With so many different-and often super-pricey-products on the market, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when choosing one. We saved you precious time, and did the research to uncover the best one for your needs. By Jane Bianchi, REDBOOK.
The how and why
Search for "eye cream" on Walgreens.com and you'll get 253 options, many of which cost big bucks. Why so pricey? "The skin around the eyes is 10 times thinner than skin on the rest of the face, and it has very few oil glands," says Renee Rouleau, a Dallas-based celebrity esthetician. "Plus, you blink 10,000 times a day, as well as squint and smile, so this area is the first to show signs of aging." And among eye creams, one size doesn't fit all. "The biggest mistake I see people make is that they go to the drugstore and buy whatever their best friend uses," says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center. "But each person is different." Here's how to choose your perfect formula.
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For fine lines
"I advise patients to use an eye cream that contains antioxidants, because those ingredients help protect against sun damage," says Dr. Zeichner. UV exposure can lead to inflammation that damages collagen and elastin, which promotes wrinkles. He recommends looking for a product that contains vitamin C, such as AOX+ Eye Gel by SkinCeuticals ($87 for .5 oz bottle). "I like SkinCeuticals products because the company has performed well-designed clinical trials for their products, so they have data that supports their efficacy," says Dr. Zeichner.
For dry areas around eyes
When it comes to preventing and treating this problem, look for ceramides, fatty lipids that naturally occur in the skin, on the ingredient list. "You may be low on ceramides, so applying extra will help restore the skin barrier, so it traps moisture better," says William Kwan, M.D., a San Francisco dermatologist and clinical attending physician at the UCSF Department of Dermatology. One good choice is Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide Lift and Firm Eye Cream Sunscreen SPF 15 ($52 for .5 oz tub). Customers give it, on average, 4.75 stars out of five online, with one happy reviewer noting, "It makes my skin feel like velvet."
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For dark circles
Having huge, dark rings around your eyes is not a great look-but with screaming babies and buzzing gadgets keeping you up, it happens. To get rid of them, Doris Day, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and the author of Forget the Facelift, recommends using Teamine Eye Complex by Revision Skincare ($68 for .5 oz tub), because it contains natural minerals such as mica, silica and titanium dioxide, which brighten the skin by reflecting light. "The specific formulation of plant and tea extracts in teamine and the clinical data behind it are strong in helping improve dark under eye circles," says Dr. Day.
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Caffeine helps shrink fat cells, which are what make you look puffy, and aids in getting rid of excess fluid that accumulates under the eyes. "An eye cream I recommend that contains caffeine and fights puffiness-and wrinkles, too-is Lumiere Riche by Neocutis ($95 for .5 oz bottle)," says Sabrina Fabi, M.D., a dermatologist at Goldman, Butterwick, Fitzpatrick, Groff, and Fabi in San Diego, CA. She likes these particular products because results from a multi-center trial showed that they worked well.
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