I believe you will agree with me that…The delicate skin around the eyes deserve more pamper and better treatment than any other part of the face.That is why eye cream is specially created and distinguished from other part of skin care.

Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate skin around the eye, so they tend to be thicker.

They contain more oil than a regular facial lotion, and they have a lot of active ingredients aimed at the problems we see around the eyes,

says dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD, a clinical associate professor at Tulane University School of Medicine.

As our skin under eye age faster and requires constant care…

You wouldn’t want to waste time trying out different eye creams and only found out that you’ve been fooled by some marketing tricks.

That is why there are some ingredients of eye cream you should at least know before getting an eye cream that works best for you.

Depending on what are the issues you are having, eye cream must be choose based on your problems, such as wrinkles, eye bags and dark circles.

Let’s start off with the eye creams that combat one of the major issues most people are facing – Eye Bags.

Must-Have Ingredient #1: Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid hydrating power in eye cream formula

Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most revolutionary ingredients in eye creams due to its POWERFUL hydrating action.

Surprisingly, this all natural beauty ingredient is found in our body as a lubricant.

The mechanism behind this hydrating effect is its ability to draws moisture from the air and holds up as much as to 1,000 times its weight in water!

As Hyaluronic acid’s hydrating effect goes far beyond any typical moisturizers, it is definitely the key ingredient to keep the skin around the eyes hydrated.

Well, even though Hyaluronic acid has its effects proven, such hydrating effect is considered only temporary.

Also, keep in mind that…

If your puffy eyes are caused by excess fluid retention rather than loss of fatty tissue due to aging…

Hyaluronic acid might not work for you.

Must-Have Ingredient #2: Ceramides

Ceramides is another POTENT ingredient in retaining the moisture of skin around the eyes.

Besides eye cream, ceramides are also added into lotions and cleansers for dry skin type.

As people get older, ceramides level will slowly decrease.

By the age of 60, ceramides has lessened so much that the upper layer of the skin is now 30% thinner.

Here’s how Ceramides works the wonder:

Ceramides are actually a layer of lipid molecules present in the top layer of skin and act like glue that holds in moisture while keeping the cells in order.

“ceramides help maintain hydration.” says Jeannette Graf, MD, author of Stop Aging, Start Living.

It works in such a way that the top layer of skin is naturally protected, moisturized and plumped so that your eye bags will be less prominent. Other functions of ceramides include removing wrinkles and firms up the skin around the eye area.

Ceramides are rather expensive ingredient…

So you can expect to find products containing ceramides in higher end lines.

Must-Have Ingredient #3: Caffeine

Caffeine reduce puffiness of eyes (s)Caffeine is another ACTIVE ingredient not to miss out when it comes to getting rid of eye bags, especially when you experience this problem persistently.

It plays the role of constricting blood vessels and provides tightening effect below your eyes, removing fluid collected and thereby reducing the “puffiness” and swelling of your under eyes.

WebMD‘s Sonya Collins says,“Some studies show that caffeine can help circulation, which could reduce puffiness.”

From recent studies, this de-puffing agent also works well in protecting and repairing sun damaged skin.

In fact…

It’s ability of blocking UVB rays from the sun may be the best natural sunscreen.

So you might be wondering…

Does drinking caffeinated beverage give the same ‘sunscreen’ effects?

It’s a big YES!

Additionally, studies also show that people who drinks caffeinated beverage like coffee everyday will have lower risk of getting nonmelanoma skin cancer (caused by UVB ray exposure) compared to non-coffee drinkers.

According to Dr. Jody A. Levine, a New York dermatologist, in the article “The No-Knife Eye Lift,

Under-eye creams that contain caffeine may be particularly effective in rejuvenating the skin underneath the eyes.

Due to its popularity as an effective ingredient in eye cream,

It is not surprising that…

Caffeine contained eye cream can easily be found with a reasonable price, even in some over-the-counter brands.

Must-Have Ingredient #4: Retinol

It is a Vitamin A derivative which able to BOOST cells growth and regeneration.

Retinol is also a common ingredient found in anti aging skin care products or eye cream for wrinkles.

If there was one ingredient that I would have to have on a desert island, it would be Retinol. It’s the most important single ingredient for the skin,

said Dr. Jeannette Graf.

Well, as powerful as it is…This active ingredient is also used as treatment for under eye bags.

Depending on the causes of your eye bags, Retinol works well on bags under eyes caused by aging.

It boosts the cell generation with new collagen produced to help plump the skin under eye.

However, be careful when applying eye cream containing retinol as it might be irritating to the delicate skin under eye.

Control on the usage of it as “TOO much might be bad” for this type of eye cream.

According to FDA, the highest percentage of Retinol permitted in an eye cream is 2%.

So do check carefully on the Retinol percentage of your eye cream to avoid any side effects of such strong ingredients. (ie. Dryness of skin and potential irritation)

Must-Have Ingredient #5: Neuropeptides

If you have not heard of this name, you should remember it as an alternative to Botox from now on.

It has the similar function as Retinol which helps stimulate collagen, produce elastin and improve tone and texture of skin.

In fact, its ability in skin renewal on the epidermis layer combat sagging and fine lines efficiently that makes it a must in eye cream products.

In studies applying various neuropeptide preparations directly to the skin, exciting clinical benefits were observed almost immediately upon application,

says Nicholas Perricone, MD.

Neuropeptides is much gentler on the skin compared to Retinol and is suitable for VERY sensitive skin type. Click To Tweet

As peptides come in many forms, ingredients like Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, copper peptides, Argireline (also known as acetyl hexapeptide-3), or pal-KTTKS are belong to peptide family and give the equally same anti-aging properties by boosting collagen growth.

Must-Have Ingredient #6: Vitamin K

Kale rich in vitamin KFunction of Vitamin K is to helps blood to clot normally and prevent calcification of minerals that blocks proper blood flow.

For this purpose, eye cream containing vitamin K will help skin to have proper circulation, reduce bags under eyes and gives a radiant glow.

Other benefits that Vitamin K offers include:

  • Alleviate appearance of veins under eye
  • Reduce swelling
  • Lighten skin pigmentation
  • Reduce redness

Must-Have Ingredient #7: Arnica

Arnica as eye cream ingredientArnica is a type of plant belongs to sunflower family.

It is used in medicine due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties and is one of the BEST known herbs for dispersing trapped fluids.

If you are having puffy eyes due to eye strain and lack of sleep, look for eye cream that contains Arnica.

It is the KEY ingredient to reduce swelling and speed up the process of it!

Generally, Arnica is used to soothe muscle tension, treat bruises and reduce swells.

Applying eye cream with Arnica formula will work well to eliminate your puffy eyes.

Want to know the ingredient that treats dark circles specifically?

Keep reading!

Must-Have Ingredient #8: N-acetyl glucosamine

When it comes to skin lightening especially dark under eyes, hydroquinone is no stranger to skin lightening product. However, hydroquinone has been banned in EU due to its side effects.

Here’s an alternative ingredient to hydroquinone: N-acetyl glucosamine.

According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology,

N-acetyl glucosamine may help promote lightening of the skin when used as an ingredient in skincare products.

It is an essential substance naturally present in the human body and is also found in other natural sources for instance, outer shells of shellfish.

This amazing ingredient works effectively in skin lightening without harmful side effects. In fact, it is claimed to be a good cosmetic, as high concentrations of n-acetyl glucosamine do not cause irritation. As mentioned in Journal “The effect of N-acetyl-glucosamine on stratum corneum desquamation and water content in human skin,” by T. Mammone, D. Gan, C. Fthenakis, and K. Marenus, July 2009.

Positive result in a clinical study shows applying 2% N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) topically significantly reduced hyperpigmentation,
according to Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, “Reduction in the appearance of facial hyperpigmentation by topical N-acetyl glucosamine,” by D.L. Bissett, L.R. Robinson, P.S. Raleigh, K. Miyamoto, T. Hakozaki, J. Li, and G.R. Kelm.

How does it work?

N-acetyl glucosamine simply inhibits activation of enzyme that involves in melanin synthesis (natural pigmentation).

Also, from the two journal above, researchers found that when NAG is combined with 4% niacinamide (a member of the vitamin B3 family), the pigmentation reducing effect is greatly enhanced. It’s literally like a double boost of skin lightener!

Sounds great? Here’s something more!

As stated in “Topical N-Acetyl Glucosamine and Niacinamide Increase Hyaluronan,” by R. Osborne, L. A. Mullins, and L. R. Robinson. The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio USA.

Women using a 2% n-acetyl glucosamine and 4% niacinamide cream showed a larger improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, especially under the eyes.

What a perfect combination for both dark circles & under eye wrinkles!

If you are aiming to get rid of any dark pigmentation on the skin around your under eye area, other ingredients like Kojic acid, arnica and licorice also works to diminish any dark circles and lighten pigment under the eyes.

Well, if you are looking for ingredients that aim on eliminating fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness or pigmentation around the under eyes…

You should check out some “mulit-tasking” ingredients here!

Must-Have Ingredient #9: Squalane

For those who have heard of this ingredient,

Squalane ≠ Squalene

Squalane is a hydrogenated version of Squalene.

It is comparatively cheaper, chemically more stable and a longer shelf life.

Squalane is found in the shark liver oil, plant sources like olives, rice bran, and wheat germ oil.

It can even be produced in human body naturally!

So why do we still need to apply Squalane contained products?

The problem is…

Squalane level in our body starts to decline as early as the age of 20’s and the production become drastically slow after age 30’s.

So how does Squalane affect our skin?

Similar to molecule structure of Vitaimin E, it acts as a protection barrier on the external layer of skin to retain moisture in the skin better while at the same time, fights against free radicals caused by exposure to sun’s UV rays.

This is crucial as it is able to sink deep into the skin to promote cell repair, lessen fine lines, wrinkles and at the same time helps fading dark spots near the eyes area.

squalane as a ingredient in eye creamSuch functions make it an EFFECTIVE anti-aging ingredient that more and more eye creams added this ingredient in their formula.

Squalane also mimics our body’s natural moisturizers that cause it to be easily absorbed by the skin once it’s applied on the skin surface without clogging our pores.

That is why it does not leave an oily feel on the skin even though it is technically, an oil.

As a natural moisturizer, the hydration effect that it provide in fact helps nourish and lubricate your skin surface to achieve a smooth and even appearance under eyes.

At the same time while penetrating rapidly into the skin, it also aids in the absorption of other ingredients which improve the effectiveness of a product synergistically.

Squalane is also clinically PROVEN to be non-irritating to sensitive skin and does not cause any redness, stinging or peeling to your skin.

Due to the decreasing number of shark species which is near to extinction, it is advised to opt for eye creams with plant-derived Squalane.

Squalane sourced from plants gives the same effect and properties as the one harvested from shark liver. Click To Tweet

Must-Have Ingredient #10: Haloxyl

Haloxyl is man-made ingredient manufactured by Paris based cosmetic industry giant, Sederma.

The 2 main ingredients (N-hydroxysuccinimide and chrysin) of Haloxyl are derived from natural sources which remarkably reduce fine lines, wrinkle, under eye puffiness and dark circle all together!

You might wonder how this multi-tasking ingredient does wonder.

Haloxyl works to eliminate dark circle by removing accumulated blood pigments degrades (iron and bilirubin) in the delicate vessels that contribute to darkness around your under eyes.

Circulation around the eyes is then improved and together with the formulation to boost collagen production in the skin, Haloxyl firm-up the skin to reduce puffiness under eyes.

It is clinically proven that Haloxyl is able to reduce dark circles and eye bags by more than 60%.

At the same time, it also improves skin thickness (density) so that the under eye area less susceptible to damage and aging.

Thus, wrinkles and fine lines can be reduced.

As a patented ingredient, Haloxyl is provided with clinical studies and trials on its effectiveness and safety.

So far, allergic reactions or experience of irritation is not reported on this ingredient.

When formulated into eye cream products, at least 2% of Haloxyl should be present for good results.

It is normally blended with other anti-aging ingredients and moisturizers to achieve a better result.

Must-Have Ingredient #11: Eyeliss

Eyeliss is an IMPORTANT ingredient in skin rejuvenation.

It is a patented ingredient formed from combination of 3 active substances, which are: Hesperedin Methyl, Chalcone and two peptide chains.

The benefits that Eyeliss offers include reduce inflammation, strengthen capillaries and prevent discoloration around the eyes as well as improve drainage and decongest puffy eyes.

It is also another potent ingredient that firms and increase elasticity of the skin under eyes.

In one of the clinical study, people with chronic under eye bags were put into trial.

The results?

Up to 65% of people have shown reduction in eye bags in just 28 days, and after 56 days 70% of people who were in trial experienced a significant improvement.

In fact, Eyeliss was an expensive secret ingredient used by celebrities several years back!

It had been released to the market lately with a more affordable price and became more popular as a star ingredient for eye cream and other skin care products.

So you might want to look for this ingredient from the eye cream label before you buy it the next time.

Must-Have Ingredient #12: Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps protecting your skin from free radicals, preventing cellular damage that leads to cancer and aging.

While it works to protect skin against the sun and free radical, it also reduces the appearance of discoloration like dark circles and gives a brightening effect to the under eye area.

As mentioned in the Article – “Vitamin C in dermatology”, published online by Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr-Jun

Vit. C is essential for collagen biosynthesis.

This is another benefit of Vitamin C that we couldn’t ask for more!

The fact that it aids in the synthesis of collagen makes our skin appear plump and firm…

At the same time reduces fine lines and wrinkles!

As Vitamin C comes in various forms, you might not found the word “vitamin c” in your eye cream label.

No worries! Here’re different forms of Vitamin C you might want to know.

Ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, L-ascorbic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, ascorbyl glucosamine, and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate.

Must-Have Ingredient #13: Vitamin E

Vitamin E rich Almond as eye cream ingredientIt is another powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes from oxidation and prevents LOSS of collagen.

Vitamin E is known to perform effectively when synergized with Vitamin C.

So it is at best to choose your eye cream with formula of multiple antioxidants, since they’re more powerful when in packs.

“They tackle free radicals in different ways, so the overall protection is more potent,” says Graf.

Similar as to Vitamin C, Vitamin E can appear in many different forms on your eye cream ingredient label.

To name a few, tocopheryl acetate, tocopheryl linoleate, tocotrienols, alpha tocopherol, and tocopheryl succinate are some of the different forms of Vitamin E.

Must-Have Ingredient #14: Niacinamide a.k.a Nicotinamide

Niacinamide as a form of Vitamin B3 is another potent antioxidant known to reduce sallowness (yellowing of skin), wrinkling, red blotchiness and hyperpigmented spots of aging skin effectively.

It energized cells, increase ceramides and lipids level in the skin, reduce loss of water in the cellular and helps improve elasticity of skin at the under eye area.

A study conducted in Japan tested on cosmetic containing 4% of Niacinamide.

The results?

Niacinamide effectively reduced wrinkles in 64% of the subjects tested! Click To Tweet

What’s more?

They concluded Niacinamide is well tolerated to be use as one of the ingredient in eye cream to counter wrinkles.

Here’s what another study conducted in Ohio stated in their result:

“… A variety of significant skin appearance improvement effects for topical Niacinamide: reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing). In addition, elasticity… was improved.”

As you can see…

studies had came out with SAME solid proof of it’s effectiveness, Niacinamide has definitely become an A-lister in eye cream formula for wrinkles, dark circles and anti-aging purposes.

Must-Have Ingredient #15: Alpha Hydroxy Acids

This ingredient is also known as “the skin radiance maker”!

It helps fade blotches, smoothen fine lines and allow other essential ingredients to better penetrate into the skin while adding a touch of radiance to the skin surface.

Hydroxy Acid is actually an exfoliant substance that removes dead skin of the upper layer and stimulates the growth of new skin.

Thus, it is important to not overdo it as you should spare time for your skin to recover in between treatment.

“Using peels too often can weaken the skin barrier,” says New York City dermatologist Howard Sobel.

Use only once awhile and avoid rubbing on the skin harshly.

Last but not least…

Since eliminating problems at the under eye area is a desire for many.

Examining ingredients on your eye cream label closely before applying is a CRUCIAL step in achieving and maintaining youthful appearance.

Here’s a quick recap!



If you have any favorite ingredients that work great on combating under eye issues…

but it’s not mentioned in the list, feel free to share it here by dropping a comment.