It's a general tendency to think that the more money you spend on your nightly routine, the more effective it is. This especially holds true when it comes to eye creams, which come in tinier jars than your face cream with an even bigger price tag. But there are plenty of drugstore options to choose from once you know what ingredients to look for in order to find the best affordable eye creams.
The active ingredients in your eye cream of choice will largely be determined by any skin care concerns you have. If you want a no-fuss nightly cream that will keep your skin moisturized, look for gentle hydrators like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. You can also help combat puffiness and dark circles when allergies kick in or you haven't been able to catch up on sleep with ingredients like caffeine to constrict the blood vessels and vitamin C to brighten.
You can also look for an eye cream with retinol. While you may be familiar with retinol products when it comes to facial moisturizers, an eye cream with retinol will also work to improve skin (just in a smaller concentration so as not to irritate the delicate skin under your eyes). Because retinol increases cell turnover, it can help with everything from improving discoloration and dark circles to plumping the skin by supporting collagen production. And, of course, for daytime use, try an eye cream that has SPF to keep your eyes protected from sun damage while also keeping them hydrated.
Ahead, you'll find the best affordable eye creams for treating every under-eye concern without going over budget.
1. Best Affordable Eye Cream For Extreme Hydration
This eye cream has a gel texture that's deceivingly lightweight, but don't be fooled. When you're in need of some intense under-eye hydration, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Eye Cream is clinically proven to keep your skin hydrated for 48 hours. Using hyaluronic acid to draw and hold moisture to the skin, Hydro Boost is also formulated with olive extract to smooth and act as a barrier to protect the skin from losing moisture. The cream is also ophthalmologist-tested, and it's free of irritating ingredients like dyes and fragrances.
2. Best Affordable Eye Cream For Brightening
To naturally diminish unwanted hyperpigmentation or discoloration around your eyes — or to simply add an overall brighter appearance — the Burt's Bees Brightening Eye Treatment uses the extract of wild white daisy blossoms that the brand sustainably collects from the mountains in Macedonia. This eye cream is also formulated with apricot kernel oil, which contains vitamins K and C that help with brightening. Shea butter, glycerin, and olive fruit oil are also among the top of the ingredient list to gently moisturize.
3. An Affordable Eye Cream That’s Certified-Organic
The definition of natural gets murky when it comes to beauty brands since there aren't any real regulated rules. But earning a rare organic certification from the USDA, like Nourish Organic has, ensures a brand uses only the safest, healthiest ingredients. Their Renewing & Cooling Eye Treatment is formulated with nourishing, firming, and brightening ingredients like avocado oil, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and it gets Amazon users' seal of approval, too.
"The skin around my eyes is extremely sensitive, and this is the only product that I've tried that has not left a stinging or burning sensation," writes one fan of the eye treatment, noting, "The skin around my eyes looks more hydrated and less puffy, [and] the metal tips is refreshing." Another adds, "[It] kind of gives your under eyes a pleasant glow [that] helps with not looking like you stayed up all night with your two month oil [sic] in my case."
4. Best Affordable Eye Cream With SPF
Compared to the other eye creams on the list, this Supergoop! Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream is a bit of a splurge — but it still doesn't rival the prestige eye creams on the market that go for $150 a pop. There's more than one reason why Supergoop!'s eye cream is worth it, though. It provides UVA and UVB protection with its broad spectrum SPF 37 to keep your skin fully protected from the sun's damaging rays. It's also an effective daily eye cream made with mica minerals to instantly reflect light for a brighter appearance, as well as ingredients like glycerin, oat peptide, and olive fruit extract to hydrate and boost collagen production. And if skin sensitivity is a concern, this SPF eye cream is ophthalmologist-tested and free of synthetic fragrance.
5. Best Affordable Eye Cream With Retinol
Eye creams can get pricy enough on their own without adding retinol into the mix, but RoC makes an affordable option that boasts over 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. Developed specifically to be gentler on the under-eye area, the RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream is meant to be used every other day during the first two weeks of use to build up your skin's tolerance. After two weeks, you can start to apply it nightly to help even out skin tone and give it a firmer, more plump appearance.
While RoC says results require 12 weeks of continued use, one Amazon user notes they noticed a difference sooner, writing, "After 10 days of use, I have noticed increased tightness/firmness around the eyes and a suppleness which visibly reduces the severity of my undereye circles."
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