By Sarah Jio
Confession: I almost threw in the towel on eye cream, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. For years, I experimented with a long list of undereye lotions and potions, gels and creams (and I have an embarrassingly hefty collection in my medicine cabinet to prove it), but in the end, none seemed to really give me any kind of wow results. I was disappointed, to say the least, and almost gave up. But then, I found the one.
First, let me begin by sharing what I’ve learned on my eye cream journey, and I’ll give it to you in a Q&A, girlfriend-style:
Well, if you’re either a.) sixteen years old, or b.) one of the .001 percent of people who were miraculously born without the propensity to have dark circles, puffiness or bags under your eyes, then no. Save your money—this stuff is expensive! But, for the rest of us, the truth is that eye cream is our friend—especially as we age. Finding the right one for you is the trick.
I know, right? How a tiny jar of goo can cost more than your (larger) bottle of facial moisturizer (or dinner and a movie, for that matter!) is truly confounding, I agree. And while some brands are ridiculously and unnecessarily overpriced, I’ve come to learn that the best products really do pack a more concentrated punch (hence the price tag).
This is the biggie: No matter what the product promises, I’ve learned that eye creams are not one-size-fits all. What works like magic fairy dust for one of my friends, might miss the mark for another, which is why I almost gave up on the stuff altogether! But here’s the big takeaway:
For the best success, it’s so important to pair your particular undereye concerns with an eye cream that’s up for the task.
Just like dating, you want to find a product that’s a perfect match and in doing so will check all your boxes.
When it came to my own search for an eye cream, it was love at first sight (or rather, first application) when I tried iS Clinical’s Youth Eye Complex. Yes, it’s pricey, but I can honestly say, this stuff does the job. My issue was undereye hollowness and I had no interest in going down the injectable filler rabbit hole. Fortunately, this little product came to the rescue. I use it morning and night—religiously—and I’m happy to report that it’s been a complete gamechanger for me.
So, let me play matchmaker and (hopefully) find you an eye cream that’s your match made in heaven:
This was my problem, and as I’ve written above, IS Clinical’s Youth Eye Cream was my savior. Another one to try: Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Eye Cream.
Oh, the dreaded dark circles. Whether there a perma-problem for you, or just something you struggle with after a sleepless night, you’ll want to find an eye cream to do some heavy lifting. Look for formulations that promise “brightening” with star ingredients like “peptides” to even out skin tone and bring more circulation to the skin. One to try: Shani Darden’s Intensive Eye Renewal.
Bags are tough, and while the problem might be genetic, some of us are more susceptible to fluid retention in the skin under our eye area. One solution that can be a game changer: caffeine (but not the kind you drink). Just like a double shot of espresso can give your energy levels a jolt, a good, caffeinated eye cream can do wonders for tightening up skin and nixing puffiness. One to try: The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream.
Repeat after me: “Retinol is my friend.” It is! The gold standard for combatting wrinkles is retinol, and it comes in so many different strengths and options (no need to worry about irritation, these days). While you will do well using an all-over cream, adding a robust, retinol-infused eye cream to your lineup is a must for aging skin. One to try: Peace Out Retinol Eye Stick.
Sarah Jio is a journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels published with Random House and Penguin Books. To learn more about Sarah, visit www.sarahjio.com or www.instagram/sarahjio.