Some people think eye products (mainly eye creams) are simply expensive moisturizers.

Yes, some are.

But, if you know what you’re looking for, a lot aren’t.

You see, the skin under the eye is more fragile and thinner than the rest of the skin on your body.

It’s also more prone to dryness, aging, and fatigue. Of course, this depends on genetics as well as what you eat and what you put under your eyes.

Which leaves us with what do you put under your eyes?

Below, we’ve mapped out everything you need to know about eye products. So, you can confidently select the best eye cream for you.

What’s the goal of eye products?

A good eye cream should improve the skin’s texture underneath the eye. It also should reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. That and minimize dark circles and puffiness as well.

(Please note that with a good eye cream these results may take months to show up.

Also, if you have permanent¬†under-eye bags, this may be the “fat bag” protruding. In which case, an eye cream may not be able to help.)

What ingredients to look out for

Here’s a list of some of the top ingredients to check on the label. Remember, not every eye product is created equally. This is especially true when it comes to price.

Just because an eye cream may be more expensive does not mean it’s necessarily better for you.


Retinol is the superstar ingredient when it comes to eye products.


Essentially, vitamin A converts to retinoic acid, which is the key anti-aging agent.

This conversion takes place at the cellular level, making retinol more penetrative than other ingredients.

In case you don’t know, retinoic acid is responsible for slowing down the breakdown of collagen.

It also improves the skin’s elasticity. And helps even out the skin’s texture as well as pigmentation.

(Pigmentation may be a result of sun damage or past acne hyperpigmentation.)

This means, with repetitive use, you should see less fine lines spots.

Overall, if you don’t look for any other ingredient, look for this one.

Licorice root extract

This is a primary anti-inflammatory. It will help with any under-eye irritation. And it should minimize dark circles and puffiness.

Ferulic acid

This is a key antioxidant. (Antioxidants fight against free radicals, which cause sun damage.) So, ferulic acid protects the under-eye skin from the sun.

This is crucial since the under-eye skin tends to be one of the first indicators of aging.

Sodium hyaluronate

This ingredient is both a moisturizer and contains acids. It aids cell turnover while also minimizing dryness.

Cucumber distillate

Cucumber is soothing for the skin. And it serves as a key anti-inflammatory. This ingredient aids in reducing puffiness and dark circles. (Temporary dark circles are a buildup of blood and fluids.)

Vitamin C

You may know vitamin C being in oranges and other citrus fruits. But did you know it’s an important brightening agent?

Yep, vitamin C (or sodium absorbate) in eye products helps prevent sun damage (as well as brightening up your skin).

Vitamin B3

Otherwise known as niacinamide. Combined with kojic acid, it’s a primary lightener for dark circles.

What to stay away from

If you see any of these ingredients on an eye product label, be weary. A lot of times, your under-eye skin will end up more puffy (and irritated) than before.

Also, not every container is best for your eye cream. Be aware of this. (We’ll explain later.)


Any synthetic fragrance will irritate your skin. The irritation can take the form of tingliness and inflammation. Which mean puffiness and redness.

Not to mention, there may be itchiness and dry patches. So, everything you’re already trying to eliminate.

Especially sine the under-eye skin is so thin and fragile, you don’t want to mess around with it.

So, yes, they do smell good. But synthetic fragrances are not so great for under your eyes.

Plant-based oils and skin-sensitizing plant extracts

These are considered fragrances too. Many times, women (and men) believe if something is natural it should be good for the body. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Skincare is not different.

Actually, a lot of the synthetic ingredients are derived from natural ingredients. If some of those ingredients aren’t good for you, it’s safe to say some natural oils and extracts aren’t either.

Non-air-tight, clear containers

Pretty much any container that isn’t air-tight and dark will destabilize the ingredients.


A lot of the ingredients loose their effectiveness when in contact with the light. This means you won’t be able to tell how effective they are. (If they’re effective at all.)

How to make the most of your eye product

Now that you know what makes a great eye product. Here’s how you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

Put it in the refrigerator

Did you know that cool temperatures boost circulation? Since puffy eyes are normally a result of stored-up blood and fluids, this gets those fluids into action. So, no more puffy eyes!

(The same process applies when using caffeine.)

This is why many women (and men) store their eye products in the refrigerator. They’ll get that extra de-puffiness dose.

Put SPF under those eyes

Just because you’re wearing sunglasses doesn’t mean your under-eye skin is 100{60927620b5d8dfc9d1af13b37f82c6911ce09897260b545b801dacbf1f68a569} protected.

Especially if the glasses don’t have sides, some rays will come in contact with the under-eye skin.

To combat this, wear an SPF after your eye cream. (Make sure the eye cream has dried before doing this.)

In some cases, some eye creams may have an SPF in them. If not, grab a pea size of that zinc and slather underneath.


You may not see the results within a week. It may even take a couple months. Nonetheless, if your eye products have the key ingredients, you should see benefits. However, it will take time.

(For instance, it takes vitamin C 6 months to help conceal dark circles.)

Be patient.

For more information about eye products, read our articles!