Skip to main content

Give Your Face a Youthful Makeover With a Night Time Eye Cream

The eyes are the window to the soul, and for many of us, those windows start to look like they need an upgrade by the time we hit adulthood. Because the skin around the eye is so thin, issues such as dehydration and discoloration have nowhere to hide and become visible faster than on other parts of the body. That means our eyes are often one of the first areas showing signs of aging, which seems like a cruel joke by nature.

“The eyelid skin is the thinnest epidermis on the body, and right below the eyelid skin is a very active muscle, the orbicularis oculi, which closes our eyelids tightly,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anthony Rossi. “Since we are always using this muscle and blinking, we are constantly contracting it and the skin above it.”

Lazy loaded image
Licensed from Adobe

Eye creams differ from face creams. “Eye creams are specifically formulated for an area that not only shows our age readily but also is quite delicate and sensitive,” Rossi explains. “The idea is not to be irritating to the eyelid area but still help to improve the skin.”

Unless you’re fully committed to wearing sunglasses anytime you leave the house; a nighttime eye cream is the best way to regain some of your youth without going into hiding.


What to Look for in Nighttime Eye Creams

Multiple studies have found that when we sleep, our bodies go into a “repair mode,” as opposed to during the day when our skin is in its “protect mode.”

Nighttime eye creams are typically thicker than daytime creams. By applying them at night when our skin is in its regenerative stage, the cream has more time to absorb into the skin, which can help your skin reap all the rejuvenating and preventative benefits of the creams’ ingredients.

Related Stories

“When we are sleeping, it is a great time to hydrate the skin from the outside in,” adds Rossi. “Not only hydrate it with moisturizer but if your eye cream packs a punch, then there will be other actives in there that can help improve this area, which very much needs it.”

Multiple studies have found that when we sleep, our bodies go into a “repair mode,” as opposed to during the day when our skin is in its “protect mode.”

When shopping for nighttime creams, there are specific properties you’ll want to keep an…eye…out for. (We had to.):

“Intense moisturizers such as shea butter and hyaluronic acid will help moisturize and seal moisture from the outside,” says Rossi. Hyaluronic acid helps to infuse moisture back into the skin, plumping fine lines and wrinkles and making skin appear smoother. Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan, is a long linear polysaccharide that has the unique ability to bind with and retain water molecules, holding up to 1,000 times its weight.

“Amino acid peptides will help to improve the skin quality and texture that can often become dry and wrinkled in this area.”

“Niacinamide is a potent vitamin B antioxidant and also helps to calm redness. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is also helpful in this area again because of its antioxidant capabilities. Vitamin C is also a cofactor needed in collagen synthesis.”

Caffeine can help to reduce the appearance of dark, puffy circles thanks to its vasoconstrictive effect, stimulating the skin increasing puffiness.

Retinoids are a hallmark of most night eye creams today because these vitamin A derivatives help produce collagen, essential for the thin skin around the eyes. It is often some of the first skin to lose collagen and begin to look old.

“Avoid heavily fragranced items because this skin is so delicate and prone to allergic or irritant contact dermatitis,” Rossi adds. “You want a moisturizer that is devoid of fragrances or extraneous filler ingredients such as parabens; since the eyelid skin is sensitive, it often is an area that is prone to contact dermatitis or allergy of the skin due to fragrances or other chemicals.”

Still not sure which nighttime eye cream is correct for you? We’ve rounded up a list of the best so you can stop hiding those pretty peepers.


1. Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum


Dr. Dennis Gross has long been a respected name in both his cosmetics dermatology practice in New York City, as well as a brand name seen on some of the top shelves on upscale shopping destinations. This latest upgrade to the classic Retinol + Ferulic collection is worthy of high praise. This eye serum is specially formulated for the thin skin around the eyes. It is delicate enough for somewhat sensitive skin (although those with hypersensitive skin may want to test out before committing to the higher price tag) but potent enough to see great results after just a couple of weeks of use. SPY Managing Editor Barret Wertz has been using it since its launch and has seen improvement in the overall appearance of the skin around his eyes.

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Dr. Dennis Gross


2. RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Under Eye Cream


If you are looking for the benefits of retinol (which everyone should be) but don’t want to drop a ton of cash, you won’t get much better than RoC. RoC has been a trusted brand for retinol delivery since it debuted the anti-aging miracle topical back in 1957. These days, the overnight eye cream is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, which means this is safe for daily use on sensitive skin.

15,000+ Reviews
Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Amazon

3. La Roche-Posay Redermic C Pure Vitamin C Eye Cream


Currently serving at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Dr. Rossi recommends La Roche-Posay Redermic C Pure Vitamin C Eye Cream. Rich in vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this eye cream packs the punch of brands with much higher price tags while being available in drugstores all across the world.

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of La-Roche Posay

4. Brickell Men’s Restoring Eye Cream 


Using 70% organic ingredients, the Brickell Men’s Restoring Eye Cream helps target the most common eye issues, including dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines. Hyaluronic acid injects moisture back into the skin, evening out the appearance of fine lines. Green tea, caffeine, and aloe soothe the skin, encourage collagen production and brighten the eyes, making skin appear younger. Witch hazel and sunflower oil help to form a protective barrier on the skin against UV rays and environmental factors, while cocoa butter adds an extra layer of protection that helps keep moisture in.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Amazon

5. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex


Most of us aren’t about to give up our phones and laptops, and our eyes are paying the price. Thankfully, between blue-light-blocking glasses and eye creams like Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex, we can give our peepers some reprieve. The cult-favorite eye cream helps fight visible damage caused by blue light and leaves skin looking brighter and revived. Using potent antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, the lightweight cream goes on at night and reduces puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles while protecting against free-radical damage.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Sephora

6. Biopelle Tensage Stem Cell Eye Cream


For a splurge-worthy eye cream that comes doctor recommended, there’s Biopelle Tensage Stem Cell Eye Cream. Designed for all skin types, including maturing skin, the cream goes on at night and helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles. Biopelle includes natural extracts from snails’ eggs to replenish skin cells and form a reinforced, protective layer. Using peptides, antioxidants, caffeine and retinol, skin is left looking rejuvenated and younger.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Amazon

7. Botanical Kinetics Energizing Eye Crème by AVEDA


For those who want to keep their skin products as natural as possible, try the Botanical Kinetics Energizing Eye Crème from AVEDA. Using plant complexes, energy to the skin’s cells is increased, which creates a brightening effect. Licorice root helps soothe the skin and reduce dark circles, and caffeine boosts energy to help eyes appear younger and more awake. An excellent option for users who don’t like greasy creams, the lightweight formula goes on smooth and is gentle on sensitive skin.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Nordstrom

8. OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème


For an eye cream that will have you looking alert and awake, there’s the OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème. The eye cream has developed a cult following thanks to its heavy use of Vitamin C, which treats hyperpigmentation. Safe for all skin types, the cream helps to lessen the appearance of fine lines and puffiness and includes a gentle citrus scent.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Sephora

9. Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe


Korean beauty brand Glow Recipe focuses on using vitamins to make your eyes look and feel healthier. Their popular eye mask is made with avocado extract and takes the ‘good’ fat from your favorite toast topping and infuses it into the skin to make the area appear plumper and feel softer. This helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines using vitamins C and E. Encapsulated retinol aids in collagen production. At the same time, coffeeberry brightens the skin and reduces the appearance of those darn dark circles that make us look tired. Suitable for all skin types, the smooth and rich cream feels great on the skin and has time-releasing properties that keep it working all night, helping you wake up looking refreshed.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Sephora

10. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye


For an eye cream that goes on at night and leads to a better-looking morning, try Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye. The restorative and replenishing nighttime cream uses Broom Extract to reduce puffiness, calming lavender essential oil, and evening primrose oil, which helps to encourage skin elasticity by maintaining hydration. While users are sleeping, the skin around their eyes begins to smooth out and is restored for the morning.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Kiehl's

11. Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max Night Eye Cream


Get up to 24 hours of hydration thanks to the Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max Night Eye Cream. Using a creamy texture that is ideal for those who don’t like the feeling of greasy skin products, Olay’s eye cream absorbs quickly into the skin around the eye, leaving the area looking brighter and more hydrated, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Olay has increased the amount of Retinol in their newly updated product, which increases the amount of collagen in the skin and helps stimulate the production of new blood vessels and reduce dark circles.

Lazy loaded image
Image courtesy of Target

These Eye Creams Will Keep You Looking Fresh Even After an All-Nighter