We’ve tried and tested dozens of skincare products to discover which is the best eye cream for dark circles, fine lines, and eye bags
There was a time when the best eye creams and serums were the reserve of those of us with mature skin, fine lines, and other signs of ageing. Yet there are now countless options available, targeted at different age groups for varying skin concerns and needs.
Whether you’re looking to get rid of dark circles, reduce puffiness, blur fine lines, or prevent wrinkles – there’s a product out there for you. To help you choose, we’ve handpicked some of the best eye creams on the market to suit all budgets.
We’ve also started answering readers’ questions about choosing the best eye cream at the bottom of this article. Click on the links below to jump to the relevant sections.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Best BB cream | Best moisturiser | Best tinted moisturiser | Best toner | Best primer | Best cleanser| Best eye cream| Best anti-ageing cream | Best hand cream| Best foot cream | Best face mask | Best face exfoliator | Best face oil| Best serum| Best night cream | Best SPF | Best Vitamin C serum | Men’s skincare routine| Best stretch mark cream
£13 | Buy now
Why we love it: In recent years, the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream has amassed a loyal following. Why? Hyaluronic acid is one of the best things to happen to skincare – and this formula is packed full of it.
This ingredient has the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making CeraVe’s budget-friendly eye cream extremely moisturising. As a result, this is the best eye cream for wrinkles.
It not only repairs dry and damaged skin, but it also protects delicate skin and helps eradicate puffiness. Plus, at a relatively affordable £12, it’s hands down the best eye cream we’ve used.
Don’t just take our word for it, either. Our resident makeup artist Victoria Howe explains why she rates it so highly in her guide on how to get rid of dark circles.
You can also read more about the benefits of hyaluronic acid in our science of moisturiser article or our What is hyaluronic acid? article.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? The best CeraVe products for all your skincare concerns | CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser review
Buy now from Boots
£6.40 | Buy now
Why we love it: It’s no secret The Ordinary is one of our fave beauty brands.
At just under £6, this budget-friendly buy is formulated with an extremely high concentration of caffeine and EGCG to deliver a blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to the under-eye area.
Caffeine is great for re-energising the skin, in a similar way to how caffeine re-energises your brain, while EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate) comes from green tea. This makes it one of the most powerful antioxidants and studies have found it can significantly reduce the appearance of scars.
As you can read in our The Ordinary Caffeine Solution review, this product does a fantastic job at brightening up tired-looking eyes and goes a long way to reduce the appearance of puffy skin.
After six weeks’ use, our eyes looked much less puffy and this solution made the skin around our eyes feel smooth and firm.
As for dark circles, The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution did take a little longer to make a noticeable difference to skin tone but it’s the brightest our eyes have looked in ages, so it’s worth the wait.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Why we love The Ordinary | The best The Ordinary products for all your skincare concerns
Buy now from Cult Beauty
£40 | Buy now
Why we love it: Unlike some of the runnier, serum-style eye creams in this round-up, Tropic Skincare‘s Eye Dream Age-Defying product is more like a lip balm.
It has an almost Vaseline-type consistency – although is far less greasy – that you need to warm up on your fingers to make it easy to apply.
It then sits on the skin to provide it with a much-needed supply of moisture throughout the night and contains a mixture of plant ceramides, to plump and rejuvenate skin, improve elasticity and reduce the signs of ageing.
Other ingredients include bio-retinol, to stimulate the production of collagen, and shea nilotica butter blended with pomegranate sterols and jojoba esters to moisturise deep into the skin.
This slightly thicker consistency also means it protects your skin as you sleep, forming a barrier between the delicate skin around your eyes and your pillow. What’s more, if you apply a serum first, this barrier stops the benefits of that serum from escaping while also adding more.
We’ve definitely noticed that our eyes are less puffy and look much brighter when we wake up. Even if our toddler has kept us up for hours on end. It’s a little miracle pot!
There is a catch – it’s expensive, but you only need to use the tiniest amount each night so this pot will last a long time. We’ve had ours for a couple of months are have hardly made a dent in it, despite using it every night.
FURTHER READING: Why we love Tropic Skincare so much
Buy now from Tropic
£31 | Buy now
Why we love it: At just under £30 for 15ml, the Clinique Moisture Surge Eyes serum is most definitely a luxury purchase, but we think it’s worth it for the results you get.
If you’re plagued with dark circles and puffy eyes, it’s best to opt for something lighter than a thick cream.
The molecules in serums are much smaller than cream formulas (you can read more in our science of serums article) and therefore penetrate the skin easier.
This means they won’t sit on top of your eye socket. They’re also lighter during the application, making it less likely that you’ll pull and damage the skin.
Clinique’s concentrated formula is ultra-lightweight on the skin and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness, too.
FURTHER READING: Clinique Moisture Surge review: A great, hydrating all-rounder regardless of your skin type
Buy now from Clinique
£8.99 | Buy now
Why we love it: As the old adage goes – prevention is better than cure.
Once you hit your twenties (seriously, you’re classed as having mature skin as young as 25…) it’s important to start taking care of your skin and eyes.
The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Serum is great for re-energising tired eyes, at any age, but is particularly great at protecting your delicate skin against future ageing.
All at an incredibly low price. It is a little runny so we recommend applying it with a precision roller, like this one from The Body Shop.
For even better results, stick the metal roller in a skincare fridge and multiply the impact and results.
FURTHER READING: Spotlight on The Inkey List: Affordable skincare and hair care that actually does as it promises
Buy now from Cult Beauty
£10 | Buy now
Why we love it: If you’re looking for relief from tight, red, and sore under-eye skin, look no further than Avène’s Soothing Eye Contour Cream.
The formula contains thermal spring water to reduce irritations of the eye contour area and soothes sensitive eyelids without feeling cakey on the skin.
Its key ingredients include Dextran Sulfate, to soothe puffiness, bisabolol, to help protect the eye contour, and antioxidants.
FURTHER READING: Skin food: The best foods for clear, healthy skin – and why they work
Buy now from Boots
£28 | Buy now
Why we love it: Whether you’ve had a late night, or are just genetically #blessed with eye bags and puffiness, Origins GinZing can help.
The formula is enriched with energising coffee beans, panax ginseng, and anti-inflammatory magnolia to help minimise and reduce swollen skin.
It’s slightly higher on the price scale than some of the other high-street creams, but it’s worth it for its results.
Buy now from Boots
£26 | Buy now
Why we love it: If you’re looking to bring life to your tired eyes, we recommend The Body Shop Oils of Life Eye Cream Gel.
The formula is lightweight and is infused with three seed oils that melt into your skin, leaving your under-eye contour feeling and looking revitalised.
This The Body Shop best-seller is leaning towards the higher end of the price scale for high-street creams, but at 50ml it lasts a long time, so is great value.
Buy now from The Body Shop
Knowing which eye cream is best comes down to a couple of factors. These include which eye concern you want to tackle (or tackle first), your preferred consistency, and your budget.
Creams tend to be thicker, and are usually best used at night. Lotions and gels are lighter and can be worn under makeup with ease. You can also buy serums that contain smaller particles, meaning they can penetrate deeper into the skin.
The best course of action is to apply eye serum and let it soak in. Then follow with a thicker eye cream. At night, you can then seal in these ingredients with either Vaseline or similar, or you can buy the Tropic Butterbalm.
The best eye creams include ingredients such as caffeine, antioxidants, oils, and vitamins. Caffeine helps re-energise the skin and are great for dark circles. Antioxidants like EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate) reduce scars and pigmentation, while oils help moisturise the skin.
If puffiness, particularly is an issue, it can help to put eye creams in the fridge before applying them. This cools the cream, which in turn cools the skin and reduces any swelling or inflammation. It’s also a great little pick-me-up if your eyes are feeling heavy or tired.
You can put these creams in your regular fridge, or you can take a look at our best skincare fridge list for a more dedicated place to put your toiletries. They’re also great for face masks, eye masks, serums, and creams!
mamabella tip: When applying eye cream, tap the product onto your skin using your ring finger (your weakest finger) and never, ever rub! We highly recommend investing in an eye-roller. Not only does the cold metal help calm and soothe the skin, it means you can gently massage any of these best eye creams into your skin without damaging the skin. We recommend the Revitalising Precision Eye Roller from The Body Shop.
Eye care comes in the forms of cream, serum, and gels. Sometimes it can be tricky to choose which one and we wanted to break this down for you.
The key to eye care is to make sure you know what you need. We have opted for eye cream because we know we need to prevent any further ageing around our eyes, we need to keep the skin barrier protected and keep wrinkles at bay, this is all about hydration for us.
Eye serums are reparative and work deep in the skin. They can help with dark circles and wrinkles. They are all about targeting existing ageing signs.
Eye gels are about prevention and they tend to absorb quickly to give a refreshing look around the eyes, gels help with de-puffing and this contains caffeine to awaken tired eyes.
Annie has a degree in Multimedia Journalism from Bournemouth University. Since graduating, Annie has freelanced for a travel magazine and is a senior account executive for a technology PR consultancy based in London, where her main role is content creation.