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.
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!
We gathered the most popular Japanese eye creams and tested them all for the following:
Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the 10 best Japanese eye creams available online.
※Japanese prices for some of the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
Cezanne Cosmetics Co., Ltd.
Kracie Home Products Co., Ltd.
Maihada Hadajun Kaizen Eye Cream
Placewhiter Medicated Whitening Eye Cream
Obagi Dharma Power X Stem Sharp Eye
Moisture Rich Essence Eye Cream
B.A Eye Zone Cream
Curél Intensive Moisture Care Moisture Repair Eye Cream
Episteme Eye Perfect Shot
Vital Perfection Intensive Wrinkle Spot Treatment
HADABISEI ONE Wrinkle Care Eye Cream
Feels Moisturizing for a Long Time
Effective for Treating Both Blemishes and Wrinkles
An Excellent Anti-Aging Formula With High Moisturizing Ability
Highly Moisturizing, Functional, and Gentle on the Skin
Best for Preventing Signs of Aging Skin
An Eye Cream With a Moist Texture That Spreads Well
Gentle on the Skin, but Has a Slight Odor
Decent Moisturizing Ability With a Refreshing Citrus Fragrance
Rich in Active Ingredients, but Not for Sensitive Skin
Likely to have only a little bit of anti-aging ingredients. Great in moisturizing ability.
|Japanese||コーセープロビジョン 米肌 肌潤改善アイクリーム||プラセホワイター 薬用美白アイクリーム||オバジ ダーマパワーX ステムシャープアイ||モイスチュア リッチ エッセンスアイクリーム||アイセラム||B.A アイゾーンクリーム||キュレル 潤浸保湿 モイストリペア アイクリーム||エピステーム アイパーフェクトショット||SHISEIDO バイタルパーフェクション リンクルリフト ディープレチノホワイト5||肌美精ONE リンクルケア 密着濃厚アイクリーム|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||1,3-butylene glycol, meadowfoam oil, concentrated glycerin||Concentrated glycerin, BG, 1,2-pentanediol, glycerin||BG, squalane, glycerin||Hydrogenated palm oil, BG, phytosteryl isostearate, glycerin||Di(octyldodecyl/phytosteryl/behenyl) lauroylglutamate, DPG, dimethicone, macadamia seed oil, BG, glycerin||Diglycerin, glycerin||Liquid isoparaffin, hexadecyloxy PG hydroxyethyl hexadecanamide, concentrated glycerin||BG, diglycerin, squalane, glycerin||1,3-butylene glycol, carnauba wax, heavy fluid isoparaffin, microcrystalline wax||Sorbitol, DPG, mineral oil, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Phytosteryl/behenyl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, bifidobacteria extract, gamma oryzanol, natural vitamin E||Collagen, tripeptide F, yokuinin extract||Caprooyl tetrapeptide-3, mayolana leaf extract, chrysanthemum indica extract (bright effector), tetrapeptide-5 (elagrow(R)), gangome extract (elasrich(R)), asparagopsis armata extract (elaspro(R)), hydrolyzed soybean protein (collaplus(R)), hydrolyzed elastin, hydrolyzed collagen, water soluble proteoglycan, gluconic acid||Aspergillus/rice fermentation extract, chitosan succinamide, hydrolyzed collagen, retinol palmitate, dipeptide-2, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7||Sweet pea flower extract, mallow flower extract, atelocollagen||Mussel glycogen, madonna lily root extract, butterbur extract, horse chestnut extract, horse chestnut extract, arnica extract, loofah extract, lentil extract, rosebay extract, mayolana leaf extract, akebi stem extract, kulara root extract, mugwort extract, gotu leaf extract, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed conchiolin||-||Polygonum tinctorium leaf/stem extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract , Irohamomiji leaf extract, uncaria gambir extract||-||Retinol palmitate, hydrolyzed elastin, royal jelly extract, ubiquinone|
|Active Ingredients||Rice power® No. 11 (Rice extract No. 11)||Placenta extract, tocopherol acetate||-||-||-||-||Allantoin||-||Retinol, tranexamic acid, potassium salt of 4-methoxysalicylic acid, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate||-|
|Features||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, oil-free||Pigment-free||-||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, alcohol-free||Fragrance-free, pigment-free||Allergy-tested||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, alcohol-free, allergy-tested||-||-||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, allergy-tested|
|Best for||Dry skin||Whitening, aging skin||Aging skin||Aging skin||Elasticity, dry skin||Dry skin, aging skin||Dry skin, sensitive skin||Elasticity, aging skin||Aging skin||Elasticity, dry skin|
|Japanese||コーセープロビジョン 米肌 肌潤改善アイクリーム|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||1,3-butylene glycol, meadowfoam oil, concentrated glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Phytosteryl/behenyl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, bifidobacteria extract, gamma oryzanol, natural vitamin E|
|Active Ingredients||Rice power® No. 11 (Rice extract No. 11)|
|Features||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, oil-free|
|Best for||Dry skin|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||Concentrated glycerin, BG, 1,2-pentanediol, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Collagen, tripeptide F, yokuinin extract|
|Active Ingredients||Placenta extract, tocopherol acetate|
|Best for||Whitening, aging skin|
|Japanese||オバジ ダーマパワーX ステムシャープアイ|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||BG, squalane, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Caprooyl tetrapeptide-3, mayolana leaf extract, chrysanthemum indica extract (bright effector), tetrapeptide-5 (elagrow(R)), gangome extract (elasrich(R)), asparagopsis armata extract (elaspro(R)), hydrolyzed soybean protein (collaplus(R)), hydrolyzed elastin, hydrolyzed collagen, water soluble proteoglycan, gluconic acid|
|Best for||Aging skin|
|Japanese||モイスチュア リッチ エッセンスアイクリーム|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||Hydrogenated palm oil, BG, phytosteryl isostearate, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Aspergillus/rice fermentation extract, chitosan succinamide, hydrolyzed collagen, retinol palmitate, dipeptide-2, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7|
|Features||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, alcohol-free|
|Best for||Aging skin|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||Di(octyldodecyl/phytosteryl/behenyl) lauroylglutamate, DPG, dimethicone, macadamia seed oil, BG, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Sweet pea flower extract, mallow flower extract, atelocollagen|
|Best for||Elasticity, dry skin|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||Diglycerin, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Mussel glycogen, madonna lily root extract, butterbur extract, horse chestnut extract, horse chestnut extract, arnica extract, loofah extract, lentil extract, rosebay extract, mayolana leaf extract, akebi stem extract, kulara root extract, mugwort extract, gotu leaf extract, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed conchiolin|
|Best for||Dry skin, aging skin|
|Japanese||キュレル 潤浸保湿 モイストリペア アイクリーム|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||Liquid isoparaffin, hexadecyloxy PG hydroxyethyl hexadecanamide, concentrated glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||-|
|Features||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, alcohol-free, allergy-tested|
|Best for||Dry skin, sensitive skin|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||BG, diglycerin, squalane, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Polygonum tinctorium leaf/stem extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract , Irohamomiji leaf extract, uncaria gambir extract|
|Best for||Elasticity, aging skin|
|Japanese||SHISEIDO バイタルパーフェクション リンクルリフト ディープレチノホワイト5|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||1,3-butylene glycol, carnauba wax, heavy fluid isoparaffin, microcrystalline wax|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||-|
|Active Ingredients||Retinol, tranexamic acid, potassium salt of 4-methoxysalicylic acid, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate|
|Best for||Aging skin|
|Japanese||肌美精ONE リンクルケア 密着濃厚アイクリーム|
|Main Moisturizing Ingredients||Sorbitol, DPG, mineral oil, glycerin|
|Main Skin Conditioning Ingredients||Retinol palmitate, hydrolyzed elastin, royal jelly extract, ubiquinone|
|Features||Fragrance-free, pigment-free, allergy-tested|
|Best for||Elasticity, dry skin|
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.
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.
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.
Author: Yurie Katafuchi/Translation: Shannon McNaught, Mitsuki Nagasawa, Tomoko Leeper
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