The best drugstore eye creams and serums that offer high-end results

De-puff, brighten and smooth with our favorite drugstore eye creams

three of w&h's best drugstore eye creams picks—revolution loreal paris and avene—on a lilac background
(Image credit: Future)

The world of budget beauty, in particular drugstore eye creams and serums, has come on leaps and bounds. Not a month goes by without the emergence of a new affordable skincare brand offering impressive cost-effective solutions for all our eye concerns.

Nowhere is this more evident than when browsing the roster of the best eye cream on the shelves. Boasting intelligent formulations designed to help with everything from smoothing fine lines and wrinkles to puffy eyes and even (in some cases) those tricky dark circles, the quality of these products is as pleasant a surprise as their price tags. 

With so many choices on offer, it's hard to know which budget brands are the ones that really deliver. So we’ve done all the research for you to reveal this tried and tested guide to affordable eye creams that are worth adding to cart.

Best drugstore eye creams, by our beauty team

Revolution Skincare 10% Vitamin C Brightening Power Eye Serum

(Image credit: Revolution )

1. Revolution Skincare 10% Vitamin C Brightening Power Eye Serum

Best brightening drugstore eye cream

Specifications

RRP: $14/£10
Target concerns: Skin tone and texture
Key ingredients: Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, glycerin
Fragranced: No

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent brightening formula
+
Hydrates and addresses tone
+
Light slippy texture

Reasons to avoid

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If you prefer rich creams 

Ok, this isn't technically the best drugstore eye cream for brightening—it's actually a drugstore eye serum. For many, that light and slippery texture will be a welcome thing, as it sinks into the thin, delicate skin under the eyes without a trace. On testing, we found the feel of the product ideal to use during the day as it provides a smooth, plumped, and non-sticky layer that sits perfectly under makeup. If, however you have very dehydrated or dry skin around your eyes, you may prefer the feel of a richer cream. 

That aside, we reckon this product has something to offer everyone. It contains ascorbic acid, which is the most potent and effective form of Vitamin C for maximum antioxidant and skin tone-perfecting properties. It also packs in light, plumping hyaluronic acid (HA) and moisturizing glycerin. This is a very impressive formulation for the price and from a brand that we associate more with soft glam makeup than serious skincare. Kudos to Revolution for creating such a solid, effective eye cream at such a low price. 

L'Oreal Revitalift Filler 2.5% [Hyaluronic + Caffeine] Eye Serum

(Image credit: L'Oreal Paris)

2. L'Oreal Revitalift Filler 2.5% [Hyaluronic + Caffeine] Eye Serum

Best de-puffing drugstore eye cream

Specifications

RRP: $29.99/£24.99
Target concerns: Dehydration, puffiness, skin tone, lines
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, caffeine, niacinamide
Fragranced: No

Reasons to buy

+
Unique applicator
+
Powerful ingredients 
+
Instant effects 

Reasons to avoid

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Better for AM than PM use

Another serum, and no apologies for including it—if your idea of the best drugstore eye cream is a soothing, cooling de-puffing little number then you couldn't go wrong with this Revitalift Eye Serum. As well as including three ultra-proven active ingredients (hydrating HA, brightening niacinamide and circulation-boosting caffeine) the best thing about this product is its excellent applicator. 

The unique wand contains three metal ball bearings that gently spread the serum onto the skin while giving the whole undereye area an effective massage. This is deliciously cooling on puffy morning eyes and gently revs up circulation and boosts lymphatic drainage to shift fluid build-up from under the eyes. We kept ours in the fridge during testing to amp up the cool factor and became addicted to our morning roll-around ritual. Honestly, it feels gorgeous. You can also expect gradual, gentle improvements in skin tone and instant plumping of fine lines. Although this isn't as punchy as, say retinol eye cream, it still offers plenty of bang for your buck. 

Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream

(Image credit: Avene)

3. Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream

Best drugstore eye cream for sensitive eyes

Specifications

RRP: $24/£10.75
Target concerns: Moisturizing, soothing
Key ingredients: Avene thermal spring water, HA, glycerin
Fragranced: No

Reasons to buy

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Very gentle
+
Creamy and hydrating 
+
Gently plumps

Reasons to avoid

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Won't make dramatic changes

Sensitive eyes are incredibly commonplace. Even if you don't have particularly sensitive skin, there's every chance that you've experienced puffy, weepy or stinging eyes at some stage due to unscrupulous product choices. If this sounds familiar, then Avene's deeply moisturizing and utterly non-irritating formula could well be the best drugstore eye cream for you. 

As with all Avene products it contains the brand's famed thermal spring water, and combines it with glycerin and HA to form the holy trinity of softening, plumping ingredients. The texture is a light-ish cream, rich enough to feel delicious on dry skin without overloading the area. Plus, the fragrance-free formula ensures there'll be no tears at bedtime (or whenever you choose to apply—it sits very nicely under makeup and has primer-like smoothing qualities) As this is a sensitivity-friendly cream, hard-hitting ingredients like retinol and acids have purposely been avoided. That means this is primarily a moisturizer rather than a targeted treatment, but if you are a reactive type that's probably exactly what you're looking for. 

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, one of w&h's best drugstore eye creams picks

(Image credit: CeraVe)
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4. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

Best drugstore eye cream for strong skin

Specifications

RRP: $10.70/£9
Target concerns: Dark circles, puffy eyes
Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramides, marine and botanical complex
Fragranced: No

Reasons to buy

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Smooth, lightweight texture
+
Non-comedogenic
+
Helps strengthen the skin barrier
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Allergy-, dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested;
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Accepted by the National Eczema Foundation

Reasons to avoid

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Not especially glamorous

Ceramides, a blend of lipids found naturally in the skin, are the hero ingredient of this particular eye cream. Boasting three different varieties, this product should help strengthen your skin barrier’s defenses. Why is that important? The skin barrier— that is, the uppermost layer of your skin—is key in protecting against the damaging effects of UV, pollution, and environmental wear and tear.

However, this top layer weakens as we age (and can be compromised further by diet, stress, and using the wrong products) meaning we can experience more dryness and irritation. That’s far from ideal for the thin, delicate skin around the eyes. CeraVe’s protective formula looks to replenish supplies of lipids while plumping hyaluronic acid, moisturizing glycerin, and brightening niacinamide work on smoothing out puffy eyes and dark circles. It’s also fragrance-free, making it ideal for a range of skin types, particularly reactive or sensitive skin. 

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour, one of w&h's best drugstore eye creams picks

(Image credit: La Roche-Posay)
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5. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour

Best drugstore eye cream for allergies

Specifications

RRP: $24.99/£17
Target concerns: Dry, sensitive skin
Ingredient call-outs: La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, neurosensine, niacinamide, shea butter
Fragranced: No

Reasons to buy

+
Hypoallergenic 
+
Great for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers
+
Instant soothing, calming feel
+
Allergy- and dermatologist-tested

Reasons to avoid

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Does not address tone

If using the best mascaras for sensitive eyes is your jam, or you're prone to allergies, hayfever, or skin flare-ups under your eyes or on your eyelids, this will be one of the best drugstore eye creams for you. Formulated to relieve tightness and irritation as well as reduce sensitivity, it features a calming cocktail of anti-inflammatory neurosensine, niacinamide, nourishing shea butter, and the brand’s signature thermal spring water. We also found that it felt light and absorbed well on our eyelids (crucial before applying eyeshadow!).

Those with allergies that cause itchy eyes as well as those who wear contacts will appreciate its featherlight, soothing texture. Furthermore, this eye cream—along with the rest of the Toleriane range—has been given the seal of approval from Allergy UK. Impressive credentials.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye-Gel Cream

(Image credit: Neutrogena)
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6. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Awakening Gel-Cream

Best drugstore eye cream for tired eyes

Specifications

RRP: $26.49/£12.99
Target concerns: Dry, tired-looking underye areas
Ingredient call-outs: Hyaluronic acid
Fragranced: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Smoothens undereye skin
+
Hydrates and moisturizes
+
Water-gel formula is non-goopy
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Ophthalmologist-tested
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Oil and dye-free; non-comedogenic

Reasons to avoid

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Mildly scented
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Doesn't address puffiness

Want a product that can handle—or even, dare we say it, reverse—the effects of harsh conditions like too much time in the sun without your trusty sunglasses, or late nights staring at the computer screen? This tried-and-tested eye cream from everyone's favorite childhood drugstore brand Neutrogena addresses the above scenarios as well as generalized tired eye symptoms, and as a result, has become a fixture in our SOS beauty kits. 

As drugstore eye creams go, this has an unusually light texture. It's a gel-cream hybrid that feels refreshing and lightweight yet works just as hard as its creamier counterparts, this boasts a hydrating formula thanks to always-a-winner hyaluronic acid and glycerin. We put it through its paces during a late-night Netflix true-crime binge and woke up looking surprisingly refreshed with less-noticeable dark circles than we deserved, considering the minimal hours of sleep we got.

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream

(Image credit: No7)
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7. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream

Best drugstore eye cream for deep wrinkles

Specifications

RRP: $19.99/£17.95
Target concerns: Deep lines and wrinkles, dark circles, shadows, puffiness
Ingredient call-outs: Antioxidants, Matrixyl 3000+, Double Defence Technology
Fragranced: None added

Reasons to buy

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Hypoallergenic; suitable for sensitive skin
+
Visible smoothening and brightening results in two weeks
+
A little goes a long way 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as effective for puffiness

For years, No7 has been at the forefront of high-performance, low-cost beauty, and this eye cream is a brilliant example of its continued excellence in the field. This has the brand's most concentrated version of their Matrixyl 3000 Plus technology—a peptide (mini-protein) complex that helps stimulate collagen production and makes skin appear firmer. This complex lies at the heart of Protect & Perfect Eye Cream, giving it more fighting power against deep lines and wrinkles. What’s more, it also contains antioxidants such as vitamin C, which not only protect against environmental aggressors but also help create an even skin tone. 

Hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin, a pea-sized amount of the cream went a long way. A few days in we did see some brightening effects, and other testers report visible smoothening and plumping after two weeks of use. It did seem to be on the less effective side when it came to reducing puffiness, but for those looking for a little lift and softening of deep-seated lines, you might have just met your match. 

Vichy 89 Eyes

(Image credit: Vichy)
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8. Vichy Mineral 89 Eyes

Best drugstore eye cream for dryness

Specifications

RRP: $24/£20
Target concerns: Dryness, dullness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles
Ingredient call-outs: Vichy Volcanic Water, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, shea butter
Fragranced: No

Reasons to buy

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Gel formula is non-greasy and not sticky
+
Hyaluronic acid provides all-day moisture
+
Fragrance, alcohol, paraben, and mineral oil-free; doesn't clog pores
+
Suitable for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers

Reasons to avoid

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Higher-end drugstore price point

This is one of the pricier drugstore eye creams on our list, but the ingredients are working hard to justify that spend. If you’re already a fan of the face serum in the Mineral 89 range, you’ll love this product, which offers the same hydrating benefits (courtesy of the brand’s 89% Vichy Volcanic Water and hyaluronic acid). 

Where the eye cream differs is in the additions of pure caffeine extract to brighten and tighten and a collagen-boosting peptide, derived from algae that helps both decongest and ‘thicken’ the skin. This works to increase the space between veins and skin, thus reducing the appearance of dark circles. Its water-like texture means it slides on like a dream, too. After a few days of use, we found that our eye areas were noticeably softer and more awake-looking without tell-tale fatigue shadowing even after a late night out. The gel texture is also a huge pro for those who want a lighter formula for wearing under makeup or during the warmer months.

The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream

(Image credit: The Inkey List)
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9. The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream

Best retinol drugstore eye cream

Specifications

RRP: $9.99/£9.99 for 0.5oz/15ml
Target concerns: Fine lines and wrinkles, aging, hyperpigmentation
Ingredient call-outs: Vitalease (stabilized retinoid compound), antioxidants, sodium hyaluronate
Fragranced: No

Reasons to buy

+
Alcohol, fragrance, and cruelty-free; vegan
+
Ideal for most skin types
+
A little goes a long way
+
Fast-absorbing, non-greasy
+
Great under makeup

Reasons to avoid

-
Not sensitive skin friendly

When it comes to ingredients that slow down the aging process, retinol is widely regarded as the gold standard. Why? Well, it does it all. Knowing how to use retinol can help stimulate the production of the skin’s building blocks (collagen and hyaluronic acid), prevent pigmentation, and increase cell turnover. Such benefits usually come at a price, so this affordable product from The Inkey List really is a unique find. 

Formulated with heavyweight hydrators such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin to help reduce dryness, it also smoothes, brightens, and firms. Note: If your skin tends to sit on the more sensitive side of the spectrum, ensure you patch test first as some users did report reactivity. However, all in all, this is an excellent, effective eye cream, as we did notice smoother skin on the undereye area after a few weeks. As for how effective it is against hyperpigmentation, we think that might take a longer trial period; but luckily, we're talking drugstore eye creams here, so it's a pretty sustainable experiment.

Derma-E Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment

(Image credit: Derma-E)
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10. Derma-E Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment

Best drugstore eye cream for puffiness and lines

Specifications

RRP: $15.95/£9.05 for 0.5oz/14g
Target concerns: Fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness, dryness
Ingredient call-outs: Retinol, golden aloe-infused beads, grape seed extract, reishi mushroom
Fragranced : No

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight feel
+
Great under makeup
+
GMO, gluten, soy, and cruelty-free; vegan
+
Gentle enough to use on eyelids

Reasons to avoid

-
Runny consistency

Touted as a treatment for the eye area, Derma-E Anti-Wrinkle definitely feels more like a watery serum than typical drugstore eye creams—meaning if you're #teamlightweight, this is definitely up your alley. Skeptics might raise eyebrows on its efficacy against deep lines given its water-like consistency, but rest assured a week's use this dark horse gave us wide-awake, puff-free peepers with fewer dehydration lines and a dewy glow. 

It's fairly gentle as far as retinol goes, therefore we appreciate it being a gateway product for those starting to dip their toes into the world of retinoids. Another plus? We love how it immediately gave us smoother, less tired-looking eyes thanks to botanical oils and extracts. One caveat is how its lip gloss-like applicator tends to dispense more product than intended, so store upright or twist the cap tight and proper to prevent runs and unwanted spillage.

Patchology Roll Model Brightening Roll-On Eye Serum, one of w&h's best drugstore eye creams picks

(Image credit: Patchology)

11. Patchology Roll Model Brightening Roll-On Eye Serum

Best cooling drugstore eye cream

Specifications

RRP: $22/£20 for 0.37 oz/55g
Target concerns: Dark circles, puffiness
Ingredient call-outs: Vitamin c, kiwi extract, grapefruit extract, pearlescent minerals
Fragranced : No

Reasons to buy

+
Soothing jade roller applicator
+
Mess-free application
+
Lightweight serum formula
+
Absorbs quickly

Reasons to avoid

-
Have to be careful not to drag skin

Patchology offers some of the best face masks for fusing both quality and convenience and they've done the same with their roll-on eye serum that combines the qualities seen in the best facial rollers with an impressive serum for easy application, a soothing feel, and impressive results. The jade roller creates a cooling effect on application, soothing the undereye and reducing overt puffiness. 

The lightweight serum absorbs quickly leaving the undereye area feeling quenched and hydrated, however, it's not one that will banish dark circles so if that's what you're looking for this may not be the drugstore eye cream for you. And while the jade roller applicator does make this super easy to apply with no mess in sight, you do have to be careful not to drag the skin when applying. The best way to use it is to keep it upside down for a few seconds to lubricate the roller and tip your head back when applying.