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16 Best Eye Creams 2024 for Dark Circles, Puffiness, and Fine Lines

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The use of the best eye creams is a heated debate in the Allure office: About half the team believes slathering the best eye creams for dark circles over this delicate skin can help depuff and minimize the appearance of dark circles over time, while the other half seems to think they’re moisturizers in tiny tubs and offer nothing more than a placebo effect. There is one thing we can agree on, however: No one wants to look like they got only four hours of sleep. That’s why we’ve combed through hundreds of formulas to find the most effective formulas for all skin types.

Our Top Picks

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Overall: SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Advanced Eye

SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Advanced Eye

Why It’s Worth It: Let us count the ways that SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Advanced Eye won a 2023 Best of Beauty Award — or let David Kim, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City at Idriss Dermatology, recap. This luxurious eye cream “is packed with a lot of great ingredients such as Matrixyl 3000, a blend of two different peptides, palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7; proxylane, which helps skin hold onto moisture; and caffeine to depuff the eyes,” Dr. Kim explains.

Editor Tip: Despite its creamy, balmy texture, this formula isn’t heavy or slow to absorb, as commerce editor Sarah Han attests. “I usually don’t use eye cream in the morning but I love starting my day with this because it’s packed with caffeine and optical diffusers for a brightening effect,” she says.

Key Ingredients: Proxylane, wild fruit flavonoid blend, Matrixyl 3000, caffeine, glycyrrhetinic acid | Who It’s For: Mature skin, people who are concerned with elasticity and/or want to prevent the formation of fine lines | Product Specs: Fragrance-free, paraben-free, 15 ml ($7.73 per ml)

Best Retinol Eye Cream: RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

Why It’s Worth It: Retinol near your eyes sounds scary, but with this gentle cream, you’ve got nothing to fear. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, an ophthalmologist-tested, two-time Best of Beauty Award winner (2020 and 2021), slowly releases the vitamin A derivative to fight fine lines around your eyes.

Editor Tip: This eye cream also contains hyaluronic acid, so it works its fine line-reducing magic while adding lots of hydration. As with all retinol-infused products, don’t forget to slather on sunscreen (at least SPF 30) during the daytime.

Key Ingredients: Retinol, hyaluronic acid | Who It’s For: Mature skin, dry skin | Product Specs: Fragrance-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, 15 ml ($1.47 per ml)

Best Brightening Eye Cream: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Eye Crème

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Eye Crème

Why It’s Worth It: The hint of yellow tint in Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright+ Eye Crème (which doesn’t contain banana, by the way) instantly brightens and color-corrects dark circles. Vitamin C and collagen support the skin’s clarity and elasticity. It’s no wonder this petite jar has swooped up two Readers’ Choice Awards as recently as 2023.

Editor Tip: If you want that brightening goodness all over your visage, the brand now has a Banana Bright+ Vitamin CC Stick that has been making waves across TikTok FYPs for its hyperpigmentation-reducing abilities and creamy, blendable formula.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, collagen, orange extract | Who It’s For: Dark circles, dry skin, hyperpigmentation | Product Features: Fragrance-free, paraben-free, vegan 15 ml ($2.93 per ml)

Best Cooling Applicator: Ilia Beauty Bright Start Activated Eye Cream

Ilia Bright Start Activated Eye Cream

Why It’s Worth It: One of the reasons we love Ilia Beauty’s Bright Start Activated Eye Cream is its ceramic tip, which provides a cooling sensation as you massage the cream into your delicate undereye area — it’s a great way to depuff before putting on makeup, or just starting the day. It’s also a 2023 Best of Beauty Award winner for Best Brightening Eye Cream, so you could say we really think it’s worth your money.

Editor Tip: Light-reflecting pearl illuminates the skin but the main player in the airy formula is sea fennel extract, which is a plant-based retinol alternative that acts as the major brightening, firming, and smoothing agent, while a blend of upcycled avocado extract, caffeine, and peptides minimize the look of puffiness and dark circles.

Key Ingredients: Avocado extract, caffeine, peptides, sea fennel extract, pearl | Who It’s For: Dark circles, puffiness, fine lines | Product Features: Fragrance-free, silicone-free, vegan, 15 ml ($3.07 per ml)

Best for Mature Skin: U Beauty The Return Eye Concentrate

U Beauty The Return Eye Concentrate

Why It’s Worth It: U Beauty’s The Return Eye Concentrate is a multitasker that addresses skin concerns such as puffy eyes, discoloration, and sagging undereye bags. The brand’s signature Siren Capsule Technology, which consists of biomimetic plankton extract and peptides, plays a key role in nudging stagnant fluid, tackling puffiness, and endorsing collagen production.

Editor Tip: While the cream feels rich, it does absorb quickly, Allure commerce editor Sarah Han notes, leaving behind a soft-focus glow (which is inevitable when light-reflecting diamond powder is involved). The fast absorption is partially due to the short-chain hyaluronic acid, which means smaller molecules that can penetrate more deeply into the skin — as opposed to the “sitting on top of skin” sensation. Ceramides are also present to strengthen the skin barrier, which is key for long-term skin health.

Key Ingredients: Plankton extract, peptides, diamond powder, hyaluronic acid, ceramides | Who It’s For: Dry or dehydrated skin, mature skin, fine lines, dark circles | Product Features: BIPOC-owned, 15 ml ($9.87 per ml)

Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles: La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Yeux/Eyes Corrector

La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Anti-Dark Circle Brightening Eye Cream

Why It’s Worth It: La Roche-Posay’s Pigmentclar Anti-Dark Circle Brightening Eye Cream is basically a dark circle eraser in a tube. This creamy, fragrance-free formulation contains a skin-enhancing cocktail of brightening niacinamide, anti-inflammatory caffeine, and antioxidant-rich thermal spring water for moisture replenishment. Also on the brightening front is phe-resorcinol, which inhibits melanin production, similar to kojic acid.

Editor Tip: This one gets bonus points for its metal applicator, which conducts heat, thus feeling cool and refreshing on puffy, tired eyes. You don’t even need to keep it in the fridge!

Key Ingredients: Caffeine, niacinamide, thermal spring water, phe-resorcinol | Who It’s For: Sensitive skin, dark circles | Product Features: Fragrance-free, paraben-free, cooling metal applicator, 15 ml ($3 per ml)

Best Hydrating Eye Cream for Makeup Prep: Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream

Why It’s Worth It: A combination of skin-tightening marine algae and deeply hydrating squalane in this Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream smoothes and moisturizes the eye area so that makeup doesn’t crease or cake.

Editor Tip: This Allure Best of Beauty winner has a light texture that melts into skin instead of sitting on top of it. That means you won’t deal with pilling when it’s time to put your concealer on.

Key Ingredients: Squalane, marine algae, paracress extract | Who It’s For: Mature skin, fine lines, dry or dehydrated skin | Product Features: Fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan, 15 ml ($3.73 per ml)

Best for Sensitive Skin: Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream

Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream

Why It’s Worth It: Peptides, which may boost collagen production, are essential for treating and preventing skin sagging. So when your undereye bags are drooping more than usual, might we recommend you whip out the luxurious Augustinus Bader Eye Cream? This ultra-rich cream is filled with firming peptides along with vitamin C to even out skin tone, and calming vitamin B3 (niacinamide) to pamper your under eyes with an awakening treatment.

Editor Tip: “If you have sensitive, dry skin, this is the perfect eye cream for you,” Dr. Kim says. “It has an oil-soluble form of vitamin C (ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate) to brighten the skin, Centella asicatica to calm the skin, and niacinamide to boost collagen production,” he says of the rich and creamy formula.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, niacinamide, peptides, cica | Who It’s For: Sensitive skin and eyes, mature skin | Product Features: Fragrance-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, vegan, 15 ml ($15 per ml)

Best for Boosting Radiance: Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester CCC + Ferulic Brightening Under-Eye Cream

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester CCC + Ferulic Brightening Under-Eye Cream

Why It’s Worth It: Vitamin C and ferulic acid are a powerhouse antioxidant combination when it comes to brightening your skin. The Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester CCC + Ferulic Brightening Under-Eye Cream’s radiance-boosting abilities are so impressive that it nabbed an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2022.

Editor Tip: This eye cream has become a mainstay in Allure commerce writer Jennifer Hussein’s skin-care routine. Along with the non-tacky, fast-absorbing texture of the formula, she says that her sensitive under eyes didn’t sting at all — which can be partially attributed to a synthetic (but all the more soothing) version of colloidal oatmeal.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, ferulic acid, oat protein, peptides | Who It’s For: Dark circles, hyperpigmentation, sensitive skin, puffiness | Product Features: Paraben-free, 15 ml ($5 per ml)

Best Eye Cream for Puffiness: Isdin K-Ox Eyes

Why It’s Worth It: Isdin K-Ox Eyes might have a hefty price tag for such a small tube, but trust us when we say that this 2021 Best of Beauty Award winner is the real deal. This potent serum is infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin K oxide to significantly decrease puffiness and dark circles while keeping the area incredibly hydrated. (However, as with any eye cream, don’t expect results right away. Consistent use matters in the long run.)

Editor Tip: The pointed tip on the ceramic applicator is particularly useful for targeting all of the nooks and crannies around your eyes. It’s the perfect cooling yet gentle wake-up call.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin K oxide, hyaluronic acid, peptides, biotin | Who It’s For: Puffiness, dehydrated skin, mature skin | Product Features: Cooling ceramic applicator, 15 ml ($6.80 per ml)

Best Tightening Effect: Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

Why It’s Worth It: You’ll want to add Dr. Loretta’s Tightening Eye Gel as the last step of your skin-care routine (well, aside from SPF in the A.M.) because it nabbed a 2019 Allure Best of Beauty Award for the best depuffing eye cream on the market. Algae extract boosts collagen production while peptides are responsible for tightening undereye skin.

Editor Tip: For a brightening boost, the brand’s proprietary Chromabright complex fades uneven pigment, making this a great pick for dark circles too.

Key Ingredients: Peptides, algae extract, hyaluronic acid | Who It’s For: Oily skin, puffiness, sensitive skin and eyes | Product Features: Cruelty-free, Fragrance-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, vegan, dermatologist-founded, 20 ml ($3.25 per ml)

Best for Reducing Inflammation: Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Eye Serum

Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Eye Serum

Why It’s Worth It: Trust us, the Charlotte Tilbury Cryo-Recovery Eye Serum is truly an eye-opening formula. Like your favorite latte, it’s infused with caffeine to stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation. This lightweight serum also contains Swiss ice wine, made with antioxidant-rich frozen grapes, to moisturize and firm your delicate under eyes.

Editor Tip: A round of applause, please, for this eye cream’s contoured metal applicator. It takes the already cryo-bolstered formula to the next level by helping to energize and de-puff in seconds.

Key Ingredients: Caffeine, Swiss ice wine, shea oil, aloe vera | Who It’s For: Dullness and dehydration, oily skin, dark circles | Product Features: Cruelty-free, paraben-free, vegan, 15 ml ($4.67 per ml)

Best Water-Burst Formula: Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb

Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb

Why It’s Worth It: Like a tall glass of water for your under eye area, Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb kicks hydration into overdrive to ensure no dry skin is left behind. The line-smoothing cream promises long-lasting moisture and a visibly radiant finish, thanks to powerhouse ingredients like soothing tiger grass, glycerin, squalane, and ceramides.

Editor Tip: This rich, hydrating formulation does wonders on flaky, irritated, and chapped skin without feeling heavy or thick — ideal for the colder months.

Key Ingredients: Tiger grass, glycerin, squalane, ceramides | Who It’s For: Dry skin, mature skin, fine lines | Product Features: Paraben-free, synthetic fragrance–free, vegan, 25 ml ($1.92 per ml)

Best Budget Pick: The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream

The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream

Why It’s Worth It: Don’t be deceived by the price tag. The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream packs just as powerful a punch as the pricier options on this list. The caffeine in the cream helps flush away water retention that can cause puffiness, and peptides smooth over roughly textured skin on this delicate area of the face.

Editor Tip: If you tend to feel extra puffy in the AM, try keeping this caffeinated eye cream in the fridge overnight for a cooling treat.

Key Ingredients: Caffeine, peptides, squalane, hyaluronic acid | Who It’s For: Puffiness, uneven skin texture, dry skin | Product Features: Fragrance-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, 15 ml ($0.73 per ml)

Best Lightweight Eye Cream: Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinol + Niacinamide Eye Serum

Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinol + Niacinamide Eye Serum

Why It’s Worth It: Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinol + Niacinamide Eye Serum combines the two powerhouse ingredients, along with barrier-restoring ceramides, for a brightening, fine line-reducing treatment overnight. Your eyes will look refreshed and youthful before you can even hit the snooze button (again).

Editor Tip: For those of you who aren’t into richer creams, this retinol-powered serum is a lighter alternative to treating your under eyes and lids. Serum formulations are great if you wear liquid or serum makeup, as you won’t run into pilling.

Key Ingredients: Retinol, niacinamide, ceramides, centella asiatica, olive oil | Who It’s For: Mature skin, uneven skin tone, fine lines | Product Features: Cruelty-free, vegan, paraben-free, synthetic fragrance–free, 15 ml ($4.33 per ml)

Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex

Why It’s Worth It: Estee Lauder’s ANR Eye Supercharged Complex is a lightweight, silky gel-cream featuring a peptide exclusive to the brand that visibly reduces the look of dark circles — whether they’re blue, purple, or brown — with regular use.

Editor Tip: This 2022 Best of Beauty winner also has sodium hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid) that curbs dryness day or night while vitamin E guards the skin against free radicals.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, peptides | Who It’s For: Dark circles, mature skin, dry skin | Product Features: Paraben-free, 15 ml ($4.80 per ml)


Why do we need eye cream?

Aside from personal preferences, what we do know for a fact is that “eyelid skin is thinner than the surrounding facial skin, so it can be more prone to sensitivity and irritation,” Tiffany Jow Libby, MD, a Rhode Island-based, board-certified dermatologist at Brown Dermatology, previously explained. However, finding the right eye cream is another ordeal, as David Kim, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Idriss Dermatology in New York City, points out. “I see a lot of patients with milia around the eyes from using Vaseline or eye creams that are too heavy,” he says.

Ultimately, it comes down to the level of prevention you desire. “Because they are landing on thinner skin, eye creams tend to be thicker — a higher amount of oil, less water — than facial moisturizers,” Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut, tells Allure, comparing the use of an eye cream to “putting extra padding on a spin bike.” And that extra cushioning just might pay off, since it’s also known that the eye area is one of the first to show signs of aging such as sagging skin, fine lines, and crow’s feet.

“As we hit our 30s, hyaluronic acid, our skin’s natural water absorber and plumper, begins to decline,” Dr. Gohara explains, which is why applying the ingredient topically and making up for lost hydration is of the essence. In fact, many of the best eye creams for wrinkles are packed with HA and other powerful ingredients like blood vessel-constricting caffeine and collagen-boosting peptides to help fake a full night’s rest.

When should I start using eye cream?

Dr. Kim recommends incorporating eye cream starting in your mid-20s, which is “slightly before we start to lose noticeable amounts of collagen and our skin starts to lose firmness and the ability to hold on to moisture,” he explains. Whereas younger people might fare better with light, gel-like textures, he recommends people in their 30s reach for slightly richer, lotion-like eye creams with retinol, peptides, and vitamin C. If you struggle with dark circles, brightening ingredients such as vitamin C, kojic acid, tranexamic acid, arbutin, and licorice root “help decrease skin pigmentation over time, ultimately resulting in the lightening of the dark circles,” Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, previously said.

Once you hit your 40s, seek out creamy, rich eye creams infused with retinol, peptides in higher percentages, and antioxidants to get the maximum line-smoothing and plumping benefits. “With repeated use, retinol can stimulate the production of collagen, making the skin less thin,” Dr. Nazarian explained. (Just remember: If you use a retinol-enhanced eye cream, don’t forget to wear sunscreen — you should be using SPF regardless — or check out our curation of the best eye creams with SPF.)

How should I apply eye cream?

A common rule of thumb is using your ring fingers to gently tap the eye cream into your skin, since you’re dealing with the thinnest area on your face. Dr. Kim has a process that may reduce puffiness, or at the very least, feel calming. “I dot [eye cream] around the eyes, place my index finger on the upper eyelid area and third finger on the lower eyelid area, and rub it in as I’m doing a lymphatic massage,” he says.


How we test and review products

When Allure tests a product, our editors look at it from every angle in an effort to best serve you. We review ingredients, scrutinize brand claims, and, when necessary, examine peer-reviewed scientific and medical studies. In addition to testing each and every product that’s included in each and every review, we rely on experts who shape their fields, including dermatology, cosmetic chemistry, and medicine, to help us vet the ingredients and formulas.

For our list of the best eye creams, we considered each product’s performance across five primary categories: product ingredients and efficacy, packaging, fragrance, texture, and product wear. Every product was determined to have excelled in each category by our editorial team, which is composed of in-house writers and editors as well as contributors — along with special consideration from board-certified dermatologists. To learn more information on our reporting and testing processes, read our complete reviews process and methodology page.

Our staff and testers


A beauty product is a personal purchase. You might be searching for a face cream to address persistent dryness or a new nail product to add to your Sunday self-care routine; you may simply be browsing around for the latest launches to hit the hair market. No matter what you seek or your individual needs and concerns, Allure wants to ensure that you love anything we recommend in our stories. We believe that having a diverse team of writers and editors — in addition to the wide range of outside testers and industry experts we regularly call upon — is essential to reaching that goal.

After all, can we really say a skin-care product is the “best” for people over 50 if the only testers we’ve solicited opinions from folks who have yet to hit 30? Can we honestly deem a high-end diffuser worthy of your hard-earned cash if it’s never been tested on curls? We’re proud that our staff spans a wide range of ages, skin tones, hair textures, genders, and backgrounds, which means that we are able to fairly assess any beauty product that comes into the beauty closet.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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