Dark circles are a common skincare concern – no matter what your age – as they can make you appear older than you are.
However, if this is an insecurity of yours (as it is mine) – don’t worry! There are many ingredients and eye creams that can reduce the appearance of dark circles, giving you a fresher, more youthful complexion.
I’ve put together a list of the five best eye creams for dark circles in the UK market right now and answered some commonly asked questions too.
Best Overall Eye Cream For Dark Circles in the UK
Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream by Ocean D’Argan
This anti-wrinkle eye cream by Ocean D’Argan is my top pick for reducing dark circles and it’s the one I use.
It contains a multitude of active ingredients including argan oil, caviar extract, Vitamin E and Arnica that work together to hydrate and brighten your under eyes, increasing skin elasticity and tone too.
Argan oil is made up of 80% fatty acids that hydrates your undereyes and reduces any fine lines or wrinkles.
This is complemented by Vitamin E that is essential in any hydrating moisturiser, as it may help to protect against UV damage and photoaging and protects against free radicals in the environment.
The thing that I love about this eye cream is that despite its highly moisturising formula, it’s not thick or heavy – it’s a gel that absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy on the skin.
To apply, simply use the included spatula to dispense a pea sized amount and tap under the eye and all around the eye contour, including the brow bone and eyelids. If applying makeup afterwards, allow 30 seconds for the cream to absorb.
Many reviewers have said that this cream feels cooling, and tightens the skin slightly! I noticed I had fresher, brighter looking under eyes in around 2 weeks.
- Reduces dark circles AND fine lines
- Plenty of active ingredients that work
- Fast absorbing as it’s a gel formula
- A spatula is included to ensure you use the correct amount
- Pot of moisturiser comes with the eye cream
- Reviewers have said that it works in as little as 2 weeks!
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- A little goes a long way so pot should last a while
- The cream contains pearlescent particles that reflect light and make the eyes look brighter, but some people don’t like this – especially if they don’t wear makeup
Best Men’s Eye Cream For Dark Circles in the UK
Dark Circle Defense by Lumin
This dark circle defense eye cream by Lumin is specially formulated for men and their skin. Korean skincare is famous worldwide for its effectiveness, so you’ll be pleased to know that this eye cream is Korean made!
It contains naturally derived ingredients, including Green Tea, Ginger and Licorice which are all anti-inflammatory and work together to de-puff your under eyes and reduce bags.
It also contains Niacinamide which works to combat any pigmentation issues as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles, along with Caffeine which constricts blood vessels and reduces dark circles as well as puffiness.
With no added chemicals, you can be sure that this product will be gentle to your skin and won’t cause any irritation, yet will still give results.
Reviewers have said that they’ve noticed results in as little as 3 weeks and that their eyes look brighter and more youthful. They also commented that a little goes a long way, so the 30ml in the jar should last you a while.
As an aside, women can use this too, of course. But it has a more ‘masculine’ fragrance and design.
- All natural ingredients that work
- Korean made
- Specifically formulated for men’s skin
- Reduces under eye bags and puffiness
- Reduces dark circles which gives a fresher, more youthful look
- Little goes a long way
- Results in as little as 3 weeks
- The cream is thick so takes a little longer to absorb
Best Budget Eye Cream in the UK For Dark Circles
Eye Repair by CeraVe
This eye repair cream by CeraVe is developed with dermatologists to combat the look of tired eyes by reducing puffiness and dark circles.
CeraVe has a cult following in the online skincare community, known for being affordable yet super effective, and it’s no wonder. This particular product has been flagged as a ‘dupe’ for higher-end products.
This eye cream contains 3 essential ceramides, which are made up of fatty acids – they work to hold your skin together and protect against moisture loss and damage from environmental stressors.
It also contains hyaluronic acid which works to draw moisture into the skin from the environment and keep it hydrated, thus reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
The formula is lightweight, fragrance free and non-comedogenic, meaning that it won’t clog your pores and is suitable for even sensitive skin.
This is another eye cream I use myself when I’ve run out of the expensive stuff. I personally struggle with very sensitive under eyes – if I use anything that is too thick or full of too many ingredients my eyes react and swell up – but this works perfectly at brightening and moisturizing my under eyes!
- Despite its lower price point, this cream is just as effective as the higher end ones.
- Contains 3 essential ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles as well as brightening dark circles
- Fragrance free
- Suitable for sensitive/eczema prone under eyes
- Stops makeup creasing under the eyes as it’s so hydrating
- Better at reducing dark circles and fine lines than it is at reducing puffiness, but I tend to keep my eye cream in the fridge to get around this. The cold temperature works to constrict the blood vessels and reduce puffiness.
UK’s Best Retinol Eye Cream For Dark Circles
Retinol Corexxion Eye Cream by RoC
Retinol is well known in the world of skincare for its powerful anti-aging properties and its importance in increasing the rate of cell turnover. This Retinol Corexxion Eye Cream by RoC is a lightweight cream that absorbs quickly and fights the early signs of aging.
It works to even your skin tone from deep within, rather than just on a superficial level so your under eyes will just look better over time when using this cream.
This is also a great eye cream if you’re allergic or don’t get on with shea butter, a common ingredient in eye creams, as it doesn’t contain any!
As this contains Retinol, I’d suggest only using this eye cream at night as UV light (from the Sun) can impact the effectiveness of Retinol and make your skin more sensitive to sunburn (source: Journal of Skin Pharmacology).
If you want to use an eye cream in the morning too, I’d advise to use a hydrating one in the morning as Retinol can dehydrate the skin and make it more prone to dryness, especially when you first begin using it.
I’d also say to start off using this eye cream twice a week initially as your skin builds up a tolerance to Retinol and gradually implement it into your routine more and more over a few weeks.
Don’t let the above put you off, Retinol is an amazing and effective ingredient that really does improve the appearance of your undereyes.
One reviewer who has been using this eye cream for a while and is over 50 commented that people never believe them when they tell them their age! Who doesn’t want that?
- Contains retinol, an ingredient renowned by Dermatologists for its anti-aging properties
- Improves under eyes from a cellular level rather than just on the surface
- Doesn’t contain Shea Butter
- Works over time
- Soothing and easy to apply
- Pack of 3 eye creams
- As Retinol is an active ingredient, it takes a while to work so results won’t be instant. However, it gives long-term effects rather than a quick fix!
- Can only use in the PM due to its reaction to UV rays – can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Best Boots Eye Cream For Dark Circles
No.7 Youthful Eye Serum
Boots are one of my favourite places to shop online, as their selection is always bigger than their shops (though I do like to pop in from time to time, too).
This youthful eye serum by No7 contains a blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and ‘soft-focus spheres’ that smooth and brighten the under-eye area.
Vitamin C is a great ingredient to have in an eye cream as it increases the production of Collagen, which in turn reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
Along with all of this, there’s a mix of anti-aging Peptides, Cassava and Vitamin A – which all improve the skin appearance of your skin tone and decrease the appearance of dark circles.
Vitamin A is actually converted into Retinoid within the body, so this has all the effects of a Retinol eye cream without the increased sensitivity!
Despite it being jam-packed full of effective ingredients, the cream is still lightweight and easily absorbed so it sits well under makeup and prevents concealer from creasing too.
Reviewers have commented on how effective this eye cream is at brightening under eyes at tightening bags under the eyes as well as brightening and decreasing fine lines.
- Jam packed full of effective ingredients
- Lightweight and hydrating
- Sits well under makeup
- Tightens eye bags as well as brightening and decreasing fine lines
- Has the same effects as a Retinol eye cream
- Can be used both morning and night
- Little goes a long way
- Can irritate super sensitive skin
What Causes Dark Circles Under The Eyes?
There can be many reasons contributing to your dark circles, one of the most common ones being fatigue (source: Healthline).
Sleep deprivation is known to cause your skin to become dull and pale, which allows the blood vessels underneath to show through and appear as dark circles.
It can also cause a fluid build up under your eyes that leads to that puffiness. Other reasons include:
- Eye strain – staring at a television or computer screen for too long can cause you to strain your eyes and enlarge the blood vessels around them, leading to dark circles.
- Dehydration – not drinking enough water can leave your skin looking dull and sunken.
- Anemia – with anemia, not enough oxygen can reach the blood vessels and tissues, leading to dark circles under the eyes.
- UV Damage – too much sun can cause an overproduction of melanin which alters the skin tone. Read my recommended sunscreens for the eyes and face.
- Age – natural aging causes the skin to become thinner, making the blood vessels underneath more prominent.
- Genetics – genetics often plays a big part in the appearance of your skin! If you have a family history of dark circles, it’s likely that you’ll get them too.
Although you can’t control every single one of these factors, you can do things that help.
Using an eye cream will likely reduce dark circles, but may not get rid of them completely – especially if it’s down to genetics!
Can Surgery Remove Dark Circles?
If you’re extremely conscious of your dark circles, there is a surgical option that will lessen the appearance of them.
This surgery is known as Blepharoplasty where a surgeon will remove any excess skin and reposition excess fat that removes any fine lines and bags, as well as ensuring light hits the face in a different way – removing dark circles.
Of course what you do with your body is up to you and how you feel, but given time a lot of the eye creams mentioned above will improve the appearance of your undereyes given time.
I hope that this article has given you all the information you were looking for and that you find an effective eye cream that works for you.
Remember, be patient and be consistent with your skincare routine – results will come!