One of the first places wrinkles show up is around and under the eyes. There are a lot of reasons for this (and we’ll get to them in a moment).
A surprising number of people believe that under eye wrinkles are pretty much permanent. Or that the only way to deal with them is regular Botox injections. But while Botox is very much a viable means of treatment, it's far from the only one out there.
First off, there are behavioral changes you can make that will slow the onset of eye wrinkles. But even if crows feet are already staring back at you in the mirror, there are other clinical treatments available besides Botox. Not to mention a number of outstanding OTC creams that can help you deal effectively with eye wrinkles.
Top Causes of Under Eye Wrinkles
According to dermatologists, the three main causes of eye wrinkles are:
Squinting/Sunlight - If you go outside every day without proper sunglasses, you're going to start developing wrinkles around and under your eyes from squinting. Squinting is one of those habits that affect the entire face, but concentrates most of its nasty consequences on your beautiful eyes.
In addition, not wearing UV protective sunglasses and sunscreen enables the sun’s rays to attack the soft tissue under your eyes. This damages collagen in the underlying layers and causes that tissue to sag and wrinkle.
- Dehydration - This is another common cause of under-eye wrinkles. It becomes particularly problematic if you have dry skin, to begin with. Dermatologists recommend that an average size male should drink 8 glasses of water per day and the average size female 6 glasses. If you don’t then don’t be surprised if under eye wrinkles wind up staring back at you in the mirror.
- Smoking - Smoking destroys your lungs and drastically increases your risk of heart disease and cancer. If that's not enough to make you quit, it also robs your skin of the oxygen it needs to thrive. The result is called “smoker’s face." A person with a smoker's face has saggy, hollow cheeks, a greyish pallor, and wrinkles including under their eyes.
"Two of the most important things for wrinkle prevention are using sunscreen and outright sun avoidance," - Rod Rohrich, MD
Top 5 Clinical Treatments for Under Eye Wrinkles
Clinical treatments for under eye wrinkles are becoming more popular by the year. Mostly because there are some very effective ones out there these days and more are coming online all the time. Here are the top 5 under eye wrinkle treatments.
- Botox - Botox is a neurotoxin produced by a bacteria (clostridium botulinum) that’s injected into the skin in tiny amounts in areas where wrinkles are present. It has the effect of paralyzing the muscles it encounters. This, in turn, causes the skin above the injection spot to relax and wrinkles to flatten out. Botox has proven itself both safe and effective, and last year alone, more than 6 million people in the US alone underwent Botox treatment.
- Fillers - While Botox is injected into the skin, it's not a filler. Fillers take one of two forms. The first type of filler stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which, in time, smooths out the skin. The second type of filler is an inert substance (and there are several different ones) that fill the space themselves, causing any wrinkles to smooth out. The first type of filler is going to take some time to show results because the body doesn’t produce collagen overnight. The second produces more or less immediate results.
- Chemical peels - A chemical peel sounds a bit nasty. And there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a fairly harsh way to achieve smooth, healthy skin. But there’s also no arguing with its results. The dermatologist applies an acidic solution usually composed of some combination of lactic, glycolic, salicylic or carbolic acid along with retinoids and other ingredients. This removes the outer, damaged layer of skin and allows for healthier underneath layers to come to the fore.
- Microdermabrasion - Microdermabrasion works on the same principle as the chemical peel. It’s designed to remove the outermost layer of skin to allow healthy, smooth under layers to shine forth. It also stimulates the production of both collagen and elastin. But instead of chemicals, it uses microscopic crystals to essentially sandblast the area under your eyes. This type of under-eye wrinkle treatment has proven itself effective. But there’s no doubt it works best on fine lines and wrinkles. It’s not recommended for deep-seated "character lines.
- Laser resurfacing - This is a third under eye wrinkle treatment that operates on the same premise. During laser resurfacing, an ablative (meaning: that which wears away) laser is used to vaporize the damaged outer layer of skin just like a chemical peel or microdermabrasion.
- The removal of the outer layer of skin forces the body to repair itself by moving new, smoother, undamaged skin to the fore.
As you can see, clinical treatments tend to take one of two roads. Either they find a way to fill in the tissue beneath the under-eye wrinkles or they remove the outermost layer of skin so that new, healthier skin can take its place.
What Products are Good for Treating Under Eye Wrinkles?
There are several products that are good for treating under eye wrinkles. Below, we’ve brought together 7 of the best.
Clarasome from Dermaclara Beauty has undergone rigorous 3rd party testing by industry giant BioScreen who determined it to be effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles under and around the eyes. It uses a combination of hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and important nutrients to clear away dead and damaged skin and nurture the development of new, smoother skin.
It’s the most effective cream we tested ourselves and produced results that more than validated the BioScreen findings. When we consider the reasonable price as well, it becomes our clear under eye wrinkle treatment favorite.
- Clears away old skin gently but effectively
- Nourishes new skin as it emerges
- Skin is visibly smoother and more supple
- You can only buy it from the official Dermaclara website
Biopelle Radiance Eye Cream $80
If you’re looking for an all-natural eye cream that will help smooth out under-eye wrinkles, this isn't it. The ingredient list here is long and contains plenty of words you never heard of. Fortunately, none have a bad reputation.
With that said, this is one of the more effective anti-wrinkle creams on the market. It facilitates collagen and elastin production and provides a generous helping of UV protection. It has a light, neutral tint to it that won’t clash with most makeup and it can be left on all day without worry.
- Contains humectants that aid in plumping the skin
- Provides much-needed UV protection
- Isn’t designed to remove dead skin cells
L'Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Eye Treatment $7
Revitalift Volume Filler Eye Treatment is all about that: restoring volume to the area under your eyes. As it states on the packaging, the most visible way age manifests itself on our face is the loss of volume. The skin becomes worn and flat and begins to sag. And that’s when wrinkles set in.
Revitalift is a kind of chemical peel in a tube. It contains several mild acids designed to gently strip away damaged skin so that new, plumper skin can emerge and restore volume.
- Typical L’Oreal quality
- As much a long-term treatment as short-term
- Generally effective at reducing under-eye wrinkles
- It’s going to take time to see any benefits
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel $19
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel is all about soothing and restoring luster to your skin. And that includes the skin under your eyes. It’s heavy on ingredients that will achieve that goal including glycerin, beeswax, and isoparaffin.
If you have sensitive skin, it feels particularly good going on and is absorbed quickly. While it’s not an exfoliant and the level of wrinkle reduction won’t be quite as great as with Clarasome or some other items on this list, the skin under your eyes will look better if you use it on a regular basis.
- Great for sensitive skin
- Feels wonderful when applied
- Moderate wrinkle reduction
Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate $75
This anti-wrinkle cream is useful for alleviating dry skin under your eyes. It’s rich in antioxidants and moisturizers and helps smooth out under-eye wrinkles as well as dark circles. It goes on feeling great and makes the tired UV-ravaged skin under the eyes feel fresh and full again.
- Has a rich, luxurious feel to it
- Does a good job revitalizing the under-eye region
- The cost-benefit ratio is not great
SkinCeuticals AOX Eye Gel $95
SkinCeuticals AOX Eye Gel is focused on repairing UV damage in the area under your eyes. It does this through its use of antioxidants, caffeine, and more obscure ingredients including ruscus (a type of Asian evergreen shrub) to tighten the skin and restore its vitality. The thing is that as the cream wears off so too do most of the beneficial effects.
- Does a good job tightening up under-eye skin
- Feels good and lasts most of the day
- A temporary stopgap treatment
Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream $35
Our final OTC under eye wrinkle treatment is Ultimate Eye Cream from Olay. It works by enabling the skin to retain greater amounts of moisture and tightening things up under the eyes. The more supple, moist skin is less wrinkle-prone. Just rub a bit in before going to sleep and let it work overnight.
- Definitely improves the feel of under-eye skin
- Makes fine lines less visible
- Not so great on larger wrinkles
"The workhorse of any over-the-counter anti-wrinkle cream is its ability to hydrate the skin." - Dr. Fayne Frey Dermatologist
Do Under Eye Wrinkle Products Work?
Under eye wrinkle products can work although you should not expect too much from some of them.
Where Can I Buy Under Eye Wrinkle Treatments?
Most of the under-eye wrinkle treatment creams on our list can be picked up at Amazon or at any reputable online or brick and mortar beauty products retailer. All, that is, except our top choice, Clarasome by Dermaclara Beauty. To get it, you’ll need to get it from the official Dermaclara Beauty website.
Are Under-Eye Wrinkle Treatments Expensive?
Under-eye wrinkle treatments can be fairly expensive. But if you choose an effective one you’ll no doubt consider it money well spent.
Final Tips: Why You Should Add an Under-Eye Wrinkle Treatment to Your Current Skin Care Routine
You should add an under eye wrinkle treatment to your current routine so you can prevent them from cropping up as you age. An under-eye wrinkle treatment will help you retain your natural, youthful appearance without having to subject yourself to more expensive and impactful clinical treatments.
Also, if you begin using under eye wrinkle creams early enough, you'll likely be able to fend off the kind of wrinkles that are hard to deal with and would require expensive clinical treatments