Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream Review

This eye gel cream is lightweight and packed with goodies like sodium hyaluronate, bisabolol, licorice root extract, and niacinamide.

The last time I bought a bottle of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, it included a free sample of Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream. What a nice surprise! It looks Cetaphil released this new product sometime in the spring of this year. Cetaphil isn’t just any old drugstore brand—it has gained a cult following among people who like skincare basics that won’t irritate their skin, but still get the job done. So I was excited to see what sort of eye cream Cetaphil had formulated—and if it could potentially be more effective than higher-end products available in specialty beauty stores. Let’s find out!

Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream review

Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream ingredients

water, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone crosspolymer, glycerin, hdi/trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, butylene glycol, octyldodecanol, dihydroxyisopropyl capryloylcaprylamide, niacinamide, polysorbate, sodium hyaluronate, sodium polyacrylate, tocopheryl acetate, portulaca oleracea extract, crithmum maritimum extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, poria cocos extract, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, camellia sinensis seed oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, sorbitan olivate, sucrose cocoate, caprylyl glycol, bisabolol, dimethicone, cetyl palmitate, sorbitan palmitate, serine, phytosterols, alanine, glycine, trideceth-6, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan, myristoyl/palmitoyl oxostearamide/arachamide mea, biotinoyl hexapeptide-2 amide, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, peg/ppg-1818 dimethicone, xanthan gum, silica, glyceryl stearate, sorbitan stearate, phenoxyethanol, polyvinyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, citric acid, fragrance

This eye cream has quite a hefty list of ingredients, including two that immediately caught my eye: niacinamide (which helps with skin texture and appearance) and sodium hyaluronate (which helps moisturize). It also includes grape seed oil, camellia sinensis seed oil (tea seed oil), a peptide (which helps with anti-aging), portulaca oleracea extract (an antioxidant), and sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan (the same yeast extract in the much pricier Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Eye Concentrate).

My dad the chemist’s review of Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream

Dear Emily, this formula looks great! It contains lots of nice skin conditioning ingredients and beneficial extracts plus bisabolol (nice anti-irritant), glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract helps diminish the appearance of dark under-eye circles, discoloration and age spots.

I like it, has so many goodies and doesn’t look like having any irritant.


My dad really likes the ingredients in Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream. He highlighted a few that stood out to him:

  • bisabolol, an anti-irritant that he often used in shaving formulations (since you need some soothing action to combat shaving-related irritation)
  • glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, which helps with under-eye circles and age spots

I’ve never heard him say “so many goodies” in reference to a skincare product before (usually he only says that when he’s at the grocery store, and he sees something he likes on sale)…so it sounds like he’s really excited about this product. And he likes that it doesn’t look like it contains anything potentially irritating (but it’s important to note that this product still includes fragrance). I also learned something new: look for a product that contains licorice root extract in the ingredients, if you want to address skin concerns like under-eye circles or age spots.

Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream review

It’s no secret that I do love a free sample—but I’ll still try to be as unbiased as possible in my review of Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream. I like the texture of this cream—it definitely feels like a cross between a gel and a cream, so I think the name describes it pretty accurately. It has a pretty light fragrance and felt pretty velvety when I was applying it to my under-eye area.

I liked patting it around my eye area—it felt more lightweight so it didn’t seem like it was going to run into my eyes (my skin can get pretty oily/sweaty during the night). I didn’t notice any difference in the appearance of my eye area after waking up in the morning, but I normally don’t have huge eye bags or dark under-eye circles, so I might not be the best person to test out eye creams.

I did, however, feel like this eye gel cream was gentle and non-irritating, and it didn’t cause my skin to burn or feel dry. It also didn’t make my eyes water (which can happen with a lot of products if I apply them too close to my eyes).

A part of me still believes that eye creams are a step I just don’t need to add into my nighttime routine. I’d rather just invest in a good face moisturizer and slather that all over my face. This eye cream didn’t convince me to change my mind, so I probably won’t be purchasing this for myself. But I’ll certainly use up the free sample—and I might think about buying it in the future if I ever notice any dark circles cropping up under my eyes.

If you’re looking for an affordable eye cream that’s lightweight, moisturizing, and packed with tons of beneficial ingredients (and won’t irritate sensitive skin), I highly recommend trying out Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream to see if the licorice extract, niacinamide, bisabolol, and other ingredients in its formula can help make a difference for you—at a fraction of the cost of other eye creams. I also find it quite interesting that it contains the same yeast extract as Shiseido Ultimune Eye Cream: sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan.

Further reading

Follow me on

Note: This post uses affiliate links, which means that I'll receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). See our disclosure policy.