14 Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles, Puffiness and Under Eye Bags 2021 - The Dermatology Review

14 Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles, Puffiness and Under Eye Bags 2021



Your eyes are the first thing that people see. While you may be feeling refreshed and perky, when your eyes are puffy, lined and ringed by dark circles, you may look like you’ve only had a few hours of sleep. While fine lines are inevitable as we age, when they’re combined with puffiness and dark circles, you may feel that you’re not putting your best self forward. You may feel that people are noticing your wrinkles rather than you.

To switch the focus back to your eyes rather than any imperfections, here’s a look at what causes under eye bags and puffiness, and some of the best eye creams for dark circles, puffiness and under eye bags.  

14 Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles, Puffiness and Under Eye Bags

Why Does Aging Show Up Around the Eyes First?

Call them laugh lines or crow’s feet. While they can be chalked up to plenty of holidays in the sun and good times spent laughing, crinkles around the eyes are an inevitable part of the aging process, which often shows up in the eye area first. Why? The skin around the eye area is delicate and thin, and it doesn’t produce as much oil as other parts of the body- which means it’s usually the first place you’ll see the signs of aging.  As we get older, our levels of collagen and elastin, which support the skin, dip. This means that lines appear and the skin around the eyes becomes droopy and crepey.

What Causes Aging Around the Eyes? 

Although genetics and skin color are a factor, other things play a role in how quickly fine lines appear. The sun’s damaging rays, squinting, smoking and rubbing your eyes all contribute to eye wrinkles. Your preferred sleeping position and even the material of your pillowcase play a role as constant creasing of the face can lead to wrinkles. Environmental factors and lifestyle habits can also be behind puffiness and dark circles.

What Causes Dark Circles?

Perhaps you do everything right – you get eight hours of sleep, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen religiously but no matter what you do, you still have dark circles under your eyes. Dark circles can make us look more tired and worn out than we really are, and can make people look older as well.

While lack of sleep can cause dark circles to appear, it’s not the only cause. The skin around the eyes is much thinner than elsewhere on the body, which means that habits and genetics show up here first. As our bodies slow down collagen production as we age, the veins around the eyes become more noticeable, making the under eye area look blue or purple. Hormonal changes can also exacerbate under eye circles, and genetics weigh in too. Those of us with olive and darker skin tones have more melanin under the eyes, which shows up as dark circles.

If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, repetitive eye strain can cause blood vessels around the eyes to enlarge. This means the skin surrounding your eyes can darken, causing dark circles to appear. Allergies can also trigger dark circles, as can dehydration.

What Causes Under Eye Puffiness?

Puffiness is marvelous when it comes to things like kittens and marshmallows but there’s nothing cute about puffiness in the eye area. Many of us wake up to puffy eyes that unfortunately don’t deflate as the day goes on. Puffy eyes can be caused by a multitude of things ranging from lack of sleep to hormones and stress. Salty foods, stress and crying also contribute to puffiness, as do seasonal allergies.

Puffy eyes also become more common as we get older. As we age, collagen production dips and blood flow decreases, resulting in the dreaded puffy eyes. The sun, smoking and drinking also contribute to bags. 


Eye cream reviews

What Causes Under Eye Bags?

If you have ever wanted to send your under eye bags packing, we fully understand. Eye bags are one of the most common but frustrating ailments, and there are plenty of reasons why people develop them. Chalk them up to eating too many salty foods, which can draw water into the skin’s tissue. Poor circulation also causes under eye bags. The aging process and genetics also contribute to them. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and weaker, which means that under eye bags are more likely to appear. Add in some late nights and restless sleep, and as you get older you’ll see that your skin, especially the thin skin around the eyes, doesn’t “bounce back” like it used to. Skin color and genetics also play a role. Bags under the eyes are more common in people with olive skin.

What Are Some Home Remedies for Under Eye Bags, Puffiness and Dark Circles?

There are many ways to tackle under eye bags, puffiness and dark circles, and some people swear by home remedies. For generations women have been applying cold things to de-puff eyes, whether it’s slices of cucumber, chilled tea bags or spoons that were stored in the freezer. Applying something cold to the eyes makes sense – the cold helps depuff tired eyes by restricting the blood vessels. Tea bags provide an extra dose of ammunition as the caffeine is a powerful antioxidant that can help shrink under eye bags by increasing blood flow to the area. Other options include a gentle application of chilled aloe vera gel, or flushing out your sinuses using a neti pot if you suspect that puffy, baggy eyes are caused by allergies. Jade rollers are also popular as a manual way to depuff eyes.

Best Ingredients for Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

Although a tube of eye cream cannot fake a solid eight hours of sleep and a balanced diet, it can do wonders in a pinch. When you need to depuff tired looking eyes and lighten up dark circles, read the label on the eye cream carefully. Look for caffeine which helps to shrink puffy eyes, as well as vitamins A, C and E which work together to lighten and brighten skin. Nourishing hyaluronic acid and squalene gives the delicate eye area a much needed boost of moisture and help to fill in fine lines. Many of the best eye creams contain green tea, which is high in caffeine, as well as antioxidants and skin strengthening peptides.

How Should I Apply Eye Cream?

Eye creams should be applied twice a day, in the morning and in the night. The eye area is delicate, and should be treated accordingly. Always apply the eye cream with a gentle tap using the pinkie or ring finger. Do not pull or rub the cream into the eye. Eye creams should be applied below the eye, around the crow’s feet area and the browbone area just below your eyebrows. If your eye cream for dark circles and puffiness contains retinol,  avoid applying it to upper eyelid, as it could seep into the eyes and cause irritation. Eye creams that come with  metal applicator tips make application easy, and have an instant cooling effect on the skin. For extra “chill” to help with depuffing tired eyes, try storing your eye cream in the fridge.

Here’s a look at the best eye creams for dark circles and puffiness.

The best eye cream for dark circles is Formulyst Anti-Dark Circle Eye Cream. Followed by Carrot and Stick’s The Eye Cream.


1Formulyst’s Anti-Dark Circle Eye Cream

Didn’t log enough zzzzs last night, and it’s showing up under your eyes? Smooth on Formulyst’s anti-dark circle eye cream. A combination of vitamins, amino acids and minerals targets dark circles, puffiness and helps brighten the eye area. Three of the cream’s most powerful ingredients are naturally derived- chenopodium quinoa seed extract, caffeine and butcher’s broom extract help to leave skin looking brighter and tighter.

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Carrot and Stick’s The Eye Cream

2Carrot and Stick’s The Eye Cream

Banish dark circles, bags and saggy skin with this eye cream from Carrot & Stick. This multi-tasking formula is powered by botanicals including Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) which helps tighten and protect the delicate skin around the lids, while St. Paul’s wort (Sigesbeckia orientalis) stimulates collagen and elastin to help restoring vitality.

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3Advanced Dermatology Youthful Boost Eye Cream

Who couldn’t benefit from a bit of a youth boost? That’s the concept behind Advanced Dermatology Youthful Boost Eye Cream. Like all the best undereye creams, it helps fight visible signs of aging such as dark circles and wrinkles. Here’s how it works. Tetrapeptides and plant extracts combine to give collagen a much-needed boost in this eye firming cream formulation. By increasing collagen, tetrapeptides help firm up the skin in the delicate eye area, which can sag far more easily than skin in other places. The plant extracts in this cream include jojoba seed oil and spilanthes acmella flower extract. Jojoba seed oil hydrates and helps protect the skin barrier to prevent skin from becoming more damaged. Spilanthes acmella flower extract also helps moisturize while jojoba oil and helps relax the appearance of wrinkles.

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Bioelements Multi-Task Eye Creme

4Bioelements Multi-Task Eye Creme

Bioelements is known for harnessing the power of plant botanicals and aromatherapy oils into its products. Its Multi-Task Eye Creme helps to reduce dark undereye circles as well as puffiness and fine lines. The eye cream is formulated with lipoic acid (an enzyme), phytonadione (vitamin K), hyaluronic acid and green tea. Together these ingredients work to brighten and firm the undereye area.

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5 Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector

Clinique’s Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector glides on easily with a metal applicator tip, and helps to brighten the eye area while leaving it refreshed and hydrated. This under eye cream for dark circles and puffiness is packed with several ingredients that can work their magic on lightening skin. This includes vitamin E and whey protein. A shot of caffeine also works to hels eyes de-puff, as does the soothing cool metal tip applicator. Gently rub the applicator tip back and forth along your undereyes to help puffiness go down.

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6 Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Eye Cream

Makeup artists have long relied on the power of yellow powder to help brighten any dark areas on the face, such as undereye circles. The same concept applies to Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Eye Cream. It’s  spiked with pigments and vitamin C to help diminish dark circles and brighten the eye area, leaving it looking refreshed and youthful.

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7 Vichy LiftActiv

Vichy Liftactiv Eyes is designed to tackle a whole host of eye concerns from reducing dark circles and puffiness to helping the eye area look more firm and bright. It does this with a combination of rhamnose, caffeine and escine. Rhamnose is a sugar molecule that’s effective in improving overall skin appearance, along with lifting and tightening. Caffeine helps to constrict blood vessels, and escine is found in horse chestnut extract, which has anti-inflammatory capabilities. This cream can be used twice a day for maximum brightening effects.

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8 Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

Ideal for dry, normal and aging skin, this SkinCeuticals eye cream adds a hefty dose of hydration while also brightening the look of the eye area. The A.G.E Complex is packed with some of the best hydrators and skin protectors that can be found in an eye cream, including blueberry extract, proxylane and optical diffusers. Proxylane is derived from beechwood and provides hydration, while the antioxidant blueberry extract works to fight off free radical damage. The flavonoid/peptide complex is also a top notch puffiness reducer. Finally, optical diffusers perk up eyes that may look tired and dull.

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9 Bye Bye Under Eye Cream

The first thing you may notice about this under eye cream is that it’s blue. There’s a good reason for that. The blue tint in the Bye Bye Under Eye Brightening Cream helps minimize the look of dark shadows to brighten the eye area. The lightweight but super nourishing cream is packed  with collagen, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and cucumber extract to help hydrate the eye area, depuff and brighten.

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10 Pigmentclar Eyes

La Roche-Posay’s  Pigmentclar collection focuses on reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation with a cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream and serum. The Pigmentclar Eye Cream is a true multi-tasker. It hydrates the eye area and also brightens it. Here’s how. This color correcting eye cream contains light-reflecting pearl pigments to brighten the under eye area. Caffeine works to depuff eyes, while niacinamide supports the undereye skin, making dark circles less noticeable. A dose of mica helps reflect light to brighten the eye area too. The cream is applied with a cooling metal tip which dispenses the perfect amount of lightweight cream that melts into skin without a trace of residue.

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11 Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum

Estée Lauder  launched Night Repair in 1982. That  product (and the entire Night Repair line) are true beauty icons. The Night Repair was the industry’s first serum, and the first major beauty product to use hyaluronic acid. The Night Repair Eye Serum taps into the same ingredients that made the face serum a winner. The peach colored fluid is powered by ChronoluxCB Technology to help reduce the signs of aging such as dark circles and fine lines around the eyes. The ChronoluxCB technology is thought to produce results over a month. The concept is that the serum works by stimulating the skin’s reparative processes, which then minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and lines. It can be used in the morning and night, and layered under an eye cream.

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12 Origins Ginzing Eye Cream

When your tired eyes could use a little zing and a pick me up, apply a thin layer of this cream from Origins. As the name suggests, GinZing Eye Cream is packed with ginseng root extract and caffeine, which help to reduce puffiness. Shea butter adds a dose of moisture while mica helps reflect light and brighten the eye area – as well as smoothing out the look of fine lines.

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13 Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm

Algenist’s signature ingredient is alguronic acid, which comes from nutrient-rich algae and is  thought to have anti-aging properties. According to the company, alguronic acid encourages cell turnover, while also boosting the power of ingredients such as  vitamin C, retinol and peptides, along with fighting damage from free radicals. Algenist’s  Complete Eye Renewal Balm does a little bit of everything for the eye area: it hydrates it, brightens it, and fades the look of dark undereye circles, fine lines, and wrinkles.

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14 NeoCutis MICRO EYES

This eye cream is packed with ingredients to brighten and smooth the eye area for an ultra-luminous look. It is formulated with processed skin proteins (PSP), vitamin E, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and hyaluronic acid as well as caffeine. All of these ingredients work in tandem to get the eye area looking its best by targeting wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles – in other words, everything you need in an anti-aging eye cream. The cream is also available in an intensive moisturizing version.

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15 SkinMedica TNS Illuminating Eye Cream

The SkinMedica philosophy is “results rooted in science.” The TNS Illuminating Eye Cream contains the brand’s signature TNS (Tissue Nutrient Solution), a growth factor. The eye cream is designed to address all the common signs of aging under and around the eyes- such as fine lines, crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness. The cream is packed with anti-aging peptides to protect and promote collagen, as well as boron nitride, an optical diffuser to brighten the eye area. 

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Al-Niami, F & Chiang, N 2017. ‘Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications’, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, vol. 10, is. 7, pp. 14-17. 
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Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 253–258. 
Huang, T. H., Wang, P. W., Yang, S. C., Chou, W. L., & Fang, J. Y. (2018). Cosmetic and Therapeutic Applications of Fish Oil’s Fatty Acids on the Skin. Marine drugs, 16(8), 256.
Kumar, N & Pruthi, V, 2014. ‘Potential applications of ferulic acid from natural sources’, Biotechnology Report, vol. 4, pp. 86-93.
 Vrcek, I., Ozgur, O., & Nakra, T. (2016). Infraorbital Dark Circles: A Review of the Pathogenesis, Evaluation and Treatment. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 9(2), 65–72. 
Sarkar, R., Ranjan, R., Garg, S., Garg, V. K., Sonthalia, S., & Bansal, S. (2016). Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Comprehensive Review. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 9(1), 49–55.

  • Carolyn Frost Original review: Sep 02, 2020. Reply

    I have had the best response for under eye circles with Chanel for eyes. It might be called a lift. I have a tendency to think cold green tea bags might also help. I have a friend with no circles who takes vitamin E. Would that be worth a try?

    I have very dry skin and I have been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. The meds add dryness. What kind of lotions would help with this all over my skin. I use olive oil some and baby oil mixed with lotion. This helps with creping. I have scars from teen acne in the corners of my mouth by my lips. I have tried a lotion with collagen with some success. The scars do not appear as deep with that lotion.

  • TDR Original review: Aug 13, 2020. Reply

    Haloxyl Review
    Whether you’re looking for a product that reduces the appearance of dark circles or want to formulate your own beauty products, you might consider the use of Haloxyl. This product, which is produced by Making Cosmetics, can either be used alone or in a number of different formulations. Making Cosmetics is based in Washington and has been manufacturing and distributing skin care, cosmetics, and their ingredients, including Haloxyl, since 1997. If you have not been satisfied with the results of typical over-the-counter treatments for dark circles under eyes, then Haloxyl may be a viable option for you. Haloxyl is available in five different sizes as a convenience for those who want to use the product on its own or in their own cosmetic formulations.

    While there are a number of factors that cause dark circles under the eyes, such as genetics, a lack of sleep, and aging, they are one of the most difficult skin issues to treat. However, Haloxyl may help treat this issue, even if you have already tried other over-the-counter products. This topical treatment is formulated to target and absorb the pigment present in the blood that is responsible for color; which, when applied to dark circles, can fade them with repeated use.

    Haloxyl is also designed to increase the firmness in the skin around and under the eye, which may lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well. However, before you decide to purchase Haloxyl to treat your dark under eye circles, you may want to read Haloxyl reviews and discuss this product with your dermatologist, to make sure that this is the best treatment option for your situation.

  • User Original review: May 15, 2020. Reply

    The Best Eye Cream for Dark Blood Vessels

    Dark circles under the eyes are also caused by inflamed capillaries under the thin skin of the eye, which makes the skin look darker than it really is. If you’re trying to treat this issue, then the best eye cream in this case will contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as chrysin, which is a natural element derived from honey. When the inflammation is eased, the dark circles will appear less prominent. If you have any honey or plant-based allergies, consult your dermatologist before using products that contain chrysin.

  • User Original review: May 15, 2020. Reply

    Choosing the Best Eye Cream for Dark Circles Under Eyes

    If you have dark circles under the eyes that are caused by a lack of sleep, certain foods, allergies, or if you have very light skin, then the best under eye cream to choose is one that contains caffeine as the active ingredient. When applied topically, this ingredient constricts the blood vessels that lie under the thin skin under the eye and reduce the visibility of dark circles. Another ingredient that you should look for in the best eye cream for dark circles is a brightening agent that can help you reduce the appearance of dark circles cosmetically.

  • Laura Original review: May 27, 2019. Reply

    My eyes always have dark circles and look very puff for these problems I always using dermalmd under eye serum and it is lightweight and does reduce the puffiness and dark circles significantly. It goes on smoothly and does not sting or burn. My only quibble with this serum is that the dispenser gives out too much of the product at one time and the excess hardens if it is not cleaned off. I can see using this serum for years to come.

  • TDR Original review: May 20, 2018. Reply

    Popular over-the-counter brands include Clinique, Shiseido, La Mer, Roc, Olay, Origins, La Prairie, Chanel, Obagi and Estee Lauder, but how do these products stack up against each other and how do drugstore brands compare to clinical products?

    You’ve probably heard about ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin K, retinol, caffeine, teamine, hyaluronic acid and peptides. How effective are these ingredients? What ingredients are effective at tightening and lifting the skin around the eyes?

    What is your favorite eye cream? Which formulations do you prefer?

    Next, write your own review.

  • TDR Original review: May 20, 2018. Reply

    For some, they appear when you don’t get enough sleep. For others, they are always visible and worsen with age. Dark circles are one of the most common skin problems. To make things even worse, you probably have people telling you that you look tired, even though you had more than enough sleep.

    So what actually causes the problem? Truthfully, that depends on the color of the dark circles.

    Purple: Usually genetics. Common with individuals with darker skin tones.
    Red: Broken capillaries due to aging.
    Blueish: Lack of sleep. Too much rubbing. Irritation.
    Dark circles under the eyes can be effectively treated with a good under eye cream. For most individuals, dark circles aren’t the only issue.

    Look for brightening products that not only address pigmentation issues but also strengthen the skin around the eyes. Vitamin K is very effective. Also look for products that contain peptides, specifically peptides that support natural collagen production.

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