Best eye cream: our favorite formulas for every skin type and concern

Hydrate, brighten, and depuff with the best eye creams: from bargain buys to high-end picks

Included in this guide:

A collage of the best eye cream products tested by w&h including Ole Henriksen, Clinique and The Ordinary
(Image credit: Future)

The best eye cream is one of the first skincare products most of us will seek out. Why? Because the delicate eye area is the first to show signs of aging and these small but mighty products are our first line of defense against dark circles, puffiness, uneven tone, and lines.

But just as even the best skincare routine can't transform a completely neglected complexion overnight, it's important to be realistic about what the best eye cream can do. No topical product can tighten up eyelids or completely eradicate deep lines, so don't trust products that claim otherwise. However, picking a well-formulated cream that perfectly suits your skin’s needs and using it consistently can help alleviate specific concerns and yes, even reverse some visible concerns. 

It’s for this reason that Murad Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector ranks as our best eye cream overall. This highly targeted product brings several effective brightening ingredients together, packaged stably, and formulated to work in synergy for clinically proven results.

If lines and skin texture are more of a concern, our best budget eye cream, The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream, could be up your alley. For all-out luxury and powerful environmental protection,  turn your attention to 111Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel—it could be worth the investment. 

How to choose the best eye creams for you

"As with any skincare product, it takes around six to eight weeks of regular use to really see the results," says Alise Mihai, senior practitioner at Skin+IQ. But, as Dr Kaywaan Khan, Aesthetic Doctor and founder of Hannah London, points out—it depends on ingredients. "Hyaluronic acid is instant, you can see the plumping and hydrating results on every application. Retinol takes longer to work as it has to convert itself into retinoic acid from vitamin A before it starts stimulating collagen production," explains Dr Kaywaan. 

Typically, a good eye cream should have one or more of these active ingredients:

  • Caffeine: Many eye creams include caffeine as an ingredient. “It’s a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows blood cells, which is thought to help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles,” says Dr Kaywaan.
  • Retinol: It’s no surprise that retinol, the over-the-counter form of retinoid, is an anti-ageing godsend. In an eye cream, “it helps stimulate collagen and elastin production, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. It also speeds up cell turn over, making it great for mild to moderate pigmentation,” says Alise.
  • Humectants: “Humectants attract water molecules and draw moisture from deeper layers of the skin to the surface, thus keeping skin well-moisturized,” says Alise. Hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, glycerin, and aloe vera are popular humectants used in cosmetics.
  • PeptidesPeptides are naturally occurring amino acids in the body that protect skin from damage, improve skin health, and minimize the impact of premature aging. When applied topically, they send messages to skin cells telling them to carry out specific tasks, like building collagen, elastin, keratin, and other essential proteins.
  • AntioxidantsAntioxidants are used in skincare for their ability to fight free radicals (unstable atoms from UV/ozone exposure, smoking, pollution, or chemical exposure) “Antioxidants can brighten dark circles, improve pigmentation and also prevent damage from UV light exposure,” says Dr Kaywaan. Common antioxidants in skincare include vitamin C, vitamin E, resveratrol, and CoEnzyme Q10.

The best eye creams, as chosen by our beauty experts

best eye cream Murad vita C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector

(Image credit: Murad)

1. Murad Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector

Best eye cream for most people

RRP: $62/£45
Texture: Cream
Targets: Dark circles caused by poor circulation, sun damage, inflammation
Key ingredients: Vitamin C, niacinamide, algae, light-reflecting minerals
Fragranced: No
Reasons to buy
+Powerful brightening ingredients +Stable formulation 
Reasons to avoid
-Primarily focuses on dark circles

First things first: If dark circles aren’t a concern, then Murad Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector may not be for you. If they are, then we urge you to snap this best eye cream up ASAP (as long as you can afford to, that is) because it is the best eye cream for dark circles we've tried so far, hands down.

The key ingredient is ascorbic acid, the most potent form of vitamin C, kept stable and potent by the inclusion of another antioxidant called glutathione and a vitamin C derivative called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD). These three work in tandem to stop the dulling, collagen-degrading, pigmentation-causing effects of environmental damage in its tracks. It also contains niacinamide, another tone-brightener, plus plumping hyaluronic acid, two algae, and zero artificial fragrance. 

The texture is nice if a little unusual: Firmer than expected with a golden tone that instantly color-corrects and blurs for an added boost of eye brightening. The air- and light-proof packaging is clean and nifty for squeezing out each last drop (important, particularly for a product that retails upwards of $60), and in a clinical trial of 27 women aged 25 to 65, 85% saw a reduction in dark circles after six weeks. 

See our full Murad Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector review

best eye cream 111 SKIN Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel

(Image credit: 111Skin)

2. 111Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel

Best luxury eye cream

RRP: $190/£140
Texture: Gel
Targets: Lines, dark circles, elasticity
Key ingredients: NAC Y2 (antioxidant) formula, peptides, caffeine
Fragranced: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Unique active ingredient +Fresh gel texture
Reasons to avoid

We know what you’re thinking: At that price, there had better be something pretty darn special about 111Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel. And guess what? There is. 

NAC Y2 is a unique complex created by 111Skin founder Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, one of Harley Street’s top plastic surgeons and aesthetic specialists. This combination of powerful antioxidants, amino acids, and a vitamin C derivative was first used by Dr. Yannis to boost post-treatment healing on his patients. 

But you don’t have to have a medical-grade facial peel to enjoy the benefits of this best eye cream: It turns out, accelerated healing is a great thing on any skin, particularly so around the eyes, where environmental damage and collagen degradation take their toll. And so this ultra-powerful serum was born, with a super refreshing gel texture that feels amazing on hot, puffy eyes in the morning. NAC Y2 aside, the formula also includes anti-inflammatory caffeine and skin-energizing peptides. 

It quickly absorbs into skin without residue and gets to work plumping lines, brightening skin, and protecting against environmental damage, making it one of the best eye creams for wrinkles. The airless pump keeps every ingredient in peak condition and will look glamorous on your skincare shelf too. Sure, the price isn't for everyone and the inclusion of fragrance may be off-putting to some, but otherwise, there is very little not to love. 

See our full 111Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel review

best eye cream The INKEY List Retinol Eye Cream

(Image credit: INKEY list )

3. The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream

Best budget eye cream

RRP: $9.99/£7
Texture: Cream
Targets: Lines, uneven or rough skin, dullness
Key ingredients: Retinol, hyaluronic acid, shea butter
Fragranced: No
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Powerful skin improver
Reasons to avoid
-Could irritate very sensitive skin

When considering The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream, you might be put off by the outdated beauty myth that retinol and the eye area don't play well together. The truth is that, as long as your skin can tolerate it and you use products that are formulated with care, retinol can work wonders on texture, lines, and cell turnover around the eyes.

This best eye cream takes 0.09% pure retinol—a pleasingly gentle dose—and delivers it with lovely nourishing things like shea butter, glycerin, and seed oils. The retinol is also stable and slow-release, meaning it should be tolerated well by most skin types. It spreads on efficiently, sinks in swiftly, and gets right to work. We jumped right in with nightly use and didn’t experience any tingling or redness as you might expect from a retinol cream. Sensitive types might want to begin using it for a couple of nights a week then take it from there. 

This isn’t the best eye cream you buy for glamor, show-off packaging, or an indulgent scent—it’s all about no-frills results. Everything from the simple white tube to the straightforward instructions printed inside the box is designed with high functionality in mind. This is nicely formulated, targeted, and easy-to-navigate modern skincare. Oh, and did we mention it's the best cheap eye cream because it costs less than $10? Can’t argue with that. 

See our full The Inkey List Retinol Eye Cream review

best eye cream Ole henriksen banana bright eye creme

(Image credit: ole henriksen)

4. OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème

Best brightening eye cream

RRP: $39/£28
Texture: Cream
Targets: Tired-looking eyes, dark circles, dullness, rough texture
Key ingredients: Vitamin C, jojoba seed oil, soft-focus pigments
Fragranced: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Both instant and long-term brightening+Works under makeup
Reasons to avoid

The first thing you’ll notice about OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème is its perky yellow color. The fruity hue is based on banana powder, an old makeup artist’s hack for color-correcting undereye shadows. Here, the pigment does pretty much the same job, lightly counteracting dark circles and providing a smooth and even canvas for makeup to sit on top of. 

For long-term skin benefits, this packs in three types of vitamin C, a known brightener and powerful antioxidant (although it would be more stable in airtight packaging, rather than a jar). We also get softening jojoba and tamarind seed oils, and emollients shea butter and coconut alkanes, to trap moisture into the skin. 

The texture is absolutely beautiful—glossy, spreadable, and a joy to apply. This adds a sense of enjoyment so often lacking in skincare, particularly when combined with that sunny hue and a delightfully fruity scent. If you’re very sensitive to fragranced products, that perfume could be an issue, but most should find it unobtrusive enough and quite uplifting too. 

See our full OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème review

best eye cream Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue

(Image credit: Charlotte Tilbury)

5. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue

Best eye cream for dry skin

RRP: $60/£44
Texture: Cream
Targets: Fine lines, puffiness, signs of fatigue
Star ingredients: Plant stem cells, algae, peptides
Fragranced: No
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of active ingredients+Glamorous look and feel
Reasons to avoid
-Jar packaging could destabilize ingredients

There are things we expect from Charlotte Tilbury—glossy products with irresistible names and beautiful textures? Yes. Products that look, smell, and feel luscious? Naturally. But serious skincare to rival the clinically-minded big boys? Well, it certainly doesn’t feel like the most on-brand for the queen of color cosmetics, but here we are.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue Cream includes an impressive cocktail of active ingredients—things like cell-energizing peptides, a retinol derivative for texture and lines, brightening vitamin C, moisturizing saccharide isomerate tag-team with Winter Daphne stem cells to boost the skin’s barrier function. All of this comes without compromise on texture either: Think buttery and nourishing. Oily types or younger skin might find it a little bit too rich, but it would suit dryer skin types who would love an emollient feel on their face after applying their product.

As with other jar-based creams, it would be remiss not to mention that vitamin C and retinol can be destabilized by light and air, but as part of such a complex cocktail, it's forgivable. And, oh, what a jar she is! Chunky and luxurious with rose-gold details, you certainly wouldn’t hide this away in a drawer. You also probably wouldn’t squeeze it into a gym or holiday bag either, but in today’s world, vanity-table allure trumps portability anyway. 

See our full Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue review

best eye cream The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% ECGC

(Image credit: The Ordinary )

6. The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG

Best eye cream for tired eyes

RRP: $6.70/£5
Texture: Serum
Targets: Puffiness, dark circles, fine lines
Key ingredients: Caffeine, epigallocatechin gallatyl glucoside, hyaluronic acid
Fragranced: No
Reasons to buy
+Very low price+Fights fatigued appearance
Reasons to avoid
-Not luxurious 

It’s worth starting by saying that The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG isn’t actually an eye cream; it’s a serum. 

This will be very good news for anyone who finds rich textures a bit much around the delicate eye area. It also means the smaller molecules sink in efficiently and get to work in the skin. Namely, the work of perking up signs of fatigue: The clue is in the name here, with anti-inflammatory and vasoconstriction-boosting caffeine center stage as the star ingredient. It can reduce puffy eyes and boost microcirculation to bring fresh blood and nutrients to the skin’s surface, helping create a bright, healthy skin tone.  

The EGCG bit of the product name is epigallocatechin gallatyl glucoside, a powerful antioxidant with all the pollution-busting and long-term collagen-boosting powers that be. Plus, the formula includes nourishing glycerin and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, although owing to that serum texture, you may not find it quite nourishing enough if you have very dry skin.

So, you get all this for under $7—what’s the catch? Well, there’s nothing particularly luxurious about this best eye cream; the texture is light but also a touch sticky until it sinks in, which is common for products containing hyaluronic acid. It also requires a bit of reading up to understand what you’re dealing with (The Ordinary’s website is a helpful resource for this.) If you aren’t that interested in ingredients, the extra studying up might be too much, but it’s an effort worth making for this great-value, effective skincare buy.

See our full The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG review

best eye cream Clinique Pep-Start Eye cream

(Image credit: Clinique)

7. Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream

Best eye cream for oily skin

RRP: $24.23/£18
Texture: Cream
Targets: Dehydration, signs of fatigue, rough skin
Key ingredients: Several peptides, squalane, algae, hyaluronic acid
Fragranced : No
Reasons to buy
+Effective hydration and energising +Light texture
Reasons to avoid
-Applicator can waste product

A great all-rounder sounds like a wishy-washy accolade, but the brilliance of Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream lies in its “little bit of everything” approach. It instantly hydrates and smoothens skin texture, then offers a whole variety of long-term benefits from peptides, which are cell-communicating ingredients that perform a whole variety of functions to re-energize skin. In fact, you could call them the great all-rounders of the skincare world. It’s a great thing, honestly. 

Pep-Start also includes hyaluronic acid and glycerin to soften and hydrate, plus skin-replenishing ingredient of the moment squalane, and light-reflecting mineral mica for a soft-focus effect. The texture is easy to get along with—light, easily spread, and absorbed—so would work particularly well for those with oily skin. It also sits very nicely under foundation and concealer without separating, pilling, or causing either to slide around, and the applicator builds in a nice hands-free massage treat to help with depuffing. 

All this brings us ultimately to the only real issue with this cream: That little massager has to be popped in and out to apply. Annoyingly, once you're done applying and pop it back in, a tiny bit of cream shoots out the end, which feels a bit wasteful. Once you know it’s going to happen, you can ensure you use any spillage, but a tiny rework of this quirky mechanism would make 5-star material of what is otherwise an excellent eye cream. 

See our full Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream review

best eye cream Remescar eye bags & dark circles

(Image credit: remescar)

8. Remescar Eye Bags & Dark Circles

Best eye cream for instant effects

RRP: $46/£34
Texture: Gel
Targets: Loss of firmness, puffy eyes
Key ingredients: Caffeine, peptides
Fragranced: No
Reasons to buy
+Visible tightening of skin+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Effects are temporary 

Remescar Eye Bags & Dark Circles comes with some pretty hefty claims—namely that it can instantly firm eye bags and reduce under-eye shadowing. And guess what: As long as you pay heed to some stipulations, it really does deliver. 

These are, firstly, that an eye cream cannot permanently firm up loose skin; no topical product can. What this can do is form a temporary tightening film over the undereye area that makes a noticeable difference to how it appears. If you follow the instructions, this effect lasts for around eight hours, which if you feel particularly paranoid about eye bags could be a game-changing confidence booster. There are some long-term benefits on offer too, from energizing peptides and anti-inflammatory caffeine, but the real selling point of this cream is undoubtedly that instant tightening effect. 

Secondly, we have the method of application, which involves first applying a hydrating cream (not included—your normal moisturizer is fine) then take the perfect tiny amount of the gel, rub it between your fingers, then smooth it under the eye from the inner to outer corner. You then sit expressionless for a couple of minutes while the product firms up over your skin, et voilà: A tighter-looking undereye area for the best part of the day. 

We found the directions fairly easy to follow, enjoyed the tightening sensation very much, and noticed a real difference on the one puffy morning undereye area we applied the Remerscar on. Using the right amount is critical; too much and the product shows as a white film, not enough and it won’t have the strength to hoist the skin up. 

In terms of user experience, this is not luxurious sensorial beauty. It smells of basically nothing and feels slightly odd, albeit pretty satisfying as it does its thing. If you’re looking for long-term effects, you wouldn’t want to use only this eye cream, as despite containing some skincare ingredients it really is more of a quick fix. But as a nice addition to your usual products, for special days, or every day if it makes you feel better, it more than deserves a place in any must-know-about guide.  

best eye cream Drunk Elephant Shaba Eye Complex

(Image credit: Drunk Elephant)

9. Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum

Best 'free-from' eye cream

RRP: $60/£44
Texture: Light cream
Targets: Lines, hydration, environmental aging
Key ingredients: Niacinamide, peptides, natural antioxidants
Fragranced: No
Reasons to buy
+Excellent ingredients+Clever packaging
Reasons to avoid
-More cream than serum in texture

You’ve heard of the Fantastic Four and maybe the Fab Five, but Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum wants to make you aware of the suspicious six. Actually, every product by Drunk Elephant does that, as this brand’s philosophy is formulating without the six ingredients founder Tiffany Masterson believes are the root of all skin evils: Essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and SLS. Whether that aligns with your own personal beliefs is up to you, but if the concept of eye cream without any of the above appeals, then you could do a lot worse than Shaba. 

This brand is as good at creating desirable, well-made skincare as it is at idiosyncratic yet undeniably memorable names. That means this light-textured cream-serum packs in all sorts of good stuff: cell-energizing peptides, niacinamide, a form of hyaluronic acid that’s able to hydrate more deeply than your average HA. Plus, we get a cocktail of natural ferments and botanicals with powerful antioxidant properties. 

The texture is typical of your modern eye cream, which means it's light and easily absorbed with enough ‘slip’ to give yourself a good old massage should you choose. As with all Drunk Elephant products, the packaging is exceptional, not only in terms of appeal but also in the experience of using it. The matte spearmint-tipped cuboid has the pleasing look and feel of a grown-up Duplo block, with a unique twist-up head and airless pump dispenser. This means you get the perfect amount each time, every drop of product is prized out and, crucially, the ingredients are never exposed to air so have no opportunity to oxidize. 

Alas, the downsides: It is pricey, so that’s the first. If you're someone who prefers a very light liquid or gel texture, you may also find this too rich, especially considering it brands itself as a serum. Or maybe the brand’s "suspicious six" spiel holds no truck with you and you’re happy slathering on sensorial essential oils. Those considerations aside, this is a cleverly formulated, highly appealing option from one of the industry’s buzziest skincare brands.

best eye cream Ecooking eye cream

(Image credit: ECooking )

10. Ecooking Eye Cream

Best natural eye cream

RRP: $65/£47
Texture: Cream
Targets: Dark circles, dehydration, lines
Key ingredients: Algae, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, aloe water
Fragranced: No
Reasons to buy
+Natural yet high performance+Informative packaging 
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Traditional cream texture won't suit all skin types

Not long ago, natural products were stereotyped as ineffective, but those days are long gone. We're well into the new guard, with plenty of great brands around that have changed many a skeptic's mind for the better.

This Danish skin and body care brand is both naturally-skewed and efficacy-focused, and this eye cream is a good example of what a killer combination that can be. It's got natural extracts including algae, nourishing coconut, and other seed oils, plus moisture-binding, anti-irritant rice proteins. It's also filled with skincare hard-hitters that you’d hope for in any formula, natural or not. I'm referring to tocopherol (a form of antioxidant vitamin E), hyaluronic acid for hydration, and peptides to energize cells and stimulate collagen production. This makes for a very well-balanced cocktail that takes a multi-pronged approach to tackling eye concerns, particularly those related to environmental aging.  

Texture-wise, there's nothing peculiar or surprising here, just the kind of light-ish cream that makes for easy patting into the thin skin around the eye. In terms of packaging, the tinted glass pump ensures ingredients are kept fresh and protected from UV light. And while the information-heavy label may not speak of high glamour or designer sleekness, it does suggest something many will prize above that: transparency. 

Essentially, this eye cream is more of a crowdpleaser than first impressions may suggest. If you‘re all about naturals, try it out for its efficacy; if you’re not, give it a go for its honesty. Either way, it's definitely worth a shot.

RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing AntiAging Retinol Eye Cream for Dark Circles Puffy Eyes, best eye cream

(Image credit: RoC)

11. RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

The best anti-aging eye cream

RRP: $17.99/£‎24.99
Texture: Lightweight cream
Targets: Crow's feet, fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of firmness
Key ingredients: Retinol and glycerin
Fragranced: Slightly
Reasons to buy
+Award-winning among top-tier media and revered by dermatologists+Incredibly nourishing+Hypoallergenic
Reasons to avoid
-Not fragrance free, which may affect sensitive skin

The RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream touts an award-winning formula that minimizes wrinkles, crow's feet, dark circles, puffiness, and loss of firmness. Packed with pure RoC Retinol and a mineral blend, this skincare essential works in overdrive to deliver results in just 12 weeks. It also contains a boatload of hyaluronic acid, which quenches dehydrated areas of the skin in one go.

Albeit affordable, this best eye cream is anything but cheap. Dedicated to product innovation and efficacy, RoC combines retinol with ingredients like Vitamin E to make it safe and gentle for daily use. This unique approach has been tried and true for nearly 25 years and has helped the brand amass fierce loyalists who won't ever venture elsewhere. To preserve the formula against light and air, all RoC retinol formulas are capsuled in opaque packaging; in other words, they're built to last against environmental aggressors.

That being said, if the thought of retinol near your eyes seems terrifying, you may want to perform a simple patch test beforehand. Regardless, we'd say the risks are virtually non-existent with this best eye cream: It's hypoallergenic, gentle, and readily available without a prescription. 

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, best eye cream

(Image credit: Carave)

12. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

The best eye cream for sensitive skin

RRP: $10.26/£12
Texture: Lightweight cream
Targets: Hydration, brightness
Key ingredients: Niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid
Reasons to buy
+Affordable, yet high-grade+Helps reduce existing fine lines and the appearance of future ones+Hydrating
Reasons to avoid
-Could be more effective on deep-set wrinkles

Ideal for sensitive complexions prone to irritation, CeraVe Eye Repair is bare-bones, harnessing a gentle, yet effective formula. From the brand curator of the best Tik Tok beauty products, this best eye cream includes niacinamide, which works in tandem with ceramides—lipids that are also found naturally in the skin—to support the skin’s natural barrier. This best eye cream also contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin for an added boost of moisture, comfort, and glow.

More notably, CeraVe's Eye Repair is free of harsh fragrances and chemicals. (In fact, the product was developed jointly with dermatologists for safety, effectiveness, and integrity.) You can even apply this best eye cream underneath makeup—we promise, the combination will not irritate your skin in the slightest.

L'Oreal Revitalift Filler + Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream for Face

(Image credit: L'Oreal)

13. L'Oreal Revitalift Filler + Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream for Face

Best daily eye cream

RRP: £19.99
Texture: Soft, creamy, and lightweight
Targets: Fine lines and dryness
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, shea butter, ascorbyl glucoside (vitamin c derivative)
Reasons to buy
+Excellent for dry skin +Reduces fine lines+Not greasy + Fragrance-free
Reasons to avoid
-Might not suit oily skins -Not luxurious

Typically, eye creams come in teeny tiny (and very expensive) tubes, but this one is huge in comparison. The main reason for this is because you can use it all over your face, so of course, you need more. However, if you wanted to keep it just for your eyes, we really wouldn’t blame you. 

We know what you’re thinking, ‘Aren’t eye creams way too rich to be used elsewhere?’ Usually, they are, and concentrations are more potent and sometimes slippy. But this one is lighter yet still hydrating enough to treat this area. It contains moisture-loving hyaluronic acid and shea butter and it feels soft on the skin. Melting in quickly, it leaves you with a newly hydrated and plumped-up appearance. 

Ok, we wouldn’t say it’s the most indulgent cream we’ve ever applied, and if you want an luxurious lotion then you’ll need something else. But as a daily hydrator that doesn’t cause irritation, it’s perfect. Plus, if you want to save space when travelling, its multitasking capabilities make it a great one to pack.  

La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour

(Image credit: La Roche Posay)

14. La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour

Best for allergy-prone skin

RRP: £17
Texture: Lightweight and silky
Targets: Irritated and dry skin
Key Ingredients: Neurosensine (a skin dipeptide), niacinamide, thermal spring water
Reasons to buy
+Alleviates redness +Hydrates dry skin +Suits sensitive complexions+Irritant-free
Reasons to avoid
-Texture could be too thin for some

Overdone it on the actives or sore eyes from a bout of hayfever? This cream could be your saving grace. Specifically made to treat inflamed, dry or sensitive skin, it contains a dipeptide naturally found in our skin called Neurosensine. Neurosensine is such a clever cookie that it can calm angry complexions and inhibit the micro-inflammatory process responsible for skin sensitivity. 

We love the smart but diddy packaging, and the pump dispenses just the right amount to cover both eyes. We do wonder if we might get more value from a tube or pot, but the design benefit is that the formula stays incredibly fresh. Another wonder ingredient you’ll find on the label is niacinamide, which is incredibly effective at protecting our faces from environmental stresses, aiding a better texture and reducing the appearance of acne. 

If you’re searching for a cream to treat wrinkles specifically, this is not made for that. However, caring for your face and having a good routine is one of the best ways to prevent skin ageing. So, of course, it will be beneficial over time. Plus, due to its moisturising properties and the high concentration of thermal spring water, the lotion will temporarily blur fine lines and give your skin a youthful-looking effect. 

Curel Moisture Eye Zone Essence

(Image credit: Curel)

15. Curel Moisture Eye Zone Essence

Best eye cream for smoothing fine lines

RRP: £22.50
Texture: Lightweight
Targets: Dehydrated skin
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, ceramides
Reasons to buy
+Moisturises dry skin +Suits sensitive complexions+Reduces fine lines
Reasons to avoid
-Contains eucalyptus leaf extract but claims to be fragrance-free

Feeling sleepy? This refreshing gel-like formula should do the trick. Instantly reviving the skin, it makes you feel revitalised and mimics the feeling you get after splashing your face  with cold water in the morning. We were surprised by how much we liked it. Formulations that are a little thicker and feel creamy are often be easier to get on with, but this hydrates your complexion in the same way as a luxurious lotion without overloading the skin or making it feel greasy. 

We suggest pausing for a moment before applying any make-up as you will feel the cooling effects for a bit longer. However, this is not essential as your base will glide on at any time. When it comes to ageing eyes, it slightly smoothed our lines, and the immediate slippy effect means you have enough time to massage the skin and eradicate puffiness before the essence (as they call it) sinks in. But we wouldn’t say it’s a wrinkle buster, if that’s what you’re after. 

Once the product has settled into the skin, your complexion feels more moisturised and cared for. The formula is also designed to suit dry and sensitive complexions, meaning whatever your skin type, it’s unlikely to cause you any irritation. All in all, this is a really trusty eye cream that we’d happily use every day. 

Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream for Very Sensitive Skin

(Image credit: Avene)

16. Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream for Very Sensitive Skin

Best for rosacea-prone skin

RRP: £10
Texture: Light, buttery, and soft
Targets: Sensitive skin
Key Ingredients: Bisabolol, spring water, glycerin
Reasons to buy
+Suits sensitive complexions+Reduces puffiness +Protects and plumps+Not sticky +Very affordable 
Reasons to avoid
-Not deeply moisturising 

Avene is one of the best brands for dealing with skin irritation, and their Skin Recovery Cream is unrivalled for calming inflamed complexions. So, it came as no surprise to find out that this eye cream is also superior at dealing with sore and sensitive skin. 

As soon as we applied it, our eyes felt instantly cared for as its buttery finish feels soft to touch. Sinking in quickly, it leaves you with a light but non-greasy sheen and the delicate area around your eyes feels moisturised and refreshed. The product uses dextran sulfate to help with puffiness, and it soothes swelling with the anti-inflammatory ingredient bisabolol.

And of course it wouldn’t be an Avene product without a heavy dosage of their iconic thermal spring water, which is known to reduce irritation and leave skin feeling more supple and soft. This cream might not suit those looking to treat skin issues or if you like your lotions to be a little richer. But if your eyes are prone to puffiness and on occasion find themselves a little angry, we’d add this one to your cart quick.  

Scientica Notox Youth Boost Eye Serum

(Image credit: Scientia)

17. Scientica Notox Youth Boost Eye Serum

Best eye treatment to use over time

RRP: £25
Texture: Silky and light
Targets: Signs of ageing
Key Ingredients: SNAP-8, matrixyl 3000, ferulic acid, star fruit extract, bakuchiol
Reasons to buy
+ Brightens the skin+ Reduces puffiness 
Reasons to avoid
-Might not suit oily skins-Doesn’t give strong immediate effects 

Not technically an eye cream and more of a serum, it is jam-packed with ingredients that can work wonders with your skin. And let’s talk about those ingredients because there is a fair few of them to break down. First, we have the very jazzily named Tens-up complex, which is an active that can aid skin tightening and lifting. Next up, there’s SNAP-8, which is also very snazzily named but simply a peptide that’s brilliant at reducing wrinkles. And then, of course, there’s bakuchiol, which is a natural alternative to retinol and offers similar pro-ageing effects like diminishing fine lines, tackling texture and improving pigmentation.

Then follows some familiar moisturising elements that you will have heard of, which are nourishing glycerin, hydrating hyaluronic acid and soothing aloe vera. All of which are used to plump and protect the skin. And finally, there’s ferulic acid and starfruit extract, which is where the brightening effect comes in. 

We know, it’s a lot to take in. We expected a lot from this serum, maybe too much, and our first impressions didn’t really live up. However, after using it for a few weeks, we started to notice a real difference. Upon application, our complexion was a little brighter, and the skin felt revitalised, but it was the effect that took place over time that we were most impressed with. After week two, our dark circles seemed to be less visible, and the general area looked more luminous and lifted. 

So, if you want a quick fix, this isn’t it—but it would be a great investment to seriously improve your skin in the long run.

Best Eye Cream Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinium Eye Cream

(Image credit: Vichy)

18. Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinium Eye Cream

Best night eye cream

RRP: $31.75/£27
Texture: Light cream
Targets: Wrinkles, eye bags and dark circles
Key ingredients: Rose extract, caffeine, calcium and Vichy Mineralizing Water
Reasons to buy
+Smooths skin+Boosts radiance +Suits mature skin +Softens fine lines+No fragrance
Reasons to avoid
-Designed just for night-time

It’s not often you come across an eye cream that’s specifically formulated for night-time, but Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinium Night Eye Cream is exactly that. Designed to be applied post-cleanse, pre-snooze, the little pot of pink cream gets to work while you sleep, targeting fine lines and dark circles. 

The first thing you'll notice after applying it is that skin instantly feels moisturized and looks brighter—something the brand attributes to rose extract, the star ingredient that’s highly touted for its intense hydrating properties. Alongside rose extract, the cream contains caffeine to take down puffiness as well as Vichy’s iconic mineralizing water which strengthens and soothes skin. Over time, in a self-assessment with 50 subjects, Vichy found that 80% agreed skin is revitalized after 4 weeks of use, which is pretty impressive stuff. 

While we expected the cream to be thick and heavy, as many of the best night creams are, it’s surprisingly lightweight with a buttery texture that sinks in quickly. Come morning, our under eyes felt refreshed and looked hydrated—something that continues to improve over time with daily use. If your main bugbear is fine lines and dryness, we would highly recommend giving this eye cream a whirl. And don’t be put off by the fact it’s marketed as a night cream, we tried it during the day and can confirm it sits well under makeup without feeling heavy. 

Best eye cream Alpha-H Liquid Gold

(Image credit: Alpha-H)

19. Alpha-H Liquid Gold Firming Eye Cream

Best high-tech eye cream

RRP: $109.95/£52
Texture: Very light cream
Targets: Fine lines, puffiness, pigmentation and fatigue
Key ingredients: Lime pearl extract, peptides, Snap-8, diamond powder
Reasons to buy
+Brightens under eyes +Firms skin +Instantly see results +Lightweight texture
Reasons to avoid
-Too much product can escape applicator wand

If you thought skincare acids were a no-go for under eyes, think again. Powered by mild but mighty alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold formula is hailed as “the ultimate topical dermal corrector” for the eye area. 

Starring lime pearl extract, a natural source of AHA derived from fruit, the cream gently exfoliates and brightens skin—while also boosting the penetration of other ingredients (including niacinamide, cucumber seed and ferulic acid). It also contains the snazzy Snap-8 octapeptide, which works by relaxing expression lines to help reduce the depth of wrinkles caused by facial expressions, plus diamond powder to scatter light and mask dark circles. 

Sounds impressive right? Keen to test it out, we had high hopes for this cream. The metallic wand applicator feels lovely and cooling to apply, working the product into skin. The cream itself is very light in texture, absorbing quickly without feeling tacky—a major plus for anyone who dislikes heavy products. A little really goes a long way so be careful not to pump out too much product (admittedly tricky with this sort of applicator).

After application, our skin instantly felt refreshed and after a week’s use, the area looked noticeably brighter. In terms of fine lines, we didn’t see any short-term changes and would hope that over time these would soften too—especially considering the price tag. Overall, this is a good luxury option if you want hard-hitting ingredients and are prepared to splurge. 

Best eye cream No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Eye Crea

(Image credit: No7)

20. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Eye Cream

Best firming eye cream

RRP: $21.99/£17.95
Texture: Tinted cream
Targets: Fine lines, dark circles and puffiness
Key ingredients: Shea butter, hyaluronic acid, ginseng extract, antioxidant complex
Reasons to buy
+Hydrates eye area +Softens fine lines+A little goes a long way +Brightens 
Reasons to avoid
-Takes a few weeks to work

If too much screen time is taking its toll on your eyes, turn your attention to No7’s Protect & Perfect Intense Eye Cream. Specifically formulated for tired eyes, the lightweight cream hydrates like a hero with hyaluronic acid, a superstar ingredient that holds 1000x its weight in water, and shea butter. It also ‘wakes up’ eyes with ginseng extract (known for its brightening benefits) and tackles fine lines with firming peptides. Triple tick! 

The first thing that struck us was the peachy tinted color which creates this luminous sheen—a bit like highlighter for your under eyes—to counteract dark circles and brighten under eyes. Sinking in quickly, the lightweight cream leaves your skin feeling moisturized and refreshed. The firming benefits came later, after a few weeks’ use, but stick at applying morning and night and you’ll soon see the results.

Don't just take our word for it—consumer testing by No7 found that after two weeks use, skin looks younger and fine lines around the eye area appear visibly reduced. 

Best eye cream Dr.Jart+ Ceramidin Eye Cream

(Image credit: Dr.Jart+)

21. Dr.Jart+ Ceramidin Eye Cream

Best moisturizing eye cream

RRP: $39/£28
Texture: gel-like
Targets: Dark circles, puffiness and dryness
Key ingredients: Ceramidin complex and applight
Reasons to buy
+Brightens under eyes +Moisturizes +Sits well under makeup+Helps strengthen the skin's moisture barrier+No fragrance
Reasons to avoid
-Thick in texture

Meet the latest product to join Dr Jart’s iconic Ceramidin collection: Ceramidin Eye Cream. Recognized by their sunshine yellow lids, the Ceramidin collection is all about dry skin—protecting it from moisture loss while also strengthening its barrier. And, as you’ve probably guessed, it does this by using ceramides. 

Powered by the brand's patented Ceramidin Complex, which is the fancy name for five different ceramides used within the formula, the eye cream delivers a dose of lipids essential to our skin’s protective barrier that help retain moisture levels and hydrate skin. With this deep hydration, under eyes look smoother and fine lines appear minimized, too. 

The texture is gel-like and thick in consistency, which makes it super soothing and refreshing to apply. Normally, we’d steer clear of thick textures around the delicate eye area but this one is ultra-comfortable, hydrating eyes instantly. Pinky beige in color, we also immediately noticed the brightening benefits with dark circles being disguised—a godsend for late nights and early starts. 

While our fine lines were softened, we’d hope to see more improvement over time, too. We will be recommending this one to any fellow friends with dry, thirsty eyes in need of a hefty dose of hydration!

Fiona McKim

As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more beauty products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant find on or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus)

Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). 

In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a features writer at publications including Junior and Prima Baby, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine, adores fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.

When not slathering herself in self tan or peering at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park. 

Come to think of it, the hot dinners and beauty products are probably about even.