What Are Eye Creams for Dark Circles?

Dark circles are shadowy or bruise-like patches around the eyes that are a result of aging, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, genetics, or even certain lifestyle choices. When it comes to skincare, dark circles are among the toughest things to address. According to Dr. Kristopher Day “Dark circles under the eyes can be attributed to various factors, including genetics, aging, lifestyle choices, and certain medical conditions. The thinning of the skin underneath the eyes as we age, for instance, can exacerbate the appearance of dark circles due to the increased visibility of the underlying vasculature.”

Eye creams are moisturizers, specifically formulated for the eye area, aimed at reducing signs of skin aging, like dark circles, under eye wrinkles, and fine lines, around the eyes. They are normally lighter than face moisturizers as the eye area skin is thin and delicate.

Expert Take:
It is important to look for ingredients that will target your specific skincare concern when searching for an eye cream. Dark circles can sometimes be accompanied by wrinkles, fine lines, and under-eye puffiness so it is essential to look for a multi-tasking cream. Dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD explains.

You’ll get all the necessary enlightenment on matters of eye cream, how they work, their ingredients, and how to choose the best one for you in this article. Some of the best eye creams for dark circles recommended by dermatologists are also discussed.

What Are the Benefits?

  • The best eye creams reduce the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles in the eye area.
  • Some eye creams lighten and hydrate the delicate under-eye skin.
  • Eye creams with hyaluronic acid plump the skin around the eyes.
  • They can de-puff the under eyes and increase circulation.

What is the Correct Way to Apply Eye Cream for Dark Circles?

It is recommended to apply eye cream twice a day, after cleansing and before moisturizing the face. It should be done by gently massaging the eyes, and not rubbing or dragging. It can also be done by using a ceramic or metal applicator and tapping lightly, starting from the innermost corner as you move outwards. Applying eye creams too close to the bottom lashes should be avoided.

Our Top Picks For Eye Creams for Dark Circles

13 Best Eye Creams For Dark Circles

Best eye cream for Dark Circles and Puffiness SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex
Best Budget Eye Cream For Dark Circles RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream
Best Brightening Eye Cream for Dark Circles Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème
Best Eye Cream for Dry Skin Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum
Best Drugstore Eye Cream for Dark Circles Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Eye Cream
Best Eye Cream For Depuffing Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream
Best eye cream for hydration and dark circles Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream
Best Luxury Eye Cream Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream
Best Affordable: BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector
Best for Reducing Fine Lines SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Cream
Best Dark Circle Eye Cream for Discoloration Isdin Isdinceutics K Ox Eyes
Best Retinol Eye Cream For Dark Circles Kate Somerville Retinol Firming Eye Cream
Best Hydrating Eye Cream For Dark Circles Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

Known as the best eye cream for dark circles and bags, A.G.E. Eye Complex is an advanced anti-wrinkle eye cream that effectively reduces dark circles, puffiness, and crow’s feet. It is formulated with a combination of proxylane, blueberry extracts, and a complex of flavanoids, it helps maintain the radiance of dull and tired eyes. It is among the top rated eye creams for dark circles.

Reviews

This cream goes on very well under makeup and doesn’t pill. However, the customer service wasn’t very helpful since I did face some issues while placing my order. This was upsetting. –By Kathleen M

Features

Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: Dry and Normal | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: SkinCeuticals


RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

The RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream is infused with the benefits of Retinol and is clinically proven to address 3 major eye area concerns- lines, dark circles, and puffiness. It has been specifically designed and curated to keep the sensitive eye area healthy and delicate.

Reviews

I thought it was a different experience with the RoC RETINOL CORREXION® Eye Cream because I have never used an eye cream before. It was a pleasant experience in which I think I might see results. I’m not entirely sure though and honestly, I think a good night’s sleep would give me the results I desire. –Leannes

Features

Container Type: Plastic Tube | Skin Type: Non-Oily | Size: 0.5 FL O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: RoC


Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème

The Banana Bright Eye Creme, by Ole Henriksen is filled with essential ingredients such as Vitamin C, that visibly diminishes dark circles and crow’s feet. It’s real gold and fragrance-free formula helps brighten the eye skin and improve concealer application and wear.

Reviews

I’ve been using this eye cream for about two weeks it’s good but can be more moistened because, after two hours, I have to reapply. I didn’t notice any brightening of my eyes; perhaps I will see some brightening of my eyes in a few more weeks; that’s the reason I brought this Banana Bright+Eye Cream in the first place to brighter my eyes. –Sophia C.

Features

Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: All eye skin types | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: Ole Henriksen


Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum is powered by an exclusive night peptide that helps rejuvenate your skin throughout the night. It is one of the best eye cream for dry skin and dark circles. With its deep and fast penetrating properties and ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, it boosts 7 key skin-renewing actions. It helps reduce signs of aging for smooth and less wrinkled healthy skin.

Reviews

I have used the Estee Midnight Recovery serum many times and was very excited to try this new formula! It feels great on my skin and is very hydrating and moisturizing. The price is a little steep, but i think it is definitely worth the price! –Carlyxoc

Features

Container Type: Recyclable glass bottle with a dropper lid. | Skin Type: For all types and Skin tones | Size: 1.7 o.z, 3.9 o.z, 1.0 o.z. | Form: Serum | Brand: Estee Lauder


Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Eye Cream

Olay Eye Cream is formulated with Vitamin C and Peptide 24 which helps moisturize and hydrate your skin around the eyes. Devoid of any artificial fragrance, it visibly brightens and cools your skin- giving it an instant glow and vibrance.

Reviews

The Olay Eye Cream has a beautiful consistency, so smooth and silky on my skin. I enjoyed it. However, I do have one issue. I get milia really easily around my eyes and this gave me a couple. If you don’t get them easily, I think this is a wonderful product and highly recommend but if your eyes are sensitive to that, I would avoid it. –Jennifer

Features

Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: All Skin Types | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: Olay


Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream

The Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream is one of Sunday Riley’s major offerings. With caffeine and Brazilian Ginseng Root Extracts, the cream is designed to instantly lift and depuff the eye area- giving you fresh and energized eyes.

Reviews

It’s a good eye cream and has brought a noticeable difference in the appearance of my eyes, which are quite prone to dryness. However, I do believe the product is quite pricey as compared to the value it provides. But anyhow, I am satisfied with the product. –Emily

Features

Container Type: Bottle | Skin Type: All eye skin types | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: Sunday Riley


Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream

Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel Cream deeply hydrates, brightens, and smoothens the delicate skin around your eyes. With ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid that instantly and intensely hydrates for 24 hours, this is the best eye cream for hydration and dark circles that keeps your eyes fresh and supple and is dermatologist-tested to be gentle on sensitive skin.

Reviews

I have been using this for a month now and love the results so far. The lotion is rich and moisturizing. It has never irritated my skin and is fragrance-free. Although, I haven’t seen any changes in lines or dark area circles. I can and will continue to use their products but this is one I could probably do without. –Nashay

Features

Container Type: Tube | Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Gel Cream | Brand: Cetaphil


Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream

Augustinus Bader’s The Eye Cream dramatically diminishes the visible signs of aging, damage, and stress and protects your eye skin. Powered by TFC8® and backed by 30 years of visionary science, it improves the appearance of under-eye circles, puffiness, dark shadows, fine lines, and wrinkles, while boosting firmness and hydration.

Reviews

The eye cream is ok. But not that moisturizing. The container however is not up to the mark. It’s a bit of a put off but nevertheless, the product is still a good one. –Ginny H.

Features

Container Type: Bottle | Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: Augustinus Bader


BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

BeautyStat’s Universal C Eye Perfector Dark Circle Cream is a daily eye-brightening treatment and is formulated with 5% L-ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C), CMH Repair Complex, and optical diffusers that instantly brighten your skin by blurring imperfections and diminishing dark circles. It further improves the look of fine lines and puffiness.

Reviews

I’ve been using this eye cream in the morning and evening for the past couple of weeks. Though I can’t say that it has done much for my dark circles, seeing as those are genetic, I wasn’t expecting much. I will say the formula is incredibly smooth and moisturizing. It glides well on the skin and creates a nice foundation for makeup. –Jane

Features

Container Type: Bottle | Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: BeautyStat


SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Cream

SkinMedica’s Instant Bright Eye Cream is designed with Hyaluronic Acid that ensures a refreshing treatment for your eyes. Its advanced ingredients including marine extracts continue to brighten and improve your eyes’ appearance

Reviews

I got this for my dark circles and it’s worked very well! Worth the money, I’ve been using it every day for about a month. I still have some puffiness but that’s still somewhat controlled with this product. –Maggie

Features

Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: All skin types | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: SkinMedica


Isdin Isdinceutics K Ox Eyes

K-Ox Eyes is an eye cream that diminishes bags, puffiness, and dark circles, leaving the eye area feeling smoother and more rejuvenated. It comes with a cooling ceramic applicator and a formula that protects the eye skin from dehydration and ensures visible results in 28 days. Hence, it is also one of the best eye creams for dark circles and bags.

Reviews

I am satisfied with this product and how easily under-eye cover-up goes on and I need less of it. However, the cost of shipping is prohibitive. As with many cosmetic companies, I feel that if a product costs $75 or more, its product should ship free of charge. This has been my experience with all other cosmetic companies. –John A.

Features

Container Type: Tube | Skin Type: Normal | Size: 0.5 O.Z | Form: Cream | Brand: Isdin Isdineutics


Kate Somerville Retinol Firming Eye Cream

Visibly strengthen, brighten, and hydrate the delicate eye area with Kate Somerville’s Retinol-infused eye cream, which is widely recognized as the best eye cream for dark circles and wrinkles. Clinically proven to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, this product is highly effective in improving the elasticity around the eye area.

Reviews

Though I would recommend this highly for fine lines and wrinkles, however, it doesn’t help much with under-eye puffiness, especially if it is a genetic condition like what I have. –Amy

Features

Container Type: Tube | Skin Type: Normal | Size: 0.5 O.Z. | Form: Cream | Brand: Kate Somerville


Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb

Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb is known for being a lightweight eye cream that smoothens fine lines, boosts skin elasticity, and increases skin resilience. Its squalane and tiger grass-infused formulation is designed to deliver 26 hours of intense moisture and leaves your skin feeling youthful, radiant, and supple.

Reviews

The “Eye Bomb” has a perfect consistency. It hydrates and moisturizes well. Although I would say the jar is not ideal. It quickly becomes less-than-fresh by dipping even newly washed fingers into it. So a pump dispenser would mean being able to comfortably use this until it’s gone. –Pink L.

Features

Container Type: Jar | Skin Type: Normal | Size: 0.84 O.Z. | Form: Cream | Brand: Belif


How Did We Evaluate Eye Cream for Dark Circles?

Our team of board-certified dermatologists researched a variety of eye creams and used a set of criteria to rank each of them. That is how we came up with our list of the best eye creams for dark circles in the market. Some of the most essential features our experts considered to come up with the best under-eye creams for dark circles in 2024 are discussed below.

The Company Follows Strict Safety Practices

Brands/companies that manufacture, test, and package their products in FDA-approved facilities that follow the safety guidelines of GMP were highly considered.

The Ingredients, Blends, and Benefits Are Supported by Scientific Evidence

We selected eye creams that contained science-backed ingredients with verified safety and efficacy. Our team also searched for ingredient formulas that were pure and organic, free from chemical or artificial additives.

Whether The Return Policy or Guarantee is Fair and Adequate

Higher points were awarded to brands that offer a money-back guarantee and/or a 30–60-day return policy. This is because brands that believe they are manufacturing high-quality and effective products will give you sufficient time to try a product out and see if it works for you.

Analyze Whether the Customers Found the Serum Effective

You can get to know about the benefits, side effects, pros, and cons of various under-eye creams by evaluating the experiences of different users. The dark circle creams our experts chose got a lot of positive reviews from the users.

We Ensure The Manufacturer Has a Good Reputation

Some brands are well-known for manufacturing high-quality skincare products with proven results and so these brands were highly prioritized in our choice of best eye products for dark circles.

The Serum is Worth the Price

Comparing different brands of eye creams, our certified experts evaluated whether the ingredients used in an eye cream and the claimed benefits were worth the price.

How Do Eye Cream for Dark Circles Work?

The best eye cream recommended by dermatologists for dark circles have vitamins C and E as potent ingredients. Vitamin E is well absorbed when combined with vitamin C. Together they help brighten the eye area, reducing dark circles, and moisturize and soothe at the same time. Skin expert Trent Carter says “The duration it takes for dark circles to fade can vary depending on the underlying cause and individual factors. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as getting adequate sleep, staying hydrated, managing allergies, and adopting a healthy skincare routine can help reduce the appearance of dark circles over time. However, it may take weeks or even months to see significant improvement. ”

A publication of the research review in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal shared by Pumori Saokar Teland, Joshi Hospital’s Consultant Dermatologist discusses how vitamin C combined with other vitamins reduces hyper-pigmentation, photo-aging and boosts collagen synthesis.

The Best eye creams for dry dark circles contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid which deeply hydrates and plumps the under-eye skin, preventing dryness. A study shared in the Dermatology and Therapy Journal, by Zoe Diana Draelos et al., suggests that topical application of hyaluronic acid may improve photoaging.

Some also contain caffeine which decreases puffiness and dark under-eye circles.

As we documented in our content titled Peptides for Skin – A Complete Guide on Peptides, formulations containing peptides help to strengthen the delicate under-eye skin. This is because peptides are known to boost collagen synthesis. They may also reduce inflammation, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and even out skin tone.

A review article in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology discusses how peptides stimulate the skin to produce collagen, which in turn strengthens the skin making it more elastic.

What Are Some of the Ingredients To Look For in Eye Cream for Dark Circles?

Vitamin C

As a potent and powerful antioxidant, vitamin C offers sun protection and is also known for its brightening properties. As we also documented in our content on La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum Review, the ingredient also works well to reduce wrinkles, increase collagen production, reduce hyper-pigmentation, and even out skin tone.

In eye creams, vitamin C inhibits melanin production thus brightening the under-eyes and reducing the appearance of dark circles. A research review by Nutrients explains the skin-brightening property of vitamin C.

Hyaluronic Acid

As we explained in our Complete Guide for Hyaluronic Acid content, this ingredient occurs naturally in the connective tissues of the body. It is an essential component in the structure of the skin as it gives the skin a hydrated and plump look as referenced in our article of Best Face Mist.

However, hyaluronic acid levels become unstable as age sets in, making the skin more susceptible to wrinkles, sagging, and fine lines. Eye creams with hyaluronic acid brighten and plump the under-eye area, reducing dark circles and signs of aging.

A review published in the Dermato Endocrinology Journal discusses hyaluronic acid as a staple ingredient in skin care products for anti-aging.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a soluble-in-fat nutrient that is essential for skin health and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also an antioxidant and thus may reduce UV damage to the skin. In eye creams, vitamin E moisturizes and soothes the eye area skin as it easily absorbs into the skin, and reduces wrinkles, puffiness, and inflammation.

An article in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal discusses how vitamin E is an essential ingredient in skin health.

Alpha-hydroxy acids AHAs

Alpha-hydroxy acids are acids derived from animals and plants and are used in various skincare products. As we stated in an article we did, for The Ordinary Review, AHAs promote better air circulation on the skin as they help unclog the pores. They can also improve collagen production and blood flow, correct discoloration, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and brighten your complexion.

In eye creams, AHAs brighten the under-eyes reducing dark circles, and also reducing surface wrinkles. Medical research published in the Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigation Dermatology looked at how Alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamins improve the facial skin.

Retinoids

Retinoids and retinols are a group of compounds derived from Vitamin A. They are known to stimulate collagen production, fade hyper-pigmentation, and soften wrinkles. Eye creams with retinoids can reduce the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles.

A comparative study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology examines the effects of retinoids on the skin and their anti-aging effects.

Other Key Factors to Consider When Buying The Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles

    Skin Type: Eye creams are formulated with various skin needs in mind. Those with dry skin should consider using eye creams that are hydrating and moisturizing. Folks with sensitive skin should gravitate towards eye creams with soothing ingredients like cucumber extract, green tea, and aloe vera. Lightweight eye creams are recommended for those with oily skin.

Allergens: The eye area skin is thin, sensitive, and delicate and thus airborne allergens may affect the eye area causing dryness. You should therefore consider eye creams infused with oils and hyaluronic acid to trap in the moisture. Eye creams with irritants like salicylic or glycolic acid should be avoided.

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FAQs

Q: What deficiency can cause dark circles?

A: Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by several factors, one of which is nutritional deficiency. Specifically, deficiencies in Vitamins K, B12, and E, as well as iron, might contribute to the formation of dark circles. Iron deficiency anemia can also lead to a pale complexion, which results in highlighted dark circles.

Q: How Often Should You Use an Eye Cream for Dark Circles?

A: Eye cream for dark circles is recommended to be used twice a day, both morning and evening. However, you should refer to a product’s packaging to determine how many times you should apply, as some eye creams contain retinol which should be used once a day.

Q: Who Are Eye Cream for Dark Circles For?

A: Eye cream for dark circles are recommended for people struggling with dark circles under the eyes, puffiness, surface wrinkles, and fine lines.

Q: Do eye creams actually work for dark circles?

A:  With ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, retinoid, and alpha-hydroxy acid, eye creams may effectively reduce dark circles. These ingredients help brighten, hydrate, stimulate collagen, and reduce wrinkles. Regular use of eye creams can diminish the appearance of dark circles.

Q: When Should You Apply an Eye Cream for Dark Circles?

A: You should use your dark circles eye cream after cleansing your face, and before applying moisturizer and sunscreen.

Q: Where Can I Buy Eye Cream for Dark Circles?

A: Products for dark circles can be purchased on the various brands’ official websites or retail stores like Amazon, Walmart, Dermstore, Ulta Beauty, and many others. Product prices vary depending on the brand.

Q: What Eye Cream for Dark Circles is the Best?

A: The best eye cream for dark circles and wrinkles is SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex for dark circles as it contains peptides and flavonoids that help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles. Our experts have also recommended other dark circles under eye creams with powerful ingredients and are excellent products.

Q: Does retinol eye cream help dark circles?

A:  Yes, retinol eye creams can indeed help with dark circles. Retinol stimulates collagen production and strengthens the thin and delicate skin around the eyes. This ends up reducing the visibility of the blood vessels underneath, which are often the cause of the dark circles. Also, it helps in skin lightening, which reduces the appearance of dark circles further. However, consulting a dermatologist is always recommended.

Conclusion

The Best eye cream for dark circles and wrinkles are intended to fade hyperpigmentation around the eye area, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tighten the skin improve elasticity, and hydrate the under-eye skin. They may also enhance the healthy and youthful glow of the delicate eye area.

This article gives you information on what to consider when purchasing a eye cream based on research and recommendations from certified dermatologists and estheticians. You could use our evaluation criteria to research other brands till you find the best eye cream for dark circles you can commit to.

David J. Levens, MD

By David J. Levens, MD

David J. Levens, MD is an experienced Plastic Surgeon with a demonstrated history of working in the medical practice industry.

6 sources

[1] Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/
[2] Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
[3] Effects of retinoic acid on the human skin https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26578346/
[4] Vitamin E in Dermatology https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976416/
[5] The anti-aging power of Alpha-hydroxy acids on facial skin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277239/
[6] Efficacy Evaluation of a Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum in Facial Photoaging https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13555-021-00566-0