What is the Best Drugstore Eye Cream?

Whether you have dry skin or under-eye puffiness, crow’s feet, or fine lines, drugstore eye creams can be just as good as their expensive counterparts. 

But which is the best drugstore eye cream? Well, it depends on what you need for your eyes to choose the best eye cream. What works well for your friend may not be the best cream for your eyes. 

For instance, if you want to reduce your dark circles, you will search for the best eye cream for dark circles that suits your skin type as well. So don’t get inspired by your favorite celebrities’ eye cream commercials; always go for the product that compliments your skin.

Anyway, here are a few things to keep in mind while you shop for the best eye cream for your skin.

Key Ingredients that Make Up the Best Drugstore Eye Creams

Woman's skin around eyes.

No matter where you get your eye cream from, you’ll want to know what is in it. While price and availability are essential to you, the ingredients assure you are getting what you are paying for.

So look out for healthy ingredients like:

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

It protects your skin from the harmful rays of the sun and decreases the appearance of wrinkles.


They moisturize your skin and strengthen it.


They might be the best ingredients to reduce wrinkles, but you should only use retinol eye cream products at night or in the evening. That’s because they can irritate your skin if you use them too much.


Along with brightening and moisturizing your skin, this antioxidant can also suppress excess sebum production. 


Peptides make the best under-eye cream as they work magic on fine lines with their collagen-producing properties.


It is the key ingredient to prevent your skin from sun damage and reduce wrinkles around your eyes.

Vitamin C

It is the primary ingredient of sunscreens that brightens your skin side by side.

Vitamin E

It calms and hydrates your skin.

Vitamin K

This all-rounder vitamin improves blood circulation, swelling, and dark circles. 


Our all-time favorite drug, caffeine, can decrease puffiness from your under-eye and lighten the dark circles.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)

AHAs can treat hyperpigmentation in your skin and make it one-toned. They include lactic acid, mandelic acid, and glycolic acid. 

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid works wonders on the skin. It hydrates the skin and improves its elasticity.


Chamomile is well-known for its inflammatory and soothing effects.

How to Choose the Best Under Eye Cream?

The skin around your eyes is very delicate. In fact, it is the thinnest skin on your entire body, which makes it an easy target for:

  • Sun damage
  • Dryness
  • Irritation
  • Premature aging

Most importantly, this delicate skin can become even thinner with time. That’s because our skin loses its tightness and resistance as we get old.

Therefore, you have to stay extra cautious of the eye cream you’re using around or under your eyes. Always read the ingredients of the products thoroughly and see if you’re allergic to any or not.

Additionally, don’t ever try to apply the eye cream too close to your eye. It will prevent any sort of potential discomfort.

How to Apply Eye Cream?

To get the most out of your eye cream without damaging the delicate under-eye area, it is important to apply your eye cream carefully.

  • Use your ring finger to carefully tap a tiny bit of the product around the eye. 
  • Start in the innermost corner and tap under your eye toward the outer corner.
  • Avoid getting the product in your eye or your lashes.
  • Do not drag or rub the product around the eyes. 
  • Repeat the same along your brow bone above the eyes.
  • Use small amounts and do this daily, morning and night.
  • Allow the cream to absorb for a few minutes before applying other skincare products or makeup.

Our Best Drugstore Eye Cream Recommendations

Drugstore brands often use the same quality ingredients as expensive ones. 

So let’s look at five of the best you can find at the affordable pricing and the convenience of a trip to the drugstore.

Best Drugstore Eye Cream for Wrinkles and Crow’s Feet

1. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

Wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eye area are caused by a loss of the skin’s natural elasticity in the skin around the eyes. This happens due to aging, sun exposure, and facial expressions such as smiling or squinting. 

To treat the elasticity issue around the eyes is threefold: moisturize, increase collagen, and protect the area with antioxidants

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream ticks all of these boxes with RoC Retinol, Hexyl-R Complex, RoC’s proprietary antioxidant blend, and Vitamin C. 

Not only does this excellent eye cream really work, but it has received accolades from several beauty-care industry giants:

  • 2020 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner
  • 2019 Glamour Beauty Awards “Best Drugstore Skin Care Products: Best Eye Cream”
  • 2020 Good Housekeeping Seal Award

Overall Best Eye Cream; Drugstore “Best in Show”

2. CeraVe’s Eye Repair Cream

With “3 essential” ceramides and Hyaluronic acid, CeraVe’s Eye Repair Cream still comes in at around 20 bucks, making it a powerful punch for your dollar. 

We give this one “best in the show” for performance across various skin types and ages. 

It works as a good preventative eye cream for younger and wrinkle-free skins while delivering the moisture support and restorative care needed for more mature skin types. 

It is lightweight, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic, making it a good pick for oily, sensitive, combination, and acneic skin types as well. 

Influenster reviewers praise the quality at an affordable price. Harper’s Bazaar hails CeraVe Eye Repair Cream as the best eye cream for dark circles.

As a product that is versatile enough to benefit many skin types, when you’re shopping for the best drugstore eye cream, CeraVe is a good place to start.

Our Drugstore Pick for ‘Best Anti-Aging’

3. Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Eye Cream

NYmag’s The Strategist selected this one as the best eye cream for mature skin, and we second that choice. 

Woman with freckles showing her facial skin.

Armed with a retinoid complex, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), and Vitamin E, this cream works to diminish the signs of aging. Applied at night, this eye cream delivers round-the-clock defense against free radicals while nourishing thirsty mature skin. 

  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Helps with dark circles
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free

If retinoids are a problem for your skin (they can cause sensitivity or discomfort), you can use Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream instead, which has amino peptides instead of retinol.

Our Pick for ‘Best Lightweight Hydrating’ on a Drugstore Budget

4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Eye Cream

We love the lightweight water-based gel formula for nice and smooth hydration that doesn’t bog down your makeup.

Influenster reviewers also love this eye cream, giving it a solid 4.2 out of 5 stars with nearly 7000 reviews. In addition, this gel formula eye cream was awarded the Influencer Reviewers’ Choice Award for best eye cream of 2020.

Our Best ‘Clean’ Drugstore Eye Cream

5. Burt’s Bees Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream

With the trends in clean beauty products, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you about Burt’s Bees Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream, our favorite clean eye cream pick. 

Burt’s Bees opts for Bakuchiol over retinol for a natural anti-aging eye cream that promises “99% Natural Origin,” which is free of petroleum products and parabens for those ingredient-conscious buyers. 

Bakuchiol is derived from the Babchi plant and offers all the things we love about retinol without the side effects that can sometimes be associated with retinol. Instead, it’s more natural and gentle, nature’s ‘retinol’ for your skin. 

Here, Burt’s Bees has formulated it for the gentle eye area for a cream that delivers nourished and smoother skin.

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What Is the Best Time to Apply an Eye Cream? 

You can apply your favorite eye cream at various times of the day as per the requirement. But what you should keep in mind is that you need a separate eye cream for different times. 

The best times to apply eye creams are:

  • In the morning. If you’re getting ready for your work, you will surely need a lightweight formula to apply before the makeup and keep your skin hydrated all day long. 

So allocate an eye cream with SPF for your mornings. It will protect your skin from the sun and also reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.

  • In the evening or night. The ingredients of your eye cream can easily absorb into your skin overnight if you apply it in the evening or at night. So go for a heavier or richer cream with extra-moisturizing and brightening effects.
  • In the morning and evening. If you want instant results, you can use eye creams in the morning and evening. However, keep in mind to buy two different products when you go shopping for your eye cream.

Experts say that there is no ideal time to apply eye cream; it all comes down to your priorities and condition. It is better to keep a gap of 12 hours between two different eye creams. 

Plus, don’t reapply the same cream throughout the day; it won’t increase its effectiveness. 

Beauty on a Budget

Beauty doesn’t have to break the bank if you know what to look for. Fortunately, you can now get the best eye cream from the drugstore and beat those eye issues on a budget. 

We hope this helpful guide makes it easier to narrow down your search for the best drugstore eye cream. So take a little time to read the labels, know some of the essential ingredients, and feel good about your drugstore beauty purchases.

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