Navigating skin care is hard enough when you have reaction-prone skin that's easily triggered by the wrong ingredients. But finding an eye cream can often seem like an impossible task since the skin around the eyes is thinner and even more delicate than the rest of your face. Plus, symptoms like itchiness, redness, and watering eyes — all signs your eye cream doesn't agree with you — can easily be confused with seasonal allergies. To ensure you're using one of the best eye creams for sensitive skin, there's one simple rule to keep in mind: the more basic, the better.
In addition to scoping out the ingredients list for anything you already know you're allergic to (like propylene glycol, for example), looking for a formula that's fragrance-free and dermatologist- or ophthalmologist-tested is a good start. If you're on the hunt for an eye cream that hydrates, look for gentle moisturizers like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or squalane, which your body already naturally produces.
Sensitive skin types can also benefit from an eye cream that contains soothing ingredients. Some favorites include niacinamide, which also helps protect skin, as well as green tea leaf extract, aloe extract, licorice extract, and chamomile extract. Many of these skin-soothers can also help with other concerns like dark circles and puffiness.
Ahead, you'll find five of the best eye creams for sensitive skin — whether you're simply looking for a bit of hydration or you're trying to depuff and brighten after pulling an all-nighter.
1. Best Budget-Friendly Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin
This drugstore option gently hydrates the skin around the eyes with a lightweight formula that includes hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and grape-seed oil. Cetaphil's Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream also includes other antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea leaf extract and licorice extract, as well as niacinamide, which helps soothe and repair the skin's barrier. While it's important to note that this eye cream does list fragrance at the end of its ingredient list, it also states that it's hypoallergenic and has been dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested for sensitive eyes and contact-lens wearers. That said, if you know you react negatively to any fragrance whatsoever, you'll be better off with one of the other options on this list.
2. Best Brightening Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin
This natural cream uses ingredients that are easy to identify, including organic aloe leaf juice to moisturize and soothe sensitive skin. Green coffee and coffee cherry seed extracts help give your skin's collagen production a boost while brightening the under-eye area, too. 100% Pure's Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream also includes vitamin C to further brighten, and vitamin E and rose hip oil to soften and moisturize the skin.
"I have very sensitive skin and have always had dark circles and redness around my eyes," writes one Amazon reviewer, adding, "[After] using this for two weeks, I have noticed a big improvement, and it doesn't aggravate my skin at all."
3. Best Firming Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin
Created by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, the Perricone MD hypoallergenic eye cream gently hydrates and firms skin with an anti-inflammatory formula that's fragrance-free. Olive polyphenols, which are non-acidic and easily absorbed, are the main skin-firming ingredient in this eye cream. Hyaluronic acid and squalane, which are both naturally found in the body, deliver lasting hydration that also helps give skin an overall plumper appearance.
4. Best Eye Cream For Puffiness
To soothe and moisturize the skin around your eyes, French pharmacy brand Avène created this lightweight Soothing Eye Contour Cream. In addition to being fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, this eye cream is also free of parabens, soap, soy, and gluten. Instead, it uses hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, chamomile, and Avène's thermal spring water to soothe, along with patented pre-tocopheryl, a form of vitamin E that protects the delicate skin underneath your eyes from environmental aggressors like free radicals.
5. Best Eye Cream For Very Sensitive, Allergy-Prone Skin
Another option that was designed to soothe sensitive eye areas as much as it hydrates them, La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Ultra Eyes was even tested on allergy-prone skin (in addition to being derm-approved). This gel-cream hybrid uses ingredients like glycerin, squalane, and shea butter to keep your skin hydrated and smooth. Meanwhile, niacinamide works to soothe and protect skin, as does neurosensine, which the brand describes as an active that works to stop skin irritation mechanisms.
One Amazon user who describes their skin as sensitive and rosacea-prone, writes, "It goes on easily on both your lids and under your eyes and feels soothing, cooling, and hydrating." Another notes, "This really does soothe and smooth the areas all around the eye while giving hydration that lasts all day."
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