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Top 8 Skin Products for Under-Eye Dark Circles

By November 14, 2020August 4th, 2022Eyes

Online shopping for Skincare products can be a daunting process as many customer reviews are highly unreliable as the online shopping industry as a whole has become plagued with fake reviews. However, there are some skincare products that have stood the test of time, and this is chiefly attributed to their potent scientifically-backed ingredients with undeniable beneficial effects. In this review, we rate the top 5 creams for under eye dark circles, focusing not on the customer reviews or the product claims, but rather on the ingredients and their scientifically proven effects on the skin

Read our in-depth article on what undereye dark circles are; their causes, prevention and surgical treatment here. Image appropriated from Freitag, F. M., & Cestari, T. F. (2007). (31)

1. Pure Biology Total Eye Cream

$32 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • Promotes the quick recovery of the damaged skin cells
  • May firm and tighten the skin
  • May eliminate fine lines, dark circles, age spots, and wrinkles


  • Cannot know the quantity of each ingredient

Pure Biology is an eye cream that targets dark circles, wrinkles, and puffiness under the eyes. It is one of the top-selling eye creams on Amazon with multiple positive reviews. Many users have sworn loyalty to this product and rave about its effects. This animal cruelty-free product contains ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C & E, and Baobab oil.

The most potent ingredient of this eye cream is Vitamin C, which is known for its various benefits as a skincare product. In a study conducted by Jaros and colleagues. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid was found to be moderately effective in the treatment of photo-aged skin (1). Furthermore, it is an essential cofactor of collagen synthesis which can, in turn, result in an overall reduction in the appearance of wrinkles (1). Topical Vitamin C application has long been associated with increased collagen synthesis, which improves overall skin quality. (2). Collagen synthesis can also be stimulated by another active ingredient present in this product, hyaluronic acid (HA) (3). HA or hyaluronic acid is a widely used component of skincare products as it both hydrates and rejuvenates the skin (3). A study has found that topical application of 0.1% HA significantly improved long-term skin elasticity (4).

Another active ingredient of this product is Vitamin E. Vitamin C in conjunction with Vitamin E has a synergistic effect in inhibiting UV-associated damage to the skin (2).

Baobab oil, the natural ingredient found in this cream is well known for its anti-inflammatory actions on irritated skin. This oil is high in linoleic acid which is strongly associated with skin barrier repair potential along with its antioxidants, anti-itch, and anti-microbial properties (5).

2. Drunk Elephant C-Tango™ Multivitamin Eye Cream

$64 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • Effective for dark circles and puffiness
  • Fragrance-free
  • Works for sensitive under-eye areas


  • Contains fragrance
  • Some users complain about the packaging

Drunk Elephant multivitamin eye cream is a bright and restorative eye cream that includes five different types of vitamin C, cucumber extract, and eight peptides. Drunk Elephant eye cream is a clean product that focuses on ingredients that benefit the health of the skin and support the integrity of their formulations. The vitamin C complex works to provide a rich, shiny, and firm look to the skin. This complex in coordination with the other vitamins and superoxide dismutase protects the skin from UV radiation and other radicals.

A review article by Robbins and Zhao demonstrated that superoxide dismutase was more likely to protect against skin cancer and maybe a novel approach to chemoprevention (6). The cucumber extract is an antioxidant plant. A study by Akhtar and colleagues underlined the importance and benefits of cucumber extract in 21 human volunteers over a period of 4 weeks (7). The final major ingredient includes the eight-peptide blend that helps improve the appearance of wrinkles and under-eye dark circles.

3. Shiseido White Lucent

$45 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • An excellent primer for eye makeup
  • Works for most users


  • You may transmit bacteria into the jar
  • Ingredients cannot remain stable in a jar once exposed to air

Shiseido is a Japanese moisturizing eye cream that treats dark circles under the eyes. The product provides relief from six different types of dark circles. This product has many positive reviews online and most of the users recommend this cream to others.

The Anti-Dark Circles Eye Cream is made KOMBU-Bounce Complex which is composed of brown, green, and red algae, Mukurossi, Chlorella, Gambir, and Turmeric Extracts, and Beeswax (Cera alba).

Brown algae, or genus Ecklonia, is widely known for its anti-photoaging properties. A study performed on phlorotannins isolated from Ecklonia cava, a type of brown alga, found that they protect and repair the skin from damage brought upon by UV B radiation exposure (8). Algal use in skincare is strongly recommended due to its protective effect against UV radiation which can damage collagen in the skin via the production of reactive oxygen species or ROS (9).

The unique ingredient, Beeswax is one of the base ingredients of this eye cream. Cera Alba has many therapeutic and cosmetic applications and is used widely in cosmetic creams for its adhesive properties (10). It lubricates and softens the skin while reducing water loss from the skin. In fact, Cera alba is rich in beta-carotene which is a source of Vitamin A. Use of Vitamin A in skincare products is recommended as it regenerates skin and delays collagen degradation (11).

4. Olehenrisksen Banana Bright Eye Creme

$48 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • Brightens eye area, especially dark spots
  • Great base for undereye concealer
  • Nourishes and extremely hydrates the skin


  • Contains pore-clogging ingredients
  • Always sold out in stores

Ole Henriksen is a Vitamin C & Collagen boosted brightening eye cream that targets the dark circles under the eye. With a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars, it is a well-loved product on the market right now. Apart from the main ingredients of Vitamin C and Collagen, both of which have anti-aging effects on the skin (12), it also contains jojoba seed oil, Shea butter, and linolenic acid.

Shea butter is an important ingredient in skincare products because it is rich in fats and vitamins which help soften the skin. In fact, it is said to have strong anti-inflammatory properties along with UV protection and moisturizing properties(13).

Linolenic acid, another important component of this cream, is considered a healing fat of the skin. It has many positive effects on the skin including inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids, promotion of wound healing, and promotion of apoptosis of malignant cells (14). They reduce skin inflammation and are used as an adjunct therapy for psoriasis, acne, and melanoma.

Jojoba oil is widely used in therapeutic and cosmetic skincare due to its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. It is used in medical ointments as it helps the skin absorb drugs more efficiently.

5. Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment

$34 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • Perfect under makeup
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Deeply hydrates and nourishes skin layers


  • Does not work for sensitive skin
  • May cause reactions and breakouts
  • Contains high-grade parabens and sulfates

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado oil focuses on rehydration, polishing, and brightening of the under-eye areas. It is a moisturizing eye cream that also doubles as an eye makeup primer. The main ingredients of this cream include the famous avocado oil, shea butter, and beta carotenes. Avocado oil is known for its anti-wrinkle properties and is used in cosmetic creams for the purpose of facial rejuvenation (15).

Avocado oil is rich in proteins, minerals, and Vitamins A, D, and E. Due to its high enriched contents, it is often used to repair dry and chapped skin(16). It also has anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful in the wound healing process, especially to increase the density of collagen and the tensile strength of the skin(17). These various properties make it a vital component of skincare products. It is used in this eye cream to soften and moisturize the under-eye area.

Shea butter also has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties(18). It is used in this product to prevent dehydration of the skin and to improve the quality of the skin.

Beta carotene is a plant product that converts to Vitamin A in our body (19). The topical application of beta carotenes is associated with the protection of skin from infra-red (IR) radiation (20). Vitamin A or retinoic acid has anti-aging properties associated with decreased facial wrinkles only with 12 weeks of topical application (21).

Overall, the product has antioxidant, anti-aging, and moisturizing features, all of which are visible after just one use.

6. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

$11 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula
  • Reduces the appearance of dark circles and eye puffiness


  • May cause pimples
  • Might not work for all people

The Cera Ve Eye Repair Cream is an affordable, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free eye cream suitable for all skin types. This product reduces under-eye puffiness and dark circles, by nourishing the skin and repairing the skin barrier using a MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE) Technology that ensures 24-hour hydration.

This product by Cera Ve, the number 1 Dermatologist recommended skincare brand, is a potent mixture of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, all ingredients that are well known for their skincare benefits. The product was Opthalmology and eczema tested prior to its release to evaluate if it had any side effects pertaining to the eye or existing skin conditions. It was approved by both, with National Eczema Association giving the product its Seal of Acceptance.

The topical application of ceramides, which are normally found in the skin, is associated with the repair of the skin barrier and attenuation of skin sensitivity (22). Furthermore, ceramides play a vital role in the structuring and maintaining of the water permeability barrier function of the skin, hence enhancing deep moisturization and hydration (23).

Niacinamide, another potent ingredient of this product, is widely used in dermatology practices for its antipruritic, antimicrobial, vasoactive, photo-protective, sebostatic, and lightening effects (24).

Overall, the product contains potent ingredients that brighten the under-eye area, and replenish the skin resulting in a radiant glow of the skin.

7. Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream

$25 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • Light and easy to use
  • Moisturises skin
  • May reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles


  • Might leave a white layer on the skin
  • Might not work for all people

The Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream is a fast-absorbing product designed specifically for the reduction of dark under-eye circles, guaranteeing results in just 2 weeks. This product has a distinctive dual-swirl technology that helps with instant absorption of the product and hence, instant hydration and brightening of the under-eye areas.

This ophthalmological tested product is a mixture of dynamic ingredients like niacinamide, Vitamins C, E, and B5, and caffeine, which all work towards improving the appearance of dark under-eye circles.

Caffeine has the ability to penetrate the skin barrier and it is widely used for its antioxidant properties that help reduce the effects of photoaging on the skin (25). Furthermore, caffeine improves blood circulation in the skin, allowing for better nourishment of the skin and hence lightening the dark circles (26).

Vitamin C, another important ingredient, enhances the protective effect on the skin by caffeine while also stimulating collagen synthesis, which tightens and brightens the skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles significantly (27).

8. Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Eye Gel

$34 USD on Amazon

Value For Money


  • Refreshes & renews delicate skin around the eye
  • Contains peptides, hyaluronic acid & licorice
  • Cooling applicator soothes puffiness on contact


  • Maybe hard to use
  • Some users say the results are minimal

Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Eye Gel is a product designed specifically for those with sensitive skin that doesn’t tolerate other eye creams. This product is fragrance and parabens-free, hence being perfect for sensitive skin.

Although it is a bit on the pricier end of the spectrum, it is an extremely useful product for brightening the under-eye area, reducing puffiness and fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging. It is an all-in-one eye gel that will give your face a youthful glow and leave you looking refreshed.

Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Eye Gel is a smooth blend of niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, adenosine, and licorice extract. Licorice extract is extremely beneficial as it is known to affect melanin synthesis and is considered a natural skin lightening/depigmenting agent (28). Furthermore, it reverses the effects of aging on the skin and combats UV damage to the skin, resulting in young-looking and rejuvenated skin (28).

In a comparative study by Kang, Tu, and colleagues, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, they found that the topical application of adenosine has the ability to reduce wrinkles and can enhance the hydration of the skin (29).

Hyaluronic acid, an important ingredient of the eye gel enhances the effects of other ingredients and improves wound healing and tissue repair mechanisms, further rejuvenating the skin (30).


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  2. Burke, Karen E. “Interaction of vitamins C and E as better cosmeceuticals.” Dermatologic therapy vol. 20,5 (2007): 314-21. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8019.2007.00145.x
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Dr Mingma Sony

Mingma Sony MD is a medical practitioner currently working hard to provide health-related services to people in need. With a medical degree completed at a young age, she is also a valued medical writer and editor at QOVES Studio. She writes medical articles with impeccable accuracy owing to her vast medical knowledge and thorough research.