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If you’ve been following our coverage for a while, you know we’re all about building a skincare routine, whether we’re talking about the best dry skin products or best eye creams.
And, speaking of the eyes, we decided to cover one of the hottest, buzziest and most sought-after skincare essentials on the market (and all over TikTok): eye patches.
“Skincare has become a bit of a self-care ritual for many and applying eye patches not only has hydrating and anti-aging benefits for this more delicate area — which tends to show signs of aging earlier than other parts of our faces — but it’s also a way to slow down and take time for ourselves to relax and build some comfort into our day,” Tiffany Libby, a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Brown Dermatology in Rhode Island, told The Post.
To Dr. Libby’s point, skincare has swarmed the social scene. But, why eye patches in particular?
“People understand taking care of your skin really can improve skin health and wellness; eye patches are part of this,” Elizabeth Houshmand, a Texas-based, double board-certified dermatologist, told the New York Post. “They’re all over social media and, with all the [mask-wearing], more attention is being called to the upper face.”
Click to jump to the best under-eye patches, dermatologists recommend:
Ahead, our two dermatologists answered some FAQs on eye patches and listed their tried-and-true product picks to shop from below.
What do under-eye patches do?
“Under-eye patches can help deliver hydrating, brightening and firming actives to your eyelid skin, skin that is 40% thinner than the rest of the skin on the face,” Dr. Libby said.
Plus, since eye patches are occlusives, according to Dr. Houshmand, “they have hydrating active ingredients so the delicate skin can soak up the eye mask ingredients easily.”
What ingredients should I look for in under-eye patches?
Hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, barrier repair ingredients such as ceramides, anti-aging ingredients like retinol, and brightening ingredients such as caffeine and niacinamide are all good to look for in under-eye patches, per Dr. Libby.
Additionally, Dr. Houshmand notes vitamins C and E are beneficial to the skin when integrated into the formula.
What ingredients should I avoid in under-eye patches for sensitive eyes?
Dr. Houshmand advises staying away from acids — like glycolic and salicylic — as the eye tissue is sensitive and delicate. Moreover, Dr. Libby doesn’t recommend under-eye patches with too strong of a retinoid, as this may lead to irritation.
How can I tell if my under-eye patch is actually working?
“The skin should feel hydrated immediately afterward,” Dr. Libby notes. “With any topical ingredients, it will take weeks before you may start to notice visible improvement, so as long as you are enjoying the products and your skin is feeling smooth and hydrated, continue on.”
However, Dr. Houshmand recommends removing under-eye patches after 10 minutes to avoid risking a reaction.
What’s the difference between under-eye patches and eye creams? Can they be used together?
“I think of an eye cream as part of a skincare routine and the eye patch is like a face mask; it is not something you use daily,” Dr. Houshand said. And, differences exceed more than just semantics.
“The physical patch, especially when placed first in a refrigerator, can also help cool and depuff skin,” Dr. Libby adds. “Eye creams also contain higher concentrations of actives but are meant to stay on overnight or throughout the day, and can be applied to upper lid to the upper brow as well, whereas most eye patches are designed specifically for lower lid only.”
Best Under-Eye Patches Overall
1. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra Gel Eye Patches, $52
First introduced to Dr. Libby on a media shoot by a renowned make-up artist who said she applied them to all her clients prior to a shoot to “de-puff, soothe and hydrate the eye skin” for an instant pick-me-up, Peter Thomas Roth’s Cucumber De-Tox Hydra Gel Eye Patches are exactly what they sound like — a hydrating option.
“These have been a favorite of mine since, and I keep these in the refrigerator, for an added cooling effect,” Dr. Libby adds. “They calm and hydrate skin with hyaluronic acid, glycerin and cucumber extract, while arnica and caffeine help minimize the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.”
2. Colorescience Total Eye Hydrogel Treatment Masks, $74
Colorscience’s Total Eye Hydrogel Treatment masks, according to Dr. Houshmand, are one of her favorites, namely for that cooling and refreshing quality that locks in hydration.
“The ingredients [including glycerin] are infused into cooling, depuffing hydrogel to help minimize the appearance of dark circles and puffiness with a boost of hydration,” Dr. Houshmand adds.
3. Exuviance All-Out Revitalizing Eye Mask, $45
Dr. Libby names Exuviance’s All-Out Revitalizing Eye Mask as one of her favorites, mostly because the pads contain “lactobionic acid, a polyhydroxyacid that helps hydrate, exfoliate, brighten, and minimize the appearance of fine lines around the eyes.”
What’s more, they also contain vitamins A, C and E (not to mention cucumber extract) which just sounds like the immersive, at-home spa experience we’re all craving.
Best Under-Eye Patches for Dark Circles
1. Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gels, $65
Dr. Libby also enjoys Peter Thomas Roth’s Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gels, in large part for its unique ingredient blend.
“These are formulated with caffeine and vitamin C to de-puff, minimize dark circles, and brighten eyes,” she notes.
2. Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Rose Gold Eye Masks, $26
Let’s talk about outstanding hydration. It’s one of the spotlight pros Dr. Houshmand finds in Wander Beauty’s Baggage Claim Rose Gold Eye Masks, but the ingredients are also beneficial for the under-eye area.
Specifically, these patches contain amino acids, aloe leaf extract and lavender oil which are game-changers for soothing and setting the mood for that self-care relaxation at home.
3. Laneige Eye Sleeping Mask, $34
Not a traditional under-eye patch per se, but Dr. Libby enjoys this leave-on, cooling overnight mask for “depuffing the eyes and keeping the skin hydrated all night for smoother and more refreshed skin around the eyes.”
Also, Laneige’s formula is a Sephora community favorite and is especially geared toward helping reduce the look of dark circles.
Best Under-Eye Patches for Puffiness
1. Klorane Smoothing and Soothing Eye Patches with Cornflower, $26
“These are hypoallergenic and both ophthalmologist- and dermatologist-tested to help smooth and relax the under-eye area,” Dr. Houshmand said. Plus, she also recommends these de-puffing patches for sensitive skin.
Best Under-Eye Patches for Dry Skin
1. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Eye Treatment Mask, $42
According to Dr. Houshmand, these simply designed under-eye patches are “great for dry skin and are made to provide smoother skin in 10 minutes. And, if you’re a fan of Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum, these patches are formulated with the same advantageous ingredients, including hyaluronic acid.
Best Hydrating Under-Eye Patches
1. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, $55
After trying Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench line, we can attest it’s like taking a deep swim in the ocean (ahem, incredible hydration). Not much to our surprise, Dr. Houshmand enjoys these under-eye patches as they’re richly packed with hyaluronic acid to deliver that unbeatable refreshment to your skin.
Best Under-Eye Patches for Sensitive Skin
1. Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask, $17.50
As the poster patch we’re seeing on TikTok and Instagram, Shiseido’s Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask isn’t only a mouthful (just say it aloud) but it’s one of Dr. Houshmand’s favorites — for acne-prone skin, too.
These patches are a “unique micro-infusion technology with pure retinol, hyaluronic acid and plant and fruit extracts that support cell turnover and help with fine lines,” Dr. Houshmand said.
2. Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels, $50
With amino acids, antioxidants, caffeine, hyaluronic acid and titanium dioxide, Patchology’s FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels is like taking a bath in healthful, skin-boosting ingredients. Dr. Houshmand likes these as staples to use again and again, too, many thanks to their gentleness.
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