17 Under Eye Creams That Actually Work
While logging a full night’s sleep seems like a reasonable fix to dark circles under-eyes, it doesn’t work for most of us. Regardless of how well-rested you are, dark circles can also be caused by genetics, pigmentation, allergies, and thinning skin. Using an eye cream won’t banish dark circles, but a select few creams really work; mostly by using high-tech ingredients to constrict blood vessels (which cause dark shadows); diffuse light, and brighten pigmented areas for a noticeable improvement in their appearance. Read on for a list of our favorites.
The 17 Under Eyes Creams To Treat Dark Circles
1- CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
This highly emollient formula practically evaporates on contact and moisturizes without leaving a shiny finish. It contains a cocktail of high-tech ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and skin-lightening niacinamide to suppress dark shadows. The drugstore price is nice, too.
2 – The Best Overall: Korres Black Pine 3D Sculpting, Firming & Lifting Eye Cream
This powerful eye cream from Korres not only targets dark circles but also works to firm skin and decreases puffiness. The product is infused with a black tea agent, a patented ElastiLift 3D complex, and black pine extract, which work together to brighten circles and improve skin’s elasticity. A Holy Grail of eye creams if you ask me. I have had dark circles since high school and have found nothing that works before this. Within minutes of putting the Korres Black Pine Serum on my eyes are drastically different.
3- OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
This might be the internet’s current favorite eye cream for treating dark-eye circles. It has over 2,000 four-star reviews at Sephora. The secret is in a mix of vitamin C, a proven ingredient for hyperpigmentation and brightening, and a “secret pigment” (most likely from the yellow color of the cream); that deflects and lightens the gray and purple tones of dark eye shadows.
4 – Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector
Is it a concealer? Is it an eye cream? After trying this lightly tinted formula, we’ve determined it’s both; although those with darker tones may need to layer a separate concealer to be safe. Dispensed from a cooling metal tip (which provides relief to puffy eyes); the sheer, lightweight consistency helps disguise dark circles and leaves the thin skin in this area significantly smoother. Bonus: It was rated five stars by cosmetics cop Paula Begoun; due to its impressive blend of antioxidants and plant extracts.
5 – TATCHA The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment
Similar to the Ole Henrikson, this is a bit of a makeup and skin-care product in one. Silk powder, niacinamide, and plant botanicals all help to smooth lines and moisturize the under-eye area and de-puff bags. Pearl powder has a tiny bit of pigment which helps to reflect light and slightly conceal dark eye circles. Best of all, it comes in three different shades.
6 – DRUNK ELEPHANTC-Tango™ Multivitamin Eye Cream
This cream from the beloved “natural” beauty line Drunk Elephant takes a maximalist approach. It contains not one but five different types of vitamin C. It’s a creamy, soothing mixture that blends easily into the thin area under the skin; to lighten the darkness of dark eye circles.
7 – Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Crème
You know a product is high-end when it features diamond dust. While this pricey ingredient has been met with skepticism in the beauty industry; Tata Harper’s Illuminating Eye Crème does plump parched skin with hyaluronic acid, olive oil, and mango seed butter. When I dabbed the luminous golden cream under my eyes (the texture is similar to a crème eye shadow); my dark areas were instantly brightened.
8 – Aveda Botanical Kinetics Energizing Eye Creme
One of the original green beauty brands; Aveda has produced a sophisticated option for those wanting to treat tired eyes — naturally. Elegant in texture and not the slightest bit greasy; it credits a blend of licorice root (a known skin lightener) and caffeine for reducing darkness and puffy patches.
9 – Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum
Retinol is the gold standard of anti-aging ingredients, and this silky serum has plenty of it. The vitamin A derivative works to stimulate collagen production under the eyes, making dark circles less visible. The weightless, gel-like texture absorbs in seconds and provides surprising hydration, thanks to skin-smoothing antioxidants and plant-based ingredients. Bonus: It sits well under makeup.
10 – Origins Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimizer
A little of this really rich formula goes a long way, so apply it sparingly. The ingredient list includes Rosa Roxburghii; a flower containing brightening vitamin C to lighten brown spots and fade dark areas. Mica particles diffuse light to mimic a full night’s sleep; the dense texture melts into the skin when applied — making it ideal for super-dry types.
11 – Korres Wild Rose Instant Brightening Eye Treatment
With a reputation for natural products that deliver results, it’s no surprise the Greek pharmacy brand nailed this formula. The silky cream spreads evenly for a potent dose of wild rose oil (rich in vitamin C); to even and fade bluish tones. Add to those rose-gold optical brighteners that act as a highlighter for an incandescent effect.
12 – Ren Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift
More than just a fast fix; this gel-serum hybrid brightens and tightens the delicate skin around the eyes; with two forms of hyaluronic acid. After gently patting it on; it quickly dried without a sticky residue, and the eye area felt smoother, plumper, and looked more radiant. The clever formula contains two forms of hyaluronic acid to fill fine lines; while light-reflective pigments camouflage the telltale signs of fatigue.
13 – Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm
A triple-duty beauty, this occlusive balm primes skin for eye makeup; fills fine lines, and treats dark circles with a few dabs. Alguronic acid (known for its skin-smoothing benefits); combines with brightening vitamin C and circulation-stimulating caffeine; to promote a more youthful appearance.
14 – Shiseido White Lucent Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream
Dense in texture, this cream works on two levels; by breaking down melanin pigment (brown spots) and by improving microcirculation to banish blue rings; thanks to a dark-circle-diminishing blend that includes vitamin C. For a blurred effect, a multi-aluminizing powder boosts radiance levels.
15 – Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex
Boasting the benefits of the cult-classic serum in an eye cream; this cushiony gel glides on seamlessly and works overnight; to fade dark circles and repair damage from environmental aggressors. ChronoluxCB technology (a blend of hyaluronic acid and antioxidants) has been clinically proven to reduce wrinkles and boost radiance.
16 – Sisleÿa Eye and Lip Contour Cream
While $210 is a lot to drop on an eye cream; this silky formula has the science to back its claims. Packed with proven plant extracts including padina pavonica (to promote collagen); orange blossom (to fade dark circles), and licorice (to lighten skin); the appearance of the eye area improved significantly with continued use.
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17 – La Prairie Skin Caviar Eye Lift
This eye cream is very, very, very pricey. But this could be a great gift from someone who wants to buy your love; or a random rich relative who wants to spoil you. It’s a fluid, creamy formula that’s so rich and pearlescent; you can use it to smooth out lines and the dry area under your eyes.