13 Dermatologist Recommended Remedies for Under Eye Wrinkles


As we age, we begin to see the physical manifestations of every smile, laugh, and emotion weve experienced up to that point. Fine lines and wrinkles around the under-eye area are usually the first to form, but theyre no reason to lose sleep at night. (Ironically, that would only deepen the creases.)

"Under-eye skin is normally more delicate and thinner than skin on virtually all other parts of the body. This area is prone to wrinkles, crepiness, dark circles and an irregular network of small blood vessels in the skin," explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Serena Mraz. "Additionally, this skin may be prone [to] accelerated wrinkles from the muscle around the eye (orbicularis oculi) that is attached to the skin in this location."

Under-eye wrinkles and crows feet are nothing to be frightened of; these are just gentle signs that we are, in fact, alive. And also that skin cells are losing collagen and reducing their ability to renew themselves—and the under-eye region happens to be the most sensitive. But, if youre concerned that they may stretch and deepen, making a face look older or more tired, weve got you covered.

We asked leading dermatologists and estheticians how to soften the appearance of under-eye wrinkles and keep new ones from forming in the first place. Keep scrolling to learn which under-eye wrinkle treatments are available to you.

Start Using Retinol

Virginia-based dermatologist, Lily Talakoub, MD, says the single most effective skincare ingredient for getting rid of wrinkles is none other than retinol, so theres a good reason it has dominated the skincare market as of late. According to celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau, "It can stimulate the metabolism of skin cells and encourage collagen production." Collagen is what makes the skin look plump and smooth. Generally speaking, the less collagen in your skin, the more wrinkles and lines youll have. "Retinol can be absorbed within the skin, and, when combined with certain enzymes, its converted into tretinoin (the acid form of vitamin A, also known as retinoic acid). Using a well-formulated and stable product with retinol will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles, and large pores. Its magic is in its ability to resurface the skins texture for a smoother, more even-toned look," adds Rouleau.

So step one in the ever-waging battle against wrinkles is to incorporate a retinol-rich product into your routine. Dr. Talakoub recommends using "a low-potency Retin-A or topical retinaldehyde mixed with a deeply hydrating moisturizer." She likes Erno Laszlos Firmarine Moisturizer ($128) as its formulated with hydrating jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid.

Key Ingredients

Retinol is a type of retinoid, which is a derivative of vitamin A. It is an antioxidant used in anti-aging skin care products.

Moisturize Your Under-Eye Area

When it comes to a standard eye cream that doesnt require a prescription to purchase, Dr. Talakoub recommends iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex ($110). This is no surprise, considering that the brand is beloved by many dermatologists and skincare experts alike. The eye cream has a long list of wrinkle-fighting ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, and peptides.1

Even so, Dr. Talakoub says eye cream isnt enough—in fact, there isnt a single eye cream on the market that shes deemed "enough" for effectively treating wrinkles. They arent hydrating enough on their own, which is why super-rich moisturizers, like the Erno Laszlo pick, are necessary.

Seal in Hydration With an Oil

Speaking of rich face creams, Dr, Talakoub emphasizes the importance of keeping the under-eye area well hydrated, as she says dry and dehydrated skin is more prone to succumbing to fine lines and wrinkles. A hydrated eye area, on the other hand, will look healthier, younger, and plumper. "Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate," she says. Do this by applying a rich cream, then sealing it in with an oil. The oil will prevent any water from evaporating, locking in moisture and plumpness. "Oils are my favorite. Argan, marula, sunflower—you name it. The key to avoiding wrinkles is oil and hydration," stresses Dr. Talakoub. Josie Marans 100% Pure Argan Oil ($49) is a good option for a multitasking moisturizer; its vegan, cruelty-free, and comes from ethically sourced, UNESCO-protected argan nuts.

Try Facial Massages

For those with minimal issues, facial exercises prescribed by a qualified skincare professional might help stimulate a little blood flow and help depuff the eye area. Rhea Souhleris Grous, the founder of La Suite Skincare, recommends a gentle acupressure massage meant to help stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage to depuff, relax, and tone.

"Applying a small amount of eye cream to your ring finger, start at the outer corner, working your way to the inner corner under the eye along the orbital bone. Gently tap the cream into the skin, giving a little double-tap just before reaching the inner corner to pump lymphatic fluid away," says Grous. This technique is also purported to enhance product penetration.

Apply Face Masks

Masks are designed to nourish, balance, and restore the skin—all of which are good for preventing wrinkles. Grous says she loves to use a targeted eye mask that tackles everything from wrinkles to dark circles to puffiness. She explains that the main difference between sheet masks and cream masks is their ability to penetrate the skin. "Sheet masks are serum-infused fibers that allow deeper penetration, whereas cream masks tend to hydrate the skins superficial layers."

One of her favorite eye masks is Exquisites Brightening Anti-Puff Eye Mask ($70), a formula infused with active peptides and plant extracts meant to visibly smooth lines, brighten under the eyes, and gently diminish puffiness. She also suggests MBR Awake & Lift Eye Patches ($182) with hyaluronic acid meant to immediately plump lines and wrinkles, and collagen mask Valmont Eye Regenerating Mask Treatment ($385), a booster with caffeine, arnica, and green tea meant to tighten and firm the skin.

Always Remember SPF

The above suggestions can help diminish existing wrinkles, but its important to remember that prevention is the best treatment. Never forget to apply SPF each morning before heading out the door. It helps with preventing a slew of aging-related concerns including wrinkles, discoloration, and dark spots—other enormous consequences of sun damage, along with the loss of collagen.2"Faithful application of a potent eye cream such as Alphascience Eye Matrix ($72) twice a day after thoroughly cleansing the face morning and night (with removal of all eye makeup) followed by sun protection with sunscreen and the addition of sunglasses and a hat with sun exposure is as important as brushing your teeth twice a day between dental cleanings," notes Dr. Mraz.

Thats why Dr. Talakoub recommends always wearing sunscreen. Glossiers Invisible Shield ($25) has a lightweight SPF 35 water-gel formula that feels like a serum, making it perfect for daily protection. Combine your SPF with a good pair of protective sunglasses, which will protect your eye area from UV damage while also preventing any unnecessary squinting.

Be Gentle With Application

Follow the prevention theme by being gentle when you apply products. Dont pull on the skin around your eyes. Instead, use your ring finger to carefully pat in a product. Dr. Talakoub warns, "Dont rub, scratch, or touch your eyes. Even pulling on the eye to put in contacts can loosen the eyelid skin. People who rub their eyes often get deep wrinkles."

Eat a Healthy Diet

First and foremost, drink lots of water to keep your system hydrated and promote regular elimination. Eat the rainbow! Grous says that eating foods rich in antioxidants like berries, nuts, and dark green vegetables helps support healthy skin. Look for omega-rich foods like salmon, avocado, and walnuts that support a healthy skin barrier, which helps prevent transepidermal water loss.3Collagen-boosting foods like bone broth are also part of a healthy skin diet.

Quit Bad Habits Like Drinking Alcohol and Smoking

Drinking alcohol results in inflammation and dehydration.4It also interrupts good sleep and leads to the dreaded "hangover face" and puffy eyes. Skincare and professional treatments aim to restore a healthy, plump appearance to the skin—alcohol does the opposite.

Grous says smoking is another thing that sabotages skin. "Smoke is a carcinogen that damages every cell in the body, including skin cells. It also inhibits the ability to carry fresh, oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to the skin cells, leading to a dull, sallow look, aka smokers skin."

Try Microneedling

When done properly under the care of a qualified skincare professional, microneedling can produce great results that help promote the penetration of beneficial ingredients and encourage collagen production.5Grous explains that microneedling helps tighten, plump, and retexturize the skin, ultimately reducing the visible signs of under-eye wrinkles and dark circles. At her clinic, she also performs Fractional Radio Frequency Microneedling, a procedure using needles and heat energy that creates a wound and stimulates the skin to create new collagen, making the skin taut and reducing fine lines.

Look for the Right Ingredients

Not all skincare products are as effective as they claim. And while some might be worth the hype, they may not be beneficial for the under-eye area. The best way to get the most out of your arsenal is to shop for formulas with the right ingredients. Dr. Mraz suggests keeping an eye out for these powerhouse ingredients:

L-Glutamine:improves the elasticity of skin and lightens, brightens, and strengthens the skin by increasing collagen production.Genistein: a plant-derived, hormone-like molecule that has potent anti-aging effects on the skin for both women and men.Troxuretine: helps to normalize the small blood vessels to improve microcirculation and delivery of important micronutrients to the skin and clean up dark and dull skin as well as decreasing under-eye puffiness.Hyaluronic acid: hydrates the skin and plumps up fine lines.

As mentioned above, her favorite pick is the Alphascience Eye Matrix. "This is a soothing, moisturizing, preservative-free, and fragrance-free eye cream with a combination of non-irritating and potent ingredients to address skin elasticity, and collagen production, and reduce puffiness and dark circles," she says. "Eye matrix contains 5% L-glutamine, genistein, 3% niosome troxerutin, and a 2% patented tripeptide that acts to smooth fine expression lines."

Consult a Professional

If youre currently following an expert-recommended routine to a T, yet you still see new wrinkles pop up, then it might be time to book an in-clinic appointment. Certain professional treatments have the power to make a massive difference in the appearance of the skin. For example, Dr. Talakoubs clinic uses "a radio frequency tightening device paired with yearly gentle resurfacing treatments to build collagen around the eye." Grous relies on a laser treatment called Periocular Fraxel. "It improves fine lines and wrinkles and stimulates new collagen and elastin formation. It also visibly tightens the skin around the eyes," she says.

"Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and/or exosomes may be used to provide potent growth factors or messages to boost the collagen-producing cells called fibroblasts to step up output," adds Dr. Mraz. "Energy-based devices such as fractionated lasers, micro-focused high-intensity ultrasound, and radiofrequency devices are commonly used to smooth and tighten loose or wrinkled skin. In some situations, surgical measures are required to adequately address excessive sagging or excessive under-eye fat protrusion in addition to skin quality improvement measures. A qualified, board-certified physician can best help guide you to appropriate treatment."

Consider Injectables

Although injectables are one of the most sought-out wrinkle treatments, we left this one at the bottom of the list to show theyre not the only solution—especially for the under-eye area, which is so sensitive. (Although Botox and fillers are safe when administered by your trusted professional.) "Botox pauses the muscle movement that causes fine lines (a line you never make is a line you never get!)," says Grous. For lines at rest, hyaluronic acid fillers revolumize, smooth, and plump them up.6"Additional medical procedures may be helpful for many individuals to address crows feet and under-eye wrinkles. This includes administration of neuromodulators (e.g. Botox, Dysport, or Daxxify) which relax the muscles creating lines of expression," adds Dr. Mraz. "Strategic placement of injectable fillers may help to replace structure around the eye socket (Juvederm Volbella and Restylane Eyelight are approved in the US for this indication)."

The 18 Best Anti-Aging Eye Creams of 2023 for Wrinkles, Fine Lines, & Dark Circles

Article Sources

We takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

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