And why they're important.
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The best ingredients for an eye cream are largely dependent on your skin type and skin concerns, but there are a few key active ingredients that you’re likely to find in the top-rated eye creams. These power players are often natural ingredients in the skin that can get depleted or compromised over time, so finding a product that puts the good stuff back in can be paramount for fewer or reduced signs of aging. Look for the best ingredients for skin in any eye cream you’re considering, but make sure you’re keeping in mind your personal concerns and complexion goals.

Antioxidants

The energizing, de-puffing, dark circle reducing benefits of vitamins C and E make them under-eye heroes. You’ll find them in products designed to make you look more rested and awake—something many of us desperately need in order to achieve that glow. They also provide antioxidant protection from pollution and other external aggressors, a vital part of the under-eye equation.

Retinol

Retinol is one of the most talked-about and potent antiaging ingredients out there. It helps erase signs of aging by stimulating collagen production while also evening skin tone and texture. The clincher is that sensitive skin types might not react well to it. Eye products that utilize retinol are typically bolstered with moisturizing, soothing ingredients (like hyaluronic acid and ceramides) to help offset or diminish the chance of irritation. To give your skin even more protection from sensitivity while maintaining retinol’s efficacy, apply a gentle moisturizing cream over the retinol or opt for a thicker retinol product, rather than lighter-weight boosters or serums.

Ceramides

A healthy skin barrier is essential in helping skin hold on to moisture. If the ratio of ceramides in the skin isn’t up to par, the skin barrier can become compromised, resulting in irritation, dryness, and itchiness. Ceramide-bolstered eye creams can help replenish the skin’s naturally occurring ceramide production, which depletes as we age but can also diminish due to a variety of other factors including acne, eczema, and severely dry skin.

Neuropeptides

If your skin is sensitive and won’t tolerate heavier-duty antiaging ingredients like retinol, neuropeptides can be a good alternative. Similar to retinol, they stimulate collagen production, but are called on as a safer and more natural option.

Last but not least, for daytime eye creams, an SPF is always a plus but not necessarily a must-have as long as you’re using another sun protection product that is gentle enough for the eye area.