Vitamin C eye creams are having a serious moment. Six new ones hit shelves over the last few weeks, and each one uses the antioxidant-rich active in its own unique way. According to Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, this is decidedly good news, because vitamin C is a wonderful ingredient to use in eye creams.
“While many eye creams traditionally focus on hyaluronic acid to moisturize and plump, or retinoids to help with protein and fine lines and wrinkles, vitamin C is great because it is going to help to brighten the under eye skin,” says Dr. Garshick. “It’s an area where we often deal with hyperpigmentation, and so what that basically means is that there’s the brown discoloration that sometimes contributes to dark circles.”
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant so it helps to protect against free-radical damage, which is one of the causes of premature signs of aging. Free radicals are molecules in the environment that get into our skin cells and rob them of electrons. This makes previously healthy skin cells unstable and less functional. This leads to DNA, cell, and protein damage that all results in concerns like discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. Since the eyes are surrounded by thin skin, they’re often the first place we start to see these visible signs of aging, and using an eye cream that prevents free radical damage can help keep the skin strong and firm for longer.
Instead of using a general vitamin C skin-care product around your eyes, Dr. Garshick says it’s best to use a vitamin C eye cream.
“Because the eyelid skin is a little bit thinner and more delicate than the rest of the face, it can experience a little bit more irritation and sensitivity,” says Dr. Garshick. “Vitamin C, we know in many cases, can be irritating, and so having a formulation specifically for the eye area does provide that benefit in the sense that it can limit the potential irritation.”
OAM Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer — $35.00
From singer Ciara’s new skin-care brand (which just launched today!), this silky eye cream is made with the brand’s Tri-C Pro-Peptide. The ingredient is central to the singer’s line, and contains three active forms of vitamin C along with peptides to deeply penetrate the skin without irritation. It also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing niacinamide.
Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream — $38.00
This Glow Recipe cream uses 10 percent guava-derived vitamin C along with 3 percent niacinamide to fade hyperpigmentation. It also uses caffeine and peptide, which restrict the blood vessels under the eyes to decrease puffiness, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump fine lines. Altogether, these ingredients reduce the look of dark circles.
OleHenriksen Banana Bright+ Vitamin C Eye Crème — $42.00
Launched in early August, this vitamin C eye cream is a revamp of one of OleHenriksen’s best-selling products. The updated formula includes three forms of vitamin C along with gold for enhanced brightening and tightening. It also includes citrus-based bioflavonoids that neutralize free radicals and hardy orange extract, an antioxidant-rich plant that boosts vitamin C’s brightening abilities.
ITK Day + Night Eye Cream Duo — $15.00
One of these jars houses two vitamin C creams to help you nourish your skin day and night. In the morning, use the gel serum, which contains caffeine to depuff your under eyes and help you look more awake. Before bed, use the rich cream that’s packed with collagen, ceramides, and antioxidants for overnight moisturization.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Vitamin C Lactic Firm & Bright Eye Treatment — $68.00
Silky and fast-absorbing, this treatment uses three forms of vitamin C to protect skin cells, prevent hyperpigmentation, and firm skin around the eye. It also includes lactic acid, which provides gentle exfoliation along with hydration, and tranexamic acid, which reduces the appearance of dark spots and limits new ones from forming.
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