What Eye Cream Ingredients Should We Look For According to Dermatologists?

What Eye Cream Ingredients Should We Look For According to Dermatologists?

While skincare once meant washing your face with soap, or removing makeup with cold cream and calling it a night, our skincare and beauty routines have evolved into complex and multi-step processes. And yes, they may seem time-consuming (and expensive!) but the results are definitely worth it. Today, while we can’t stop the hands of time, we can at least slow it down and spend many more years with a healthy, youthful glow and firm skin.

One important step in our skincare routine is applying an eye cream. Because most of our emotions are expressed in the thin skin around our eyes, they are the first to show fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness. A good eye cream is crucial for protecting the fragile under eye area from the ravages of both chronological aging, and photoaging that comes from environmental factors such as UV rays, pollution and smoking.

So what ingredients are the most important ones to look for in an eye cream? What do dermatologists recommend?


According to many dermatologists, retinol is an important ingredient to look for in an eye cream. It has proven anti-aging benefits for the sensitive skin beneath our eyes. Retinol is a form of vitamin A which regenerates new cell growth, helps the aging cells to slough off and be replaced by younger-acting skin cells, and also rebuilds critical collagen to restore elasticity.

While retinol may first be a little drying as it encourages the release of dead skin cells, most dermatologists recommend that anyone who can tolerate retinol products use one. It should, however, be paired with a good sunscreen for daytime sun protection as retinol makes skin more UV sensitive.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally found in the human body. It has amazing moisture-retaining properties. Each molecule of hyaluronic acid can hold many times its own weight in hydration. As we age, and especially with exposure to UV radiation, the amount of natural hyaluronic acid in the skin declines. When used as an ingredient in an eye cream, it plumps up the skin cells beneath the eye where they tend to thin with age and fall closer against bone structure to create deep shadows. Hyaluronic acid makes skin look and feel more supple and smooth, and decreases redness and irritation.


Neuropeptides are especially beneficial in an eye cream for those who can’t tolerate retinol products. Like retinol, neuropeptides increase collagen and elastin production, but is much gentler on the skin. Neuropeptides applied to the skin have instant beneficial effects on skin’s texture and tone. It decreases the crepey look by hydrating and firming.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerhouse of an antioxidant that is nearly 400 times stronger than vitamin C and E, which are often recommended in an eye cream for their antioxidant properties. It is easily absorbed into the skin and goes to work immediately to fight aging free radicals. In an eye cream, Alpha Lipoic Acid reduces dark circles and puffiness. It evens out skin tones and has anti-inflammatory properties to decrease blotchiness and reduce pore size for a smoothing effect.

Polyenylphosphotidyl Choline (PPC)

PPC is a natural moisturizer and emollient that heals dry and chapped skin. It provides superior moisture to dry and damaged skin cells and is ideal for very dry or dehydrated skin, and encourages a radiant glow.

Green Tea and Caffeine

If you are looking for an eye cream to reduce puffiness and under eye bags, green tea has antioxidants to reduce inflammation and promote DNA repair in order to assist skin to recuperate from UV damage. It contains a high density of catechins, which reduce redness, irritation and swelling. It also unclogs pores, making it easier for your skin to absorb the other beneficial ingredients in your eye cream and moisturizer. Green tea also has soothing vitamin B2 and Vitamin E, both of which are critical for skin health.

Caffeine and tannin, both of which are found in green tea, helps to shrink tiny blood vessels in the eye area, helping to reduce dark circles and puffiness.

While these ingredients are the ones most dermatologists agree are highly beneficial in an eye cream, texture is also important. Most eye creams have a thicker, more emollient texture than a regular moisturizer. It’s important to apply your eye cream before you apply your night time moisturizer.

Resources— Byrdie, Elle, 15MinuteBeauty, DoctorOz.com


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