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. Dark circles are all-inclusive when it comes to who they target, from my teenage sister whose laid-back approach to studying often results in all-nighters spent at the library to my friend who has forgotten what sleep is since becoming a mum of three.
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 fairly new brand in comparison to others on this list, 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.
This eye cream from Drunk Elephant is a 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,” Darden 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.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a fan of BareMinerals Skinlongevity Long Life Herb Eye Treatment.
“I’m absolutely obsessed with BareMinerals Skinlongevity Eye Cream (£27),” Rosie HW revealed during a YouTube tutorial of her skincare routine. “I love this eye cream because it’s really soft and gentle and very, very cooling—this is one of my favourites.” Having tried this myself, I have to say it really does a brilliant job of brightening dark circles of a morning as well as de-puffing.
The name says it all with this eye cream—a potent gel that’s specifically formulated to reduce dark circles, fine lines and puffiness (basically all of the major under-eye concerns). It’s the ingredient list that sets it apart from other eye creams for dark circles, using yeast and plankton extracts to minimise darkness.
Jourdan Dunn uses Sunday Riley Autocorrect Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream.
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 provides anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce the proven causes of dark circles.
Cosmedix Eye Genius Brilliant Eye Complex is one of Victoria Beckham’s favourite eye creams.
When Victoria Beckham’s facialist Melanie Grant revealed VB’s full skincare routine, it was this Cosmedix eye cream (£67) 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.
Gwyneth Paltrow swears by Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream.
As a specialist in cosmetic medicine, Dr. Barbara Sturm and her products 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, caffeine and niacinamide, this cream helps to alleviate dark circles as well as redness. Plus, it has blurring properties to help you look even more well-rested.
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.
Touted as an eye mask, this serum-infused formulation can actually be used as an overnight treatment, an under-eye primer before makeup or a rescue balm to touch up throughout the day. Basically, it does a bit of everything, and it feels incredibly soothing and plumping on the skin even without all of the de-puffing, wrinkle-reducing benefits.
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.
Filled with antioxidants and a powerful complex to help lessen the appearance of dark circles, this eye serum means serious business.
Don’t let its tiny price-tag fool you—this serum packs a potent brightening hit and has impressed just about every WWW team member. This featherweight formula contains a high concentration of caffeine and EGCG (a potent polyphenol found in green tea) to provide a powerful blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to the delicate eye area. These ingredients are known to reduce puffiness and dark circles, delivering results editors can’t get enough of.
Next up, I’ve had dark circles all my life, and these are the only products that work.
This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.