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Getting older may be a privilege — but we don’t have to show it!
Droopy, tired-looking eyes are one of the telltale signs of aging. And while people have been fighting off this trait for decades, using expensive, invasive surgeries and other procedures to turn back the hands of time, today there are a number of eye creams, eye serums and eye gels that can help get results without the knife or the needle.
But unfortunately, not all eye care products are created equal. The skincare market is notorious for hawking expensive serums, creams and gels that promise the world but fall far short in delivery.
In fact, there are so many products today promising to help naturally reverse or stop the course of aging eyes, we decided to put together a list, to weed out the wannabes and shine a spotlight on the stuff that really works.
And for our money, the best products for tired eyes on the market right now include:
Best Products for Tired Eyes
Keep reading to find out more about how to choose the best eye cream for you, and why we love these products so much.
Best Overall Product for Tired Eyes: Upneeq
- Only FDA-approved prescription eye drop for acquired ptosis
- Clinical-strength formula
- Proven results
- Not available over the counter (must get prescription from doctor)
For many people, droopy eyes are a sign of aging. But for some, they’re the result of a medical condition called ptosis.
Affecting the nerves and muscles under the eyes, this condition can lead to puffy or droopy eyelids at any age. But thankfully, Upneeq can help reverse this aesthetic issue from the inside out.
The formula relies on an ingredient called oxymetazoline hydrochloride to do the trick, and it works by helping stimulate blood flow to the muscles around the eyes, restoring their strength and ability to help hold up the lids.
And the formula unquestionably works, with Upneeq’s clinical trials revealing 87% of patients overall seeing some type of results, with 74% reporting at least a 50% improvement in as little as two weeks of daily use.
What Customers Love:
Customers who struggle with ptosis were grateful for a clinical-strength formula that actually catered to their medical condition, rather than focused on the more aesthetic aspects of eye care. Still, you’ll need to have a prescription to access this product.
Best Anti-Aging Eye Cream: CLEARSTEM BRIGHTEYES Eye Gel
- Utilizes natural botanicals
- No hormone disruptors, toxins or silicon
- Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free
- May cause slight irritation for people with sensitive skin
If you’re starting to see the creeping signs of crow’s feet, puffy eyes or dark circles coming for you, this product is the perfect way to call a time-out.
BRIGHTEYES utilizes a number of all-natural formulas to combat the signs of aging, including the cooling, anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera, the gently revitalizing lift of green tea and the nutritional powerhouse that is mango, with its vitamin A and vitamin C infusion to help create an overall boost and glow.
Plus, the stuff is chock-full of peptides, which are amino acids that help stimulate the creation of collagen and elastin, two key ingredients for keeping skin looking youthful, firm, and plump. And argan stem cells are also in play, to specifically target the thin skin of the under-eye area.
What Customers Love:
Customers were grateful for the fast and natural-looking results delivered by this product, and raved about how smooth it made their skin. Plus, the formula can double as lip treatment cream, helping users get the most bang for their buck.
Best for Dark Circles: AnnieMak Renew Eye Cream
- Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly
- Paraben– and sulfate-free
- Third-party lab tested
- May not be appropriate for people with certain allergies
Mother Nature has a whole bag of tricks to combat the effects of Father Time and AnnieMak uses a lot of them in their Renew Eye Cream formula to help eliminate dark circles, puffiness and other signs of droopy eyes.
To start, the company mixes in a number of different oils, all with their own proven effects to help round out the shape of skin and add their own glow, including organic jojoba oil, which helps boost collagen levels and reduce redness and puffiness; and organic avocado oil, which brings with it a huge supply of helpful vitamin E and vitamin A.
But that’s far from where the natural boosters end in this ingredients list. Witch hazel — used for centuries in skin care — helps keep things bright and tight, even in the thin and sensitive skin under the eyes. And Manuka honey adds its own all-natural healing powers to the mix.
What Customers Love:
Customers raved about the all-natural ingredients, but many of them were equally impressed with the scientific tests conducted on the product by a third-party lab, to ensure its safety and quality.
Best Eye Brightening Bundle: Foreo Bright Eye Lifesaver
- Includes scrubbers to help enhance absorption
- Helps stimulate lymphatic drainage
- Waterproof and rechargeable
For those on the more high-tech end of the spectrum, there are a number of tools beyond eye gels, creams, and serums that can help boost brightness and get results.
Foreo’s Bright Eye Lifesaver is an entire skincare routine in a box, utilizing two specially-designed devices to help eyes battle back aging and get back their brightness.
The concept combines the overall facial cleansing, achieved through a device called the UFO mini, which sends out pulses as its rubbed on the face to help exfoliate and stimulate blood flow, and the Iris 2, which is meant to simulate acupressure and massage techniques around the eyes to promote lymphatic drainage, stimulate muscles and lay the groundwork for healthy, new skin cells to develop.
All together, the concept takes eye care into the next century.
What Customers Love:
Customers were grateful for this professional kit, allowing them to get to the root of the droopy eye problem with the help of targeted technology. Plus, the tools come with a detailed manual, charger and other helpful items.
How to Choose Products for Your Eyes
Eye creams, serums, gels and other eye products are a great idea at any age, whether you’re more concerned with preventative maintenance or combating more concrete signs of the ticking clock.
But finding the right eye product for you means taking several different factors into account.
First, you’ll want to think about exactly why you want an eye cream, and the results you’re hoping to get out of your product. (Again, are you looking for more preventative action, or more targeted outcomes?).
Determining what you want out of these products will help you figure out the types of ingredients you should look out for — which could make all the difference in just how bright your eyes get.
If you’re thinking more along preventative lines to relieve tired eyes, antioxidants are a great ingredient to start scanning for.
Including additives like vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, this category of compounds helps combat free radicals, or any damage to cells that may have been incurred by environmental factors, such as sunlight or other stressors.
Essentially, antioxidants help escort these no-good substances out of the body before they can wreak havoc.
You can also invest in some blue light glasses for when you’re working long hours staring at your computer screen. These help by filtering the blue light exposure from your digital devices, saving yourself from eye fatigue — also known as digital eye strain — and hopefully reducing headaches in the process.
If you’re a little further along the aging spectrum, you may also want to start incorporating retinol into your eye care routine. This ingredient is regarded as essentially magic in the anti-aging world, thanks to its ability to help stimulate the body’s production of collagen.
Collagen is a lovely all-natural filler that helps keep skin firm and full and youthful looking, but the buoyant byproduct starts breaking down with age, and the body’s production of the stuff also naturally slows as time goes on. So finding a way to help the body produce more is a great way to fight the clock.
If droopy eyes are your biggest nemesis, it’s time to start bringing out the big guns: Peptides, hyaluronic acid and ceramides. This trio of ingredients really helps pick up the anti-aging pace by targeting a number of factors that really contribute to the premature aging of the eyes.
Peptides are another powerful way to boost collagen levels, which helps specifically to firm up sagging skin around the eyes. And both hyaluronic acid and ceramides are deeply moisturizing agents, which can help replenish and brighten up under-eye skin, while simultaneously plumping up the area and smoothing out wrinkles.
Eye care can be a difficult subject, with so many ingredients, science, and medical terms to keep in mind. And there are a number of questions people may have about the subject, or the products pledged to help.
What causes droopy eyes?
Droopy eyes can be caused by a number of factors.
Many people experience the issue as a result of aging. As the body gets older, the delicate tissues and muscles under and around the eyes begin to break down, with fat stores shifting into place instead to hold up the weight. Unfortunately, these fatty stores aren’t as adept at the task, and can cause the eyes to look droopy, puffy or darker than they previously have been.
But droopy eyelids can also have a medical cause. Officially referred to as ptosis, this feature can develop due to nerve damage in the muscle that controls the eyelids, which can subsequently lead to the loss of muscle strength in the area, and droopy or swollen eyelids.
How do I use eye creams and serums?
Eye creams and eye serums are two different products, which should be applied slightly differently in order to help the most.
In general, when applying eye cream or any type of skincare products, you want to start with a freshly cleaned face. After cleansing and possibly spritzing a toner, start with the lightest weight products you have and move on to the heaviest. (Lighter products will not be able to penetrate through the heavier stuff!).
Generally, serums are considered lighter, so you’ll want to apply these products first. Ideas of how best to apply an eye serum vary, but many experts advise pumping two pea-sized drops on your fingertips, then gently rubbing your hands together to warm and activate the formula.
Once this is done, apply under the eyes by lightly tapping the serum into your skin. There’s no need to massage these formulas more deeply, as that will impact their absorption rate.
If you’re using an eye cream, this will go on after applying your serum. Wash your hands first to ensure they’re clean, then once again, dab about two pea-sized dots worth of product onto your finger tip.
Gentleness is key when it comes to application. Smashing or aggressively massaging the product into your skin can actually cause more damage or exacerbate wrinkles, so proceed with care.
Some experts recommend using your ring finger for eye cream application, as it tends to be the weakest, and therefore, the least able to cause damage. And the same technique applies when it comes to dabbing the cream onto your face, with gentle tapping motions preferred over circular smearing.
Does Upneeq work?
In a word: Yes.
Upneeq has the unique designation of FDA-approved status for the treatment of symptoms related to ptosis in adults. But in order to receive this vaunted designation, the company had to prove that their product was not only safe, but effective.
The main ingredient in the product is a compound called oxymetazoline hydrochloride, which is already approved for several other over-the-counter products, such as the nasal spray Afrin. It works by stimulating the contraction of blood vessels, which in turn helps stimulate muscle contraction in affected areas for adults with ptosis.
It’s an unfortunate truth that droopy eyes will simply be a part of most people’s lives at some point. But if you know what’s coming your way, you can better prepare to meet and even mitigate the situation.
It’s very possible to help alleviate droopy eyes and reverse the course of aging through the help of carefully formulated eye gels, eye creams, eye serums, and other products. And a consistent and through skincare routine, exercise routine, and diet can further help keep the signs of aging at bay.
We may not be able to fight off Father Time completely, but with the help of the above products and a little self-care, we can try to turn him from an enemy into an ally.
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