The 11 best eye creams for wrinkles that'll hydrate and smooth your peepers

Our beauty editor's pick of the best eye creams for wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet

a selection of the best eye creams for wrinkles including Clinique, Shiseido, Kate Somerville, La Roche-Posay, Paula's Choice and Murad
(Image credit: Future)

The best eye creams for wrinkles will tackle fine lines and crow’s feet, while caring for the delicate skin around the eye. 

Picking the best eye cream is important because the skin here is three times thinner than the rest of the face, and as collagen levels start to decline in our mid-twenties, lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles can form. Given that the eyes define our expression, this area is more susceptible to the repetitive movements we make. “Dynamic wrinkles around the eyes form when you move, such as smiling, which is when you can see crow’s feet,” explains Dr Sonia Khorana, a cosmetic doctor and GP with a special interest in dermatology. “These dynamic wrinkles can become static wrinkles over time due to the natural aging process and environmental factors, like sun exposure.”

Wondering is eye cream necessary? While it may seem like just another step, great skincare routines often include eye cream. Why? Because they've has been specifically formulated to treat delicate areas and, unlike the best face moisturizers, contain gentle concentrations of ingredients in a lightweight texture that won’t cause puffiness. The trickier part is finding the perfect formula so we've narrowed down the best eye creams for wrinkles – every product here is handpicked and guaranteed to plump and hydrate skin.

How we tested the best eye creams for wrinkles

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

a selection of the best eye cream for wrinkles tested by our Beauty Editor

A selection of the eye creams tested by our beauty editor

(Image credit: Stephanie Maylor)

I have a natural advantage when it comes to testing the best eye cream for wrinkles because I have a plethora of lines around my eyes, from general crepiness to crinkly crow’s feet. Needless to say, I’m looking for creams that actually make a difference to the appearance of wrinkles (puffiness and dark circles would be nice, too), rather than just offering a temporary plumping effect with a fleeting surge of moisture. 

I tested the creams for weeks, assessing the effect each one had on fine lines, wrinkles, and overall firmness of the eye area. Some of these creams can be used am and pm, others (owing to their sun-sensitive ingredients) only at night. This means I also paid close attention to the texture and feel of the product - would it sit on my skin and get lost in my pillow at night, or pill under makeup in the morning? Ingredients like retinol, peptides, and niacinamide were top of my eye cream wishlist, as well as a consideration of price points and value for money

The best eye cream for wrinkles, chosen by our beauty team

Advanced Night Repair Supercharged Gel Eye Cream

(Image credit: Estée Lauder)

1. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Supercharged Gel Eye Cream

Best eye cream for wrinkles overall

Specifications

RRP: $72/£52
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Tripeptide-32, Hyaluronic Acid
Texture: Water-gel

Reasons to buy

+
Luxurious, refreshing texture
+
72-hour hydration
+
Targets dark circles and puffiness, as well as wrinkles
+
Dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested

Reasons to avoid

-
A little expensive

You've probably heard of Estée Lauder's iconic Advanced Night Repair serum – you may well already use it – and this little pot of gold is powered by the same exclusive peptide (Tripeptide-32), which supports the skin’s circadian rhythm, protecting by day and repairing at night. It's so advanced, the technology is patented until 2033. 

Alongside this power peptide, you've got hyaluronic acid, which delivers a 72-hour skin-drenching effect. This combination targets any eye concern you may have, from dark circles and puffiness to crow's feet and protection against environmental aggressors. After days of not sleeping following a delightful double wisdom tooth extraction, this eye cream saved me from looking like a total zombie. In fact, my eyes looked brighter and less fatigued after just a few days, which is a real testament to this cream.

It's designed to be used both day and night, which, as somebody with very little dressing table real estate, is very appealing. Happily, the silky gel-cream consistency is so light and fast-absorbing it plays really nicely with makeup, never pilling under foundation.

La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Eye Serum

(Image credit: La Roche-Posay)

2. La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Eye Serum

The best eye cream to wake up tired eyes

Specifications

RRP: $33.99/£32
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5, Niacinamide, Caffeine
Texture: Silky serum

Reasons to buy

+
Cooling massaging applicator
+
Instantly refreshes tired eyes
+
Suitable for sensitive skin

Reasons to avoid

-
Can leave a film if over-applied

Formulated with sensitive skin in mind, this serum is fragrance-free and tested under ophthalmological control. Hydration is the name of the game here. Hyaluronic acid re-plumps fine dehydration lines almost instantly, whilst vitamin B5 helps to bolster the skin barrier function just one hour after application. A healthy skin barrier means your skin is better able to hold on to moisture so the eye contour stays nice and plump. 

4% Niacinamide and caffeine make the serum doubly effective against eye bags, improving dark circles and decongesting puffy eyes. The de-puffing results are enhanced by a steel ball applicator, which is used to massage the serum around the eye. It's immediately cooling and the act of massaging the eye will go a little way to taking down trapped fluid under the eye. Go easy on how much you squeeze out around the eye – I found that applying too much left a slight film across my skin. Not a problem before bed, but it doesn't sit very nicely under makeup. My skin definitely feels a little firmer since using this and looks less like I'm running on no sleep. 

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum, best eye creams for wrinkles

(Image credit: murad)

3. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum

The best premium eye cream for wrinkles

Specifications

RRP: $89/£82
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Retinol, Retinyl Propionate, Cotton Wool Grass Extract, Marine Kelp Complex
Texture: Lightweight serum

Reasons to buy

+
Helps tone down crow’s feet
+
Evens skin tone
+
Firms
+
Hygienic pump dispenser

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Murad's retinol eye serum may be one of the pricier picks in our edit, but there's a lot to justify the hefty price tag here. The benefits of retinol eye cream for slowing down the aging process are well-documented - it stimulates collagen and elastin production leading to firmer, more evenly toned skin. However, the potential side effects are also widely publicized; if used at too high a concentration, too soon, retinol can lead to dryness and redness, neither of which is appealing for the delicate skin around the eye. 

Murad's retinol complex - a fast-acting retinoid, time-released retinol, and retinol booster - works in synergy to increase its efficacy and also minimize any potential irritation. Hydrating cotton wool grass extract and a firming marine kelp complex are other key components that help to soften lines.

Thanks to its gel-like texture, a little goes a long way here, so this pump bottle will last you for ages. The teeniest drop spread around my eyes effortlessly and melted into my skin well. Because of the combination of three retinols, this should only be used in the evening, but it soaks in so well that you can hit the hay soon after without worrying about smearing that spendy serum over your pillowcase. I did experience a mild tingling sensation the first couple of days of applying the eye cream, but it wasn't uncomfortable in the slightest, and my skin seemed to acclimate within a few days of use. I think my eyes do look fresher. They are not so puffy (my current bugbear) and the lines don't glare back at me quite so much in the mirror. 

Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate

(Image credit: Shiseido)

4. Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate

The best multi-purpose eye cream for wrinkles

Specifications

RRP: $70/£52
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: β-Glucan, Fermented Roselle Extract, Heart Leaf Extract, Jujuba Fruit Extract
Texture: Silky serum

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-faceted formula that also brightens dark circles
+
Optimizes lash growth
+
Can be used on the eyelid too

Reasons to avoid

-
None, we love this!

Given the fact that my eye issues are not limited to wrinkles, I appreciate a product that tackles multiple concerns at once. Shiseido Eye Concentrate is the 'wash & go' of eye creams, addressing dark circles, puffiness, dry skin, fine lines, and even damaged eyelashes. The silky serum is so light, it can be applied all over the eye, including across the eyelid. 

20 years of research have gone into studying microcirculation and skin immunity to create this formula. The former is crucial to dispelling dark circles and puffiness. The latter helps make the skin more resilient against signs of aging so the eye area looks stronger, radiant, and more awake. The fruits of this labor are clear to see. In clinical testing, dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines were visibly diminished after just one week. It's been about the same amount of time for me and I can definitely say my wrinkles and eye bags look less obvious.

Olay Niacinamide 24 + Vitamin E Eye Cream

(Image credit: Olay)

5. Olay Niacinamide 24 + Vitamin E Eye Cream

The best eye cream for smoother skin

Specifications

RRP: $45/£38
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Niacinamide, Vitamin E
Texture: Cream

Reasons to buy

+
Luxurious, creamy texture
+
Smoothing effect
+
Deeply hydrating

Reasons to avoid

-
Inner lid got stuck on the pot, which was fiddly to remove

Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3, revered for its ability to fade hyperpigmentation, and in this case, dark circles. It's also been shown to make significant improvements to fine lines and wrinkles. Olay has plenty of know-how when it comes to niacinamide, with over 25 years’ of expertise in championing this ingredient in its products, so I expected big things from this eye cream. 

In tandem with niacinamide is vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin against the damage caused by free radicals - nasty skin-aging molecules that develop from environmental aggressors like UV exposure, pollution, and smoking. It also happens to be very hydrating. If you see little lines cropping up around the eye when your skin feels a little parched, this is going to sort you out. Olay says the eye area should appear visibly smoother and renewed after 14 days. It certainly has a nice, quenching texture, and melts around the eye, which I found offered some superficial wrinkle-smoothing. 

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

(Image credit: SkinCeuticals)

6. SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

The best eye cream for mature skin

Specifications

RRP: $105/£‎96
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Blueberry Extract, Proxylane
Texture: Lightweight cream

Reasons to buy

+
Instant optical brighteners
+
Tackles crows’ feet, dark circles and puffiness
+
Quick to absorb

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Yes, this is very expensive for a small pot of eye cream, but it's got the goods to back it up. Like many of the best eye creams for wrinkles on this list, it addresses multiple aging concerns, from dark circles and puffiness to lines and crow's feet. The cream tackles these outward symptoms through the prism of glycation - when excess sugar molecules bind to collagen and elastin fibers. The formula is enriched with blueberry extract and proxylane to protect collagen and elastin fibers from damage so crow's feet look softer, and dark circles less visible. 

If you find your eyes look tired, puffy, and a little bit crinkly, this is a dream cream. There are optical diffusers that subtly perk up under-eye shadows within seconds, and the rich texture immediately plumps out little wrinkles around the eyes. Although the cream is thicker and more solid than others on this list, it melts into the skin and disappears with an even texture that makes an ideal base for makeup. I find my eyes look well-rested whenever I use this. 

Clinique Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream

(Image credit: Clinique)

7. Clinique Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream

The best hydrating eye cream for wrinkles

Specifications

RRP: $57/£48
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: CL1870 Peptide Complex, Sigesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Hyaluronic Acid
Texture: Whipped cream

Reasons to buy

+
Softens fine lines
+
Hydrates dry skin 
+
Non-greasy
+
Fragrance-free 

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too thick for some 

This smart eye cream targets fine lines and dry eyes with two superstar ingredients. First up, peptides. These messaging molecules ‘talk’ to skin cells and instruct them to go into repair mode, boosting collagen to target multiple issues such as crow’s feet, puffiness, and dark circles.

Next up is hyaluronic acid. As we get older our skin becomes drier, so an eye cream with hyaluronic acid is key to locking in moisture and plumping up the skin, which in turn decreases wrinkle depth. Refreshing and almost cooling to apply with a luxurious feel, this cream may be too heavy for some but it does sink in quickly and doesn't flake or pill under makeup. It's also used day and night so you don't have to splurge on a separate eye cream for your skincare night routine. The real wrinkle-reducing results are likely to show up after a good few weeks' use, and so far my delicate eye-area skin definitely seems smoother and less fragile.

Kate Somerville Kateceuticals Lifting Eye Cream

(Image credit: Kate Somerville)

8. Kate Somerville Kateceuticals Lifting Eye Cream

The best clinical-grade eye cream

Specifications

RRP: $140/£110
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Dipeptide Diaminobutroyl benzylamide diacetate, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Squalane
Texture: Melting cream

Reasons to buy

+
Relaxes muscle movement
+
Tackles dark circles, crow's feet, and puffiness
+
Lightweight texture
+
Clinical-grade formula

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive

Name any ingredient that's effective on wrinkles and this cream probably includes it. Not surprising since this Lifting Eye Cream has been formulated to mimic the real results achieved by the Kate Somerville team at the superstar esthetician's Los Angeles clinic. 

The before and after shots are certainly impressive. The formula is championed by palmitoyl tripeptide-5 (bit of a mouthful), which supports collagen production to boost skin elasticity, and dipeptide diaminobutroyl benzylamide diacetate (even more of a mouthful), which imitates clinical wrinkle relaxation to help diminish the look of dynamic wrinkles, like crow's feet. 

The pump keeps the active ingredients fresh and potent, dispensing just the right amount to cover the eye area, which is a very good thing. Because let's be honest, this is crazy expensive. But a little goes a long way and one bottle should last a while. 

Guerlain Double R Renew & Repair Eye Serum

(Image credit: Guerlain)

9. Guerlain Abeille Royale Double R Renew & Repair Eye Serum

Best eye cream for wrinkles and dark circles

Specifications

RRP: $159/£102
Size: 0.67 fl oz./20ml
Key ingredients: Tensing Polyfermented Honeys, White Honey, Hyaluronic Acid
Texture: Serum

Reasons to buy

+
Formulated with 95% naturally-derived ingredients
+
Reduces wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles
+
Tightening effect

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive

We can't promise a full night's sleep, but this serum tries its darndest to make you look as if you've had one. A true sweet treat for the eyes, the dual serum champions the youth-enhancing effects of honey to a) boost radiance and correct dark circles, and b) lift, re-sculpt, and smooth the eye contour area. It even helps to strengthen eyelashes, making them appear denser at the root. 

For me, it was like a shot of espresso in eye serum form, immediately reviving my tired eyes, making everything look brighter, and for the first time in I-can't-remember-when, somewhat alive. You apply it across the entire eye area, which includes the eye contour, eyelids, and even eyelashes, in the morning and in the evening. After a few days, I noticed my dark circles looked clearer, and my under-eyes smoother and less swollen. Tick. Tick. Tensing polyfermented honey delivers a tightening action on wrinkles that I'm yet to see in the mirror but I have every faith that this is going to continue to make my crinkly eyes look less haggard. 

Paula's Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream

(Image credit: Paula's Choice)

10. Paula's Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream

Best firming eye cream

Specifications

RRP: $49/£45
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Ceramides, Retinol (Vitamin A), Vitamin C
Texture: Rich cream

Reasons to buy

+
Addresses multiple signs of ageing
+
Improves skin texture
+
Strengthens skin

Reasons to avoid

-
May pill if over-applied

If you want to tackle deep wrinkles around the eye, go in with all guns blazing – that means retinol. This wonder ingredient absorbs deep into the skin and works at a cellular level to increase elastin and collagen production, strengthen the delicate skin around the eye and smooth out wrinkles. This eye cream's secret sauce also includes ceramides, which make up the skin's outer layers and helps it hold on to water, as well as four types of vitamin C to brighten the eye area. 

Formulated with a modest amount of vitamin A (0.01% retinol to be precise), it's a good entryway into retinol, and shouldn't cause irritation around the eyes. Still, if you have sensitive skin, it's a good idea to start slowly. Use it once a week for the first week, twice for the second, and so on, upping the frequency as long as your skin is happy. My skin took to it really well, and my eye contour does feel a little tighter, with my fine lines and wrinkles softeing over time.

Tatcha The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream

(Image credit: Tatcha)

11. Tatcha The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream

Best hydrating eye cream for wrinkles

Specifications

RRP: $78/£70
Size: 0.5 fl oz./15ml
Key ingredients: Japanese White Peony Extract, Silk Extract, Hadasei-3 Complex
Texture: Melting cream

Reasons to buy

+
Blurs the look of lines
+
Boosts radiances
+
Deeply moisturizing

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If your eyes are crying out for some moisture, the Silky Peony Eye Cream is like a tall drink of water. Silk protein creates a veil of moisture on the skin, whilst Japanese white peony works behind the scenes, supporting the skin's barrier function to help hold on to hydration in the long term. Together they mean that little dehydration lines around the eye contour look better almost instantly. 

This is one of the more 'solid' eye creams on our shortlist, and yet, once it makes contact with your skin it melts effortlessly. It also has the most beautiful soft, floral scent. The whole application feels like a treat for the senses. It was one of my favorites to apply in the morning. It livened up my tired eyes in a sweep, helping to blur away lines, and smoothed the skin so it was perfectly primed for makeup. If I could smother myself in this from top to toe, I absolutely would. 


What is best for wrinkles around the eyes?

Finding the best eye cream for wrinkles involves research and strategy. First of all, it's important to weigh up the packaging. Whilst many eye creams come in jars, they are less hygienic than tubes, given that you need to repeatedly dip your finger into the cream. Not only this but choosing a tube or air-tight pump bottle also reduces exposure to air, which could cause certain ingredients to deteriorate.

The next thing to consider is the ingredients list. Look for soothing skincare ingredients that hydrate and strengthen the skin's natural barrier. Not only will this soften the appearance of existing fine lines, but also make skin less susceptible to developing further wrinkles in the future. Here are a few ingredients to look out for, as recommended by Dr Sophie Shotter, award-winning aesthetic doctor and founder of Illuminate Skin Clinic.

  • Retinol: “This is the anti-aging powerhouse responsible for stimulating the fibroblasts to produce more of the skin’s essential proteins, resulting in firmer, smoother skin.”
  • Vitamin C: “Vitamin C is essential for collagen production within the skin: it is impossible for your skin to make collagen without Vitamin C, which is why a topical eye cream containing this ingredient is very helpful.”
  • Ceramides: “Dehydrated or dry skin can make wrinkles appear deeper. Ceramides work to lock moisture into the skin, plumping it up and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
  • Hyaluronic Acid: “A powerful skin hydrator, this also helps to activate the fibroblast cells to produce more endogenous hyaluronic acid as well as collagen.”

Can eye cream get rid of wrinkles?

If you're expecting miracles from your eye cream, it might be time to lower your expectations. "No skincare product can magically erase deep-etched wrinkles," says Heather Wish, Paula’s Choice UK Education Manager, "but what a great eye cream product can do is hydrate, nourish, and smooth skin texture, diminish the look of fine lines, brighten, ease puffiness, and support skin's underlying structure." 

"Products that utilize a mixture of antioxidants (green tea, vitamin C, licorice), skin-repairing ingredients (retinol, peptides, niacinamide) and skin-replenishing ingredients (ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin), plus sunscreen will go a long way to keep your skin looking youthful," she says. 

The most important takeaway, Wish stresses, is to protect your skin. "Everything you’re doing to take care of your skin won’t matter if you let the sun’s rays undo it. Sunscreen is the number one anti-wrinkle product that most people neglect - you may not see the repercussions now, but you will later." Most sunscreens are absolutely fine to apply around the eye but as the skin here is more delicate, mineral formulas, made with zinc or titanium dioxide, are usually the best sunscreens for sensitive skin, and won't sting your eyes. 

How to apply eye cream

When it comes to smoothing out wrinkles around the eye, half the battle is how you apply your cream. "The most important thing is to make sure you have a light touch so that you don’t pull or tug at the skin," explains Wish. "If you see your skin move, you’re causing it to sag sooner, which is why applying eye creams gently is so crucial for the delicate eye area skin." 

"A lot of people recommend using your ring finger because it naturally exerts less pressure, but it really doesn’t matter, as long as you do a gentle patting motion instead of aggressively rubbing," she says. Apply a grain of rice-sized amount for both eyes after your facial serum, and before moisturizer.