The area around our eyes is one of the most delicate on our bodies, so even if your skin can handle a powerful exfoliating cream elsewhere, you may require a gentler touch around those windows into your soul. Whether you want to boost moisture or you have skin concerns that you’d like to address, such as fine lines or puffiness, check out the six best eye creams for sensitive skin, and what makes them so great.
Why You Should Use Eye Cream
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Brian Hibler of the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, who The RealDeal spoke with for this article, it’s best to use creams formulated specially for around the eye rather than using your regular facial moisturizer if you have sensitive skin.
“Eye creams tend to be less sensitizing and more hydrating than standard facial moisturizers,” he explains. This is important since the skin around our eyes is “some of the thinnest skin on the body” and “uniquely prone” to irritation and allergies, he adds.
It’s often the first spot to show changes due to sun exposure, environmental factors, allergies, water retention or a bad night’s sleep. It’s even common, says the expert, for your nail polish or acrylates in artificial nails to cause allergic contact dermatitis if you touch or rub your eyes. In other words, your eyes need tons of TLC!
What to Look for in Eye Creams for Sensitive Skin
For straight-up soft, smooth skin, Dr. Hibler likes ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, “which helps bind water and can make the skin around the eyes appear more smooth and plump.” Ceramides, meanwhile, “strengthen the skin barrier and [help your skin] retain moisture.” Other ingredients to look for: buzzy niacinamide helps combat discoloration; caffeine can reduce puffiness and dark undereye circles; retinol builds collagen and protects against fine lines and Vitamin C tackles uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.
What to Avoid in Eye Creams for Super-Sensitive Skin
Though each person’s skin is unique, if you’re particularly sensitive, the dermatologist suggests you avoid skincare products with added fragrance, “which can lead to an allergic reaction around the eye.” He also says keep an eye out for oils, as those have the potential to clog glands. In other words, look for oil-free and fragrance-free options.
Though the following six eye creams are all gentle and tested by someone with sensitive skin (that’s me!) and contain non-irritating and effective ingredients to make your eyes feel and look their best, it’s always smart to test any new product, advises Dr. Hibler. He suggests putting a bit of cream behind your ear or under your jawline and waiting to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin.
I tested these creams on myself. I have sensitive skin, and if I don’t pick gentle, quality products, I find my undereye area in particular can get red, chapped, and sting. I also have combination skin (never easy to deal with!) plus some puffiness and fine lines, so I want my eye creams to brighten and nourish without causing irritation. Finally, because I layer my skincare products, any eye moisturizer has to absorb quickly into my skin, and work well under sunscreens and/or over other skincare products, meaning no pilling or clumping. Below are six amazing, effective and gentle eye creams, from top skincare brands.
The 6 Best Eye Creams for Sensitive Skin
The Best Doctor-Approved Eye Cream: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream
Why it made the list: Great minds (a.k.a. me and our medical professional with years and years of training and experience) think alike. We’re both fans of this eye cream from French pharmacy brand La Roche-Posay. The expert says Toleriane Ultra Eyes is a “soothing moisturizer for softer, hydrated under-eye skin [that] contains antioxidant thermal spring water.” It also has nourishing shea butter, glycerin, and niacinamide, and was designed especially with sensitive skin people in mind.
- Designed for people with skin allergies and other skin sensitivities so it’s extremely gentle and non-irritating
- Lovely, light gel cream texture
- Some users have experienced problems with the pump top dispenser
Price: $26.99 at LaRoche-Posay.us
The Best Vitamin C Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin: Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic Firm & Bright Eye Treatment
Why it made the list: This is a brand new offering from superstar dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross (his Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Wrinkle Treatment is amazing!) and since I love everything he makes, I had to get my mitts on this eye cream. It uses a blend of alpha hydroxy acid lactic acid to gently exfoliate the top layer of skin, allowing the brightening Vitamin C to get to work. This also contains ceramides, which as Dr. Hilber says, strengthen skin and help it retain moisture. Other ingredients include licorice root, niacinamide, caffeine, gentle and hydrating centella asiatica extract, ferulic acid and tranexamic acid, which reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
- Gentle formulation
- Pump top bottle so there’s no waste and product doesn’t get exposed to air
- Effective blend of exfoliating and brightening ingredients offer impressive benefits
Price: $68 at DrDennisGross.com
The Best Budget Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
Why it made the list: It’s hard to go wrong with the super-gentle CeraVe eye cream, which features doctor-approved ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B3) in a simple, fragrance-free cream. Not only does it add much-needed moisture to dry skin around the eyes, but it can reduce the appearance of dark circles, too. It’s also a safe bet for people with sensitive skin. In fact, it has a Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association, meaning it should be well-tolerated by people with sensitive skin, and comes from a skin-friendly drugstore brand that is beloved for working well for a range of skin types.
- Approved by National Eczema Association
- Not as helpful for fine lines
Price: $13.49 at Target.com
The Best Retinol Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin: Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinol + Niacinamide Eye Serum
Why it made the list: Retinol — another doctor-suggested ingredient — is effective in treating “mild pigmentation irregularities, or mild fine lines and wrinkles,” says an article from the American Academy of Dermatology. It can be irritating, which is why it’s wise to use a retinol cream designed for the eye area, like this one from cult beauty brand Sunday Riley. Their luxurious cream also contains niacinamide, calming centella asiatica, ceramides, and super-rich olive oil and shea butter. Use this overnight and wake up to smoother and softer skin.
- Balanced formula contains a powerful anti-aging tool with nourishing and calming ingredients to keep this from drying your skin out
- Quickly works to soften and smooth skin
- Retinol, even in low doses, can irritate some people’s skin
- Does contain oil, so skip if you prefer an oil-free product
Price: $65 at SundayRiley.com
The Best Retinol Alternative Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin: Ghost Democracy Boomerang Firming Eye Concentrate
Why it made the list: Clean beauty brand Ghost Democracy is great at being super transparent about the ingredients in all of their products, down to the percentages and they’re committed to avoiding potentially irritating ingredients like sulfates, parabens, silicones, essential oils, fragrance and synthetic dyes, just to name a few on their “no” list. Their Boomerang eye cream blends up niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, aloe and ceramides with antioxidants like bakuchiol (which many tout as a milder, gentler retinol alternative), passionflower and reishi mushroom extract to brighten and soften your eyes.
- Moisture lasts all day
- Bakuchiol can be worn day or night (as compared to retinol, which is an ingredient best used at night)
- Takes longer to sink in to skin that some of the other products on this list, so allow for a few minutes before applying makeup
Price: $32 at Ghost Democracy
The Best Eye Cream With Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin: Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35
Why it made the list: Get extra bang for your buck with this fragrance-free, oil-free, 3-in-1 product from Colorscience. There’s the mineral-based SPF 35 to protect your skin and keep it from sun damage, plus coverage, thanks to both the hint of tint (available in four shades) and light-reflecting formulation, so your eyes are bright and wide-awake. Finally, this goes to work with skin-enhancing Vitamin C, green tea extract, hyaluronic acid, and peptides, among other effective ingredients to keep skin even and soft.
- Tackles three tasks in one
- Comes in four different color shades to suit a range of skin tones
- Oil- and fragrance-free
- You only need SPF during the day so you’ll want a different eye cream overnight
- Any sunscreen product you use needs to be reapplied every two hours throughout the day
Price: $74 at Colorscience
Bonus Buy: PÜR Mellow Eyes Hemp-Infused Eye Patches
Why it made the list: These are lovely little patches that you place under your eyes — and they really stay there! — for a cooling, soothing 20-minute eye treatment. They’re made with fatty acid-rich hemp seed oil, argan oil, sunflower seed oil, green tea, cucumber, Vitamin E, aloe, avocado, caffeine, niacinamide, kiwi and other amazing and healthy-for-your-skin ingredients.
- Feels great against skin
- Brighten and depuff immediately
- Stay on your face while you’re watching Abbot Elementary
- 30 pairs works out to about $1/per treatment
- Pads biodegradable
- That bright green color is thanks to dyes, not natural ingredients
Price: $29 at PURCosmetics.com
The post Editors’ Choice: Don’t Cry – 6 Amazing Eye Creams For Sensitive Skin appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.