Not all eye creams are made the same. Here’s how to choose the best one for your issues.

Picture this: You’ve been staying up late from all the Netflix bingeing and it shows from all the eye bags you’re getting. You slap on some eye cream that’s gotten rave reviews on TikTok, only to find that it doesn’t help reduce those bags at all. What gives?

The key here is to read the fine print: specifically, the ingredients list. No, we’re not asking you to check out which ingredients you might be sensitive to. In fact, the key ingredients in your eye cream actually play a big factor in determining which eye care woes you’d like to solve.

Allow us to elucidate.

If you want to get rid of fine lines…

Fine lines and crow’s feet around the eye area are, unfortunately, where the first signs of ageing appear. Chalk it up to the skin around the eye area being the thinnest. It also doesn’t help that you’re probably tugging and pulling at your eyes more than you should — putting on contact lenses, drawing your eyeliner, and even the act of removing your eye makeup contributes to this.

If you want to alleviate or diminish fine lines around the eye area, you need to pick an eye cream that has retinol and hyaluronic acid in it.

Retinol, as you already know, is a super ingredient perfect for anti-ageing. The Vitamin A derivative helps increase collagen production and cell turnover rate. As for hyaluronic acid, it helps plump skin with hydration, which will help fill out those wrinkles.

If you want to banish dark eye circles…

There are many reasons why you have dark eye circles. It could be hereditary or an underlying health condition — both of which you should probably consult a doctor about. But if your dark eye circles stem from a bad lifestyle and lack of sleep, we might be able to help you out. The best eye cream you need to look out for should contain Vitamin C, niacinamide, liquorice, kojic acid, or retinol.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and having it in your skincare will help protect skin cells from free radicals caused by UV exposure. In eye creams, Vitamin C will hinder melanin production while lightening pigmentation and brown spots. Your dark eye circles will eventually be evened out with a more radiant outlook. We’ve also previously explained in detail how good niacinamide is for your skin, and in eye creams, this hero ingredient will help improve uneven skin tone.

For those who want a plant-derivative option, liquorice is a popular all-natural option to lighten skin that has gone through sun damage. Thanks to the Glabridin compound in liquorice, any eye cream with this ingredient will also have UV-blocking enzymes to protect against future damages. Similarly, kojic acid also helps to lighten sun-damaged skin, as well as age spots and scars.

If you want to reduce puffiness and eye bags…

Are puffy eyes the bane of your existence? Do people always give you a concerned look and ask if you’ve been crying? We’ve got the solution for you. The best eye cream you can get to remedy this problem is one that contains caffeine.

Caffeine, as you already know, is a diuretic, which increases the excretion of water from bodies. Most eye creams that have caffeine in it claims to help “awaken” your eyes, but what it actually does is to relieve water retention from your eyes, a common cause of puffiness. It also helps with certain types of dark eye circles by reducing the build-up of blood under your eyes.

(Featured image credit: Peter Thomas Roth; Hero image credit: Unsplash/ Hadi Safari)

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.