On trial: the best eye creams

On trial: the best eye creams


Words Matthieu Morge-Zucconi

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4 creams, 2 new eyes.

Whether via our chat or by email, we often get the question: many of you are looking for an eye cream to help get rid of dark circles and under-eye bags. As I suffer from dark circles myself, I decided to try the best eye contour creams on the market. Here’s how it went.

Since we first published this article, we released our own under-eye serum. It isn’t featured in this test but was designed specifically to help you awaken your eyes.

About the testing process

I tried each eye contour cream for a full week. I would apply it every night before going to bed.

Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado by Kiehl’s

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is a classic. It comes in a pot, and while this format might put off germaphobes, the cream it contains is pleasant to apply. The thick creamy texture feels very luxurious. On the other hand, getting the right amount out of the pot can be difficult if you have large fingers.

Packaging: 3/10. I didn’t like the pot, mostly for hygiene-related reasons. That being said, the compact format is rather practical.

Application: 7/10. Getting the right amount out is a bit of a challenge, once again the pot format is to blame (sorry!). I would therefore often get too much out at once. However, when you do manage to get the right amount out (1 in 5 times, as far as I’m concerned), it quickly penetrates the area, and is totally invisible.

Effectiveness: 8/10. During the week I was trying it, I got several compliments on my healthy glow. I felt I had fewer dark circles, which is exactly what I was looking for. I wouldn’t call it a miracle cure, but my eye contour was perfectly moisturised.

Price: €29 for 14g.

Final rating: 6/10.

Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel by Ren Skincare

One of the brand’s best sellers, the Active 7 gel features a practical gel texture, which is very easy to use and which penetrates the skin quickly.

Packaging: 10/10. Comes in a pen-sized tube that you can easily slide in your toiletry bag. Furthermore, it features a small pump to easily get the perfect amount of product.

Application: 9/10. Very easy to dose as the pump dispenses the product drop by drop, which is also the perfect amount to apply. The product penetrates the skin quickly and easily thanks to its gel texture. Perfect.

Effectiveness: 9/10. The week during which I was trying this eye gel turned out to be a rough one: I went out for drinks more than once and ended up sleeping less than 6 hours on several occasions. However, it was also the week during which I had close to no dark circles. Magic.

Price: €26 for 15 ml.

Final rating: 9.3/10.

Caffeine solution 5% + EGCG by The Ordinary

Caffeine solution by The Ordinary is a very popular option on the market, which has a lot to do with its extremely affordable price (€6.70 for 30ml). Unfortunately, its price also makes it rather difficult to find, as it’s often out of stock.

Packaging: 6/10. It comes in a bottle with a dropper, like a serum. It’s small, so very easy to pack or put away. A quick browse on the brand’s website also revealed that the glass bottle is UV protected as one of its ingredients (EGCG) is sensitive to light.

Application: 7/10. If you’ve never used a dropper before, be careful! It’s a little tricky and takes a while to get used to. You can either empty the dropper on your fingers and apply the solution around your eyes or apply directly around your eyes with the dropper. If you choose the second option, don’t be surprised to see the product dripping down your cheeks if you’re not paying attention. We recommend using your fingers. In both cases, massage around your eyes to help penetrate. Be warned, this can take a while.

Effectiveness: 7/10. The product effectively prevents dark circles and under-eye bags; however, it tends to dry the skin in the area, which can be uncomfortable.

Price: €6.70 for 30ml.

Final rating: 6.3/10.

Under Eye Complex by Baxter of California

Full disclosure, I didn’t manage a full week with this product. After two days, I noticed a tingling sensation after putting it on, so I decided to stop using it for fear of losing my eyesight (one of my deepest fears). So, I’m only going to rate its packaging and its application. If you’ve already used this eye contour, let me know in the comments, I’d be interested to know what you think!

Packaging: 8/10. It has an easy-to-use (albeit somewhat imprecise) dispenser and a small format that packs 22.5ml of solution, which makes for a rather practical product.

Application: 5/10. As mentioned above the dispenser is somewhat imprecise: press for too long and you’ll end up with far too much product on your hands. It’s also rather long to penetrate as the formula is thick and rich.

Price: €24 for 22.5ml.

Final rating: 6.5/10.

Winner: Ren Skincare. Easy, practical, and super effective. It helped me look human and reduced my dark circles despite a rough, sleepless week. Thanks again!