10 Preventative Eye Creams That Are *Extra* Strategic Once You Hit Your 40s

If you deal with puffiness, fine lines, or dark circles, it's high time you add an eye cream into your skincare routine. Eye cream is a good thing to start using at any age, but it becomes especially important once you hit your 40s.

“Collagen production steadily declines starting in our 30s, but by the time we’re in our 40s, the signs of the collagen loss are more visibly apparent,” says triple board-certified dermatologist Mamina Turegano, MD, FAAD. “The first area where signs of aging are often observed is around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest and most delicate, so signs of dehydration and loss of collagen show up as crepey skin with wrinkles earlier than other parts of the face.”

What kind of eye cream should I choose?

For this reason, it’s particularly important to treat the skin around your eyes with an eye cream. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAADfounder of Dr. Loretta skincare and a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist with over 40 years of experience, recommends looking for an eye cream you can apply all around the eye area, not just to the under-eye area. 

As far as texture goes, you can choose a cream based on your personal preference. If you wear makeup during the day, Ciraldo says to opt for a quick-drying gel to avoid feeling tempted to skip your eye cream in the morning.

What ingredients should I look for in an eye cream?

Look for ingredients proven to help build collagen, decrease puffiness and dark circles, and add moisture to the skin. Ciraldo and Turegano recommend looking for ingredients like peptides, antioxidants, vitamin C, ceramides, squalane, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. Keep reading to see Ciraldo and Turegano's recommendations for the best eye creams to start using in your 40s (or before!).

The 11 best eye creams for people in their 40s:

1. Best Overall: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

"[This] contains peptides, antioxidants/flavonoids, caffeine, and optical diffusers (titanium dioxide) to diminish dark circles. [It also] contains Proxylane (supports glycosaminoglycan synthesis) and peptides to help with wrinkles and crepey skin." — Turegano

Customer Review: "I've repurchased this twice. I use it a.m. and p.m. and notice it helps keep my under eye area hydrated and less puffy. I also see a visible difference if I don't use it. Wears well under makeup too."

Pros: Helps dark circles, reduces the appearance of fine lines, hydrates

Cons: Pricey

2. Versed Smooth Landing Advanced Retinoid Eye Balm

"It contains granactive retinoid, which is a safer, less irritating retinoid to soften the appearance of crow's feet. I love that it also has shiitake mushroom extract to strengthen the moisture barrier and nourishing antioxidants like vitamin E and black currant oil." — Turegano

Customer Review: "I've been using this for almost three weeks, and I noticed a difference in the first week. My crow's feet are visibly diminished, and you use so little of the product each time." 

Pros: Nonirritating, moisturizing

Cons: Some might not like the balm-like texture

3. Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

"Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel has been proven in instrumental testing to increase skin's elasticity 44% after four weeks of twice-a-day application in women with an average age of 45. In consumer perception testing, 100% of consumers said it works well under their eye makeup." — Ciraldo

Customer Review: "As soon as I apply it, any puffiness disappears. Over time, my under eyes don't look as dark. It has some amazing ingredients to help with puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines. Lots of antioxidants to protect the skin from free radical damage as well. Great product that's worth the price."

Cons: Not as hydrating as some other formulas

4. Biopelle Emepelle Eye Cream 

"This is one of my favorite eye creams to moisturize and decrease the appearance of lines. This has a nice balance of mango seed butter, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E to hydrate and moisturize your skin. [It] contains caffeine to de-puff and help with dark circles and vitamin C and peptides to build collagen. The main feature is a cool and innovative ingredient: a patented MEP Technology that addresses the signs of aging brought on by the loss of estrogen without any additive hormones." — Turegano

Customer Review: "I’ve been using this eye cream for two weeks now. I noticed my eyes don’t look so tired. I can feel it working after I put it on. It absorbs into my skin without any sticky feeling. I like that a little goes a long way. I just used a pea size for both eyes."

Pros: De-puffs, decreases the appearance of fine lines, addresses hormonal changes

Cons: Pricey

5. The Ordinary Caffeine 5% + ECGC Depuffing Eye Serum

"The Ordinary Caffeine Solution at $9 promises to help under-eye puffiness, so it is definitely a good alternative for budget-conscious women. Give it a month and see if it works for you." — Ciraldo

Customer Review: "I love this product so much. It gets rid of all my dark circles and puffiness and makes me look so awake. It’s fast acting." 

Pros: De-puffs, helps dark circles

Cons: Need to pair with moisturizer

6. Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment

"Niacinamide, tetrapeptide-30, antioxidants, green tea extract, chrysin, and optical diffusers brighten dark circles. [It] contains TriHex Technology—Alastin’s blend of active peptides—to produce healthy collagen and elastin." — Turegano

Customer Review: "I've used this product for years. I feel like my eyes stopped aging the minute I started using it. It also does a good job of evening skin tone and minimizing dark circles. Worth the investment."

Pros: Helps dark circles, de-puffs, adds radiance

Cons: Pricey

7. Neocutis Lumière Firm Illuminating and Tightening Eye Cream

"[This eye cream] uses caffeine, antioxidants, and licorice root. Growth factors and humectants (hyaluronic acid and glycerin) help with wrinkles and moisture." — Turegano

Customer Review: "If you have fine lines, dark circles, or bags and you're serious about getting rid of them, this is the Holy Grail. Though the bottle looks small, this product lasted me over seven months."

Pros: Moisturizes, de-puffs

Cons: Pricey

8. Murad Vitamin C Dark Circle Correcting Eye Serum

"Murad Essential-C Eye Cream may work for those who love vitamin C since this is a vitamin C specifically formulated for eye skin." — Ciraldo

Customer Review: "I really think this eye cream is helping my under eyes. I have really bad pigmentation under my eyes that I've been trying to improve for a long time. Within a week of daily (day and night) usage, it seems like my under eyes are a bit better. The cream itself has reflective qualities, so it looks like it's doing work right away."

Pros: Helps dark circles, adds radiance

Cons: Some may not like the golden sheen

9. Skin Better Science Interfuse Treatment Cream Eye 

"[This treatment] uses antioxidants, niacinamide, and caffeine to diminish dark circles. [It] uses neuro-calming peptides and humectants to help with wrinkles and moisture." — Turegano

Customer Review: "This eye treatment has helped with fine lines and retaining moisture, which isn't easy to find because so many that help with fine lines I find leave the under eye dry and creased by the end of the day. I've never had a big problem with dark under-eye circles, but after months of using [this], I've also noticed how much brighter my under-eye area is without any concealer."

Pros: Moisturizes, helps dark circles, reduces the appearance of fine lines

Cons: Some might not like the balm-like texture

Editor's picks:

10. Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream

In this innovative eye cream, golden root, sugar beet, and yeast work together to help soothe and de-puff the delicate eye area. 

Customer Review: "The Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream quickly became the only eye cream I trust and rely on! The best part is the ingredients and the fact that they are all science-based. Only the most necessary ingredients are included, and any extra harmful ingredients are left out. It really helps you feel better about the product you are putting on such sensitive skin in such a sensitive area. The application is easy, the product is super hydrating, and I use it day and night! I highly recommend."

Pros: Moisturizes, de-puffs

Cons: Doesn't target fine lines

11. U Beauty The Return Eye Concentrate

This eye cream utilizes U Beauty's Siren Capsule Technology, which is a unique capsule system that makes sure bioactive ingredients target the right areas. It also de-puffs and seriously improves the appearance of dark circles. 

Customer Review: "I am always looking for an eye cream that will work with my dry, mature eyes. This eye cream is a winner. I like the texture and feel of this. It does brighten and smooths the undereye. I also use it on the eyelid orbital bone. I will purchase again."

Pros: Moisturizes, de-puffs, helps dark circles

Cons: Pricey

Other essential products to keep in your arsenal once you hit your 40s:

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated. 

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