There are eye creams out there that claim to do everything: Caffeine-eye creams for depuffing, vitamin C eye creams for brightening, and retinol eye creams that promote smoother, firmer skin. But if you have dry skin underneath your eyes, it's best to stick with a hydrating eye cream, like any of the ones featured ahead. As for what makes these the best hydrating eye creams out of all of the countless formulations out there? Well, they're infused with heavy-duty hydrators and moisturizers, like squalane, ceramides, thermal water, and plant-based oils, and leave out the ingredients that can exacerbate dryness or cause irritation (especially since dry skin and sensitive skin often go hand-in-hand).
To get the most out of your eye cream, remember: It's best applied after cleansing and/or toning, but before moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup. Also, you want to make sure you're not pulling at the delicate skin underneath your eyes when applying eye cream, so use your ring finger to gently tap it on instead.
With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop five of the best hydrating eye creams on the market right now, from lightweight eye serums to rich, decadent creams (with prices as low as $11!).
1. Tie: The Overall Best Hydrating Eye Cream
As you apply this belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb, you'll experience a delightfully refreshing sensation akin to water bursting on your skin. Its seriously hydrating, yet lightweight formula makes it a solid choice for all skin types, and it also wears beautifully under makeup. Rich in ingredients like squalane, comfrey leaf, oat kernel extract, calendula, and glycerin, it claims to provide up to 26 hours of moisture, while simultaneously promoting smooth, supple skin.
2. Tie: The Overall Best Hydrating Eye Cream
Just as hydrating as the belif eye cream, above, this Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Eye Cream takes things up a notch with its multi-faceted formula, which targets just about every under-eye concern imaginable. In addition to thermal water from the Hungarian Carpathian Valley, it also contains barrier-strengthening ceramides, caffeine for de-puffing, and peptides to promote smooth, firm skin. What more could you want from an eye cream?
3. The Best Hydrating Eye Cream For Dry, Sensitive Skin
Avène is the go-to brand for people with sensitive skin — so if that's you, turn to this extra-gentle eye cream to keep your under-eyes smooth, hydrated, and firm. Like all Avène products, it contains the brand's signature thermal spring water for hydration, as well as other skin-soothers and moisturizers like vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and chamomile. The formula, which purportedly also helps with de-puffing, is hypoallergenic and free of fragrance, soy, parabens, and even gluten. Even reviewers with eczema have reported success with this eye cream, noting that it provided relief from their flare-ups and relieved redness.
4. The Best Hydrating Eye Serum
If you don't love the feeling of lotions and creams, consider an eye serum instead. Another fragrance-free, sensitive skin-friendly choice, Vichy Mineral 89 Eyes Serum contains a blend of hyaluronic acid, mineral-rich volcanic water, and caffeine for hydration and de-puffing. The lightweight, gel-like serum absorbs instantly and feels like nothing on skin, offering immediate smoothing and brightening effects upon application. It doesn't leave behind any sticky or greasy finish, so it's a great choice for wearing underneath makeup, too.
5. The Best "Natural" Hydrating Eye Cream
Eye creams and "clean" beauty products both tend to be exorbitantly priced — which is what makes this Nourish Organic eye cream such a rare find. It has an extremely fair, $17 price tag and is made almost entirely of naturally derived ingredients (such as aloe, shea butter, and argan, rosehip, and avocado oils), many of which are certified organic. It's also NSF-certified, vegan, cruelty-free, and free of most common, chemical irritants (including propylene glycol and synthetic fragrance), so it's another choice that's safe for sensitive skin. And the brand is part of One Percent for the Planet, whose members give (at least) 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes.