Is Shiseido’s $65 Eye Cream Actually Worth It?

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Maya Allen, Shiseido

If you’ve ever purchased a pricey teeny jar of eye cream then you’ve also thought to yourself: Are eye creams scams? 

Countless Reddit threads and viral TikToks have debated this question. “Eye creams are overpriced moisturizers and these companies are taking you for a ride,” says one video that garnered over 1 million views with a side-by-side analysis comparing a brand’s eye cream and moisturizer to reveal nearly identical ingredients. Truth be told, I wasn’t always on Team Eye Cream. Even with years of experience as a beauty editor, I considered it unnecessary until I turned 29, shifting my skin-care routine to prioritize preventative measures. But for the last two years, I’ve been testing eye creams and have yet to see a noticeable difference. While I don’t have wrinkles, puffiness and pronounced fine lines in the morning were unmistakable signs of my nonstop schedule.

As New York City–based board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss says: “Eye creams are useless, unless it’s an eye cream with purpose.” What defines an eye cream with purpose? To find out, I ventured to Tokyo with Shiseido.

With a legacy spanning 150 years, the Japanese beauty brand maintains a cult following today. Established in 1872, Shiseido marked Japan’s first foray into Western-style pharmacies and is credited with being the first brand to invent a large-scale production of hyaluronic acid using a special fermentation process. A process for an ingredient that is integral to the newly formulated Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream.

“This is the top product in our Benefiance franchise because it’s our entry point into anti-aging,” the product development team told me while visiting their Tokyo HQ. “People are afraid to smile for fear of wrinkles from expression lines, but a smile is essential to an enjoyable lifestyle.” So, I put these claims to the test (and smiled, a lot.)

My Seven-Day Skin-Care Diary

On day one, I was delusional from jet lag and saw no noticeable difference. The texture, however, felt luxurious: velvety, creamy, and pillow-soft on my skin. By day two, I still didn’t see a significant change, but the moisturizing texture helped me feel plump. (My puffy under-eye bags still looked very pronounced.) By day three, I saw a slight brightening effect (but I also got a full night’s sleep, finally). On day four, my under eyes returned to normal-state post–jet lag, morning bags barely there. On day five, I had de-puffed eyes and faded fine lines. Day six brought a pleasant surprise, smooth and healthy-looking under eyes. And by day seven, I was distinctly brighter despite morning grogginess, significantly refreshed, and radiant.

The texture feels expensive

My skin after applying the Shiseido Benefiance eye cream. Photo: Maya Allen

The tub includes ginseng extract and vitamin E, paired with peptides and squalene. The eye cream has a luxurious texture that glides effortlessly onto the delicate skin around my eyes. Silky and lightweight, it strikes a balance — not too heavy but hydrating.

The results are noticeable

I’ve been consistently using this eye cream for the past three months (three tubs of it, to be exact) and it definitely helps when I am tired. The biggest change I’ve noticed is how revived my eyes look in the morning.

So, is this $65 eye cream worth the splurge?

In short, yes. In long, it won’t turn back the clock overnight (as no eye cream does), but the reliable results will make you believe that not all eye creams are a hoax.

Is Shiseido’s $65 Eye Cream Actually Worth It?