Friday, June 14, 2024

14 Best Korean Eye Creams 2023 for Hydrated, Firm Undereyes, According to Dermatologists

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When we asked experts to share their favorite Korean eye creams on the market, we noticed something: Most of them are powered by peptides. In skin-care products, the popular ingredient boosts and replenishes amino acids, which are the building blocks for collagen production, as David Kim, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, previously shared with Allure. As a result, peptides reduce the appearance of fine lines while keeping skin supple and firm. Needless to say, they are just what the extremely thin, delicate skin under your eyes needs to be as happy and healthy as possible. (After all, that’s the true goal of Korean skin care.) 

In the best of the best Korean eye creams seen below, peptides are paired with equally as effective and similarly revitalizing ingredients, such as vitamin C, probiotics, ceramides, and retinoids. Together, they gently and powerfully care for your eye area while bringing brightening, smoothing, and moisturizing benefits to formulas from long-beloved brands, like Cosrx, AHC, and Goodal, as well as buzzy new ones, namely Shaishaishai and Tirtir. Below, find the 14 best eye creams that were developed from Korean skin-care innovations and will suit any skin type.

Our Top Picks:

  1. Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles: Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Circle Eye Cream, $24
  2. Best for Puffiness: Beauty of Joseon Revive Eye Cream Ginseng + Retinal, $17 
  3. Best for a Plumping, Filler-Like Effect: Yunjac Whole Plant Effect Eye Concentrate, $101
  4. Best for Sensitive Skin: Medicube Deep Reviving Peptide Eye Cream, $55
  5. Best Retinol Alternative: Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Bakuchiol Eye Cream, $9
  6. Best for Fine Line Prevention: Benton Fermentation Eye Cream, $27 
  7. Best for Mature Skin: Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream, $16

Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles: Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Circle Eye Cream

Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Circle Eye Cream

One of the top eye creams on Glowpick (the most popular beauty review platform for Koreans) is Goodal’s Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Circle Eye Cream. For those unfamiliar, Glowpick is a Korean social media platform where people can review their favorite products and find detailed ingredient breakdowns. Goodal’s eye cream version of its beloved vitamin C serum is a favorite in Korea because it’s ultra-lightweight and non-irritating, despite being packed with several forms of vitamin C. Plus, it hydrates the delicate skin around the eyes as it diminishes the appearance of dark circles with consistent use. 


Best for Sensitive Skin: Medicube Deep Reviving Peptide Eye Cream

Medicube Deep Reviving Peptide Eye Cream

Medicube’s Deep Reviving Peptide Eye Cream comes highly recommended by board-certified dermatologist Hee Jin Koh, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New Jersey. Skin-firming peptides are joined by besties niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, “which work even better together as pairs,” she adds. “They help strengthen the skin barrier and are great for those with sensitive skin.”


Best for Puffiness: Beauty of Joseon Revive Eye Cream Ginseng + Retinal 

Beauty of Joseon Revive Eye Cream Ginseng + Retinal

The Beauty of Joseon Revive Eye Cream Ginseng + Retinal is the buzziest Korean eye cream of the moment and counts Dr. Koh and cosmetic chemist Ramón Pagán as fans. “I love the ultra-nourishing and soothing formula with the added (gentle) kick of retinal,” Pagán tells Allure.

Ginseng has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with puffiness. The retinal, on the other hand, appears in the form of liposomes for better penetration and delivery of the vitamin A derivative, Dr. Koh shares. Retinal also “only requires a one-step conversion to the active form of retinoid acid, unlike retinol which requires a two-step conversion,” she adds. In other words, it’s more effective and less irritating. 


Best Retinol Alternative: Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Bakuchiol Eye Cream

Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Bakuchiol Eye Cream

Soko Glam’s cofounder Charlotte Cho loves the Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Bakuchiol Eye Cream. It brings the brightening and firming fermented black rice K-beauty fans have fallen in love with —  thanks to its best-selling Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner — to a lightweight, fragrance-free eye cream. Cho reaches for it because it doesn’t cause her to develop milia around under her eyes. 


Best for a Plumping, Filler-Like Effect: Yunjac Whole Plant Effect Eye Concentrate 

Yunjac Whole Plant Effect Eye Concentrate

Allure Korea’s editors picked the Yunjac Whole Plant Effect Eye Concentrate for the best eye cream category for their 2022 Best of Beauty Awards due to the way it satisfyingly “fills up the sunken area around the eyes.” The silky serum-like formula is infused with fermented ginseng and adenosine to amp up blood flow in order to plump and smooth — almost like painless undereye filler


Best for Firming: AHC Ten Revolution Real Eye Cream For Face

AHC Ten Revolution Real Eye Cream For Face

AHC’s eye creams are extremely popular in Korea, so much so that one tube is sold every three seconds. After launching its first Real Eye Cream for Face in 2012, AHC has reformulated it every year (while still offering the previous versions) to include the latest and greatest ingredients in the K-beauty industry. The Ten Revolution Real Eye Cream For Face is the 2022 iteration, and it features three types of collagen extracts that work together to mimic the collagen your skin naturally produces, alongside 50 peptides and a mild retinoid, for major firming, tightening, and plumping benefits. 


Best for Fine Line Prevention: Benton Fermentation Eye Cream 

Benton Fermentation Eye Cream

The ingredient list for Benton’s Fermentation Eye Cream reads like a roll call for the best fermented skin-care ingredients in the game: galactomyces ferment filtrate, lactobacillus ferment filtrate, and bifida ferment lysate. This probiotic-rich power trio is known to naturally moisturize skin, protect it from oxidative stress, and decrease skin sensitivity. Consider it an amazing preventative measure against fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. 


Best for Nighttime Routines: Dr. Different Vitalift-A Eye & Neck

Dr. Different Vitalift-A Eye & Neck

Retinal puts the A in Dr. Different’s Vitalift-A Eye & Neck to help iron out crow’s feet and crepiness. A gentle 0.02% concentration teams up with emollient-rich squalane and anti-inflammatory shea butter to ensure the eye cream doesn’t create more problems than it solves (e.g. flaking and irritation that typically comes with introducing a new retinoid into your skin-care routine). 


Best for Instant Results: Shaishaishai Banana Conceal Eye Cream 

Shaishaishai Banana Conceal Eye Cream

The Shaishaishai Banana Conceal Eye Cream has a subtle sandy-colored tint to instantly neutralize the darkness under your eyes, Pagán says. All the while, it also helps eyes look more awake and lids feel intensely hydrated with the help of niacinamide and vitamin E-rich banana extract — making it a great pick for dry skin. “It’s the best of both worlds, combining skin care and makeup in one product,” he adds.


Most Relaxing to Apply: Tirtir Collagen Lifting Eye Cream

Tirtir Collagen Lifting Eye Cream

Pop the Tirtir Collagen Lifting Eye Cream in the fridge to turn it into a mini at-home spa experience. The metallic tube is topped with a steel rollerball to cool and tighten your eye area as it thinly and evenly spreads on the rejuvenating, algae- and collagen-spiked formula. Goodbye, puffy undereye bags.


Most Hydrating: Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Eye Cream

Laniege Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Eye Cream

Cosmetic chemist Asia Fee has a “soft spot” for Laneige’s Bank Blue Hyaluronic Eye Cream due to its innovative form of hyaluronic acid the brand calls Blue Hyaluronic Acid. “Unlike typical hyaluronic acid, it’s derived through the biofermentation of sea algae, resulting in an amplified humectant,” she tells Allure. Your parched undereye area will thank you for this dryness-curbing cream.


Best for Mature Skin: Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream

Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream

This tiny purple jar of Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream is brimming with marine collagen to elevate the skin’s elasticity around your eyes, as well as deeply nourishing plant-based oils for rehydration. The non-greasy gel has been a longtime favorite of K-beauty aficionados with mature skin for these very reasons.


Best Under Makeup: Cosrx Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream

Cosrx Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream

Stateside, Cosrx’s Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream is an Allure staff favorite. Deputy digital director Kara McGrath enjoys how the silky, lightweight texture reflects light without any added sparkle. “It also plays super well with makeup: There’s none of that dreaded pilling when I layer my go-to concealer on top.” 

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