While some people appreciate the natural look of a shadowy under-eye, many of us hope to find a solution—and this is where the best eye cream for dark circles comes in. “Not all eye creams are created equal, because not all eye problems are equal,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss. “When a person is looking to treat dark circles, the question is “Why do you have dark circles?”
She explains that the pesky dark circles could be the result of pigmentation or underlying redness and vasculature. “If the dark circles are due to pigmentation, then you want to look for ingredients with brightening effects. Products containing vitamin C, hydroquinone, and kojic acid work best. Also, look for products with retinol in them because retinol can help a person even out pigmentation over time. However, if the dark circles are due to underlying redness or puffiness, then you want to look for eye creams with caffeine or vitamin K, which is an “underdog” and not used as frequently as I wish it was.”
Reading: Best product for dark circles
Like many other skin conditions, dark circles can be reduced with lifestyle changes as well. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Morgan Rabach, “good sleep, hydration, low salt, and sunscreen under the eye” can make a positive difference because “factors are genetic and environmental.” For more intensive treatment, Rabach often uses “fillers made from hyaluronic acid to mask the bags and also, sometimes under eye surgery (called a lower blepharoplasty) to remove the eye bag.”
With this guidance in mind, here are the best eye creams that target dark circles—according to beauty experts, and our own skin-care cabinets.
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex for Dark Circles
“SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex For Dark Circles is a great option, especially for mature skin,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. “This works well for anyone who suffers from severe dryness and lack of elasticity, which often happens with mature skin—it’s an intensely moisturizing cream with blueberry extract to pack an exfoliant punch. It makes the eyes look radiant right away and provides more youthful-looking skin in the long run with continued use.”
Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream
New York City-based esthetician Sean Garrette tells Vogue that the Sunday Riley Auto Correct is one of the first eye creams he ever finished. “It helps to depuff, brighten, and hydrate the under-eye with ingredients like caffeine, horse chestnut, watermelon extract, and antioxidants like lutein. This also has very fine light-reflecting particles that help the eye look more lifted and awake.”
Skinbetter InterFuse Treatment Cream Eye
Both Hartman and Idriss recommend the Skinbetter InterFuse Treatment Cream Eye because of its blend of peptides, vitamin C, and caffeine to brighten and depuff. Even more, Hartman explains that this “also gives skin a huge boost of moisture with its use of humectants. It’s my go-to reliable eye cream that will protect the skin and make it look even better.”
Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream
Part of the brand’s Peptide 21 Collection, this Peter Thomas Roth eye cream is designed to reduce the look of fine lines and brighten the area for a youthful appearance—a thoughtful addition to anyone’s anti-aging skin-care regimen.
Revision Skincare D.E.J. Eye Cream
“Revision Skincare D.E.J Eye Cream is a creamy, lush formulation that provides instant moisture and nourishment to the dehydrated skin of the eyelids,” says Hartman. “It does a little of everything providing antioxidant protection, retaining moisture, and fortifying skin’s microbiome with prebiotics.”
Isdin Isdinceutics K-Ox Eyes
“The thin skin of the eyelids displays the prominent blood vessels and hemosiderin deposits that give the area a purple hue,” says Hartman. “Enter Isdinceutics K-Ox Eyes. It contains vitamin K to treat the darkness, haloxyl to improve firmness and tone, and hyaluronic acid to improve hydration as it moisturizes.” Idriss is also a fan because it helps with redness. “As a tip, I use it on other places on my face: around my nose that has occasionally endured redness to lighten up my appearance.”
Kate Somerville +Retinol Firming Eye Cream
Another eye cream for dark circles that she prefers is this option by Kate Somerville. “It can be hard to formulate retinol for the under-eye area as the skin is more sensitive, but this one works wonders, and I have personally never had a weird reaction from using it, so I really like it.”
Dior Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Eye Treatment
If you find retinols to be too irritating to your skin, consider trying retinol alternatives like crithmum, a botanical that powers Dior’s Capture Youth Age-Delay Advanced Eye Treatment to soothe, brighten, and depuff.
Bioderma Sensibio Gel Eye Contour
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, the Bioderma Sensibio Gel Eye Contour “contains caffeine, which has been shown to improve the microcirculation in the skin and therefore brightens dark discoloration.” She notes that “It’s a gel formula, so it’s less likely to clog pores and cause milia cysts (those white bumps that can appear on the eyelids from using eye creams that are too heavy).”
Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel
“[The Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel] contains niacinamide, a B vitamin that helps improve discoloration and is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient, so it’s safe for the delicate eye area,” explains Wu. “An added benefit: it also boosts skin hydration. This is one of my favorites for patients with sensitive skin.”
RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
Also Read: Strawberry blonde with blonde highlights
Those searching for an eye cream packed with retinol, consider this option by RoC—a top pick of Rabach because it “contains retinol formulated for the thin skin of the under-eye which helps boost collagen production.”
SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Mask
Although a traditional eye cream will do the work to reduce dark circles over time, according to Rabach, the SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Mask is an excellent supplement to your routine. She says that the mask “contains rhodiola rosea root extract which is high in antioxidants to brighten skin.”
BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector
Crafted by cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, the BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector is a beauty editor favorite to treat the delicate eye area. It’s formulated with 5% pure vitamin C, along with antioxidants, CBD, and hyaluronic acid to not only brighten but soothe and hydrate skin.
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème
Certainly one of the most popular eye creams on the market, the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème won’t disappoint. Housed in a little orange jar lies a formula packed with vitamin C and collagen to illuminate the eye area and improve firmness over time.
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eye Cream for Dark Circles
Powered by niacinamide, caffeine, and the brand’s thermal spring water, the La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar is an all-around solid eye cream to tackle your dark circles with ease. Even better: It features a cooling metal applicator to help soothe and decongest the under-eye after each use.
Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel
“This is a new favorite, and I’m obsessed with how hydrating this eye gel is. If you’re someone who can handle a rich eye cream, this is the perfect one for you,” says Garrette. “[The gel] is packed with antioxidants that help combat free radical damage and brighten the under-eye, Chromabright that fades uneven pigmentation, hyaluronic acid, and peptides that hydrate and plump the skin under the eye.”
Paula’s Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream
“This is a treatment eye cream formulated with retinol, vitamin C, and 5 skin-identical ceramides that help brighten and revive the under eye,” says Garrette of this Paula’s Choice eye cream. He explains that “retinol and vitamin C are two ingredients that are great at reducing fine lines and fading uneven pigmentation, which are most people’s concerns when it comes to their under eyes.”
Also Read: Simple nail designs short nails