If eyes are the windows to your soul, you don’t want anyone getting distracted by red, wrinkled, dark, and puffy bags under your eyes. Lose the baggage and step up your grooming regimen with eye creams that have key ingredients such as caffeine, retinol, and hyaluronic acid! Yes, guys, it’s seriously necessary. While you’ve been living your best life, the skin under your eyes has been thinning out over time, and it needs a little tenderness, love, and collagen.
We turned to our friend for the real deal on eye creams, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Voted to be on New York Magazine’s list of Best Doctors in 2014, awarded the Elle Magazine Skin Genius Award in 2015, and featured in countless magazines, we know he’ll shed some light on our dark under-eye woes.
“It's a myth that men’s skin is more resilient than women’s. Just as women can benefit from eye creams, so can men," Zeichner says. "The skin around the eyes is among the thinnest on the body. Because of this, it's at risk for early wrinkling with repeated folding of the skin from smiling and squinting.The skin around the eyes is also constantly being rubbed and scratched, leading to low-grade inflammation that contributes to premature aging. Skin cell turnover slows down after 30, making the skin more sensitive to environmental damage. I recommend adding an eye cream to the skin care regimen in your 30s. It's important to keep the skin as strong as possible from an early age, because this is the foundation from which the skin will age over time. This is a far better strategy than attempting to repair significant damage after the fact.”
For applying eye cream, you want to dab it onto your skin (not rub it in!) using your finger under your eye only. To make sure you’re not rubbing it in, we suggest using your weaker fingers (like your ring finger or pinky) to gently apply the cream that your skin will absorb. Remember not to apply too close to your eyelashes, or there’s a chance the product can get in your eye and potentially irritate it. It’s super easy!
Having your under eyes age when you feel like a kid at heart can be hard to accept, but there's no need to turn a blind eye on this problem. We have you covered with the right eye creams that’ll have you looking so fresh, you won’t believe your eyes.
Brickell Men's Restoring Eye Balm
Sock Father Time right in the eye with this cream that has the all-star team of aloe, protein peptides, and hyaluronic acid ingredients. It’s vegan, made of 70% organic ingredients, and actually works to smooth skin and brighten dark circles. Both experts and users can’t stop raving about this product.
Burt’s Bees Eye Cream for Sensitive Skin
This hypoallergenic eye cream, made of 99% natural ingredients, will moisturize your under eyes without breaking the bank. The nongreasy formula is great for sensitive skin, but it's less powerful than some of our other selects, making this one a great choice for younger guys who don’t want to spend a fortune on anti-aging yet.
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
This is as close to a miracle cream as it gets! For an affordable price, this retinol cream will seriously reduce fine lines and wrinkles after 12 weeks of use (some users even saw a difference in three days!). Plus, its high-quality ingredients and noncomedogenic formula won’t clog your pores.
Kiehl’s Eye Alert
Kiehl’s is always a winner for high-quality ingredients at a reasonable price, and this cream doesn’t disappoint. With caffeine, cooling cucumber, and alfalfa extract (a great natural source for vitamins A, C, and E), your skin will look fresher than ever.
Skinceuticals AOX Eye Gel
This is one splurge that’s worth it for brightening those under eyes. Loaded with antioxidants to seriously brighten dark circles, some users swear this is the only product that’s ever worked for them. You’ll want to throw down the cash for this one to protect your eye area from the free radicals that cause early signs of aging.
Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:
Pro: It’s made of mostly organic anti-aging ingredients
Con: It doesn’t include retinol as an ingredient
This restoring eye cream does wonders for fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness using 70% organic ingredients, and the results are immediate, according to users. While the eye cream checks almost all our anti-aging boxes with caffeine, vitamin A, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, it has Matrixyl 3000 instead of retinol. Matrixyl 3000 is a blend of protein peptides that boosts collagen production and is said to reduce wrinkles in two months by 45%, but some dermatologists question if it works as well as retinol (though it’s less harsh on those with sensitive skin). For some, the price might be a little high, but because it's packed with high-quality natural ingredients along with the ones mentioned previously, it’s totally worth every penny.
If hollowness is your issue, hyaluronic acid is the key ingredient for you. “Some people suffer from hollowness under the eye, in which case a hyaluronic-acid-containing eye cream may be useful because it can help plump the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is like a sponge that pulls in water to hydrate dry skin and plump under-eye hollowness,” says Dr. Zeichner of the ingredient.
Best Budget Buy
Pro: Super moisturizing, without feeling greasy
Con: Some users with dark circles saw no difference
Eye creams can cost a pretty penny, but thankfully Burt’s Bees has a super moisturizing solution for sensitive skin (and sensitive budgets!). With ingredients like aloe, cotton extract, and rice extract, this formula helps to make your under eyes feel oh-so-smooth and hydrated, without irritation. While this option is made with the most natural ingredients, it does little to reverse dark circles for some users. However, if you’re a younger man looking to get an early start on protecting and maintaining youthful-looking skin, this affordable option is a stellar choice.
Best Night Cream
Pro: You’ll see fine lines and wrinkles reduced in weeks
Con: Retinol can be too harsh for some, which can cause sensitivity or burning
While some men can be sensitive to retinol, the ingredient is known to seriously produce collagen and regenerate skin cells. Seems too good to be true? Just check out the stellar reviews! It’s also highly recommended by our expert.
“In the evening, our skin undergoes higher rates of cell turnover, repairing itself from damage that occurred during the day. My go-to ingredient for evening skin care is retinol. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that helps stimulate collagen to thicken the skin foundation and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles,” Dr. Zeichner says.
Best for De-Puffing
Pro: It’ll make under-eye bags disappear and give you a cooling sensation
Con: Some users may find it a bit sticky
If you’ve ever thought the name Puff Daddy could apply to your under-eye problem, we found your solution. Eye Alert (a less heavy option over Kiehl’s creamy eye treatment) will hydrate your skin, decrease dark circles, and, with the help of caffeine, de-puff any under-eye bags.
“If you suffer from significant puffiness, then a caffeine-containing eye cream may be helpful. Caffeine helps constrict blood vessels to remove excess fluid under the eye area,” Dr. Zeichner says.
Add to it the cooling and soothing cucumber extract, along with a healthy dose of vitamin C, and you have a great option at a price that’s totally worth it.
Pro: Antioxidants in this gel seriously work to brighten under your eyes
Con: It’s expensive
Skinceutical’s antioxidant formula of ferulic acid, vitamin C, and phloretin can brighten your eye area and reduce lines like nothing else on the market. While most gels are known to be less moisturizing than a cream, this serum-meets-gel texture will keep your eyes hydrated. While retinol is great for overnight repair, this one is great for daytime use.
“I typically recommend antioxidant serums in the morning. Antioxidants are like fire extinguishers that put out inflammation from free radicals. Free-radical damage leads to early wrinkling and can promote the development of dark spots. Antioxidants create an environment optimal for collagen production,” Dr. Zeichner says.
More of Our Top Picks:
Check out these other options for a fresh look to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, brighten dark circles, and make puffy under eyes a thing of the past.
Pro: The cooling sensation of the eye gel is seriously soothing and lasts for a few hours, so you know it’s working
Con: A little expensive for the amount of gel
If you haven’t discovered the wonder of algae skincare products, you’re seriously missing out. Algae fights free radicals, softens, and hydrates your skin as it’s used to combating the elements to protect itself. When applied to your skin, this stellar men’s eye gel utilizes marine ingredients of red algae and kelp to to rebuild skin cells, giving you a luminous look to your previous dark under-eyes. Best part of this scent-free eye gel is the tingling sensation you’ll feel even hours after applying. There’s seriously nothing more satisfying than feeling your grooming products working hard throughout the day to keep your skin looking fresher than ever. While it’s a bit pricey for its size, this powerful under eye gel will have you hooked on the Port Products Marine Layer line, which includes a face mask that’s perfect for hydrating your skin after a workout or travel.
Pro: Some users saw results after one use
Con: While it's great for moisturizing, it can feel a tad greasy
There are some stellar ingredients that make up this eye cream, including jojoba oil, shea butter, cucumber extract, and carrot root, along with vitamins A, C, and E. This great combo of ingredients definitely does the job, but it can feel a bit greasy to some. However, it’s still a great choice to check out, even with its slightly high price point.
Pro: Instantly tightens up under eyes
Con: Not the best for sensitive skin, can feel slight tingling and dryness
With the usual awesome ingredients we see in the best eye creams, Baxter of California’s Under Eye Complex includes caffeine, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and even seaweed (great for anti-aging benefits!). While trying out this product, we saw instant results (eye can’t believe it!), but those with more dry, sensitive under eyes might feel a bit of a tingling sensation and dryness later in the day. This product is still totally worth it, but we might suggest using it with a rich moisturizer as well.
We know this can be a lot of information to take in, so we've broken down the important questions so you can turn back the clock and give your eyes the Benjamin Button effect.
Q. When do you apply eye cream?
A. Just like washing your face in the morning and night, you should be applying eye cream twice a day. Use one with great ingredients for de-puffing and brightening in the morning, and use a collagen-boosting cream at night for when your skin repairs itself with a higher rate of cell turnover.
Q. What age does a person start using eye cream?
A. Incorporate an eye cream into your daily skin regimen starting in your 30s to prevent premature aging. Even if you don’t think your under eyes need the help, you don’t want to start when it’s too late to turn back time.
Q. Which eye cream is best for your under eyes?
A. Your under-eye skin is the thinnest skin on your body, and it's not like the rest of your face. Go for an eye cream that has certain ingredients you need to fix your under-eye woes. Caffeine for puffiness, hyaluronic acid for hydrating, retinol or neuropeptides for collagen to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and vitamin C for brightening are just a few key ingredients to look out for in your eye cream.
Q. How long does it take to see results from an eye cream?
A. This question isn’t an easy one to answer. With certain eye creams, we’ve seen de-puffing happen in a flash, but you really should see a gradual change over time after applying an eye cream twice a day. Dark circles are the toughest to conquer, but you should see healthier-looking skin regardless with consistent use. It’s essential to get a healthy amount of sleep and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout your day for any eye cream to work. It’s not a miracle cream, so it can’t improve your under eyes if you live an unhealthy lifestyle. Do the work, and you should see some major improvement over time.
Q. Does an expensive eye cream mean it will work better over an affordable option?
A. Not at all! It's truly all about the right ingredients for the results you hope to achieve. While there are some stellar eye creams for men that tend to cost a little more than you maybe hoped, brands like Kiehl's and Burt's Bees are doing their best to get you the right products at a price that men can enjoy guilt-free. If you see a cream or gel that has vitamins A, C, E, hyaluronic acid, and caffeinated ingredients, it's worth a shot to try.