EVER get the feeling that no matter how much sleep you get and water you diligently drink, your eyes still don't look as bright as they should? If you can relate, it's time to hunt down the best eye cream for you.
From potions that promise to banish circles and puffiness, to formulas dedicated to smoothing over fine lines and wrinkles, we've put a selection of cult products to the test.
The under-eye area is the most delicate part of our face — and arguably one of the most important steps of any skincare regime. From harsh weather to good old fashioned ageing, this fragile skin can bear the brunt, so a moisturising eye cream is a must.
Most of us will be looking to hydrate and plump the under-eye skin, while for circles and puffiness, you'll find creams specifically targeted to tighten and brighten. Look out for hero ingredients like caffeine, hyaluronic acid, vitamin A and retinol which are packed with skin-boosting properties.
Application-wise, many people opt for a separate night eye cream for a richer and more collagen-boosting experience, but a multi-use option for both day and night works just as well. Most dermatologists say eye cream should be the final step in your routine, which is our preference too. A pea-sized amount of cream is all that's needed and it should be gently tapped (never dragged) under the eyelid and across the browbone.
In need of some inspiration? Read on below for our pick of the best eye creams, whatever your budget and skin needs.
1. Best organic eye cream: Dr Organic Rose Otto Eye Serum
- Dr Organic Rose Otto Eye Serum, £8.24 (was £10.99) at Holland and Barrett – buy here
We've been using Dr Organic's eye serum for years and it's one we always come back to after trying different lotions and potions.
The botanical formula is SLS and paraben-free, and contains "a blend of bioactive ingredients including calendula and passionflower" to naturally invigorate and illuminate skin while you sleep.
Although advertised for overnight use, we actually use this serum in the day too, as we find it's nice and lightweight and easy-wearing. The fragrance-free formula has never irritated our skin which makes it a massive winner, plus it leaves our undereye skin feeling hydrated, smoothed and generally refreshed. What more could you want?
Normally retailing at £10.99 and often reduced in Holland and Barrett's sale, we love that it's reasonably priced while still boasting natural ingredients accredited by organic certification.
2. Best eye cream for dark circles: Kiehl's Vitamin C Eye Serum
- Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing & Dark Circle-Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum, £42 from Kiehl's – buy here
Of all the eye creams we tried, Kiehl's Powerful Strength serum really stood out for its creamy, buttery formula which glided across our skin and provided an especially smooth and hydrated base for applying undereye concealer—no more papery lines.
Formulated with 10 per cent pure vitamin C, tri-peptide and hyaluronic acid, this is a hero ingredient packed formula that packs a real punch—and as such, it's recommended that you start with less frequent applications and gradually build up your tolerance.
Because of this, there have been times we've stopped using this cream as our skin felt like it was beginning to sting. Kiehl's recommends decreasing frequency of use if this happens, so for our slightly sensitive skin, we think this is best used as an occasional powerhouse product.
With that in mind, we'd recommend it to anyone wanting smoother, radiant skin as we definitely noticed an improvement in circles and puffiness: just start with small amounts to make sure it's suitable for your skin.
3. Best light reflecting formula: NARS Total Replenishing Eye Cream
- NARS Total Replenishing Eye Cream, £41 from Look Fantastic – buy here
If we were trying to sum up the word 'lustre', NARS's Total Replenishing Eye Cream is the product we'd use as a visual explanation: quite simply, from the packaging to the formula itself, everything about this cream glows.
The brand's exclusive Light Reflecting Complex is responsible for said glow: it reflects light like a prism and left our skin feeling and looking extra radiant.
From the natural smell of the ingredients to the deeply nourishing formula, we're big fans of this product—especially when used in conjunction with NARS's Luminous Moisture Cream.
Enriched with beech bud extract which promises to boost collagen production, our skin definitely felt more smoothed and supple. Plus it's paraben and alcohol-free, which we love.
4. Best all-rounder on a budget: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
- CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, £9.60 (was £12) from Boots – buy here
CeraVe has become somewhat of a cult brand, thanks to its purse-friendly prices and no-nonsense formulas that are created with dermatologists and formulated with three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
True to form, CeraVe's Eye Repair Cream contains three essential ceramides, as well as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide — which all work to "deliver hydration while also restoring the skin’s natural barrier".
We love how easily and quickly this cream absorbed into our skin, rather than feeling like a superficial layer that sat on the surface. We're not sure how much it reduced our under-eye circles, but our skin definitely felt less puffy — and we really liked the smooth consistency which almost feels like a primer.
Perfect, then, for applying makeup on top!
5. Best hydrating eye cream: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Eye Gel
- Philosophy Purity Made Simple Eye Gel, £18 from LOOKFANTASTIC – buy here
Ok… there's no other way we can describe the texture of Philosophy's Purity Made Simple eye gel, other than to liken it to blancmange.
It's gloriously soft, bouncy and almost looks good enough to eat — although, obviously… don't.
This formula feels a lot wetter than the other eye creams we tried, so we enjoyed applying it before bed and allowing it to sink into our skin overnight.
Infused with caffeine, ginkgo biloba extract and cold-pressed chia seed oil, as well as vitamins C and E to target dark circles, it's a super hydrating formula that feels gorgeously cooling on the under eye area.
6. Best eye cream for a smooth makeup base: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue
- Magic Eye Rescue, £42 from Charlotte Tilbury – buy here
We'd heard amazing things about Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Eye Rescue: like many of the brand's products, it's gained cult status among beauty fans and editors alike.
The pinky-peach box and copper lidded jar are just about as stylish and luxe-looking as you could hope an eye cream to be — and will certainly look good on any bathroom shelf.
The big sell of this cream is its promise to brighten the appearance of dark circles by up to 21 per cent in just 8 weeks. We've not been using it that long yet, but just from initial application, we're loving how soothed and illuminated our under-eye area feels. It really does feel like a burst of moisture.
Formulated with ingredients including retinol, vitamins A, C and E as well as cell-energising winter daphne stem cell extract, we notice a definite firmness to our skin whenever we apply this cream. Plus we love the smooth and hydrated base it gives us for our makeup.
7. Best eco-friendly eye cream: Pure Lakes Hydrating Eye Gel
- Hydrating Eye Gel, £14 from Pure Lakes -buy here
If you love the idea of plant-based skincare that's focused on being sustainable and eco-friendly, then Pure Lakes is definitely worth checking out: all of its products use natural and bio-degradable raw ingredients.
Handmade in the Lake District, the award-winning brand picked up Editors Choice at the 2020 Mama & Baby Awards for this eye gel, which is formulated with rose, geranium and chamomile.
We have to say: it smells absolutely delicious and feels super cooling and hydrating, thanks to the aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. As a gel, it's quite wet and a little goes a long way, so we think this works best used in the evening for a soothing overnight treat.
The difference in our skin after using it feels really noticeable, too: it's our new go-to when our under-eye skin is feeling particularly parched and in need of a boost of moisture and natural goodness.
This article and any featured products have been independently chosen by The Sun journalists. All recommendations within the article are informed by expert editorial opinion. If you click a link and buy a product we may earn revenue: this helps to support The Sun, and in no way affects our recommendations.
Enjoyed our guide for the best eye creams and need a little extra helping hand for dark circles? Check out the best concealers.
We've also rounded up the best tried-and-tested moisturisers here.
And check out our dedicated Sun Selects beauty section for more style tips, trends and products.
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