12 best eye creams to smooth, brighten and banish dark circles

12 best eye creams to smooth, brighten and banish dark circles

Want to enhance your skincare routine with an eye cream? Advanced formulas are designed to rejuvenate the delicate skin around your eyes, reducing dullness, dark circles, and puffiness, leaving it smooth and refreshed.

If you’re looking for effective eye creams, keep reading. I’ve curated the best products on the market to address all your skin concerns. Plus, I’ve consulted Harley Street’s Dr. Sam Bunting for her expert advice on the benefits of eye creams and her top tips for reducing puffiness.

What are the benefits of using an eye cream?

“An eye cream can serve multiple functions if it’s well-formulated,” says Dr. Sam Bunting. “It can protect against oxidative stress from environmental factors, help strengthen the delicate skin barrier, and build collagen to keep the skin thick and resistant to creases. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the body and often the first to show irritation, making a good eye cream essential for maintaining healthy skin.”

How to Apply Eye Cream

The skin around our eyes is very delicate, so it’s important to apply products gently to avoid damage and irritation. Instead of dragging, pat the product in, and use your ring finger for lighter pressure. Generally, the thinnest products with the most active ingredients should be applied first in your skincare routine. This usually means your eye cream will come after your serum and before your moisturizer. Remember, products containing retinol should only be used at night, while formulas with vitamin C are best used in the morning.

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“It is absolutely crucial to apply sunscreen on the eye area, a zone many consumers skip,” says Sam. “After all, 80% of aging is due to our environment and is preventable. This protects both your collagen and elastin, the proteins that give skin its elasticity. Try using a mineral sunscreen like Flawless Gossamer SPF 50 if you have sensitive eyes to avoid stinging.”

Best Eye Creams on the Market

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Supercharged Gel Eye Cream

Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is a top-selling skincare line, making its eye cream a reliable choice. Packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and patented technology to brighten dark circles, this cream delivers immediate and long-term results. Its silky, water-gel texture works perfectly under makeup.

The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream

What do your morning coffee and The Inkey List’s popular eye cream have in common? Both use caffeine to wake you up. As a natural antioxidant, caffeine reduces puffiness and dark circles while also protecting against environmental stressors.

L’Oreal Revitalift Eye Serum

If you have sensitive eyes and need a lightweight serum, L’Oreal’s Revitalift is perfect for you. Its triple-roller wand applies the serum precisely and provides a soothing, cooling massage that makes you look instantly more awake. Dermatologist-tested and fragrance-free, the formula with hyaluronic acid and caffeine rivals more expensive brands.

Dr Sam’s Flawless Nightly Eye Serum

Many eye creams are just expensive moisturizers, so they often get overlooked. However, this product is different. It’s a powerful formula designed to strengthen, brighten, and plump your eye area, leaving your skin refreshed and refined. It’s the perfect solution for tired eyes, tackling fine lines and dark circles while boosting your skin barrier with Granactive Retinoid, Niacinamide, and Vitamin C. Simplify your morning routine with just moisturizer, SPF, and this eye cream.

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REN Clean Skincare Radiance Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream

REN’s bestselling eye cream is formulated to combat dark circles with vegan, natural ingredients that brighten and firm the under-eye area. Its gentle, irritation-free formula is perfect for sensitive skin.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal

If your main goal is to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, try this Elemis eye cream. Clinically proven to work, it contains hydrating Padina Pavonica, nutrient-rich Chlorella, and Blue Green Micro-Algae to firm and tone the delicate skin around your eyes.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue

Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream is a favorite among professionals for photoshoots and runway shows. If you’re looking to target the eye area specifically, try her Magic Eye Rescue. This rich cream is incredibly nourishing and provides a cooling, soothing effect. It contains Retinol, which is released gradually to gently smooth your skin over time.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Looking for a natural solution? This Kiehl’s eye cream is made with 99% natural ingredients, including Avocado Oil rich in Fatty Acids & Vitamins B+E. It deeply nourishes and hydrates the delicate skin around your eyes, while caffeine helps to refresh and revive tired eyes.

MUDMASKY Vitamin-Infused Eye Serum

This eye serum, which doubles as an overnight eye mask, noticeably improves the delicate skin under your eyes. Its texture is excellent and has significantly reduced puffiness and dark circles for me. A small amount goes a long way, so despite the higher price, it lasts a long time. I pair it with the brand’s new serum-infused moisturizer for even better results.

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What’s the best trick to de-puff your eye area?

To reduce puffiness around your eyes, limit your salt intake, as it often causes puffiness. Look for eye products containing caffeine, which can shrink blood vessels and reduce swelling. You can also freeze green tea into ice cubes, wrap them in cloth, and gently apply them to your eyes for added de-puffing. Getting good sleep is crucial too—try sleeping in a cool, dark room to promote melatonin release and minimize puffiness.