Which eye creams were our top picks? Keep reading to find out more! We'll also explain how to choose the right eye cream in our buying guide as well.
Kaori is the representative director of Japan's Scientific Beauty Institute. She also runs the Beauty Science Blog, which sends out beauty science information in a way that's easy to understand. She operates with the mission of "wanting people to enjoy the process of finding skincare that works for them by offering a scientific perspective". Kaori broadcasts her expert knowledge from working with skincare and cosmetics societies and academic journals on her blog, social media, and more. She also works with PR, product development, and corporate support teams for cosmetics.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the relevant research (as of 11-04-2022).
As is implied in the name, eye creams are moisturizing creams that are used in the areas around the eyes. However, you might be thinking they're the same as regular face cream, just in a smaller package, right? Well, that's not exactly the case.
While eye creams and face creams do indeed have similar ingredients, eye creams are formulated with different ingredients and have a different texture than face creams.
This is because the skin around our eyes is about 1/3 the thickness in comparison to the skin on our cheeks, meaning it's incredibly thin and delicate.
On top of that, Japanese skin is already thin enough, at roughly 2/3 the thickness in comparison to the stratum corneum found in Caucasians, as found in a study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan. This means that Japanese eye creams are formulated to be extra moisturizing, as well as have plenty of ingredients that combat wrinkles and signs of aging.
Since the skin around our eyes produces less sebum and has a thinner stratum corneum, which is where our skin retains most of its moisture, it's more prone to drying out, which can result in unwanted damage. Moreover, this area can often lack suppleness, which in turn leads to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. In order to care for this specific area, it's important to use the right tool for the job.
If you're also looking for face creams, check the link below!
Here are five major points to look out for.
Dryness on the skin around the eyes causes a variety of problems, such as a lack of elasticity and dullness. In order to prevent this, it's important to moisturize well and lock that moisture in by sealing it in with oil. Consider choosing an eye cream from the top three in our ranking, since two of the products in the top three resulted in an increase in moisture levels by more than 90% in our test.
Look for an eye cream with glycerin, ceramides, shea butter, or petroleum jelly in the ingredient list on the label, since those ingredients are highly moisturizing.
Also, the active ingredient Rice Power® No. 11 can keep your skin's moisture levels high, so consider a product with that ingredient if you're concerned with dry skin.
Do your dark circles look more bluish, brownish, or blackish? To figure out which type of dark circles you have, gently pull your lower eyelids toward your ears to see the color.
For brown circles, look for ingredients that prevent pigmentation, such as placenta extract and tranexamic acid.
For black circles, it's best to incorporate eye exercises to strengthen the muscles around the eyes, which can help with saggy skin.
As for blue circles, check for ingredients that help improve blood circulation.
If you're looking to incorporate anti-aging ingredients to help retain youthful-looking eyes, look for products that are formulated with active ingredients that help improve the appearance of wrinkles as well as anti-aging ingredients.
For wrinkles that are caused by issues stemming from layers of skin beneath the stratum corneum, look for quasi-drugs that contain pure retinol, NEI-L1 or niacinamide as active ingredients, which have been approved for improving wrinkles.
If you're looking to minimize the appearance of fine lines caused by dryness, products that have been tested for their efficacy will be enough to address those issues.
Since niacinamide is relatively cheap and is easy to mix in various formulations, many products containing niacinamide tend to have good cost performance.
Moreover, if you're considering a product with retinol, pay attention to how airtight the container is, as retinol can degrade and lose its efficacy unless tightly sealed. If the container can't be tightly sealed, make sure you can use the content within a reasonable period of time.
The skin around the eyes tends to be more sensitive, so it's crucial to avoid potential irritants when choosing an eye cream.
When your skin is particularly delicate, or if you've experienced any problems with ingredients such as ethanol, fragrances, plant extracts, and essential oils, be sure to check the ingredients list beforehand.
Ingredients to be aware of, in Japanese:
If you're concerned about preservatives, unless you know that they don't work for you, it's best to look for parabens, which have been in use for a long time and have a proven track record.
While preservative-free formulas sound gentle on the skin, they're actually formulated with lots of other ingredients that also have properties that allow them to act as preservatives, making them potentially more irritating.
When it comes to improving your skin, what matters is consistency. Since this also applies to eye creams, it's important to choose a product that feels good to use on a daily basis.
Eye creams are available in all sorts of textures, ranging from light and smooth, to thick and heavy. We recommend picking a product that rubs in smoothly since it's best to minimize the amount of friction applied to your skin.
Fragrances are also a big factor when using an eye cream every day; you don't want to be stuck with an eye cream with a fragrance that you hate. Finally, we think that eye creams that come in tubes are more convenient, since they're easier to carry and store.
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Maihada Hadajun Kaizen Eye Cream
Feels Moisturizing for a Long Time
Placewhiter Medicated Whitening Eye Cream
Effective for Treating Both Blemishes and Wrinkles
Obagi Dharma Power X Stem Sharp Eye
An Excellent Anti-Aging Formula With High Moisturizing Ability
Cezanne Cosmetics Co., Ltd.
Moisture Rich Essence Eye Cream
Highly Moisturizing, Functional, and Gentle on the Skin
Best for Preventing Signs of Aging Skin
B.A Eye Zone Cream
An Eye Cream With a Moist Texture That Spreads Well
Curél Intensive Moisture Care Moisture Repair Eye Cream
Gentle on the Skin, but Has a Slight Odor
Episteme Eye Perfect Shot
Decent Moisturizing Ability With a Refreshing Citrus Fragrance
Vital Perfection Intensive Wrinkle Spot Treatment
Rich in Active Ingredients, but Not for Sensitive Skin
Kracie Home Products Co., Ltd.
HADABISEI ONE Wrinkle Care Eye Cream
Likely to have only a little bit of anti-aging ingredients. Great in moisturizing ability.
Maihada Hadajun Kaizen Eye Cream from Kosé Provision is a medicated eye cream containing Rice Power® No. 11. The cream claims to make the skin firm, elastic and bright, improving fine lines caused by dryness.
The active ingredient, Rice Power® No. 11, can keep your skin moisturized for a long time. The skin moisture level increased in the hour after the application, and it increased by 92% in three hours in our test, showing the eye cream's high moisturizing ability.
The cream was highly rated for how well it spreads and absorbs into the skin by our testers. The relatively small container also got good reviews on the nice fit in the hands, and the citrus fragrance was refreshing.
This eye cream is highly moisturizing and feels great to use, making it our top pick.
Meishoku Cosmetics' Placewhiter Medicated Whitening Eye Cream claims to have brightening and anti-aging properties.
This product uses placenta extract, which is an effective ingredient for suppressing melanin production and preventing blemishes, as well as making the skin firmer and more elastic.
Moreover, it contains multiple proven effective ingredients for improving fine lines, earning it high marks for its ingredients. It also offered great moisturizing ability, resulting in a 97% increase in the skin moisture level in three hours.
However, some of our testers said the cream had a strong smell. Because the consistency is thick and a little bit sticky, we think it's best used at night when your skin is more prone to drying out while you sleep.
The eye cream promises to improve your wrinkles and blemishes at the same time.
Rohto's Obagi Dharma Power X Stem Sharp Eye is rich in anti-aging ingredients, and also contains a lot of active ingredients. However, it may be incompatible with sensitive skin because those active ingredients are prone to be irritating.
The moisturizing ability was excellent in our test, resulting in an increase in moisture content by 82% three hours after the application.
It was easy to spread, and our testers highly rated it on the moist texture and ease of opening and closing the lid of the tube container. They liked the relaxing floral fragrance, too.
The eye cream is for people who would like to improve their aging skin with active ingredients.
Moisture Rich Essence Eye Cream from Cezanne Cosmetics contains two kinds of yeast extracts, leading the skin to become brighter and more elastic.
The skin moisture level increased by about 87% in three hours, showing it offers great moisturizing abilities. The cream contains several peptide-based anti-aging ingredients but still is gentle on the skin. The well-balanced formula provides both gentleness and functionality.
Some testers said that it was hard to rub in because the consistency is a bit firm, and the small lid was difficult to open and close. However, since this eye cream is unscented, it can be used by anyone.
Fancl's Eye Serum claims to provide intensive care to the delicate skin around the eyes by adding moisture with its plant-based sealant ingredients. This product can also be used around the mouth, which is another area that is prone to dryness.
The cream showed great performance in our moisturizing ability test. Moisture levels in the skin increased over time after application, increasing to about 85% in three hours.
This eye cream has multiple ingredients that are effective for conditioning the skin which helps protect the skin's natural barrier. The cream is best used by those who still haven't shown signs of aging, such as those in their 20s and 30s.
Some people may find the texture sticky, but the relatively small container is convenient to take with you.
B.A Eye Zone Cream claims to make the skin around the eyes become vibrant by giving it moisture and elasticity.
The cream contains extracts that add depth and elasticity to the skin around the eyes. It performed well in our moisturizing ability test, thanks to its water-soluble moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and diglycerin.
Our testers were fond of its moist texture and how well it spreads, but the container is relatively big, making it hard to take with you.
Finally, the floral woody fragrance was relaxing, but it was a bit of a struggle to get the cream out of the container.
Kao's Curél Intensive Moisture Care Moist Repair Eye Cream is formulated for sensitive dry skin, and claims to boost the skin's barrier functions through the use of ceramides to provide moisture.
This eye cream is formulated with eucalyptus extract, an ingredient known to help maintain healthy skin. It also contains allantoin, a great anti-aging ingredient. The formula is comprised of sufficiently gentle ingredients, backing up the manufacturer's claim that it's for both dry and sensitive skin. It also has a decent moisturizing ability, too.
The texture is thick and moist, giving the skin a good feel, and the odors from the ingredients are noticeable, but not too strong. If you plan on wearing makeup after applying this product, you might want to use face powder, since this eye cream adds a bit of a shine.
Rohto's Episteme Eye Perfect Shot claims to provide firmness and elasticity to the skin around the eyes, including the corners, the area underneath the eyes, and the eyelids.
It had a fairly high moisturizing ability and fantastic ingredients, such as polygonum tinctorium extract and Phellodendron amurense bark extract, developed by Rohto Pharmaceutical. These ingredients are effective for making the skin around the eyes more elastic. Moreover, the cream contains Uncaria gambir extract, an ingredient effective for keeping the skin healthy.
Our testers commented it was hard to open the lid because the top of it was narrow. However, all of our testers agreed that the non-sticky cream was easy to apply and that it had a refreshing citrusy fragrance.
Shiseido's Vital Perfection Intensive Wrinkle Spot Treatment is a cream formulated to improve wrinkles based on research that the company has conducted for over 32 years.
The cream is generously formulated with five active ingredients, which offered fairly decent hydration in our moisturizing ability test.
The product was evaluated highly for its combination of retinol, two whitening active ingredients, and ingredients to prevent skin irritation. While it makes for a great product if you have normal skin, its active ingredients can potentially be irritating, so you need to keep that fact in mind if your skin is sensitive.
Our testers were fond of its easily spreadable texture and its refreshing floral fragrance, but the container's large lid made it hard to open and close, according to our testers.
Kracie Home Products' HADABISEI ONE Wrinkle Care Eye Cream claims to result in a firm, plump, and brighter-appearing eyes thanks to its formula that works almost like an eye mask.
The cream performed well in our moisturizing test thanks to highly moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin and sorbitol, making it a great eye cream for dry skin. Some anti-aging ingredients are contained in the cream, but there's a decent chance that the quantity of these ingredients isn't that high.
Our testers liked the product for how easy it spread as well as its moist feel. The tube was also a great size that made it easy to use. Finally, with no notable scents, it's a good choice for anyone.
After gathering the most popular eye creams from popular e-commerce sites in Japan like Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping, and @cosme. We gathered staff from our Japanese editorial team, as well as enlisted the help of an expert to conduct our tests.
We tested each product for the following:
First off, we tested the moisturizing ability of each product.
We applied a set amount of eye cream on the arm, measured how much moisture was in the skin with a special device known as a Corneometer, and compared moisture levels before application and after three hours to see how much of an increase there was in moisture levels.
Next, we had our expert, Scientific Beautician Kaori, check each product for the following:
We also asked Kaori to check the ingredients for whether or not they're irritating on the skin and how gentle they are.
Again, Kaori only evaluated those products based on what was written on the label.
Finally, since how a product feels to use can affect how comfortable you can use an eye cream, we tested each product for this as well.
When applying an eye cream, be sure to gently massage it into the area between your lower eyelid and your cheekbone.
What's important to remember here is to keep friction at a minimum, and just graze the area with your finger. Also, don't be afraid of using too much eye cream. Make sure to not apply too much pressure or friction when applying eye cream, as this can add unwanted stress to your skin.
If you do choose to apply pressure, make sure you keep it light, and never rub.
Even if you haven't shown any signs of aging, you can never use eye creams too early. When it comes to cosmetics, the most efficient way of using them is for preventative measures. If you plan on maintaining youthful and healthy-looking eyes, incorporate eye care into your skincare routine early.
However, rubbing can accumulate damage. Be sure to gently take care of your eyes and to apply as little friction and pressure as possible.
As mentioned earlier, the skin around our eyes is very delicate. Using an eye cream that doesn't work for you can potentially cause irritated skin.
If you have sensitive skin, whenever you pick up a new eye cream, don't dive right in and apply it to your eyes. Instead, conduct a patch test on your arm. If you don't have any negative reactions, then it's probably safe to actually use it on your eyes.
Now that you've gotten your eye cream, why stop there? We've got more articles on other Japanese moisturizers for your whole face to complete the Japanese skincare routine.
No. 1：Kosé Provision｜Maihada Hadajun Kaizen Eye Cream
No. 2：Meishoku Cosmetics｜Placewhiter Medicated Whitening Eye Cream
No. 3：Rohto Pharmaceutical｜Obagi Dharma Power X Stem Sharp Eye
No. 4：Cezanne Cosmetics Co., Ltd. ｜Moisture Rich Essence Eye Cream
No. 5：Fancl｜Eye Serum
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