Eye creams

Eye cream buying guide

Last updated: February 2013

Getting started

Last time we tested over-the-counter eye creams wefound several worth trying. Just don't expect them to turn the clock back to your dewy-skinned youth.

  • Results varied. Each product reduced wrinkle length or depth for at least some people and did nothing for others. A moisturizer with no antiwrinkle claims that we used as a control reduced wrinkles about as well as several high-rated creams did.
  • Changes were minor. Even among the best-performing products, wrinkle reduction around the eyes was generally pretty subtle. After six weeks of daily use, none came close to eliminating wrinkles.
  • Price predicts nothing. The priciest cream tested was no better than cheaper drugstore brands.

A wrinkle in time

Our tests, done at an outside lab, included 107 people, 94 of them women. Each person used two creams, one on each side of the face around the eyes, morning and night for six weeks. We masked package labels.

We took a high-resolution digital photograph of each participant's eye area before the test, one hour after the first application, and after six weeks of use. Participants also filled out questionnaires. Trained sensory testers evaluated visible wrinkles in the before-and-after photos without knowing which was which.

What we found

A few products smoothed wrinkles somewhat better than the rest. Most products at least made skin feel soft, participants found.

There are a few sure ways to minimize wrinkles: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses when outdoors; never climb into a tanning bed; and don't smoke.

7 ways to prevent eye wrinkles

Some people are genetically lucky and have skin that's somewhat less prone to age-related wrinkling. But if you like to bake in the sun, smoke, or engage in other skin-damaging activities, even the strongest genes can't protect you. And as skin ages, it becomes thinner and less resilient. Ultraviolet light damages collagen and causes fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention contributing to skin cancer. Here's how to help prevent those lines or keep them from getting deeper.

  • Use a daily facial moisturizer with at least 30 SPF to limit ongoing sun damage. Sorry! As far as we know, no formal studies show that using antiwrinkle eye creams at a young age can prevent lines from forming in the first place.)
  • Shield your face with a hat and sunglasses when you're outdoors. the bigger the shades, the better.
  • Never get into a tanning bed. those UV rays can be even more intense than the sun's.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Try not to rub your eyes. treat allergies so you're not itchy and tempted to rub.
  • Sleep on your back. Mashing your face into the pillow can cause lines to form over time.
  • Get an annual eye exam. if you can't see clearly, you're likely to squint, which can create wrinkles.

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