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. From my teenage sister whose laidback approach to studying often results in all-nighters spent at the library to my friend that has forgotten what sleep is since becoming a mum of three, dark circles are all-inclusive when it comes to who they target.
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 KateKerr 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…
A seriously hyped eye cream, this vitamin C–infused formulations from cult Scandi skincare brand Ole Henriksen is one of the best-selling eye creams in America, so when it landed in Blighty this year, I couldn't wait to try it. Disclaimer: It's very much worth the buzz. Not only does the collagen-boosted vitamin E work to brighten dark under-eyes over time, but it also contains banana powder to colour correct the eye area for an instant fix.
Much like the Ole Henriksen eye cream, this one from Drunk Elephant is another 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 (£78). "It has hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate the under-eye area and keep it bright," she 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.
"I'm absolutely obsessed with BareMinerals Skinlongevity Eye Cream (£24)," 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 ingredients list that sets it apart from other eye creams for dark circles: using yeast and plankton extracts to minimise darkness.
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 provide anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce the proven causes of dark circles.
When Victoria Beckham's facialist Melanie Grant revealed VB's full skincare routine, it was this Cosmedix eye cream (£75) 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.
As a specialist in cosmetic medicine, Dr. Barbara Sturm's product—and the lady herself—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."