The best products for getting rid of dark circles
10 of our favourite formulas, reviewed
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / August 23 2018
You can blame a lack of sleep for your dark circles all you like, but chances are that if they linger more than 24 hours, there are deeper issues at play. Other causes of dark circles include genetics (bummer), allergies (easily fixed), thinning skin (ageing strikes again) and pigmentation (we’ve got one word for you: sunscreen). Knowing the reason behind your dark eye circles will go a long way to helping you find the perfect product for the job.
Eye creams, serums, eye masks or skin-care-meets-concealer hybrids; you can take your pick of formulas to help erase dark circles.
What to look for in your eye cream
The best product for dark circles is one that tackles a couple of issues at once. When the skin under your eyes thins with age, the tiny blood vessels become more noticeable, hence the purple tinge you can see staring back at you in the mirror. Look for collagen in your eye cream to combat this. Light-reflective particles equal brightening, and for dark circle sufferers that’s a very good thing. Cooling formulas are also winners because they constrict dilated vessels. Caffeine helps reduce inflammation and licorice root brightens the appearance of skin.
For most people, dryness around the eyes is a common concern, so the texture of a nourishing cream will generally help fix any crepiness. But if you have an oily skin type, try a gel or oil-free formula.
How long do eye creams take to work?
Unfortunately dark circles may appear overnight but they certainly don’t disappear as quickly. In fact, you may need to stick with your eye cream for two to three months to really see those panda eyes fade. Just remember, with perseverance comes great rewards!
Our top 10 list of the best eye creams for dark circles in Australia
To help you disappear your dark circles, we’ve hunted down the product leaders to bring you the best eye cream for dark circles, reviews included.
#10 / Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector
If you want to know how to get rid of under-eye circles and puffiness (they tend to go hand in hand), think of a built-in metal applicator like this product has as your secret weapon. Its cooling touch will soothe swelling and constrict blood vessels. Fomrula-wise, it’s hard not to love a product that’s been clinically proven to visibly lighten dark circles by 30 per cent in 12 weeks. Beyond the long-term benefits of this oil-free eye cream, the silky texture smooths over skin and nixes dryness, and the sheer optics in the formula give you an immediate look of brighter eyes.
The review: “I have dealt with dark circles for most of my life - blame it on the genes. This truly reduced those circles for me. It took about 2 months for me to fully see the effects so it isn't instant but it works.” Katyzeeee, reviewer on Clinique Australia’s website
#9 / First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy
If it’s good enough for Selena Gomez, we’re in. Yes, she’s young, but the girl has a busy schedule so that’s got to count for something. She told Into The Gloss, “what's really great is First Aid Beauty’s Eye Duty Triple Remedy—if you get dark circles, it’s the sh*t. I’ll put it on, it feels all good and cold, go have a coffee, and that’s the bomb.” You can thank the steel tip applicator, caffeine (in the product, not your coffee cup) and licorice root for that, Selena. We love the universal tint with light-reflecting pigments, too.
The review: “It definitely brightens up under my eyes and cancels out the green and blue that I have. The product is so good I sometimes don't even put concealer over it and it still looks great. Would highly recommend this product if you have dark under-eyes.” Caree06, Sephora customer
#8 / Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex
You don’t need to worry about getting your eight hours of sleep when you have this eye treatment on your team. It’s like beauty sleep in a jar: ChronoluxCB™ technology works to boost your skin’s natural repair process while visibly repairing signs of fatigue, pollution, age, UV exposure and even blue light damage. Those dark circles? Brighter in just three weeks.
The review: “Featuring a blend of ingredients that can hydrate, protect, and most importantly, brighten, this lightweight gel can improve the appearance of dark circles and make you look more refreshed.” Iantha Yu, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Editor
#7 / Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimizer
If you’re wondering how to remove dark circles instantly, try a tinted eye cream like this one. This little pot of dark circle-fighting goodness uses light-diffusing particles to brighten the look of eyes immediately, while a vitamin C-enriched flower called rosa roxiburghii works on the long-term brightening game. Good to know: rosa roxiburghii also helps fade brown spots so anyone whose dark circles are the result of pigmentation, this one’s for you. You get to target under-eye bags, plump sunken contours, diminish dark circles and boost radiance with every dab. Also, a study by the brand found 86 per cent of panellists demonstrated a clinical improvement in dark circles and 90 per cent experienced a visible improvement in eye area skin tone in just four weeks. Impressive!
The review: “I love how brightening this eye cream is as soon as you apply it. It has a beautiful radiant finish and goes on smoothly, making it a great pre-makeup prep step. Plus, the more I use it, the less visible my dark circles appear, which is my biggest eye-area gripe. The tiniest bit goes a long way, so one pot has lasted me such a long time.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
#6 / Mesoestetic Collagen 360 Eye Contour
If you want a powerhouse cosmeceutical eye serum, this is it. High concentrations of enriched marine collagen work to counteract the natural loss of collagen in skin and interferential pigments do their part to diminish dark circles and signs of fatigue. This stuff is top shelf, but works its butt off to impress.
The review: “Mesoestetic Collagen 360 Eye Contour is an absolute staple in my skin care routine and is THE best product for dark circles IMHO. I use it every single morning and night to help brighten the area under my eyes, as well as smooth out pesky lines and other annoying things trying to make me look tired. It’s super lightweight, deeply hydrating and it actually works (yes, this is a thing!). Since adding this bad boy to my skin care kit, I find that I look more refreshed, awake and my under-eyes look happier than ever.” Erin Docherty, Beauty Crew’s Contributor
#5 / Lancôme Advanced Genifique Yeux Light Pearl
102 reviews and a 4.5 star-rating, this eye serum gets our members’ stamp of approval. The illuminating formula does a delightful job of brightening up your eye area, while the cooling massaging applicator works as a puffiness reducer and its teardrop shape allows you to get product into all those tight inner-eye contours. Leave no corner untouched!
The review: “This product is great. I have noticed a huge improvement around my eyes. On first application I didn’t notice any changes except my skin felt softer and moisturised. But after a few days, I noticed fine lines fading and dark circles lightening. My skin felt tighter – in a good way. I love the applicator, it feels really nice when you’re applying the product. The coldness of the applicator is like the old cold spoon trick, and it feels amazing, especially after a long day, with tired eyes. A week later and my fine lines are fading, dark circles seem to be almost gone and my skin around my eyes feels smoother.” Tara, Beauty Crew member
#4 / Patchology Eye Revive FlashPatch 5 Minute Hydrogels
You remember what we said about caffeine and collagen? Well these cooling eye gels (yep, it gets another point for being cooling) contain both. In case you need more convincing, Patchology did a study with 100 participants and after just five minutes of these patches on their peepers, 100 per cent of them reported more awake, revived and revitalised eyes. That’s why we’re crowning this the best under-eye cream for dark circles when you need to see results, stat.
The review: “Big fan of this product! I've tried many eye creams and none have worked as quickly or effectively as these FlashPatch Eye Gels. After 5-10 minutes of wearing them under my eyes I see major reduction in puffiness and brightening my skin where I typically get dark circles. I love using these gels in the morning when I have tired eyes - definitely a repeat customer!” Bernadette, Ulta customer
#3 / Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum
Just when you thought retinol couldn’t get any better. You’re probably already using it all over your face, but it’s a godsend for under the eyes, too. But just make sure you pick a product that’s designed for the delicate area – like this one is. Retinol helps erase dark circles by boosting collagen production to leave your under-eye skin thicker and less translucent. Not to mention the wrinkle-fighting benefits it delivers. This serum also contains licorice root extract to simultaneously help brighten dark circles and soothe any redness or puffiness.
The review: “I've used a lot of different eye creams before and none have done what they promise. I received a sample of this product 2 weeks ago and the results have been dramatic. I honestly couldn't believe it. The dark circles around my eyes have almost disappeared and puffiness has reduced. Highly recommended.” Loz_T, Sephora Australia customer
#2 / Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme
You’ve got it all in this formula: skin-plumping collagen, brightening vitamin C and something makeup artists refer to as ‘banana powder’, which gives this eye cream a yellow tint that instantly colour corrects those blueish hues.
The review: “I love how refreshing this feels on application, but beyond that, I’ve noticed the skin under my eyes looks more nourished and less crinkly, and is generally brighter. A definite life-saver after those late nights!” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
#1 / TATCHA The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment
We know what you’re thinking: It looks like an ordinary pot of concealer that sure, may mask your dark circles, but they’re going to still be there once the makeup comes off. Ah, nope. The best eye cream for dark circles is one that conceals and treats, after all, and that’s exactly what you can expect from our pick for the number one spot. The formula works to address the three common causes of under-eye darkness: thinning skin, blue undertones and pigmentation, thanks to hard-working ingredients like Akoya Pearl extract, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.
The review: “I have recently been trying the Tatcha The Pearl from Mecca. These little pots are amazing. They’re an eye treatment that looks like your everyday concealer, but they contain pearl extracts that reduce the look of fine lines and dark circles. A super creamy formula that I have quickly become addicted to.” Toni Hynes, Beauty Editor, Who & New Idea
If you’re after a quick-fix solution, these are the best concealers for dark circles.
What’s your all-time favourite eye cream for dark circles? Share with us your top pick below.
Main image credit: @victoriabeckham
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.