I was oblivious to the world of eye creams, and the importance of using one, until one person too many asked me if I was tired. That was in my early twenties, so lack of sleep was probably a part of it. I decided to find an eye cream or treatment to help reduce my dark circles.
There are many reasons for dark circles, some of which can be counteracted, and unfortunately, some that can’t. These include:
- Lack of sleep – The amount of sleep an adult needs, or is used to, varies from person to person. Not sleeping enough can cause dark circles and puffiness. Although, sleeping too much can cause puffy eyes too.
- Genetics and hyper-pigmentation – Dark circles are more common in south Asian skin types, and generally get worse with age. These are stubborn discolourations that are difficult to minimise. Facial features, such as deep set eyes, create a hollow under the eyes, further accentuating any dark circles.
- Dehydration – An adult should drink approximately 2 litres of water every day. Dehydration causes dry, dark under eyes, resembling crepe paper. This is often mistaken for wrinkles. Drinking enough water keeps the skin plump and hydrated.
- Malnutrition – It is important to eat healthy, as well as taking vitamin supplements, if necessary. Too much salt in the diet can cause water retention, resulting in puffy eyes. Iron deficiency (Anaemia) can also cause dark circles.
- Stress – Stress is associated with too much work, lack of sleep and general worries. Try to reduce screen time (television, computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone), as the strain to the eyes is also damaging, and causes dark circles.
- Other – Aging, crying, allergies, are all among other reasons for dark, dry or puffy under eyes.
The skin around the eyes is thinner than on the rest of the face, so veins can show through, causing darkness. Also, the thinner skin means the area is more delicate, and using a cream that is too rich can block pores, causing milia. Some people don’t like to use cosmetic eye creams because they might contain chemicals that will be harmful to the delicate skin around the eyes. Using natural remedies is also a cheaper alternative to eye creams. Popular home remedies include cucumber, potatoes and almond oil – they have different properties that cool, lighten and hydrate the skin.
What works for one person, will not necessarily work for everyone. I have deep-set eyes, with genetic hyper-pigmentation, am anaemic, have way too much screen time and probably don’t sleep enough (picture a panda 🐼 – that’s me). I drink enough water, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and take iron supplements. I have tried natural remedies, and while they may work with prolonged use, I simply don’t have the time to use them on a regular basis. Eye creams are much more convenient; I don’t need to keep them refrigerated, they’re not messy, and can be easily incorporated into my skincare regime. I will review a few of the eye creams I have used over the years.
Garnier Roll-on Anti-dark circles
This is technically not an eye cream, but I bought it as a treatment for ‘anti-dark circles’. I had seen advertisements and bought both varieties, the original, colourless (green packaging) and the tinted (pictured above), from Boots. I am assuming they have updated the formula of this product, since I purchased it, as it is now part of the ‘Youthful Radiance’ collection and is called ‘Caffeine Anti-Dark Circles 2 in 1 Tinted Eye Roll On’, priced at £10.49, available from Boots or Superdrug (currently half price).
Consistency: Thin liquid.
How to use: Roll on product using roller-ball applicator, and dab in with finger.
Claim: “Double-action formula: 1. Refreshes and hydrates. 2. Covers dark circles in a flash. Immediately dark circles are covered, their appearance reduced.”
My verdict: 2/5 – I don’t find this product refreshing or hydrating. It didn’t reduce my dark circles, and only slightly covered them, as a concealer would. I would not re-purchase this.
I have been using the The Body Shop Vitamin E skin care range for the past seven or eight years, so naturally I thought I would give the eye cream a try. I purchased it online at The Body Shop website, while there was a 50% off sale, and using my ‘Love Your Body’ card for a further 10% off.
Consistency: Thin cream.
How to use: Dot and blend around the eye area, morning and evening.
Claim: “Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, puffiness and dark circles.”
My verdict: 2.5/5 – I used this cream for four years, repurchasing it a number of times. It kept my eye area moisturised but I experienced no long term benefits from it. It did not reduce my fine lines or dark circles. I like the tube packaging for hygiene purposes, but I will not repurchase again.
I came across this cream whilst searching online for an effective eye cream. Even though £23 was more than I would’ve liked to pay, I ordered it from Boots, and eagerly waited its arrival. It’s currently available at John Lewis and Debenhams for £20.70.
Consistency: Normal cream thickness.
How to use: Apply in the morning and as needed. Dab and blend with ring finger.
Claim: “Refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff.”
My verdict: 3/5 – This cream is very refreshing, but only while it’s on. I didn’t feel any long-lasting benefits from it, and it didn’t reduce my dark circles at all. It is salmon coloured, and has a slight shimmer to it, which is perhaps why it would cancel dark circles and brighten the area for people with pale skin and minimal dark circles. I haven’t finished my pot, and will not be repurchasing.
I went shopping, with no intention of purchasing an eye cream (I was halfway through the jar of Origins GinZing Eye Cream), but couldn’t help browsing the Origins counter. The sales lady asked me if I needed any help, so I told her about the cream I was using, and how I hadn’t really seen any results. She told me that it was an instant brightener, and if I wanted long-term results I should use a different one – which is when she recommended this cream. It’s currently £28.80 at John Lewis.
Consistency: Thick cream.
How to use: Dab around eye area morning and evening.
Claim: “Dark circle minimizer.”
My verdict: 3.5/5 – I wasn’t expecting any instant results, so wasn’t disappointed in that respect. After two weeks of use, my dark circles had been visibly minimised, however, my under eye area was drier than it had been in a long time. This cream is not hydrating enough for my skin, so needs to be used in conjunction with another cream. I haven’t finished the pot yet but probably won’t be repurchasing.
I was at the Bobbi Brown Counter, purchasing various products, and got talking to the assistant about my under eye concerns. She recommended this eye cream, saying that she uses it herself, and even though it’s expensive, a little goes a long way. It’s currently £39.60 at Debenhams.
Consistency: Thick cream.
How to use: Use morning and night – warm between fingers, then pat gently around eye area.
Claim: “Packed with peptides, natural plant oils and humectants that target fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness and dryness, this rich, concentrated cream visibly revives eyes.”
My verdict: 4/5 – This cream does everything an eye cream should do. My dark circles have been noticeably minimised, the area under my eyes is soft, hydrated and plump, filling in my fine lines, and acts as an amazing base for concealer. A little really does go a long way – my jar will last me six months, at the minimum – so does not work out too expensive in the long run. My reasons for not giving this cream a 5/5 is that the jar is made of glass, and is very heavy, so is not travel friendly. Also, the cream is quite thick and greasy, and takes a while to be absorbed by the skin. This means that my under eye area looks quite shiny after I have applied the cream, and I have to wait before applying make-up. Despite these factors, I will definitely be repurchasing.
So, that’s my eye cream journey. I find solace in the fact that there are eye creams, such as the Cle de Peau Intensive Eye Cream, that retail for over £200. I don’t think I’ll ever spend that amount on any beauty product, but then I never thought I’d spend £44 on one at the beginning of my journey, either!
As I mentioned earlier, everyone has their own individual skin type, so what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another, and vice versa. I’ve found an eye cream that suits me, and my reviews and ratings are based on how I found them all to be. Have you tried any of these products? What is your eye care routine? Do you have any recommendations? I’m probably coming off as an eye cream junkie right now – I swear I’m not (ok, maybe just a little bit).
Lots of love,
Disclaimer: I bought all of these products with my own money, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
p.s. It’s March! 🎉