8 best eye creams

We found the revitalising treatments that actually work

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The Independent Online

On the one hand, eye creams seem like another one of those unnecessary steps that have been created by skincare companies to make money – and some of them are. But on the other hand, the skin around your eyes is different to that on the rest of your face – thinner, drier, more prone to lines and inflammation, and put under strain by facial expressions – so it stands to reason it would need a different kind of treatment.

We would all be queuing up to buy eye creams in droves if they actually all delivered on their claims – reducing fine lines, eliminating dry patches and dark circles, reducing puffiness – but the reality is that a lot of them are little more than a glorified moisturiser with a hefty price tag. So we’ve been putting a huge number of them through their paces to gather the rather modest eight here that actually produced noticeable results for our testers.

1. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye: £40 for 15ml, John Lewis


Get all the much-lauded anti-ageing benefits of Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum for your eyes in this rich, gel-like cream. It smoothes crepey-ness and plumps out fine lines, all while leaving the eye area well-moisturised and soft. Don’t be put off by the tiny pot – the results are big.

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2. Eve Lom Eye Cream: £48 for 20ml, Space.NK


What we love most about this cream – aside from the gorgeous frosted glass and gold packaging –  is the texture. It is cool and slightly set and balm-like in the pot, but melts down to a cream when warmed on your skin, meaning that you never apply too much. If puffy and tired-looking eyes are your problem, this works a treat to soothe and refresh.

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3. Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate: £39 for 15ml, John Lewis


Kiehl’s hero product contains a hefty dose of pure vitamin C, which is key to producing collagen (a protein that helps cell growth and gives skin its firmness) and protecting against damage from the environment, and haloxyl, a man-made ingredient that reduces colour around the eyes. Our tester said that it was incredibly soft on the skin, gently tightened and cooled the eye area and helped with dry patches around her eyes. 

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4. Elemental Herbology Age Support Eye Elixir: £43 for 15ml, Space.NK


The blurb for this one makes some pretty big claims – tackling puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles in one go – but our tester saw results on two out of three, which is far better than many creams deliver. The most interesting part of the ingredients list is the use of peptides to increase circulation, helping reduce bags and dark circles and it was here that our tester saw definite results.

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5. REN Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift: £30 for 15ml, Marks & Spencer


This is not a long-term, skin-treating solution, but it’s perfect for a quick-fix pep-up. It feels refreshing when first applied and then tightens skin a little as it dries, temporarily minimising lines and reducing bags. It also has a slightly pearlescent finish, making it a great, luminous base for concealer. The perfect pre- (or post-) party fix.

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6. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue Cream: £40 for 15ml, John Lewis


If I – and my eyes – are exhausted and in need of some TLC, only Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Rescue will do. Water-retaining saccharide isomerate means it is seriously moisturising, red algae soothes and protects, while retinol increases skin cell turnover. A very nourishing night’s sleep in a pot.

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7. Emma Hardie Amazing Face Age Support Eye Cream: £39 for 15ml, Cult Beauty


This thick, luxurious cream from famous facials Emma Hardie’s range contains moringa seed extract, which is a good source of skin-essential vitamins and antioxidants, and soothing evening primrose, sunflower seed and avocado oils. It does amazing things for late-night puffiness, dehydration and exacerbated lines.

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8. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm: £12.75, Escentual


Here’s another eye version of a highly popular serum, this time of Vichy’s hydrating serum. Our tester found this cooling and refreshing and that it made the skin under her eyes less dry, minimised lines and gave a smooth base for concealer. Unlike her previous experiences with eye creams, she experienced zero sting.

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For all-round brightening, moisturising and soothing results, Charlotte Tilbury and Estee Lauder’s offerings are both reliably good. If dryness and tiredness is your problem and nourishment is needed, opt for the former. If you’re after a formula that will help with those fine lines, go for the latter.

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