, this affordable formula features hyaluronic acid to soak up and lock down moisture. It’s lightweight and gives you a good deal for your dollar while still being fragrance, dye and oil free.
- Gentle formula.
Best eye creams to splurge on
OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
This Danish brand is renowned for its commitment to cleanliness in its skincare products. It proposes to be good for all skin-types, including sensitive skin, touting its lack of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oils and a whole host of other ingredients. It targets fine lines, wrinkle, dark circles and dryness with a pale-yellow tint to balance out the deep-blue pigmentation of your under-eye circles and provides a smooth base for concealer. The active ingredients include Vitamin-C and collagen to firm up your eye contour. However, while many users have had a good experience with it, the most problematic complaints tend to be a bad skin reaction to the product (perhaps to the Vitamin-C). If you have sensitive skin or previous conditions such as eczema, proceed with caution.
- Colour correcting.
- Works as a primer.
- Only at Sephora/Online.
- Not ideal for sensitive skin.
Clinique All About Eyes
The handful of bad reviews that this product has gotten largely has to do with the heavy texture and consistency, hence why Clinique themselves says to apply sparingly. Many Clinique moisturizers are known for its innovating gel to cream consistency that offers hydration without that greasy feeling. Also free parabens, phthalates, sulfates, fragrances and oils, this eye cream promises not to exacerbate acne will decreasing puffiness, darkness and wrinkles.
- Gentle formula.
- Available at Sephora/The Bay.
- Use with a light touch.
Best eye cream for sensitive skin
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin Eye Cream
Burt’s Bees is known for being a clean drugstore brand, preferring natural ingredients to their synthetic counterparts. It uses aloe extracts to soothe puffiness and a gentle formula to make sure it won’t irritate skin or aggravate an eczema breakout.
- Pump container (contents remain sterile).
- Sensitive-skin friendly.
- Thin consistency.
Olay Eyes Deep Hydrating Gel
Between the cucumber and the hyaluronic acid this formula provides an instant wake-up for your eyes with a cooling, calming formula. The gel texture provides lightweight, quick-absorbing moisture, meaning it won’t feel heavy on oily skin.
While complaints are rare, the few there are refer to it aggravating their sensitive skin.
- Quick-absorbing consistency.
- Sometimes pills under makeup.
- Use sparingly.
- Extremely sensitive skin-types may still react to the cooling sensation.
Why trust us
We are a digital buying guide focused on the Canadian market. Have you ever looked up the best product ever, only to discover that they don’t ship or sell to Canada? We have, and we find it annoying too. Even though we are not experts in the subjects we present, we carefully choose our sources so we can give you all the right information. Just like many Canadians, want our skin to survive our arid summers and harsh winters. We’ve done extensive research, so hopefully you can get some insight in the top eye creams.
Freqent questions about eye creams
What is eye cream?
It’s a topical solution of either cream or gel meant for the under-eye area.
Why is eye cream important?
The skin underneath your eyes is much thinner and delicate than the skin elsewhere on your face. It also doesn’t have pores like the skin around your nose and cheeks. As a result, it is incredibly prone to dryness and harsh elements that can cause wrinkles and other imperfections. Introducing an eye cream into your AM/PM routine can reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, wrinkles, crow’s feet as well as keep the area moisturized.
How much is an eye cream?
The price varies from drugstore to high-end price ranges. If you choose to splurge, see it as an investment in the health of your skin.
Why do we get purple under eyes (or black under eyes)?
Under-eye darkness can be traced back to a myriad of causes— lack of sleep, aging, genetics, smoking, dehydration, allergies, sun exposure— all of which result in vessels breaking under the thin skin of the under-eye.
How to get rid of dark circles under eyes?
Decent sleep and drinking enough water will get you part of the way there. In terms of eye creams, however, Vitamin-C or citric acid is an active ingredient that targets under-eye darkness and sallowness.
How to apply eye cream?
Preferences vary, but it’s important to be gentle. Pulling too much can cause premature wrinkles to appear, and applying too much can cause you to get product in your eyes. Use the pad of one finger to glide a dot of product on the skin under the eye and pat into the skin until fully absorbed. Some come in a container with an eye cream applicator on the tip, which is a metal tip designed to cool the eyes and reduce puffiness.
And whenever trying a new ingredient, always do a patch test to make sure you aren’t allergic to the product.
Where can I find good eye creams in Canada?
Likely anywhere that sells cosmetics, whether they be drugstore or high end. Pharmacies such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Value Drug Mart, London Drugs and Walmart will sell a decent range of low-end to mid-tier eye creams. Boutique cosmetic stores such as The Body Shop and High-End stores such as Hudson Bay, Sephora will also have some. You’ll want to look for certain ingredients and formulae based on your specific concerns.
What ingredients to look for in a good eye cream?
For extreme skin concerns, such as chronic acne or rosacea, consult with a dermatologist.
For specific skin types and concerns, you might want to look for specific ingredients. Let’s break down some common ingredients that you’ll come across and what they do, shall we?
- good for wrinkles and fine lines.
- A form of Vitamin-A that boosts collagen production to plump skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and texture. It gets a bad rap for being harsh and drying on the skin, but it is one of those “worse before better” products. You can start with a lower dose to build a tolerance to the ingredient before increasing potency (0.5% is considered one of the highest doses to purchase without a prescription).
- good for dullness, dry flakes.
- This an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) meaning it’s a water-soluble exfoliant that works by gently sweeping away the dead skin cells on the surface giving you a smoother, brighter complexion. It can make your skin photo-sensitive, meaning it’s best used at night before bed to minimize the chance of sunburn.
- Good for acne, breakouts or clogged pores.
- This is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) meaning it’s an oil-soluble acid that penetrates deep into the pores to dissolve the excess sebum found in blackheads and whiteheads, making it perfect for those who are acne prone. Those with excessively dry or sensitive skin should pay careful attention to the concentration and frequency of this ingredient.
- Good for dry skin, but suitable for all skin types.
- This is found naturally in our skin and is a humectant, meaning it attracts and hold on to water and making it a favourite for those with dry skin. Humectants draw in water from areas of high humidity, meaning that in dryer climates, it can actually pull water from your skin and exacerbate dryness.
- Good for dry skin, but suitable for all skin types.
- Glycerin is also a humectant, derived from vegetable oils. Similar to above, be careful of use in dryer climates.
- Good for dullness, dark circles, wrinkles.
- Vitamin-C is a potent antioxidant, meaning it helps your body repair its damaged cells, and can protect your skin from UV rays and pollution. Start with a 5% concentration if you’re concerned about skin reaction. It’s extremely unstable, chemically, so look for it or citric acid on the ingredients list.
Can eye cream lead to irritation?
Yes. If you have sensitive skin, you’re especially prone to irritation. In this case, you may want to start with a patch test trying certain products on your jawline to see if you have a reaction. Otherwise, using a product that’s too harsh or in too high of a concentration will lead to irritation or dermatitis. As always, remember to contact your dermatologist and perform a patch test.
Where to buy eye cream?
Any place that sells cosmetics or skincare products will likely stock eye-cream. You can find them at drugstores like Shoppers Drug Mart, Value Drug Mart, London Drugs and Walmart or Prestige cosmetics stores like Sephora, Hudson’s Bay or The Body Shop.
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