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12 best under-eye masks and patches that help tackle dark circles, bags and wrinkles

Rescue puffy, dull and dehydrated peepers with these serum-soaked under-eye masks and patches

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Friday 23 June 2023 11:19 BST
<p>Quench and smooth with hero ingredients like hyaluronic acid, caffeine and collagen </p>

Quench and smooth with hero ingredients like hyaluronic acid, caffeine and collagen

Our Top Picks

With many of us leading busy lives and juggling work schedules and social events, the first tell-tale sign of tiredness can often be our undereye area. Whether you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, aren’t getting enough sleep, or are feeling a bit run down, dark circles and puffiness around the peepers may be something you notice.

While there are serums and eye creams to apply for such skin concerns on a long-term basis, adding refreshing eye masks and patches offers a soothing boost with speedy noticeable benefits. These masks and patches come in gel or soft mesh material form and are soaked with serum containing key ingredients to combat bags and wrinkles.

There are different components to look out for depending on your needs though. There’s hyaluronic acid which promotes hydration, while niacinamide, caffeine and vitamin C are brightening and anti-ageing heroes covering peptides and collagen. You might also be looking for retinol to help with fine lines.

They offer an instant hit of moisture to parched peepers, and as such, undereye patches can be a temporary boost on tired mornings, before a big night out or as part of your weekly skincare routine. These masks and patches are usually shaped like a comma to reach the undereye area, and they should stay in place while you get on with other tasks too.

With several options available to shop, we’ve been putting a few eye masks and patches through their paces to help you decide which are worth buying.

How we tested

We spent a few months testing different eye masks and incorporated them all into our weekly skincare routine. We looked at the ingredients included, as well as ease of application and noticeable benefits on dark circles, bags, and wrinkles. Keep reading for our full review of the best eye masks and patches.

We tested with ingredients, ease of application and skincare benefits in mind

The best under-eye masks for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – Peace Out Skincare puffy eyes: £23, Cultbeauty.co.uk
  • Best for dark circles – No7 radiance+ illuminating hydrogel eye masks: £12.95, no7beauty.co.uk
  • Best for wrinkles – Beauty Pro eye therapy under eye mask: £5, Beautypro.com
  • Best for sensitive skin – Pacifica vegan ceramide hydration fill undereye & smile line jelly patches: £8, Cultbeauty.co.uk

Peace Out Skincare puffy eyes

best under eye mask
  • Best: Overall
  • Key ingredients : Hyaluronic acid, caffeine, vitamin C and niacinamide
  • Pairs of masks: Six

Created for tired and puffy eyes, these masks come in separate sachets and there are six pairs provided. Notable ingredients include hydration-promoting hyaluronic acid, de-puffing caffeine and peptides, plus brightening vitamin C and niacinamide. The patches were simple to secure in place without much movement, and we could feel the integral serum soaking into our skin during wear. Plus, there were no drips onto our cheeks or messiness.

After the 15-minute wear time, we noted an appearance of refreshed skin, while our undereye area felt smoothed and softened too. This rejuvenated look made our peepers appear more awakened. Plus, we enjoyed there being a de-puffed base for our concealer and eye make-up, so this application was more even, and the finish looked fresher.

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Dr Zion x Murad retinol youth renewal eye masks

best under eye mask
  • Best: For retinol
  • Key ingredients : Retinol, blue agave extract and passionfruit extract
  • Pairs of masks: Five

There are five pairs of eye masks in this Murad set, and each are separately wrapped for handy transportation. We have been popping them in our bag for trips away and to perk up our eye bags ahead of nights out. It’s easy to apply the patches as you simply separate them and remove the external mesh layer. As well as three retinol components, other ingredients include blue agave and passionfruit extracts. Our tester found the masks refreshing and cooling.

Suitable for use two to three times a week, we left the patches on for 15 minutes as instructed. We were extremely impressed by the even, smoothing skin finish. Our fine lines did look dramatically plumped up after use, while the skin around our eyes appeared noticeably awakened because the look of both our dark circles and under eye puffiness were impressively minimised.

  1. £42 from Murad.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Elemis pro-collagen hydra-gel eye masks

best under eye mask
  • Best: Hydrating mask
  • Key ingredients : Hyaluronic acid, chlorella, padina pavonica

These gel eye masks are part of Elemis’ popular pro-collagen product range, and they’re billed as being hydrating as well as for fine lines and wrinkles. Key ingredients include hydration hero hyaluronic acid, antioxidant chlorella and collagen-promoting padina pavonica. We applied the masks at different times of day, and especially enjoyed putting them on for 20 minutes while having a soak in the bath. The patches easily reached our entire undereye area and felt soothing to wear.

There wasn’t much excess product left which is a bonus if you prefer a mess-free eye mask, and they didn’t slide off while we moved about during wear either. After use, our tired skin looked and felt as if it had gained welcome moisture, and we could see temporary smoothing as a result. This is a six-pack of individually wrapped masks, so you can easily pop a single sachet in your bag for a hydration boost while travelling too.

  1. £58 from Elemis.com
Prices may vary
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Pixi fortifeye toning eye patches

best under eye mask
  • Best: For puffy eyes
  • Key ingredients : Peptides, caffeine and acacia collagen
  • Pairs of masks: 30

This set of 30 eye patch pairs is presented in a tub with a twist-off lid. There’s a tiny spatula to help remove the gel patches. The see-through patches are in a signature green Pixi shade and they also have a fun glittery effect too. After scooping the patches out of the storage pot using the spatula, we placed them under our eyes.

Because of the generous amount of serum that they’re soaked in, the patches do slide about a little on application, but once we had arranged them in place, we noticed a cooling, refreshing effect. As instructed, we left the patches on for ten minutes, letting ingredients include toning peptides, awakening caffeine, and rejuvenating acacia collagen get to work.

Upon removal, we found the excess product useful to pat into skin as a final part of the treatment process. Afterwards, we were impressed to see an improvement to the puffiness around our eyes while the swelling we see in the morning or after a busy week had noticeably reduced. As such, these patches are now our depuffing eye go-to.

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No7 radiance+ illuminating hydrogel eye masks

best under eye mask
  • Best: For dark circles
  • Key ingredients : Vtamin C and hyaluronic acid
  • Pairs of masks: Five

These hydrogel eye masks contain brightening vitamin C and hydration-boosting hyaluronic acid. There are five pairs of masks in the box, and all come in individually wrapped sachets. Upon application we found the patches sit neatly in place and feel especially cooling and calming on skin. Products containing vitamin C can sometimes sting, but we only felt the slightest tingle while wearing these masks which are suitable for all skin types. Dark circles appear for a variety of unpreventable reasons, including genes, someone’s natural complexion and certain health conditions. But, we did see a subtle improvement to the appearance of ours straight after use.

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Beauty Pro eye therapy under eye mask

best under eye mask
  • Best: For wrinkles
  • Key ingredients : Collagen, green tea, vitamins A and E
  • Pairs of masks : Three

This is a bargain buy as the main packet contains three masks in smaller sealed sachets, so the cost of each mask works out at around just over £1.50. We peeled each patch off a clear sheet and added it to the under-eye area. Straight away we were really impressed by how well these masks stayed in place. They felt secure with no slip while making ourselves a coffee and doing tasks around the house.

There’s a gel side which touches the skin and feels comforting, while it has a fabric-covered exterior. Ingredients include collagen, green tea and vitamin A and E, which are included to help improve the look of tired eyes and fine lines and wrinkles. Meanwhile, they have a light, fresh scent which we found pleasing, too. After wearing the patches for 20 minutes, we did indeed see a temporary improvement to the lines around our eyes, and this area looked and felt noticeably smoother.

  1. £5 from Beautypro.com
Prices may vary
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QMS medicosmetics advanced collagen eye lift

best under eye mask
  • Best: For anti-ageing ingredients
  • Key ingredients : Collagen peptides and hyaluronic acid
  • Pairs of masks: Four

There are four pairs of eye sheet masks in this box, and inside the individual packets are the mask material and separate serum in two compartments. Before use we pressed the fluid section down to release its liquid and soak the masks. This method takes a bit more effort, but it means the masks are freshly infused with serum.

We noticed there was plentiful liquid covering the undereye area, and this serum’s anti-ageing ingredients include collagen peptides and hyaluronic acid, while the mask itself is made from collagen fibres too. The smooth masks remained firmly in place throughout wear, and we could feel the intense moisture on our skin. After removal, our fine lines appeared plumped up and smoother. Plus, there was plenty of the solution left to dab into our skin for optimum hydration.

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Florence By Mills swimming under the eyes gel pads

best under eye mask
  • Best: For nighttime
  • Key ingredients : Coconut extract, pine extract, sodium hyaluronate
  • Pairs of masks: 30

What’s unique about these gel eye patches is the sweet whale shape, and its tail faces out after application. The main ingredients include soothing coconut extract, antioxidant pine extract and sodium hyaluronate, which is a form of hyaluronic acid.

We like keeping these masks in the fridge and enjoy their cooling freshness during all seasons. Because of the whale’s size, they reach our cheeks too and we find them comforting on stressed skin or after a busy day. We enjoy applying these masks as a wind-down ritual, to soothe tired and puffy eyes. Plus, the pot of 30 pairs lasts absolutely ages.

  1. £34 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Garnier hyaluronic cryo jelly anti-fatigue jelly eye patches

best under eye mask
  • Best: Single pack of eye patches
  • Key ingredients : Hyaluronic acid and cucumber fruit extract
  • Pairs of masks : One

After ripping open the packet this single pair of eye patches is in, we immediately noticed how much excess jelly-like serum is included. That meant that the masks were suitably soaked and there was enough to spread over skin afterwards too. The vegan-friendly formula includes hyaluronic acid and cucumber fruit extract, and this felt soothing and refreshing on our undereye area.

The patches are made of a soft mesh material, and they didn’t slide about during wear. The sachet is handy if you’re looking for a single pair to use while travelling and we were impressed by how much product was included. After wearing the masks for 15 minutes, we saw a fresh finish to our tired eyes and skin felt softened too.

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Pacifica vegan ceramide hydration fill undereye & smile line jelly patches

best under eye mask
  • Best: For sensitive skin
  • Key ingredients : Calendula, lipids and marshmallow
  • Pairs of masks: Four

These fragrance-free undereye patches are specifically formulated for sensitive skin and the material is biodegradable too. You’ll find four pairs of masks in the resealable sachet, which is slimline for compact storage. The patches are long enough to reach across the entire undereye section, and they can also be used on smile lines around the mouth.

The calming and hydrating ingredients include calendula, lipids and marshmallow and the smooth masks felt particularly gentle on our skin. Our tester has easily irritated skin and didn’t feel any stinging or tingling. In fact, the masks are so comforting that we wore them while winding down before bed as part of a relaxing routine. Because of the hydrating ingredients, our fine lines appeared temporarily smoother after use.

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RéVive instant de-puffing gel eye mask

best under eye mask
  • Best: For eye bags
  • Key ingredients : Peptides, seaweed, fruit extracts and niacinamide
  • Pairs of masks : One

What’s different about this product is it’s in one piece and shaped to fit both eyes, a bit like a superhero mask. That enables the gel mask to cover the undereye contours and skin right around the edges while reaching above the eyebrows too. Because of its extensive coverage, we could feel an immediate coolness and could detect de-puffing benefits during wear.

We used the mask while getting ready in the morning – if we’d had a late night or it was an early start – and found the soothing properties helped us feel energised too. Key ingredients include peptides, seaweed, fruit extracts and niacinamide, and we found the mask reminded us of a speedy spa treatment. After use, our skin looked brightened and with added radiance, while those pesky puffy eye bags appeared reduced too.

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Katherine Daniels instant effect eye mask

best under eye mask
  • Best: For a refreshed effect
  • Key ingredients : Sea kelp, hyaluronic acid, calcium and sodium
  • Pairs of masks : Four

These patches are presented in dual compartment packaging for freshness, so we pressed down the liquid section for it to release serum and soak the mask. This meant the mask was ready to use and well infused with the fragrance-free formula including ingredients such as sea kelp, calcium, sodium, and hyaluronic acid.

We noted there was a lot of fluid and spread the excess over our surrounding skin, as well as dabbing any leftover into our undereye area afterwards. The mask felt extremely cooling and soothing to wear, and because of that our puffy eyes appeared refreshed after removal. Our fine lines looked like they’d had a radiance boost, and the added hydration was a welcome luminous lift too.

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Under-eye mask FAQs

How do under-eye masks work?

Infused with potent serums which are packed with skincare ingredients, the best under-eye masks can deliver skin near-instant results to the delicate under-eye area, from plumping to brightening and wrinkles. Leaving them to to sit allows the skin to soak up all these skincare ingredients such as caffeine, vitamin C, retinol and collagen.

How long should you wear them for?

While leave-on times will ultimately depend on the masks you choose for your skincare routine, it will generally fall somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes – so best to check the instructions before you start your pampering session just to be sure.

How often should you use them?

While there are no hard and fast rules on how often you should use your under-eye masks, you may want to use them once or twice a week when you’re hoping for fairly immediate results as opposed to maintaining skincare benefits on a long-term basis.

Can you put make-up on after?

Unlike most face masks which may usually recommend that you wash the product away after use, you’ll want to leave the serum to sit on your skin as the ingredients work. When it comes to applying make-up after using an under-eye mark in your skincare routine, serums can act as a great base for product, by priming, de-puffing and smoothing.

The verdict: Under-eye masks

Our best overall buy is Peace Out Skincare’ puffy eyes for refreshing, smoothing, and softening the skin around our eyes. Meanwhile, we loved Dr Zion x Murad’s retinol youth renewal eye masks for a brightened and noticeably awakened effect. Finally, we saw a welcome radiance boost with RéVive’s instant de-puffing gel eye mask.

Cool, balance and quench tired eyes with our edit of the best eye creams

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