1. Expert reviews

Top 12 Best Eye Creams of 2021

Katarina Stenskytt

Updated February 12, 2021

We have tested eight different eye creams and name the Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15 as the best 3 in 1 eye cream on the market right now. It is a moisturising and soothing eye cream that is amazing for dark spots, for bags under your eyes – and for wrinkles.

Top 12 Best Eye Creams of 2021

How we did the review

We carried out the test ourselves and tested all of the eye creams as they are intended to be used by consumers. Each eye cream was used for a period of three weeks by both men and women. During these three weeks, all of the creams were stored in a refrigerator to achieve an enhanced cooling effect with each application. Our testers strictly followed the instructions on the packaging regarding how each cream should be applied.

We used the following parameters to assess the creams in each review:

  • Use: How easy is the product to apply? Does the product feel sticky on the fingers or around the eyes? What consistency does the product have and does it last for a long time? Is the product scented?

  • Moisturising ability: How does the skin around the eyes feel after application of the cream? Does the cream efficiently moisturise the skin without making it feel oily?

  • Affectiveness: How good is the cream at counteracting swelling around the eyes? Does it help stop dark rings forming, and if so, how quickly can the results be seen? Is it a good eye cream for fine lines? What is the cream's firming effect like?

The eye creams were all tested over a longer period to gain an understanding of how each cream’s characteristics affected the skin over time. We based the product scores upon our overall experience with each product in relation to its price.

Stop making your homemade eye creams and check these out…

1. Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15 - BEST CHOICE EYE CREAM 2021

A moisturising and soothing cream for bags and dark circles

Packaging: Tube Formula: Cream Quantity: 15 ml

Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15 15ml

Tired eyes from a bad night’s sleep will become a thing of the past with Dermalogica's Total Eye Care SPF15. The cream has a pale beige tinting effect, meaning it comes with coverage so that dark circles are concealed from the first application. This tint is perfect for those who don’t have time to wait several weeks for results. We also found that after a longer period of use it also helped the skin to look much fresher on the whole. The colour of the cream is a delicate shade which manages to blend in with the skin and doesn’t look like make-up. This makes the cream suitable for men and women who don’t want to wear make-up. The light consistency of the cream is easily absorbed by the skin, so it feels moisturising without feeling greasy.

The firming effect of this eye cream is relatively low. However, the cream does soothe the skin well and we found it had a good result on bags under the eyes after a few weeks of use. While the cream isn’t quite as good value as some other eye creams, using the right quantity of cream is simple - and hygienic due to the little spout on its tube. A big plus of this cream is that it also comes with SPF15 protection.

Overall, the Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15 is expensive but its ability to counteract dark circles together with its effectiveness on bags make it a fantastic buy.

good for eye bagsmoisturisingpractical packagingSPF15 protection
Low firming effectsslightly less economicalexpensivewith SPF

Price Comparison

Compare all prices
Cosme-De Logotype

Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF 15 0.5 oz 15 ml

£28.00

Daily Grooming

Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF 15 15ml

£35.99
Lafantine Logotype

Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF 15 15ml

£35.99

2. Elemis Peptide4 Eyecream Recovery Cream

Eye cream that reduces dark circles and is pleasantly cooling

Format: Tube Formula: Cream Quantity: 15 ml

Elemis Peptide4 Eye Recovery Cream 15ml

Elemis Peptide 4 Eyecream Recovery Cream is an eye cream for all skin types. With a formula that cools as it melts into your skin, this is a really pleasant product to use.

The cooling effect feels great if you have swollen eyes, but the thing that makes this eye cream stand out is that it actually seems to work at reducing dark circles. After just a couple of weeks the circles look a bit less dark, and a few weeks later our testers think the skin beneath the eyes has a more even tone than before.

Elemis Peptide 4 Eyecream Recovery Cream feels very moisturising and caring on the skin. It’s relatively non-sticky when applied. If you use it in the morning, you’ll need to wait for a couple of minutes before you start your make-up, but on the other hand that’s how long many skincare products take to be absorbed.

The tube is practical and produces just the right amount of cream. If you were going to be fussy, it would have been useful if the lid was flat instead of rounded, and then you could have stood it up on a shelf. And given that it's a relatively expensive product, the packaging could have felt a touch more exclusive. But that said, the packaging does its job well, and doesn’t cause any unnecessary stickiness.

Other than the price tag, the only thing that reduces the score a bit is the scent. Because this eye cream smells a bit odd. You do get used to it quickly, but the first time it's applied all of our testers react to the smell.

But this really is an eye cream you’ll want to recommend to everyone you know. The high price means it’s also one you're going to want to buy when it's on special offer.

Reduces dark circlespleasantly coolingmoisturises
Expensivesmells weirdboring packaging design

3. Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

A wonderfully cooling cream for sensitive eyes

Packaging: Jar Formula: Cream Quantity: 14 ml

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment Avocado 14ml

While Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado may look really thick in its container, it will be quickly absorbed by the skin and affords a cooling and calming effect. The really nice thing about this light green cream is that it changes in consistency as soon as you rub it in, going from feeling slightly too thick to becoming almost watery. This might sound a little strange, but it’s actually a very nice product to use. The cream doesn’t leave any stickiness and doesn’t feel greasy. Each container of cream goes a long way. Just a small amount of the cream is enough for the entire area around the eyes.

After regularly using this cream, the area around your eyes will start to look fresher than it did before, with the skin becoming a little smoother and less wrinkled. It’s also worth knowing that the cream performed well during tests with people who have sensitive skin around their eyes, such as during the peak pollen season.

The only disadvantage of Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is its packaging, which despite having a protective inner lid gets sticky too easily. In an ideal world this cream would have come in better packaging, but until then we’ll just have to put up with a little stickiness as our overall experience using this cream was otherwise superb.

CoolsCalms and is fantastic to applyperfect for sensitive eyes
Annoyingly sticky packaging

4. Palina For Your Eyes Only

Cleverly packaged eye cream that provides a lot of moisture

Format: Pump bottle Formula: Cream Quantity: 15 ml

Palina Skin Philosophy for Your Eyes Only 15ml

Swedish brand Palina’s For Your Eyes Only eye cream comes in a practical pump bottle, which surprisingly few eye creams do. And the packaging isn’t just functionally attractive. It’s also very stylish, in a purple colour that makes it stand out on the bathroom shelf.

Because the container has a pump, it feels hygienic to use and there's very little risk that the cream will go off before you use it up. But in any case, this is an eye cream you’ll be happy to use. For Your Eyes Only it is easy to apply and absorb quickly without leaving an oily film around your eyes, so you can even use it just before applying your make-up.

The cream is on the firmer side, but despite that is soft and very easy to massage in. A small amount goes a long way, and because it’s so economical it last a long time.

It has no scent and doesn’t irritate your eyes at all. After use, your skin feels nicely moisturised, smooth and comfortable. This eye cream is extremely effective on swollen eyelids, but could have done more to combat puffy eyes. But it’s primary advantage is that it provides a lot of moisture but still works well under make-up, which is important as nobody likes their make-up to slip because of an oily eye cream.

If you’re looking for a moisturising eye cream that’s perfect to apply, you should definitely try out Palina For Your Eyes Only.

Really nice pump containermoisturisingworks well under make-up
Could have been more coolingnot very effective on swollen eyes

5. Exuviance Hydrating Lift Eye Complex

An incredible moisturising cream that’s quickly absorbed by the skin and comes in user-friendly packaging

Packaging: Tube Formula: Cream Quantity: 15g

Exuviance Hydrating Eye Complex 15g Tube

Exuviance has delivered an incredibly moisturising eye cream with the Hydrating Lift Eye Complex. In the winter, when skin often feels a little drier, this cream will be an absolute lifesaver. The cream nourishes the skin around the eyes very well, naturally counteracting both swollen eyes and dark circles. However, compared to other creams, these results are not spectacular.

The foremost characteristic of this cream is its moisturising ability. Despite its intense moisturising effect, the cream is quickly absorbed by the skin and doesn’t feel sticky. We had no problems applying make-up immediately after using this cream. Because this eye cream is so nourishing, our skin felt fresher and firmer even after we had only used it for a short period.

The tube has a pointed top which makes it easy - and hygienic - to apply the right amount of cream. While the thick consistency of the cream prevents you from dispensing too much, you will need to use quite a lot of it to cover the area around both eyes. Despite this, the Exuviance Hydrating Lift Eye Complex moisturised the skin well, particularly in the winter. Ultimately, it ranks high in our eye cream test results.

Incredibly moisturisinghygienic and easy to use the packagingquickly absorbed by the skin
Poor on dark circles

6. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex 2

A cream with a thick consistency that moisturises well and is effective on bags

Packaging: Jar Formula: Cream Quantity: 15ml

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II 15ml

Despite the fact that this eye cream is actually a gel, it still feels smooth and moisturising on your skin. The extra thick consistency of this Estée Lauder eye cream is slightly reminiscent of honey. This isn’t a bad thing – instead it adds to the cream’s intensely nourishing and refreshing feeling. This cream is only intended to be used at night, so that when you wake up in the morning your skin will feel thoroughly moisturised without any sign of bags. We found dark circles to disappear after a while, and the whole area around the eyes started looking fresher.

The cream comes in a small and beautifully designed jar which gives it a luxurious feel. It comes equipped with a spatula-like tool to get the contents out and spread it over your skin. This is a great way to avoid getting cream under your fingernails and it feels more hygienic than applying the cream with your fingers. However, it does mean that you need to take both the jar and the spatula with you when you're out travelling. As the cream is only intended for evening use, you will need to buy another eye cream for daytime use if needed, resulting in further costs and extra room needed in your bathroom cabinet. Despite the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex 2 being an expensive eye cream, if you want to give your skin a real treat this is a good product to choose. This eye cream succeeds in both in moisturising and nourishing your skin throughout the night, making your skin feel smooth and fresh when you wake up in the morning.

Thick consistencymoisturisingeffective on bags under the eyes
Only for before bedexpensivefiddly packaging for travel

7. Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift

A revitalising eye cream that can also be used as an eye mask

Format: Tube with applicator Formula: Gel Quantity: 25 ml

Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift 25ml

Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift is a bit on the expensive side, but for tired eyes with more mature skin, it’s very effective.

This eye cream falls somewhere between an eye mask and a cream and is excellent for both purposes. If you apply it in a thicker layer, it works as a quick fix mask. If you’re using it like this, you leave it on for a few minutes then massage the excess into the skin. In other words, this isn’t a product you rinse off. If you instead want to use it as a classic cream, you simply apply less and massage it in immediately.

The product promises reduced dark circles, smooth the skin and a tightening effect. These are big promises and given the price it’s hard not to have high expectations. When you buy an eye cream, it’s important to remember that you can’t get rid of wrinkles. But you can reduce the impression of fine lines by adding plenty of moisture, which can sometimes plump up the skin a little.

And you actually do feel a little brighter around the eyes when you use Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift on a regular basis. The lines definitely feel a bit less deep, which is largely a result of the moisture this cream provides. Whether it does anything for dark circles and bags isn’t as clear. The fact that the skin around the eyes feels brighter is probably more a result of the fact that it tightens the skin a little.

The price is certainly high, but you should remember that this tube, with its cooling metal applicator, contains 25 ml, which is significantly more than many other eye creams.

If you keep your expectations reasonable, this is a good eye cream. But if you believe you’ve bought the source of eternal youth, you’ll probably be disappointed.

Calmingmoisturising and some tightening effect
Doesn’t really live up to all its promises

8. Clarins Eye Contour Gel

A firming and cooling gel that’s rapidly absorbed due to its light consistency

Packaging: Tube Formula: Gel Quantity: 20ml

Clarins Eye Contour Gel 20ml

This gel eye cream from Clarins has a good firming effect and leaves your skin feeling thoroughly refreshed. The gel feels cool, soothing and is relatively effective against swollen eyes. It won’t completely conceal a sleepless night because of your newborn or a late night out on the town, but it copes with normal signs of tiredness without any problems. The exclusive-looking tube that the cream comes in is easy to store in the bathroom cabinet as you can stand it upright. However, the lighter consistency of the contents means that it’s easy to dispense too much cream by accident. This is a risk that increases when the cream is stored standing up, as the contents come to rest at the bottom of the tube. The Eye Contour Gel is quite an affordable eye cream, but because it’s difficult to get the right amount out you may get through it fairly quickly.

Getting rid of dark circles isn’t this cream’s strongest point, but its firming effects still gives the skin an overall fresher feeling. The light formula moisturises well and is quickly absorbed by the skin without it feeling oily nor sticky. You can apply make-up immediately after application, which is perfect on a stressful hurried morning. The Clarins Eye Contour Gel gives the skin an impressively pleasant and fresh feeling but given its price we would have liked it to last a little longer.

Firmingcooling and soothinglight consistencyquickly absorbed by the skin
Difficult to use the right amount

9. Decléor Lift and Brighten Eye Cream

A moisturising eye cream with a smooth consistency and fast drying time

Packaging: Tube Formula: Cream Quantity: 15ml

Decléor Prolagène Lift & Firm Eye Cream 15ml

Decléor’s Lift and Brighten Eye Cream has a lovely creamy consistency which is easy to apply evenly. After using it, your skin immediately feels fresher and well moisturised. If you apply the cream before bed, your skin will still feel smooth and soft the next morning. We found that the cream was absorbed by the skin quickly, meaning that you can apply your make-up almost instantly after using it. After a few weeks of use, we found dark circles around the eyes to be lighter. However, it's the moisturising and firming characteristics of this cream which stand out the most.

The tube that this cream comes in is eye-catching to say the least. The top is almost as long as the rest of the tube combined, and it has a kind of spatula-like pump where the cream comes out. It is also possible to use the top of the pump to apply the cream. This is a nice idea, but in reality it proves to be a bit of an unnecessary gimmick. It would have been easier just to use a normal tube without this kind of unique construction, which makes it rather fiddly to both store the tube and get cream out of the tube. Other than this packaging setback, the Decléor Lift and Brighten Eye Cream is a decent product. However, it doesn’t give astonishing results and given its price we’d have expected it to deliver more.

Moisturisingsmooth consistencyquick drying time
Complicated packagingunnecessarily large

10. Clinique All About Eyes Rich Cream

A fresh-feeling eye cream with a thin consistency that’s effective against dark circles

Packaging: Jar Formula: Cream Quantity: 15 ml

Clinique All About Eyes Rich 15ml

Regardless of whether you’re tired from an early morning or a late evening, this light eye cream from Clinique will give your skin a fresh feeling – and is great for dark circles. It’s quickly absorbed by the skin and despite its thin consistency is extremely moisturising. While its firming effect is average and there are better eye creams in this area, this cream is incredibly effective for dark circles. You may not see the difference the first time you use the All About Eyes Rich Cream, but after a few weeks your dark circles will begin to disappear and the skin around your eyes will look healthy and fresh. Clinique promise that this product is particularly aimed at bags under the eyes, and it contains caffeine in its formula. While this cream does help with this to an extent, we’d be stretching the truth if we said it was exceptional at mitigating bags under your eyes.

The cream comes in an attractive and stylish jar, embossed with Clinique's exclusive branding. However, you will need to wash your hands every time you use it in order to prevent any bacterial build-up inside the jar. You only need to use a very small amount of the cream each time, so if you do use the right amount it’s a good value product. We found this to be slightly difficult because of its jar format though.

While the All About Eyes Rich Cream is fairly economical and does succeed in making your skin feel fresh, its poorly designed jar makes it difficult to use the right amount. We had to mark it down for this.

Fresh feelingthin consistencyeffective on dark circles
Hard to get the right amountlimited firming effectunsuitable jar

11. Ole Henriksen Truth Banana Bright Eye Cream

A much-hyped eye cream that primarily makes your eyes sting

Format: Jar Formula: Cream Quantity: 15 ml

Ole Henriksen Truth Banana Bright Eye Crème 15ml

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream is an eye cream that you either love or hate. If you read online reviews, opinions are widely divided, with a tendency towards extremely positive claims. But our testers agreed on one thing: this eye cream stings. And not just a bit, either.

Perhaps this is because the cream contains vitamins C, but none of our testers had previously reacted negatively to this ingredient. So they were a bit surprised when an eye cream that’s had so much written about it turned out to be almost unusable because it gives the very opposite of the calming effect an eye cream should ideally provide.

And it doesn’t just sting either. One of our testers also developed red spots after using Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream.

Of course whether or not a product makes your eyes sting can be a very individual matter. And if your eyes aren’t irritated by Banana Bright Eye Cream, it’s a cream with a lovely consistency that’s easy to apply. It feels soft and rich in your skin, and also gives a touch of glow.

But because all of our testers complained of the stinging sensation, this is an eye cream we’d rather avoid. Particularly given that the sensation it gives is so unpleasant you’ll almost certainly never finish the jar.

Lovely consistencygives glow
Stings and irritates the eyes

12. Avene Physiolift Eyes

An eye cream that’s received a lot of attention but is frustrating to use

Avene Physiolift Eyes 15ml

Avene Physiolift Eyes is an eye cream that comes with high expectations. Partly because Avene is a French pharmacy brand, and these generally deliver good results. And partly because our testers had read several good reviews of the eye cream before they used it. Unfortunately the reality was disappointing.

When you dispense a small amount of this unscented, pale yellow cream, it looks promising. The list of ingredients also makes you think that this is going to be a very good product – retinaldehyde, dextran sulfate and hyaluronic acid. But it doesn’t matter how good the ingredients are if the formula is a problem.

When you first apply it the cream feels nicely cooling, but when you continue the application it forms small rolls. A cream that rolls off the skin doesn’t make you feel like it’s being absorbed at all. And yes, this eye cream is for night-time use, which is just as well, because there’s absolutely no way it would work together with make-up. But in all honesty, who wants a cream that rolls off all around your eyes, even at night? Not our testers, anyway.

Avene Physiolift Eyes gets two disappointed thumbs down – life’s simply too short to deal with poor products like this.

Good ingredientsfeels cooling
Isn’t absorbed at allrolls off

What you should know about anti wrinkle eye cream

Creams, serums, gels and roll-ons – these days eye creams are available in a variety of different ways for men and women. There are eye creams optimised for different purposes, such as young skin, mature skin or to counteract dark circles and bags under the eyes. Often, eye creams are nourishing and moisturising without being too sticky, as otherwise they could affect the application of make-up you put on afterwards. The molecules in eye creams are smaller than in normal face creams so they can be absorbed easily by the smaller pores in the thinner skin around the eyes. If a normal face cream or body lotion is used, they could form a film around the eye and lead to irritated or swollen eyes. Using the wrong type of product around the eyes can also lead to a range of skin problems such as milia, which is when small sebaceous nodules get stuck in the pores and lead to white spots. Sometimes these get called milk spots.

Eye creams are intended to counteract visible signs of skin ageing. They do this by smoothing out wrinkles, having a firming effect on the skin and reducing dark circles and swelling around the eyes. The accumulative effect of using eye creams frequently is that your skin will look a little brighter and fresher. The creams contain a range of ingredients to achieve these results. Among the most common ingredient is vitamin K, which counteracts dark circles, and antioxidants, which provides additional protection. The majority of creams also contain Aloe Vera to moisturise and calm the skin. For people with tired skin or severely swollen eyes, eye creams containing caffeine are recommended. Caffeine for your eyes can counteract swelling and smooth the thinner skin. If you often wake up with swollen eyes, you can try storing the cream in the fridge. The coolness of the cream upon application can help to reduce eye swelling even more.

How should you use eye cream for wrinkles?

You should generally use an eye cream in the morning before you face the day ahead, and in the evening when it's time for your beauty sleep. However, some brands produce creams that have been developed to only used at night, which can tend to be a little greasier. Some others create eye crams depending on age, such as eye creams for 30s or for 50s. The majority of eye creams are extremely economical, meaning that you only need to use a very small amount every time. About half a fingernail's worth is usually enough to take care of both eyes.

When you apply your eye cream, it's important that you don't press too hard on the sensitive skin around the eyes. A good tip is to apply the eye cream with your ring fingers, which aren't as strong as your forefinger or middle finger, automatically making the application gentler. Start by dabbing the cream lightly around the orbital bone so that the entire area around the eye can gradually absorb the cream it needs. You don’t need to apply the cream to your eyelids as the skin here absorbs the moisture by itself. If you apply the cream in the morning and intend to wear make-up, it's even more important that you don't apply it to your eyelids as it can make them sticky.

Some people choose to make homemade eye creams. Yet, the professional products get better results because they come with unique ingredients, such as eye creams with squalane, Aloe Vera, essential vitamins and much more!

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