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.
RELATED: 10 Best Korean Eye Creams 2021
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.
RELATED: 10 Best Collagen Creams For 2020
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.