The Most Effective Eye-Tightening Creams Experts Say to Stock up On

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Tightening my under eyes and upper eyelids had never been a concern for me until I hit my mid-twenties. As I started to etch closer to 30, I gradually began to lose fat and collagen around my eyes, causing them to look more hollow, droopy, and tired. I was frequently being asked if I got enough sleep. (Or worse, told I looked exhausted.) But it had nothing to do with sleep. Instead, my fresh, youthful, and plump eyes had been replaced by a permanent baggy look. It was then that I embarked on my search for the best eye-tightening cream.

Before this fateful shift in my skin, I was focused on acne, hyperpigmentationand reversing sun damage. Incorporating an eye-tightening cream was never a priority. I rarely used an under-eye cream, let alone a hyper-focused one.

So, when it came to finding the right solution to tighten my eye area (and address the fine lines that had been cropping up), I tested a plethora of creams, serums, and tools to help slow the signs of aging. To be clear, this was only the beginning. Incorporating hydration, tools such as gua sha, micro-needling and microcurrenthealthy sleep habitsand supplements in conjunction with an eye cream is what I found to be the holy grail of tightening and lifting my eyes. If I strayed away from not combining all these things, I noticed a huge difference in appearance.

Featured image from our interview with Babba Rivera by Belathée Photography.

The Experts on Eye-Tightening Creams

I asked Dr. Nancy Samolitisco-founder of Facileand Kerry Benjaminaesthetician and founder of Stacked Skincarewhy we actually need eye creams, best practices, and their favorites when it comes to tightening the eye area.

Dr. Samolitis explained that the skin around the eyes often shows signs of aging before other areas of the face or body. This is often due to a loss of collagen and elasticity (which is what I was experiencing), leading to a darkened appearance, dull, crepey skin, and fine wrinkles. Some people genetically have excess fat under the eyelid skin and this can also be more pronounced with aging and sun damage, creating the appearance of under-eye “bags.”

What to Look for in an Eye-Tightening Cream

Because the skin around your eyes is far thinner and more delicate than the other skin on your face, Benjamin shared that this area is also prone to dehydration but generally requires lighter moisturizers because of the risk of milia—the tiny, white, difficult-to-remove bumps that can be caused by using rich moisturizers around the eye area.

The Skinny on Eye Serums

She recommended investing in an eye serum loaded with active ingredients. Eye serums are lighter in texture, which means they penetrate the skin and deliver anti-aging ingredients more effectively. They also generally contain a higher concentration of active ingredients than eye creams, which means you’ll see faster results.

Tips for Use and Application

Both Dr. Samolitis and Benajmin emphasized starting sooner than later when it comes to preventive treatments. Incorporating a tightening cream in your mid-20s could save you from needing intensive treatments in the future. As far as the frequency of use, twice a day is recommended unless there is an active ingredient such as retinol that could cause irritation.

But what is the best way to actually apply eye cream? The rationale behind using your pinky finger or ring finger to apply eye cream is due to the importance of a gentle tapping motion rather than pulling on the skin, explains Dr. Samolitis. And Benjamin agrees. If you pull or tug when applying eye cream it can lead to bagginess and sagginess.

Eye-Tightening Treatments

Beyond eye creams, Dr. Samolitis often uses in-office medical treatments like micro-needling, laser resurfacing, and PRP treatments that can improve the under-eye skin by repairing sun-damaged cells and producing new collagen to thicken the delicate tissue.

Benjamin suggests at-home tools to pair with their cream or serum such as a derma roller to help stimulate collagen and plump the skin along with an ice roller to give you a temporary tightening effect while reducing puffiness.

The Best Eye-Tightening Creams

Best Overall: Peter Thomas Roth Instant Firmx Eye

Why We Love It: This is eye tightening cream is so good that it took TikTok by storm. I was skeptical at first but it actually works! It’s like having an IRL filter for your eyes. The cult-favorite product instantly, within three minutes or less, helps tighten, firm, and smooth the look of the eye area, temporarily minimizing the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines, deep wrinkles, and puffiness. The formula also includes Three skin-tightening silicates and seaweed extract that provide an instant temporary tightening and firming effect which aids in giving that temporary tightened look.

  • Size: 3.4 fl oz
  • Benefits: Firms, soothes, smoothes
  • Key Ingredients: Antioxidants, Panthenol, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E

Best for Layering With Makeup: Westmore 60-Second Eye Effects

Camille’s review: I ordered Westmore 60-Second Eye Effects after being served a very convincing Instagram ad that showed a visible erasing of a woman’s undereye lines. Was it too good to be true? Of course, I had to find out. Here’s the real-life report: this is a good eye cream that wears very smoothly under makeup. Did it provide a slight tightening effect of the skin? Yes. Did it erase the fine lines around my eye? Not that I can tell. I do reach of this product when I have just a little more time to get ready since I like the little extra something… but it’s not a daily staple for me.

  • Size: 0.33 fl oz
  • Benefits: Firms lines and reduces puffiness
  • Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate

Best With Vitamin C: Facile Destress Calming Serum

Why We Love It: Not every product that is good for the eye area is marketed as an eye cream! The Facile Destress Calming Serum has ingredients that help to calm sensitive skin and protect the face and eyelid skin from damaging elements in the environment. I recommend mixing it with a drop of Dew You to maximize hydration. The dermatologist-formulated serum will give your eyes the drink of water it needs. Bonus: it doubles as a brow conditioner! — Dr. Nancy Samolitis

  • Size: 30 ml
  • Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, builds collagen, protects
  • Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, Ashwagandha Root Extract, Phytosphingosine

Best Medical-Grade: Sente Illuminé Eye Cream

Why We Love It: This eye cream contains heparin sulfate analogs to repair skin, peptides to firm wrinkles, and provides instant gratification with light-reflecting particles. — Dr. Nancy Samolitis

  • Size: 15 ml
  • Benefits: Firms, repairs, calms
  • Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, Jojoba, Peptides

Best for Dark Circles: Stacked Skincare Eye Complex

Why We Love It: The Firming Eye Complex is a lightweight serum packed with anti-aging actives, including de-puffing caffeine, firming peptides, and astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant that supports skin repair. It helps give your skin a tighter look in just five minutes while helping to minimize the look of fine lines, under-eye darkness, and puffiness. — Kerry Benjamin

  • Size: 15 ml
  • Benefits: Reduces the appearance of fine lines, crows feet, and dark circles
  • Key Ingredients: Astaxanthin, Peptide Blend, Chrysin Complex

Best Budget: Naturium Multi-Peptide Eye Cream

Why We Love It: I love this eye cream because at only $16 it gives you the best bang for your buck. Packed with vegan squalene and a multi-peptide formula to help moisturize, lift and prevent wrinkles, this is a greater starter eye cream for someone in their twenties.

  • Size: 15 ml
  • Benefits: Hydrates and smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Key Ingredients: Multi-Peptide Blend, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid

Best for Puffiness: Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

Why We Love It: This product is lightweight and penetrates easily into the skin with visible tightening results. Key benefits of this product include a decrease in puffiness, dark circles, and the appearance of crow’s feet. — Kerry Benjamin

  • Size: 20 ml
  • Benefits: Tightens eye contour and fades dark circles
  • Key Ingredients: Antioxidant Lipochroman, Marine Algae Peptides, Chromabright

Best Hydrating: Jordan Samuel Skin The Performance Eye Gel

Why We Love It: This product is loaded with key ingredients that boost hydration into the skin leaving it soft and supple. With ingredients such as green tea, caffeine, peptides, and golden chamomile, skin looks and feels hydrated and radiant. — Kerry Benjamin

  • Size: 30 ml
  • Benefits: Plumps, hydrates, boosts radiance
  • Key Ingredients: Green Tea Extract, Caffeine, Glycerin

Best for Fine Lines: Sonya Dakar Jade Energy Eye Balm

Why We Love It: The first time I tried this eye balm I saw results immediately. My “tired” eyes became lifted, brighter and glowing. This energizing eye balm infuses the eye area with revitalizing green coffee oil, hemp seed oil rich in omega 3 and 6, and antioxidant-rich kahai oil, leaving tired eyes brighter and energized. It restores your eye’s youthful look, decreases puffiness and fine lines. Use daily to help prevent moisture loss, decrease the risk of environmental damage, and increase brightness and luminosity.

  • Size: 0.5 oz
  • Benefits: Brightens, decreases puffiness, and reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • Key Ingredients: Omega 3 and 6, and Vitamin E

Best for Sagging Skin: Thrive Causemetics Defying Gravity Eye Lifting Cream

Why We Love It: This product offers a nice creamy texture that feels great on the skin. It delivers instant hydration while simultaneously lifting, tightening, and brightening the skin. Full disclosure, I love Thrive products and almost exclusively use their makeup sticks. — Kerry Benjamin

  • Size: 30 ml
  • Benefits: Plumps, hydrates, boosts radiance
  • Key Ingredients: Green Tea Extract, Caffeine, Glycerin

Best Serum-Balm: Peace Out Retinol Eye Stick with Encapsulated Retinol & Peptides

Why We Love It: I love that it has retinol, and it comes in a stick for easy application. It’s a quality product at a great price and I have seen amazing results with firming the under-eye area. — Kerry Benjamin

  • Size: 0.14 oz
  • Benefits: Brightens skin around the eyes, improves skin texture and the look of fine lines and dark spots
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Peptides, and Bakuchiol

Best With Retinol: Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Line Erasing Eye Cream

Why We Love It: This eye cream is a more intense treatment as it contains an encapsulated retinol. If you are looking for major wrinkle reduction in addition to tightening and brightening- it’s the perfect combo. The Encapsulated retinol absorbs 5x deeper with an 8-hour continuous release mixed with peptides and niacinamide to help smooth, brighten, and de-puff while keeping the delicate eye area hydrated.

  • Size: 0.5 oz
  • Benefits: Smooths, brightens, and de-puffs around the eye area
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Peptides, and Niacinamide

Best Celebrity Brand: Kora Organics Berry Bright Vitamin C Eye Cream

Why We Love It: Certified 100% organic with a 5.5% active blend of stabilized vitamin C and natural sources of vitamin C to target the appearance of aging for firmer, more youthful-looking skin around the delicate eye area. I also love the added antioxidants such as kangaroo paw Flower, kakadu plum, cloudberry, red ginseng and quinoa that give you an instant radiance boost while reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles. Plus it smells amazing! (And you know if Miranda Kerr swears by it, it has to be good.)

  • Size: 0.5 oz
  • Benefits: Firms, de-puffs, and brightens dark circles
  • Key Ingredients: Kangaroo Paw Flower, Stabilized Vitamin C, Kakadu Plum, Cloudberry, Red Ginseng and Quinoa Peptide


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