14 of the best eye creams that tackle dark circles, puffiness and fine lines - tested by Marie Claire beauty editors

Not a step you want to skip

Best eye creams - line up of olay, ole henriksen, roc, murad, embryolisse eye creams
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's the start of a new year and inevitably we're all a little tired after December's festivities. So arm yourself with the best eye cream to brighten dark under-eye circles, take down puffiness. and blur fine lines. 

Yes, it's another step in our skincare routine, but necessary because your face serum and moisturisers aren't formulated for the fragile thin skin that sits just below your lower lash line. 

According to Lee Etheridge, Vice President Global Education & Consumer Experience at bareMinerals, we should be taking every precaution to treat the eye area if we want to delay the visible signs of ageing.

"The skin here is thin. It's made up of less collagen and elastin compared to the rest of the face," she says. "When you consider the average person blinks 23,000 times, it’s not surprising that the eye area is susceptible to wrinkling."

Eye creams are used to target a range of concerns - from dark circles and puffiness to firming and fine lines - however it's important to note that whilst using one is encouraged, each has its limits and shouldn't be considered a miracle worker. Formulation and ingredients are key, but things  like diet, sleep, water intake, genetics, inflammation, pigmentation, stress and age are all contributing factors.

"While ageing plays a large part with the decrease in collagen resulting in loose skin in those areas, and the weakened muscles and tendons causing it to sag," says Consultant Ophthalmic and Oculoplastic Surgeon, Elizabeth Hawkes. "Stress can speed up this process significantly. This coupled with the effects of outside factors such as more exposure to the sun, alcohol, smoking and poor nutrition can speed up the signs of ageing and result in heavy or sagging upper lids and wrinkles around the eyes and on the eyelids."

Best eye creams of 2024 at a glance:

We completely understand that finding an eye cream that works is difficult in a market as saturated as this, which is why we have spent years trialling and testing each and every eye cream that lands on our desks so that we can be sure that we have done our research to create the best eye creams of 2024 list. 

During the testing process we paid close attention to texture, ingredients, price and of course, the results - how did the eye area look and feel after using each one. Find out more about how we test our products

These were our findings...

1. Olay Vitamin B3 24 + Vitamin C Eye Cream

Olay Vitamin B3 24 + Vitamin C eye cream - best eye cream

(Image credit: Olay)

Olay Vitamin B3 24 + Vitamin C Eye Cream

Specifications

Product size: 15ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Lightweight gel texture

Reasons to buy

+
A little goes a long way
+
Cooling gel texture

Reasons to avoid

-
Can easily use too much
-
Won't hydrate really dry skin

We start our roundup with a well-loved, heritage brand: Olay. The brand's products are reliable and won't break the bank. There's quite an impressive concoction in this formula - vitamin B3 (niacinamide) for brightening, vitamin C to help with pigmentation and free-radical damage and peptides to work on those fine lines. Tick, tick, tick. 

Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor says: "What a hero of an eye cream - or should that be eye gel? It's a beautiful lightweight texture so doesn't feel heavy - I love it. Just enough actives to feel like it's doing something, but not too much that you have any irritation. A tiny bit is all you need and once I've applied it, I like to use my jade roller for extra depuffing."

2. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream - best eye cream

(Image credit: Lookfantastic)

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

Specifications

Product size: 14ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Lightweight cream

Reasons to buy

+
Really affordable
+
Lightweight 
+
Slim, targeted nozzle applicator

Reasons to avoid

-
Not an active eye cream 

Ever since CeraVe hit UK shores, it has been a favourite among the beauty elite. Most people are devout followers of the CeraVe cleansers, but this eye cream should be high on your shopping list. The brand is developed by dermatologists at low prices. Now available at Cult Beauty, this eye cream is non-sticky, fast-absorbing and moisture-boosting, while also not aggravating sensitive skin. 

Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor says: "I recommend this eye cream to everyone, because it's a great way to hydrate the area as a starting point in your eyecare routine. It's a great price point and hydrates without adding any extra puffiness. Ideal for using in the morning alongside something a little more active in the evenings. I love the fine nozzle applicator to dot the product around my orbital bone, which ensures I don't use too much."

3. iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex

iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex - best eye cream

(Image credit: Face The Future)

iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex

Specifications

Product size: 15ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Cream

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent results
+
Trusted science-backed brank

Reasons to avoid

-
It's very expensive

Proteins, peptides, antioxidants and key growth factors - iS Clinical doesn’t mess around with unnecessary filler ingredients. Just ones that give a really good result on lines. Yes, it's a bit pricey, but a tiny bit goes a long way so you don’t need to use it a lot to see a difference in your skin texture. 

Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor says: "This is a brilliant eye cream, but it is an expensive eye cream. Do I think it's worth the £105? If you can afford it and you are desperate to tackle fine lines around your eyes, then 100% yes. It has incredible clinical trials that convinced me I needed to give it a go and I'm so glad that I did. I noticed a softening of creases around the corners of my eyes. My main eye concern is dark circles, so I choose to use another eye cream on a daily basis, but I will return to this when I start seeing a few more lines appear."

4. Roc Dual Eye Cream Advanced Retinol & Peptides

Roc Dual Eye Cream Advanced Retinol & Peptides - best eye cream

(Image credit: Roc)

Roc Dual Eye Cream Advanced Retinol & Peptides

Specifications

Product size: 20ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Gel & Cream

Reasons to buy

+
Tackles more than one issue

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit fiddly

This is a rather genius product. The scientists at Roc know that sometimes we have more than one concern when it comes to our eyes, which is why they have created this dual eye cream. The white cream works on your lower eye reducing the appearance of dark circles and taking down puffiness. The peachy coloured gel is to be used on the upper eye to lift and tighten. 

Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor says: "I think this is such a clever product and I have loved using it. I particularly love the gel for the upper eye as that's where I saw the biggest difference." 

5. Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Contour Cream

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Contour Cream - best eye cream

(Image credit: Cult Beauty)

Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Contour Cream

Specifications

Product size: 15ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Rich light-reflecting cream

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful texture 
+
Pearlescent formula that instantly brightens

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive

If your dark circles are the result of lifestyle factors, like lack of sleep or a poor diet (rather than genes, pigmentation or skin structure), then the good news is you can do something about them. Sunday Riley's first eye cream nourishes, thanks to cocoa butter, while caffeine and Brazilian ginseng root smooth the skin and reduce puffiness, making it easier for light to bounce off. Bright eyes, ahoy.

Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor says: "My dark circles are the bane of my beauty existence, and this eye cream is one of the few that I find actually makes a difference. It's rich, making it great for dry skin, and it's also impressively brightening."

6. Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright™ + Eye Crème - best eye cream

(Image credit: Sephora)

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème

Specifications

Product size: 15ml
Fragrance-free:

Reasons to buy

+
Adds luminosity
+
Colour-correcting 

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite a tacky texture on the skin

The magic happens as soon as this Ole Henriksen eye cream, which is yellow by the way, touches your skin. Working on the same premise as 'banana powder', a yellow powder used by make-up artists to eradicate sallowness, dark circles are immediately conquered. 

Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor says: "This is like a skincare-make-up hybrid product - it's all about colour correcting and my deep, deep blue dark circles quiver in their tiny little boots whenever I get this out. The yellow minimises the appearance of the darkness and it's super glowy so brightens instantly."

7. Eucerin Anti-Pigment Dark Circle Illuminating Eye Cream

Eucerin Anti-Pigment Dark Circle Illuminating Eye Cream - best eye cream

(Image credit: Eucerin)

Eucerin Anti-Pigment Dark Circle Illuminating Eye Cream

Specifications

Product size : 15ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Lightweight cream

Reasons to buy

+
Really nice, soothing and cooling applicator

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited use restrictions

Eucerin's Anti-Pigment range is legendary and this is the brand's latest addition. The formula is made from a winning combination of a patented ingredient, Thiamidol, which is proven to reduce hyperpigmentation, illuminating pigments to brighten, hyaluronic acid to plump and a cooling metal applicator to soothe. If you already a fan of the Anti-Pigment range and use it daily, the brand recommends limiting the use of products with Thiamidol to four applications per day. 

Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor says: "I have tenacious dark circles that I have inherited from my family. I also have two small children. So it's safe to say that the bags under my eyes are a pretty permanent fixture on my face. I have been using this eye cream for about three weeks and I am so impressed with how the blue tone under my eyes has softened."

8. Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream

Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream - best eye cream

(Image credit: Cult Beauty)

Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream

Specifications

Product size: 15ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Rich cream

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect for skin over 30
+
Effective all-rounder

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap

Kate Somerville fans rejoiced when this cult product made a much-anticipated jump across the pond. Using two powerhouse ingredients - vitamin A and a blend of peptides - it smoothes fine lines and lifts the entire eye area for a more youthful, wide-awake look. You'll also find antioxidants, vitamin C and E in the formula. 

Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor says: "It's not great to admit, but I very rarely get to the end of beauty products, such is the nature of my job or trialling newness. But I used every last drop of this. My eyes look more hydrated and lines look diffused. As it has vitamin A in, I keep this for the evenings."

9. No7 Future Renew Damage Reversal Eye Serum 

No7 Future Renew Damage Reversal Eye Serum - best eye cream

(Image credit: No7)

No7 Future Renew Damage Reversal Eye Serum

Specifications

Product size: 15ml
Fragrance-free: Yes
Formula: Serum

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite silicone-heavy

No7's Future Renew range has garnered a lot of interest since it launched e