We Asked a Dermatologist What To Look for in Drugstore Eye Creams

close up of man with under
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There are some things you can’t always control — how much restful sleep you’re getting, how stressed you are, how frequently you’re squinting into sunlight or staring at glowing screens. Unfortunately, these behaviors can all contribute to natural signs of aging. That’s because they make the skin surrounding our eyes look less than desirable, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle for crow’s feet or puffy dark circles. The best eye creams can help banish dark circles and puffy under-eye bags. And while there are plenty of $50 eye creams, the best drugstore eye creams often work just as well — if you buy the right ones.

Eyes are generally the first thing people notice when they look at you, so we want them to look the best they possibly can without having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on treatments. To help us reach that goal, Dr. Amanda Doyle of Russak Dermatology shared some tips about what you should be looking for in an over-the-counter eye cream depending on your concerns, and which drugstore eye creams will help the most to achieve that bright and youthful look. When shopping for skincare products, Dr. Doyle recommended looking for anti-aging products and under-eye creams with specific ingredients.

“The core ingredients for eye creams are antioxidants, vitamins C or E and retinoids to stimulate collagen production,” said Dr. Doyle, a Board Certified Dermatologist with a focus on facial rejuvenation and aesthetics. “Some really good over the counter items contain caffeine, which is constricting to reduce puffiness. B vitamins can also help to improve overall appearance and enhance the actual health of the tissue, and there are some really good peptide-based eye creams that help to reduce the crepiness, improve skin elasticity and also help to brighten and lighten the eye area.”

close up of man with under eye bags Licensed from Adobe

Top-Rated Drugstore Eye Creams…

Since eyes are the windows to the soul, these are some of the best drugstore eye creams to help you beam your internal youthfulness out into the universe without breaking the bank. The products below can be purchased at most grocery stores and pharmacy chains, but they’re also available for purchase online. While many of these products are typically marketed toward women, they will work well for puffy-eyed men, too.

1. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream


Our expert dermatologist cannot say enough good things about Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair. It’s her favorite drugstore eye cream that you can get for under $20 because it covers all of the major concerns. “It contains a retinol along with hyaluronic acid, which helps hydrate skin to counter the drying effect of the retinol,” explains Dr. Doyle. She advises using it every other night to every night, as tolerated by your skin.

neutrogena eye cream Courtesy of Amazon

2. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream


Dr. Doyle highly recommends this drugstore eye cream option for anyone with dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles around the eye area. She also loves that it has hyaluronic acid to balance out the retinol and keep things hydrated. It’s still in that under $20 price bracket, and thanks to the pure retinol, it promises to visibly reduce eye wrinkles by 50 percent.

RoC drugstore eye cream Courtesy of Amazon

3. La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eye Cream


“This one is particularly good to help brighten the under-eye area because some of the ingredients have reflective pigment in them,” explains Dr. Doyle. It also contains caffeine, which really helps to tighten up the skin and constrict the vessels to reduce puffiness and the appearance of heavy under-eye bags. It comes at a slightly higher price point, but it’s a particularly great and effective option as far as drugstore eye creams go.

la roche posay eye cream Courtesy of Amazon

4. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream


According to Dr. Doyle, CeraVe Eye Repair Cream is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or cause anyone to break out or experience irritation. “It’s great for those with really sensitive skin, constantly having eye irritation or those who are just particularly sensitive to that area, because it’s really delicate,” she explains. The ceramides help restore and maintain the natural protective barrier of the skin. It’s also fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, so it’s truly the gentlest option you’ll find.

cerave eye repair cream Courtesy of Amazon

5. Olay Regenerist Retinol Eye Cream


This overnight hydrating drugstore eye cream with Olay’s Vitamin B3 and Retinol Complex will give you a non-invasive eye lift while you sleep. It’s has a rich yet lightweight and quick-absorbing feel, perfectly safe and ultra-hydrating for that super delicate skin around your eyes. This eye night cream promises minimal irritation and a noticeable difference after just one use, with visible improvements in fine lines & wrinkles, smoothness, brightness, firming, dark spots, and pores.

Olay regenerist eye cream Courtesy of Amazon

6. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Eye Cream


The whole Neutrogena Hydro Boost line is super affordable and full of hyaluronic acid to keep your skin incredibly hydrated and fresh-feeling. The unique water gel texture of this drugstore eye cream is lightweight, quick-absorbing and specially designed to smooth the skin around the delicate eye area. It’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores, and also opthalmologist-tested, oil-, fragrance-, and dye-free to be as safe as possible for your skin.

hydro boost drugstore eye cream Courtesy of Amazon

7. Garnier SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream


Garnier’s SkinActive anti-aging eye cream is formulated with pro-retinol, rice peptides, caffeine and an antioxidant complex with Vitamin A. It intensely hydrates to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. It’s intended to firm, lift and brighten the entire eye area and reduce the look of crow’s feet. It’s also on the more affordable end among our picks for the best drugstore eye creams.

garnier ultra lift eye cream Courtesy of Amazon

8. L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Eye Renewal


If you want something specifically designed to counteract the effects of aging around your eyes, L’Oreal Paris is here to save the day. This restorative eye treatment targets five signs of aging at once, infused with powerful antioxidants to make your eyes look visibly refreshed and renewed. You can apply it in the morning and evening to help stimulate surface skin cell renewal to reveal more youthful-looking skin.

L'Oreal age perfector eye cream Courtesy of Walmart