10 best under-eye masks that reduce dark circles, puffiness and fine lines
Looking for the equivalent of an espresso for your under eyes? Perk up your peepers with a soothing treat
The eyes tell a story. More often than not, that you haven’t had enough kip or that you’ve downed a few too many vinos on a rooftop bar this time of year. Therefore it’s absolutely criminal to not give them some well earned TLC.
As we’re told, the skin under the eyes is the first to go. It’s thinner, more sensitive and prone to dryness, especially as we age. The irony is that over-moisturising or using too intense a product, can lead to milia (those pesky white bumps) or other irritations.
So it’s important to get it right for you. Don’t just go with something that promises to make you look like you sleep as much as your cat.
Also, dark circles are usually blood vessels that are visible under the eyes. They become more noticeable as we age as the skin gets thinner; a patch isn’t going to dramatically enhance such a feature unfortunately.
You could also just have darker pigmentation which might be hereditary. So don’t be too hard on yourself or expect a miracle solution.
Saying that, one way of temporarily coddling your crows feet is to invest in a decent eye mask. They come in an endless variety with promises at every angle.
And so luckily for you we’ve trucked through various types, ingredients, properties and price ranges to see if we can tick your fine line or baggy eye boxes. A little lift never hurt nobody, after all.
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Filorga optim-eyes patch express anti-fatigue, 8 x 2 patches: £40, Feel Unique
Filorga has paid its dues as a brand. It cleverly casts a wide net, catering for almost everything and everyone. Beyond its Instagram notoriety, these black beauties are a great triple threat. Actives and vitamin PP lighten and brighten skin, relaxants help in the wrinkle department while lively peptides are here to energise and calm puffiness.
A bunch of moisture magnets are in the mix, along with licorice root to help even skin tone We thought the chic black patches also make you look badass like Catwoman, but someone also compared us to a panda. Regardless, these are the top of the leaderboard. Pop in the fridge for extra oomph before use.
Wander Beauty baggage claim rose gold eye masks: £23 for six, Net-a-Porter
These golden wonders are perfect if you’re after some heavy duty hydration and under eye soothing. The gold foil helps retain heat to open the pores and ensure maximum absorption. The elastic middle layer ensures no slippage when applied so they stay firmly put.
There’s all your favourite humectants in here (ingredients that help lock in moisture) for maximum hydration, with some calendula extract and panthenol to help calm and de-stress. Shea butter is also featured, so if you get on well with richer products, this will be your new best friend. Overall, this a good all rounder if you’re looking for a simple yet effective hydration treatment for parched peepers.
Verso reviving eye mask: £50 for four, Cult Beauty
Our favourite Scandi export strikes again with this under eye mask. Infused with their patented Retinol 8 formulation, it’s less aggressive than traditional retinol but promises the same results. Even more so, prescription retinol under the eyes can be too aggressive for some so this is a great substitute for our favourite anti-ageing ingredient.
Collagen stimulating actives are the big hitter here, the hydrogel patches are built to ensure you reap all the benefits of the ingredients too. These are particularly good if you need to look like you’ve been in bed snoozing when in fact you may have been out on the town getting down with your bad self. We suggest only using these once a week though,l as they’re highly active.
Peter Thomas Roth cucumber hydra-gel masks: £41 for 60, Look Fantastic
If you’re the type who still pops cucumber slices over the eyes after a long day, this is your official upgrade. These green, jelly patches are fab for the perfect moment of calm. Cucumber extract, chamomile and aloe all work harmoniously to comfort your crows feet while a caffeine boost helps perk up any unwanted baggage. There’s also hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to help hydrate and brighten. We loved popping these on in the morning while getting ready for the day. They don’t move easily thanks to their gel texture and gave us a bit more sparkle to attack the upcoming day with.
Tata Harper boosted contouring eye mask: £109, Cult Beauty
Tata Harper brings us something a little different with this supercharged saviour. Rather than it being a disposable mask (points for the environment) this is a mega gourmand butter that melts onto the under eyes. The red algae and palm extracts work together to tighten skin while brown algae extract re-energises and gives crepiness a good seeing to. There’s also green tea and coconut in here for calming properties and added moisture.
We suggest warming a pea sized amount up and thinning it out a tad before applying, otherwise you could end up dragging the skin which defies the point of using it in the first place. We must stress that this is incredibly rich which is why ten minutes is sufficient. It left our tester’s skin softened but not sticky with a welcome blurring effect of the lines around the eyes.
Kat Burki KB5 eye recovery masks: £78 for eight, Cult Beauty
This biodegradable, eco-friendly offering from Kat Burki is a true powerhouse. With her patented KB5 Complex featuring lavender, calendula, chamomile and arnica and gotu cola, it promises an “at home spa” experience. While they might not export you to the Corinthia, there are some top notch ingredients in here to help you get a staycation at least.
Plant stem cell technology and silk amino acids work hard to refresh while cold pressed avocado oil calms and soothes. Botanical hyaluronic acid ensures you stay hydrated throughout the day. This is a great healing patch with brightening properties. Perfect before and event or if you’re feeling a tad lacklustre.
Patchology moodpatch 'happy place' inspiring tea-infused aromatherapy eye gels: £15, Space NK
If you’re happy inside, you’re happy out. Patchology have developed these mood patches to really drive this home. There are three different types: down time, perk up and our favourite happy place. Each is infused with a different set of ingredients to invoke its title promise.
Happy place is a mix of antioxidant-rich hibiscus and conditioning lotus flower. There’s a joyous aromatherapy aspect to them, with a scent that’s welcome and not overpowering to the senses. Quick boosts for those on the go, we wore ours underneath big sunglasses on the bus. It didn’t exactly make it a happy place, but we looked less miserable when we got off.
Skyn Iceland hydro cool firming eye gels: £25 for eight, M&S
Minimalism gets major brownie points in today’s climate. There’s nothing less convincing than someone claiming to do everything. Skyn Iceland knows this all too well. The range is full of chic yet simply effective products. Its eye gels are geared towards taking down inflammation via Icelandic glacial water and arctic super fruits. Skyn’s no fuss, quick fix are great for daytime detoxing. Keep them in your bag for afternoon slumps when you need a bit of extra sparkle.
Milk Makeup cooling water under eye patches: £20.50 for six, Cult Beauty
Relatively new, and entirely welcome to UK shores is Milk Makeup. These are terrific after a sweaty afternoon with chums in the park when you need temperature regulating. As the name suggests, they’re deliciously cooling and are the equivalent of an espresso for your under eyes. The patches are supercharged with caffeine-supporting micro circulation along with seawater to calm you down post coffee kick. Add to your kit for a well rested, perky outlook.
Susanne Kaufmann eye cream line A eye cream: £158, Cult Beauty
Kaufmann was born and raised in a valley in the Alps and fuses her unique perspective of natural healing from generations of knowledge with cutting-edge dermatology to deliver her beloved range. This eye cream works fantastically as a mask. The broccoli seed oil and elderberry work intelligently to combat oxidised damage with actives consistently pumping in the background, aiding microcirculation to wake up those muscles. Work into the under eyes and simply wipe off any excess with a cotton pad. We even put ours on at night, left it for a couple of hours and went to bed. Take off come the morning for super moisturised and energised eyes.
The verdict: Under-eye masks
Filorga sneak into the top spot because of the diversity of aids on offer. Tata Harper must get a mention not just for the product but the ethos and care the brand takes throughout the range. Skyn Iceland are a great start to the morning.
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