The Best Eyelid Moisturizers

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Whether your face tends to run dry, oily, or somewhere in between, when it comes to treating the skin around your eyes, the simpler the moisturizer, the better. "Skin around the eyes is thin, sensitive, and prone to irritation, dryness, and potential allergic reactions," says Dr. Tamara Lazic Strugar, who spoke to Bustle for this article. While this certainly applies your nightly under-eye creams, you have to be even more careful with what you put on your eyes. This is why it's important to be informed about the best eyelid moisturizers before slathering any old cream on your lids.

What to put on dry eyelids:

When shopping for an eyelid cream, a formula that contains gentle ingredients that won't cause irritation is a must. "When looking at ingredient lists, avoidance of harsh chemicals which can potentially cause irritation or allergies is a priority, especially around the eyes," advises Dr. Strugar. While this varies individually (as in a product your bestie swears by might contain an ingredient your skin reacts poorly to), there are some overarching offenders Dr. Strugar suggests everyone avoid. "I always recommend products that are formulated without irritants such as drying alcohol, which often causes stinging, fragrances, dyes, and formaldehyde," she says. "Another ingredient to definitely avoid is methylisothiazolinone," she adds, explaining, "[It] is a strong allergen, and has been banned in Europe already in leave-on products, but not in the U.S."

How to moisturize your eyelids:

When it comes to application, the rules are similar to your usual eye creams. Dr. Strugar says you should apply a small amount of the product to the tip of your ring finger and dab it onto your eyelids morning and night. To keep your eyelids healthy and irritation-free, Dr. Strugar recommends moisturizing twice daily, avoiding hot showers, and using a humidifier at night to help put moisture back into the air.

Ahead, you'll find the best moisturizers for your eyelids, including one of Dr. Strugar's recommendations.


Expert’s Pick

This soothing gel-cream from La Roche-Posay comes recommended by Dr. Strugar, who has teamed up with the brand. "Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream is tested for extremely sensitive and allergy-prone skin," she says, adding that it can be used on both eyelids and under the eyes because of its gentle formula. The cream includes moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, squalane, and shea butter, as well as soothing ingredients like niacinamide, thermal spring water, and neurosensine. In addition to being free of preservatives, parabens, fragrance, and alcohol, the cream is packaged in an air-tight pump bottle to keep out contaminants. Like all skin care products, it's still important to check the ingredients list to make sure it's free of anything you're allergic to, as some Amazon users did report irritation. Still, many others note it's their go-to eye cream.

Relevant review: “I waited till I finished the bottle to write this review. When I started using this product my eyelids were burning, red, swollen, and flaky. I had tried a bunch of other things [...] and it seemed like nothing was helping. This honestly soothed my eye lids right away and within a week they were so much better. I still have very slight dryness on one lid but no more pain or redness! I can wear eye make up again. Will definitely buy another bottle soon. Also I used this everyday and it lasted me over 3 months so definitely worth it in my opinion.”


A Soothing Eye Cream Amazon Reviewers Swear By

French pharmacy staple Avène is another brand that's trusted when it comes to developing products that are nonirritating, but still effective. The Soothing Eye Contour Cream is hypoallergenic and free of fragrances, parabens, and soap. This lightweight formula contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate, chamomile to soothe, and a patented form of vitamin E to provide antioxidant protection from free radicals caused by things like air pollution and sunlight. It also contains the brand's signature thermal spring water, which has natural soothing and restorative properties.

Relevant review: “I usually do not leave reviews, but this eye cream has been so amazing, that I have to share it with the world. In one night my eyelids went from fiery hell, to smooth heaven. My very sensitive eyes can get red, painful and burning for no apparent reason, they take weeks to go back to normal, but this cream did it in one night. It’s a keeper!”


An Ointment That Protects & Nourishes Dry Eyelids & Skin

Traditional eye creams aren't the only way to treat dry eyelids. Thicker moisturizers made for sensitive skin, like Vanicream Moisturizing Ointment, work just as well, and in this case, will even save you a few dollars. This particular ointment helps relieve dry, irritated, itchy skin, and it can even be used prior to going outside to protect your lids from cold, harsh weather. Vanicream's formula is free of dyes, fragrance, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, and preservatives, and it's been approved by the National Eczema Association. It also receives approval from Amazon shoppers, with several noting that it works particularly well at relieving eyelid irritation. One fan of the ointment, who says they have chronic eyelid dermatitis, suggests using a Q-tip to apply it on irritated areas to prevent any of the product from actually getting into your eyes.

Relevant review: “I had stinging cracked dry skin on my eyelids [...] This was safe to use and had fast results. A little dab on a Q-tip was all it took. Now I have most of the bottle left, but my eyelids are back to normal. I would order again, except I think the one bottle is a lifetime supply for me.”


A Baby-Safe Moisturizer That Can Be Used On Eyelids, Too

For a cream you can use all over your face and on your eyelids, you want Mustela’s Stelatopia Emollient Baby Face Cream. Safe enough to use on the delicate skin of babies — but great for sensitive-skinned adults, too — this nourishing cream is made with comforting ingredients like sunflower oil and avocado perseose, and made without common irritants like fragrance. Because it’s so gentle, it’s a great option to apply to your (or your baby’s) eyelids if they’re experiencing an eczema flareup or dryness there.

Relevant review: “I am thrilled to have finally found a moisturizer that doesn't irritate my very sensitive skin. I have issues with regular flare-ups of eczema and dermatitis on my face, and especially around my eyes. This is the only product that I've found that doesn't make my face feel like chemical burn. I'm even able to put it on my under eye area and eyelids if I'm careful not to get any in my eyes. It worked well while my skin was very angry and it seems to be working as a preventative measure now that my skin has calmed down. I found that it works better for me than any of the fancy drugstore brands made for hyper sensitive skin, and at a much cheaper price point.”


A Medicated Treatment For Corneal Swelling & Eye Inflammation

If you have corneal edema (aka corneal swelling), talk to your doctor about incorporating MURO 128 ointment into your routine. Sold in a two-pack, this medicated ointment is actually meant to be applied inside your eyelid to provide soothing relief from corneal dystrophies, dry eye syndrome, and other forms of eyelid inflammation. Over 2,500 Amazon reviewers swear by this lubricating ointment, which can even be used on dogs.

Relevant review: “I can't survive without this product. Well that might be an exaggeration but I do use it daily. I had major surgery on my eyelid that causes my eye to swell and be very dry. I put this ointment in every night. I've tried the generic brands and there is no comparison. This is the best.”


Dr. Tamara Lazic Strugar, M.D.

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