Are Antiaging Eye Creams Really Worth the Cash? We Consulted the Pros

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I'm going to be entirely honest with you: I used to be the biggest nonbeliever in eye creams or any products that have the word "antiaging" in their name. Eye creams have always reminded me of just thicker — and more expensive — moisturizers, and I thought that I was too young to need antiaging properties in my skin care. However, as I've built up my skincare routine and learned more about options to help keep my skin looking vibrant, I found out that eye creams can be effective in a different way than moisturizers can (provided you find the right one), and antiaging products work better if they're used in a preventative manner.

So as I continue to move forward with finding skincare products that work for me, I keep an eye out for what antiaging products and what eye creams I should be using (even better if I can find one that checks both boxes). I consulted a few expert dermatologists to learn more about what qualities to look for in antiaging eye creams, from important ingredients I should be looking for to when I should start using them. I'm pretty excited to start experimenting with eye creams and finding what really works best for my skin.

Do we need antiaging eye creams?

Do we need antiaging eye creams?

"Our skin, especially our face, is constantly being exposed to sunlight/UV, which damages it and causes the signs of aging. Everything slows down as we age, and that includes skin cells," says Dr. Lamees Hamdan, founder and CEO of Shiffa. Dermatologists agree that antiaging products become a necessity as the thin skin around your eyes naturally gets thinner with age. Especially because we regularly use the muscles around our eyes to express emotion, a lot of strain is put on this part of our faces.

Celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection, Joanna Vargas adds, "I think it's important to address the [delicate eye] area in a proactive way, so antiaging eye creams or eye masks are [a must]."

What ingredients should we be looking for when we buy eye creams?
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What ingredients should we be looking for when we buy eye creams?

"I always recommend that people first consider what texture they prefer in an eye product; oily-skinned individuals generally prefer gels, [while] dryer-skinned individuals often like lotions," says Joanne DeLeon, a skin therapist at Heyday in Los Angeles. "Once you know what consistency you want, focus on what concerns you have."

"Vitamin C serves as a great antioxidant that helps with DNA repair, which translates to helping with brown spots, brightening, and wrinkles," says dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick. "Because antioxidants are key for antiaging, they can also be used on the face and the neck."

DeLeon notes that a number of different ingredients can help address the things you want to work on. For example, hyaluronic acid works as a water magnet or moisture retainer (hyaluronic acid is a common favorite ingredient among dermatologists), peptides encourage cells to hold on to collagen and elastin, and ceramides act as a suit of armor to keep the undereye area feeling soft and plump. Licorice root, daisy extract, and bearberry extract act as brightening agents, while arnica, caffeine, and vitamin K increase circulation for a depuffing effect.

Other dermatologists recommend fatty acid ingredients, like avocado and jojoba seed oil.

When should we start using eye creams?

When should we start using eye creams?

"The skin around your eyes is prone to aging quicker than most areas, so I highly recommend using a good eye cream as soon as you can. Even if you don't notice fine lines, it's great to use as a preventative measure," says Olivia Shields, another skin therapist at Heyday LA.

"If you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to use eye cream," adds DeLeon. The consensus is that using an antiaging eye cream is more effective as a preventative measure rather than a reactionary one.

What eye creams do you recommend?

What eye creams do you recommend?

Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, clinical dermatologist and founder of Epionce Skincare, naturally recommends his Epionce Renewal Eye Cream ($70), which helps repair the skin barrier, stops chronic inflammation in the skin, and also contains "Soft Focus Technology" that reflects the light to help reduce visible dark circles and fine lines.

Vargas also recommends a product from her own line, the Revitalizing Eye Cream ($75). It contains sweet potato, which has vitamin A for cell renewal, vitamin B to tone and soothe the skin, vitamin C for collagen production, and beta-carotene for healing.

"For those who have difficulty tolerating prescription retinoids, the retinol-based Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105) can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve the overall texture of the skin, while also minimizing side effects of dryness and irritation commonly seen when using prescription and some cream-based versions of retinoids," says dermatologist Dr. Janiene Luke.

A couple of my personal favorite eye creams are the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado ($48) and Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream ($27). While neither are specifically formulated for antiaging purposes, I have seen a vast improvement in the brightness and dryness of my undereye area.

Are there alternatives to using eye cream?

Are there alternatives to using eye cream?

While eye creams are the best way to manage the undereye area, you can also turn to tools or procedures for a little antiaging help. Filler injections are an option to help reduce sunken undereyes.

"I find regular use of the Jade Facial Massage Roller ($63) on the face, neck, and undereye helps brighten the area . . . [and] helps decrease undereye puffiness," says Hamdan. "When your eye area gets puffy, it pushes the blood vessels under your eyes closer to the surface, making dark circles worse. If you have a lot of puffiness, use the jade roller every day, and place it in the fridge before using. While jade is naturally cool to the touch, the extra coolness from the fridge really makes a difference."