The 9 Best Eye Creams for Sagging Eyelids

LIVESTRONG.com may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
The best upper-eyelid creams contain ingredients like retinol, caffeine and peptides.
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Sagging, droopy eyelids are a fact of aging for many people, often exacerbated by genetics, sun exposure and lifestyle factors like smoking or lack of sleep.

Advertisement

"As we age, our skin loses elasticity which causes the skin around the eyes to sag and wrinkle," explains board-certified dermatologist Shoshana Marmon, MD, PhD, assistant professor and director of clinical research in the department of dermatology at New York Medical College.

Video of the Day

There's no way to turn back the tides of time, but these dermatologist-recommended best upper eyelid creams, gels and ointments can help firm and tighten the skin around your eyes.

Advertisement

The Best Eye Creams for Sagging Eyelids

How We Chose

We chatted with two dermatologists and a medical aesthetician, who broke down the most important attributes of eye creams and how to find the best one that suits your skin-care needs. Our tops picks are based on their criteria, including:

  • Quality ingredients
  • Effectiveness
  • Ease of application

Advertisement

1. Garnier SkinActive Ultra-Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream With Pro-Retinol

Image Credit: Garnier/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Contains retinol
  • Doesn't irritate skin

Cons

  • Often sold out on Amazon

The retinol in this product boosts production of collagen, a protein that's critical for helping your skin and tissues stand firm and resist the pull of gravity. Retinol is like Retin-A (both are vitamin A derivatives) but doesn't irritate your skin as much, says Michele S. Green, MD, a dermatologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Advertisement

Buy it:Amazon ($34.50 for 0.5 fl oz); Walmart ($11.30 for 0.5 fl oz)

2. Clinique Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Cream

Image Credit: Clinique/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Minimizes dark circles
  • Contains caffeine

Cons

  • May be difficult to apply around delicate skin

The caffeine in this cream shrinks blood vessels, which not only lifts eyelids but also minimizes dark circles under your eyes.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Constricted blood vessels means less fluid leaking out. That runaway fluid "causes sagginess and puffiness," Dr. Marmon says.

Buy it:Sephora ($52 for 0.5 fl oz); Amazon ($43.99 for 0.5 fl oz)

3. Kiehl's Youth Dose Eye Treatment

Image Credit: Kiehl's/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Contains retinol
  • Brightens skin
  • Protects against sun damage

Cons

  • Discontinued on Kiehls.com

"This cream has pro-retinol to stimulate collagen production for increased firmness and vitamin C for brightening," Dr. Marmon says.

Advertisement

The vitamin C helps strengthen and brighten the eyelid skin, she notes. The vitamin is naturally present in the skin, promoting collagen formation and protecting against sun damage.

Buy it:Amazon ($27.99 for 0.5 fl oz); Walmart ($42 for 0.5 fl oz)

4. Vanicream Ointment

Image Credit: Vanicream/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Hydrating
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Does not contain retinol

According to Dr. Marmon, this product is "simple moisturization that works for even the most sensitive, irritated skin."

Advertisement

Hydration is especially important for the skin around the eyes, including the eyelids, which is thinner and doesn't have as many pores to let moisture in, explains Annie Christenson, a medical aesthetician at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Buy it:Amazon ($9.45 for 2.5 fl oz); Walmart ($9.50 for 2.5 fl oz)

5. EltaMD Eye Renewal Gel

Image Credit: eltaMD/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Easy to apply
  • Contains vitamin C and hyaluronic acid

Cons

  • More expensive

This product is oil-free, comes with an air pump and contains the triad of ingredients to lift eyelids: peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Another trick to save sagging skin: In general, use a gentle patting motion when applying not just creams but also makeup and removers, Dr. Marmon says.

Buy it:Amazon ($59 for 0.5 fl oz); EltaMD ($59 for 0.5 fl oz)

6. ISDIN K-Ox Eyes

Image Credit: ISDIN/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Fights cell damage
  • Moisturizing

Cons

  • More expensive
  • May take longer to see results

The hyaluronic acid and vitamin K in ISDIN K-Ox Eyes brightens and moisturizes delicate skin around the eyes, Dr. Marmon says.

Like vitamin C, vitamin K is an antioxidant that fights cell damage by neutralizing free radicals generated by ultraviolet light and air pollution. That bolsters the natural framework of your eyelids.

Buy it:Amazon ($97 for 0.5 fl oz); ISDIN ($97 for 0.5 fl oz)

7. Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream

Image Credit: Peter Thomas Roth/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Increases collagen
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Does not contain retinol

According to Dr. Marmon, a mixture of 21 peptides in this formulation increases collagen production and reinforces aging skin. It's also a great budget item, totaling only $5 per fluid ounce at Amazon.

Buy it:Amazon ($75 for 15 fl oz); Sephora ($98 for 15 fl oz)

8. Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Eyes

Image Credit: Vichy/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Contains caffeine
  • Good for all skin types

Cons

  • May take longer to see results

The caffeine in this cream de-puffs and firms the eyelids while also combating wrinkles, Dr. Marmon says. Typically, what's good for the eyelids is also good for the under-eye area. Sagging, wrinkling, puffiness and dark circles all overlap, she explains.

Advertisement

Buy it:VichyUSA.com ($35 for 0.5 fl oz); Amazon ($35 for 0.5 fl oz)

9. RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Eye Cream

Image Credit: RoC/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Pros

  • Contains broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles

Cons

  • May dry out sensitive skin

This multi-function eye cream not only enhances eyelid firmness, it also hydrates while reducing fine lines, puffiness and dark circles under your eyes, Dr. Green says.

Plus, broad-spectrum protection helps minimize sun damage and more droopiness going forward.

Buy it:Amazon ($19.99 for 0.5 fl oz); Walmart ($13.92 for 0.5 fl oz)

What to Look for in an Eyelid Cream

Your average face cream is not going to work for eyelid skin, which is more delicate and sensitive than the rest of your face, Dr. Green says. Here's what to look for in a product for sagging eyelids:

1. Retinol

Retinol boosts collagen and elastin. "These are like the scaffolding of the skin, and as we age, they become less elastic and don't snap right back," says Dr. Green.

Unlike Retin-A, retinol is available over-the-counter.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is an antioxidant that can guard against damage from collagen-destroying free radicals. Pollution and harmful UV rays from the sun are prime offenders when it comes to saggy and aging skin.

3. Peptides

Peptides strengthen collagen. According to Christenson, "peptides can actually act like Botox." That means firmer eyelids.

4. Made for the Eyes

Make sure the product specifically says it is for your eye area. "This penetrates better and it won't travel that much," Christenson says. That means when you blink (or otherwise move your eyes), the product won't leak in and irritate them.

Related Reading

Advertisement

Advertisement

references

Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...