Of all the questions that I’m asked as a beauty editor, how to actually get rid of dark circles has to be up there as one of the most widespread enquiries. From my teenage sister whose laidback approach to studying often results in all-nighters spent at the library to my friend that has forgotten what sleep is since becoming a mum of three, dark circles are all-inclusive when it comes to who they target.
Luckily, there are things that you can do to combat dark under-eye circles if they are bothering you—and one of the simplest places to start is with a decent eye cream.
Kate Kerr, skin expert and director of the Kate Kerr London Clinic told me that there are two main ingredients to look out for when selecting the best eye cream for dark circles: “L-Ascorbic acid, a potent form of vitamin C, and a retinol-based eye cream which will help to strengthen the area.”
So without further ado, keep scrolling for the best eye creams to invest in now to minimise darkness, reduce pigmentation and brighten up tired-looking eyes. Plus, there are some celebrity favourites in the mix too…
Versed might be a new brand, but it’s already gaining popularity with this eye cream, one of the front-runners as a favourite product from the range. The gel instantly cools and refreshes skin and contains vitamin C to help brighten and diminish dark circles.
The First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream with Triple Hyaluronic Acid (£34) has the seal of approval from Selena Gomez. “If you get dark circles, it’s the shit,” she told Into the Gloss. “I’ll put it on, it feels all good and cold, go have a coffee, and that’s the bomb.”
Much like the Ole Henriksen eye cream, this one from Drunk Elephant is another cult favourite that basically every beauty editor I know swears by. It contains a pretty impressive five forms of vitamin C for a real boost of brightness.
It’s no secret that Laura Harrier relies on celebrity facialist Shani Darden for her glowing skin and product recommendations. Darden’s eye cream of choice? The IS Clinical Youth Eye Complex (£85). “It has hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the under-eye area and keep it bright,” she told The Cut. “It also has peptides to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve used so many different eye creams, and this one is my favourite because it’s one of the only eye creams that I can see a visible difference with.”
Retinol is one of the most effective ingredients at encouraging skin cell renewal (hence its ability to improve fine lines, dark spots and pigmentation), but it can be harsh. Thankfully, this nourishing formula from Pixi combines retinol with hyaluronic acid to effectively target dark circles without causing irritation.
I don’t know about you, but when an actual supermodel reveals her full Monday morning skincare routine on Instagram—including her favourite eye-brightening cream—I take note. Turns out, Jourdan Dunn swears by this Sunday Riley eye cream (£60), which uses caffeine, watermelon extract and ginseng to brighten the most tired of under-eyes.
Proving that you don’t always need harsh ingredients to target dark circles, this eye cream from Origins actually strengthens capillaries and provide anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce the proven causes of dark circles.
When Victoria Beckham‘s facialist Melanie Grant revealed VB’s full skincare routine, it was this Cosmedix eye cream (£75) that turned out to be Beckham’s favourite. It contains hyaluronic acid, peptides and light-reflecting particles to make eyes look more awake and refreshed.
I’d always recommend expert-led skincare brands like Dr Dennis Gross when you’re looking for really hardworking beauty products. This eye cream uses breakthrough retinol technology that’s gentle enough for the eye area yet powerful enough to reduce pigmentation and smooth fine lines.
As a specialist in cosmetic medicine, Dr. Barbara Sturm’s product—and the lady herself—are beloved by many a celebrity and industry insider. Gwynnie swears by her eye cream (£110) for dark circles, telling The Skincare Edit that it’s a “very important part of the process.”
Shadows and wrinkles appearing? This wonder product corrects as it perfects. How? Well, it’s infused with diamond dust (how fabulous) to reflect light and blur the visibility of imperfections.
Packed with vitamin C, this cream isn’t just for the dark circles around your eyes, you can also use it around fine lines on your mouth. Oh, we do love a multitasker.
If you’ve ever tried the original moisturiser, you’ll know that this cream truly is magic. This version helps to restore and rejuvenate the skin around the eyes thanks to the shea butter and coconut oil.
So good that we had to include this brand twice. This cream is light and sinks into skin quickly immediately making under eyes look brighter.
Another range that has a cult following is the Drops of Youth collection from The Body Shop. While we love the serum (seriously, it’s incredible), the eye version comes with a cooling applicator and smoothes out wrinkles, de-puffs bags and hides dark circles.