These Are the Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles Under $50, According to Derms

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Most skincare routines are packed with the heavy hitters: Cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and SPF. But do you have an eye cream that treats dark circles, wrinkles, puffiness, and uneven skin tone? If “no” we’re here to help. Now that the seasons are changing, there’s no better time to add the best eye creams to your daily rotation—they brighten your under-eye area, but they also hydrate. Ahead, learn how to look for a new eye cream, according to dermatologists.

When it comes to finding an eye cream to add to your routine, there are a few things to keep in mind. One: What skin concerns do you want the cream to treat? Two: Ingredients. Derms say that looking at ingredients will help you decide on the best formulas for your skin.

Dr. Lauren Penzi of MDCS Dermatology advises looking for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, which will plump and lock moisture into the skin. Hyaluronic acid also helps fill in tiny lines so they don’t appear as prominent. If you need to decrease puffiness under your eyes, seek options that contain caffeine and niacinamide. To boost collagen, best for those with mature skin, make sure your new eye cream includes “collagen formation like peptides and retinol.” Finally, Dr. Penzi says to also look “that protect from UV damage like antioxidants and SPF.”

Now that you’re ready to shop with a dermatologist-approved cheat sheet, make sure you properly layer the eye cream into your routine. “Apply the eye cream after washing your face and add your serums with actives,” Dr. Penzi shares. “Then apply moisturizer on top.” And if you’re using a formula that contains retinol, only apply it during the evening.

Ahead, see seven of the best eye creams that depuff, brighten, and soothe.

The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream


Inkey List’s eye cream is packed with caffeine, which “helps to instantly reduce fluid retention under the eye, helping to lessen puffiness and dark circles,” Dr. Penzi says.

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Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream


This luxurious avocado eye cream from Kiehl’s is one of the brand’s bestsellers. It’s packed with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin against damage. There is also sodium PCA, a humectant derived from Amino acids, which help to bind moisture to the skin for all-day hydration. Lastly, there’s the hero ingredient: Avocado oil—it has a balanced blend of lipids and omega fatty acids that nourish the skin.

Aside from its impressive ingredient list, the eye cream’s results are just as good. It diminishes dark circles, depuffs, and brightens the undereye area with just a few daps.

Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream


Dr. Penzi also recommends the Cetaphil Eye-Gel Cream because it contains “hydrating and soothing ingredients like vitamins B2 and E, hyaluronic acid, and green tea extract; helps to smooth and brighten under eyes.” The texture is also worth noting. It feels like a gel and blends like a cream, and it doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind like some other formulas. Shoppers love the cream because it works for all skin types, even those with sensitive complexions.

L’Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise Eye Defense Eye Cream


If you’re looking for a tried and true eye cream that’s available at your local drugstore, don’t skip over L’Oreal’s Eye Defense Eye Cream. It contains a blend of caffeine and hyaluronic acid, which brightens and plumps the skin.

La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol Eye Cream

La Roche-Posay

Retinol is a skincare hero because it targets a laundry list of concerns like signs of aging, acne, dark spots, and more. Dr. Penzi likes this pick from the already dermatologist-approved brand, La Roche-Posay, and says that the cream “helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. It also contains caffeine that reduces puffiness.” The formula is a bit pricy, but the results and longevity of the tube are worth it.

e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Eye Cream 


This affordable eye cream is packed with all the right ingredients. It contains peptides and hyaluronic acid, which smooths the under-eye area and minimizes dark circles. The ingredient blend also leaves the skin hydrated and plump with consistent use. And it’s only $10!

Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Eye Cream


Vitamin C is another effective ingredient when looking to brighten dark circles under your eyes. The Olay eye cream comes packaged in an easy-to-use jar. It has a smooth, creamy, and light texture that instantly melts into your skin. The result? A visibly brighter, radiant, and hydrated complexion.

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