Here are our top picks for the best Korean eye creams for every skin concern.
|Product Name||Ranking||Key Ingredient||Fragrance & Essential Oils/ Alcohol-free||Skin Type||Price|
|MiZON | Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream||
|Adenosine; Marine collagen; Peptides||Y/Y||All (Sensitive)||Check Here|
|Mizon | Snail Repair Eye Cream||
|Snail Mucin; Epithelial Cell Growing Factors; Peptides; Hyaluronic Acid;||Y/Y||Dry||Check Here|
|Purito Centella | Green Eye Level Cream||
|Centella Asiatica; Adenosine; Ceramides||Y/N||All||Check Here|
|Sulwhasoo | Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream||
|Ginseng; Squalane; Tocopherol; Caffeine; Titanium Dioxide||N/N||Dry||["aa asin="B07DQZ47DV"]Check Here[/aa]|
|InnisFree | Perfect 9 Repair Eye Cream||
Best for Aging Skin
|Niacinamide; Tocopherol; Adenosine; Squalane||Y/N||Dry/Mature||Check Here|
|AHC | Time Rewind Real Eye Cream For Face Season 8||
Best Cult Favorite
|Niacinamide; Aloe; Shea Butter; Adenosine; Peptides; Bifida Ferment Lysate; Meadowfoam Seed Oil||N/N||Dry||Check Here|
How to Pick the Best Korean Eye Cream?
Korean skincare products have skyrocketed in popularity over the years, which has led to an explosion of even more brands and product lines. This is especially true of Korean eye creams. A quick search on Olive Young’s main website pulls up almost 500 results – and that’s just for eye cream alone!
But as we all know, not all eye creams are created the same. Whether you’re a curious newbie or a savvy K-Beauty fan looking to try a new eye cream, the sheer amount of choices can be daunting. So how does one maneuver their way through choosing the best Korean eye cream?
It’s vital first to understand your skin type and skin concerns at a basic level. From there, you can start narrowing down your choices based on buying factors such as ingredients, formulation, etc.
Without further ado, here are the top buying factors to consider when choosing the best Korean eye cream for you:
Korean eye creams (and skincare in general) have a penchant for natural ingredients, some of which you won’t usually find in western eye creams. This is mainly because Korean skincare products tend to focus more on preventative care and maintaining good skin health. On the other hand, Western eye creams often focus more on addressing existing issues.
Here are a few ingredients to look for in an eye cream, depending on your skin concern:
Ginseng, or Panax ginseng, is a medicinal plant used in traditional folk medicine since 196 AD.
Ginseng is effective against wrinkles around the eyes. It improves skin thickness, prevents the degradation of collagen, and boosts hyaluronan production. A study also shows that ginseng has skin brightening properties that can address hyperpigmentation and skin discolorations.
This hydrating ingredient was initially discovered in the 1960s by Dr. Rafael Abad Iglesias, a Spanish oncologist, and was later popularized by Korean skincare brands.
Snail mucin is known for its hydrating, wound-healing, and skin-restoring properties. When used consistently, it can improve skin integrity and strengthen the skin barrier, which is especially good for the thin skin around the eyes. A 2013 study showed that it could also lessen fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of photodamage.
Meadowfoam seed oil
Meadowfoam seed oil is extracted from the seeds of white meadowfoam flowers. It’s composed of three long-chain fatty acids and is known for its extraordinary stability.
Meadowfoam seed oil contains vitamin E and phytosterols, which have free-radical-fighting, photoprotective properties. It’s also extremely resistant to oxidation, which means it won’t break down with sun exposure. In addition to being highly moisturizing, meadowfoam seed oil is also light and non-greasy, which is ideal for the sensitive eye area.
Yeast (Bifida ferment lysate)
Bifida ferment lysate is a probiotic ingredient obtained through the fermentation of Bifida bacteria.
Bifida ferment lysate contains properties that decrease skin sensitivity, as shown in a 2010 study. It enhances the skin’s resiliency against physical and chemical stressors that damage the skin barrier. It also has photoprotective and moisturizing components that provide anti-aging benefits for the skin.
EGF (Epidermal Growth Factors)
EGFs stimulate skin growth and renewal at a cellular level to maintain youthful-looking skin. They also trigger the increase of fibroblasts, which are important in the synthesis of collagen.
When it comes to improving skin texture, western skincare products often favor using more potent actives like Retinol. Korean skincare brands, on the other hand, take a gentler approach.
This explains the popularity of EGFs and ingredients like peptides and adenosine in many Korean eye creams. When applied, these ingredients soothe, hydrate, and improve wrinkles without the harshness of strong active ingredients.
Skin type suitability
Korean skincare products tend to be more lightweight than their western counterparts and are best used by layering them on the skin. This ultimately led to the popularization of the 10-step Korean skincare regimen.
Similar to Japanese eye creams, Korean eye creams tend to be lightweight, and also contain more plant extracts, oils, fragrances, and the like. These can have varied effects depending on your skin type.
Here’s what to take note of when buying eye cream, gel or serum for your skin type:
- Dry skin: Korean eye creams tend to be lightweight and absorbed very quickly. As such, they may not be as hydrating as western eye creams which have thicker consistencies. Those with very dry skin can still use these eye creams but may need to pair it with a moisturizer or a serum to keep the eye area soft and supple.
- Oily skin: Essential oils are a common feature in many Korean eye creams. They not only help minimize skin tugging by ensuring the product goes on effortlessly; they also moisturize and soften the skin. While this is great news for dry skin types, essential oils are comedogenic and can pose a problem for breakout-prone skin.
- Sensitive skin: If you have sensitive skin that’s prone to redness and irritation, be sure to keep an eye out for triggers like alcohol and fragrance. Alcohol can dehydrate the skin, and perfumes, which are common in Korean products, can irritate the thin skin around our eyes.
Eye cream packaging comes in various formats, from jars to roller ball tubes to pump bottles. However, not all of them are ideal for keeping our precious eye creams safe from contamination or oxidation.
Tubs or jars, while economical, exposes the product to the air, which reduces its effectiveness over time. Frequent dipping of unsanitized fingers into a product can also trigger the growth of bacteria.
Non-airtight pumps and transparent bottles expose our products to light and air. This is detrimental for eye creams that contain photosensitive ingredients.
Vitamin C, for example, easily breaks down under sunlight. With repeated sun exposure, an eye cream with vitamin C will quickly deteriorate or oxidize, until it becomes ineffective. Furthermore, using a product that has oxidized may cause irritation and other problems for your skin.
So, to ensure that you’ll get the best bang for your buck, try to choose eye creams that come in opaque containers, airtight pumps, or tubes. This is especially important if you are looking at DIY eye creams.
Korean eye cream prices range from very affordable to super-premium. And while prices don’t always dictate quality, they do often indicate potency.
Cheaper eye creams, for example, contain milder concoctions of active ingredients. In contrast, expensive eye creams are formulated with greater potency and are often geared towards more mature skin.
Expensive eye creams also tend to use choice herbal ingredients. Ginseng is one such ingredient that can drive up the price of a skincare product. This isn’t just because it’s rich in many health and skin benefits. It is also because Ginseng is a slow-growing plant that takes years before it can be harvested.
To maximise the effectiveness of the product, make sure you are applying the eye cream properly as well.
6 Best Korean Eye Creams 2021
MiZON Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream
- 54% marine collagen and hyaluronic acid for hydration
- Copper tripeptide-1 and adenosine for skin elasticity
- Olive Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Camellia Oil, and Meadowfoam Seed Oil for moisturization
- Formulated with no artificial ingredients
- Safe for sensitive skin
The MiZON Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream is chock-full of superstar anti-aging ingredients for its price point. It contains no common triggers for sensitive skin and is suitable for most skin types, making this eye cream our best overall pick.
The eye cream is enriched with a 54% marine collagen solution and hyaluronic acid. This duo deeply hydrates and firms while improving the skin’s moisture retention capabilities.
Skin elasticity is enhanced with the combination of copper tripeptide-1 and adenosine. Both ingredients safeguard the skin against premature signs of aging and diminish the appearance of existing fine lines and wrinkles.
The MiZON Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream is formulated without parabens, artificial colorings, and fragrances. However, it contains Evening Primrose Oil, which is comedogenic and may cause problems for people with very oily skin.
MIZON Snail Repair Eye Cream
- 80% filtrated snail mucus
- EGF for improved skin cell renewal
- Adenosine and peptides for wrinkles
- Niacinamide for skin brightening
- Olive Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil for moisturization
- Formulated with no artificial ingredients
- Best for dry skin
The MIZON Snail Repair Eye Cream is a multifunctional cream that brightens skin, hydrates, and addresses wrinkles. This eye cream gets our Strong Runner-up spot since some people may be hesitant about using snail mucin.
This eye cream is packed with 80% filtrated snail mucin, which has wound-healing properties that help repair the skin. One of the main components of snail mucin, chondroitin sulfate, also helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers.
The MIZON Snail Repair Eye Cream is enriched with EGFs, which help maintain youthful-looking skin by promoting skin cell renewal. Adenosine and peptides boost skin elasticity and minimize wrinkles, which is perfect for the aging-prone eye area. Dark, dull under eyes are also addressed with the help of skin-brightening niacinamide.
Rubbing the Snail Repair eye cream into the skin is not recommended. It doesn’t quicken the product absorption and can cause it to thicken. Instead, gently tap the product into the skin until fully absorbed to reap the full benefits.
Purito Centella Green Level Eye Cream
- 49% Centella Asiatica extract
- Adenosine and Palmitoyl Peptide Complex for elasticity
- Hyaluronic acid, Panthenol, and Ceramides for moisturization
- pH-balanced and safe for all types of skin
- Vegan and cruelty-free
The Purito Centella Green Level Eye Cream is a cult favorite among Asian Beauty enthusiasts. Its star ingredient, Centella Asiatica, is effective and well-suited for acne-prone skin. It’s also super affordable, making this our top pick for the Best Budget eye cream.
The eye cream consists of 49% Centella Asiatica extract, which contains compounds like Asiatic acid, Madecassic acid, Asiaticoside, and Madecassoside. This extract helps to improve wound healing, fight free radicals, and boost collagen synthesis in the skin.
Purito’s Palmitoyl Peptide Complex is composed of four different peptides that give better skin elasticity. The addition of adenosine further helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes.
The combination of hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and ceramides gives you optimum moisturization. Hyaluronic acid works by attracting water molecules into the skin, while panthenol and ceramides keep skin hydrated longer by reducing water loss.
If your skin is sensitive to essential oils, be aware that this eye cream contains lavender oil and citrus fruit oil.
Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream
- Concentrated ginseng extract
- Japanese honeysuckle, squalane, and licorice for anti-inflammation
- Tocopherol and titanium dioxide for broad spectrum UV protection
- Caffeine for skin brightening
- Best for dry skin types
Sulwhasoo’s skincare heritage dates back to 1966 with the introduction of their first ginseng cream. Years later, they’ve continued to perfect their formulations using only the most high-quality herbal ingredients. For that, the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream is our pick for Best Premium eye cream.
This renewing eye cream contains concentrated amounts of Compound K, found in ginseng roots and flowers. It has anti-aging properties that stops premature wrinkling. The eye cream also contains Japanese honeysuckle, squalane, and licorice, a trio of anti-inflammatory ingredients that soothe sensitive skin.
The addition of caffeine brightens dull-looking under eyes, helping them look more youthful and awake. Additionally, tocopherol (vitamin E) and titanium dioxide give essential protection against UVA and UVB rays.
This eye cream is formulated with alcohol and fragrance, which can be irritating for sensitive skin.
Innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Eye Cream
- Jeju Elixir Complex™
- Lingzhi mushroom extract
- Tocopherol for UV protection
- Niacinamide and caffeine for skin brightening
- Adenosine and shea butter for elasticity and moisture
- Squalane and beta-glucan for anti-inflammation
- Best for dry or mature skin
The Innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Eye Cream uses a potent mix of EGFs and plant extracts to tackle nine issues of aging skin. As such, this eye cream earns the title of Best for Aging Skin.
This eye cream is enriched with Jeju Elixir Complex™, a concoction made from extracts of different plants found on Jeju Island. These ingredients, which include Lingzhi mushroom, Green Tea, and Orchid extracts, have various revitalizing and antimicrobial properties. Together, they address aging signs like dryness, wrinkles, discoloration, and diminished skin elasticity.
Niacinamide and caffeine improve dark circles, while tocopherol protects the skin from UV damage. The sensitive eye area is also kept safe from irritation with skin-soothing beta-glucan.
Lastly, the combination of adenosine, squalane, and shea butter helps keep skin supple and hydrated.
Although the Innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Eye Cream does contain alcohol, it is the non-drying type that’s safe for sensitive skin. On the other hand, shea butter is comedogenic and may clog pores for acne-prone skin types.
AHC Time Rewind Real Eye Cream for Face Season 8
- Bifida Ferment Lysate for skin sensitivity
- Niacinamide for skin brightening
- Shea butter, aloe extract, and meadowfoam seed oil for moisturization
- Adenosine for skin barrier repair
- Collagen and peptides for hydration and elasticity
- Best for dry or mature skin
The AHC Time Rewind Real Eye Cream For Face Season 8 is chock-full of anti-aging peptides and can be used all over the face, not just around the eyes. The eye cream is such a popular choice among K-Beauty lovers that it’s already reached its eighth season in the market. This makes the AHC Time Rewind Real Eye Cream our Best Cult Favorite pick.
The eye cream is fortified with a probiotic ingredient called Bifida ferment lysate. By itself, this ingredient reduces skin sensitivity to environmental stressors. When combined with skin-healing adenosine, they work to repair the skin barrier and improve its moisture retention capabilities.
The AHC Time Rewind Real Eye Cream contains over 20 different peptides that improve skin elasticity and firmness around the eyes. It also consists of ultra-fine water-soluble collagen, designed to be absorbed quickly to give the skin a blast of hydration.
A blend of shea butter, aloe, and meadowfoam seed oil ensures that dry eyelids always stay soft and moisturized.
The AHC Time Rewind Real Eye Cream For Face contains coconut oil, which is known to be highly comedogenic. So, it’s essential to take this into consideration if you have acne-prone skin.
If you’ve enjoyed our picks for best Korean eye creams and want to find out more, be sure to check out our top 10 favourite eye creams!