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A few things about me: I saw Clueless in theaters, vividly remember buying low-rise jeans the first time they were popular, and flirted with my middle school crush by burning him a CD off of Napster. All of this is to say that I am old enough to need an eye cream.
Most dermatologists recommend shifting your focus to your under-eye area around the time you hit 30 (which, for me, was 2 and a half years ago), as this spot is among the first to show visible signs of skin aging. I’m also admittedly not great at clocking a solid eight hours of sleep (even women in their 30s are not immune to getting stuck in TikTok holes until 4 a.m., okay?), which means I often wake up with puffiness and dark circles.
But despite being a beauty editor who knows full well that she should be using an eye cream every day, I’ve historically… not done that. I hate sticking my fingers in the little pots of cream, the gunky feeling many formulas leave under my eyes, and the irritation to my contact lenses that often comes along with using an eye cream, and the fact that they typically feel a lot more expensive than any 1-ounce formula has a right to be. I’ve tried—and despised—dozens of different formulas, until I tested Bubble Morning Rays ($16), which gives me lots to love and nothing to complain about.
The Benefits of Bubble Morning Rays
Though Bubble’s formulas are generally geared toward Gen Z skin concerns—meaning that they’re not super heavy on anti-aging actives—the brand’s eye cream offers exactly what I need to keep the 30+ skin under my eyes looking its best.
Generally speaking, it’s a great pick for those who aren’t yet experiencing significant fine lines and wrinkles under their eyes, but who may deal with some combination of dark circles and puffiness. If you’re an eye cream rookie like me and looking for a product to help get you started with properly caring for your peepers, this is a great product. If you’ve got more mature skin that has deeper set wrinkles or sagging around the eyes, though, you’ll likely want to opt for something with retinol to combat those concerns.
For starters, the eye cream contains peptides to boost collagen and diminish fine lines and wrinkles, plus vitamin C to help brighten skin over time. These long-term benefits were enough to convince me to add Morning Rays to my collection, but its the instant effects that have had me re-applying it every morning for the past month and a half.
The star of the show here is turmeric extract, which helps to calm inflammation (read: puffiness) and fade dark circles. “Turmeric has long been a staple and important spice in Ayurveda because of its healing properties—it has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties,” says Bashir. “Turmeric is regarded as a key ingredient to fight inflammation and many other inflammatory-related conditions, which is one of the reasons it has stood the test of time as a supplement in the East.” Unlike many other turmeric-infused products, Morning Rays doesn’t leave behind any sort of orange tint, which is a definite pro in my book.
Also in the mix is green tea extract, a powerful antioxidant that helps defend against the environmental stressors that lead to visible signs of skin aging. In addition to keeping skin protected over time, the ingredient also works to constrict blood vessels, helping to fend off puffiness and discoloration. What’s more, research has shown that it’s full of plant polyphenols, which boost your skin’s immunity, help to fight inflammation, and help with photo damage to the skin.
Why I Love Bubble Morning Rays
All of these power-packed actives come together in a $16 formula that works far better than many of the other luxury eye creams I’ve tried (which, to be clear, only bolsters my argument that expensive eye creams are kind of a scam). It comes in a pump-out bottle that doesn’t require me to dip my dirty fingers into a pot, and actually makes it possible to apply with the “dab, don’t rub” directive that dermatologists are always recommending. FWIW, dabbing on product lessens the likelihood that you’ll pull on your skin and cause damage, but I’ve found that really annoying to do with thicker formulas. That’s not the case with Morning Rays.
The texture is thin, but creamy, and melts seamlessly into the skin without the need for aggressive massaging. As a contact lens wearer, this is a huge bonus for me, as it ensures there’s no excess product threatening to get into my eyes and blur my vision.
Upon application, the cream delivers an instant brightening effect that makes dark circles pretty much disappear… even on mornings when I look even more exhausted than I feel. I’ve been using Bubble Morning Rays for the better part of two months, and my under eye area looks noticeably brighter—on days when I don’t have dark circles, I’ve found that I don’t really need it to feel like I look my best (but most of the time I still use it anyway). Consider this millennial eye cream denier an official convert.