EYE masks can be a quick and easy way to reduce dark circles and puffiness around your eyes
Read on to find out how to make the most of your eye masks as well as our verdict on some of the most popular brands around.
What is an eye mask?
There are a couple of different types of eye masks but for most people, an eye mask is a beauty patch that you stick under your eye.
It can be made from paper, fabric or gel and is usually infused with serums that help reduce dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and/or eye bags.
Some are designed to be used daily while others are meant to be used weekly so make sure you read the instructions before use.
You can also get eye masks that don’t contain any product – you just chill or heat them up and apply them to your eyes.
With so many different products on the market, we’ve tested a selection from some of the most popular brands around. Here’s our verdict.
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Bioeffect EGF eye mask treatment
Credit: Cult Beauty
- Bioeffect EGF eye mask treatment, £80 from Cult Beauty – buy here
The Bioeffect EGF eye mask is a two-step treatment that’s designed to smooth out wrinkles, hydrate the skin and reduce signs of fatigue.
Each box comes with a pump containing 3ml of the brand’s EGF eye concentrate. This is a serum containing epidermal growth factor (derived from barley in this case), which is supposed to reduce the signs of ageing.
There are also eight pairs of individually wrapped hydrogel eye patches that are coated with hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin.
The idea is you apply a pump of the serum to the skin under your eye first and then place the eye mask on top for maximum effect.
We liked the ritual of the two-step process as it really made us feel pampered.
However, the eye masks were a bit fiddly to put on as the patches were separated using plastic dividers that were soaked in the hyaluronic acid.
Once it was on though, we could feel the gently cooling effect on our skin straight away.
While we wouldn’t say our fine lines disappeared immediately, we did see a visible improvement in terms of hydration.
It’s a pretty expensive product though, so unless you have deep pockets, we would only recommend it for a special event.
Ciate London energy boost eye patches
Credit: Ciate London
- Ciate London energy boost eye patches, £11 from Ciate London – buy here
This energising hydro-gel patch from Ciate London is designed to hydrate the delicate area around the eyes and reduce any puffiness.
Each box contains six pairs of individually wrapped patches that you simply stick onto your skin.
The patches are infused with cacao extracts and copper peptides, which are both supposed to protect the skin from the effects of ageing by soothing any redness and encouraging the production of collagen.
Unlike other types of eye masks, these ones are “dry-infused”. This means that there is no visible moisture or excess serum – just a gel side that sticks to your skin, slowly releasing the active ingredients.
The top layer features the Smiley World logo so there’s no confusion around which side to apply the product.
We think this is a fun product to use and unlike some of the other eye patches we’ve tried, these ones won’t shift until we’re ready to remove them.
In terms of results, we did see some reduction in puffiness but we would love to see a bit more hydration as well to improve the appearance of our skin.
No7 Radiance+ illuminating hydrogel eye masks
Credit: No 7
- No7 Radiance+ illuminating eye masks, £12.95 from No7 Beauty – buy here
These No7 eye masks are some of the most widely available eye masks we tried and they offer pretty decent value for money too.
Each box contains five pairs of individually wrapped gel eye patches that you just stick onto the area under the eye.
The hydrogel patches are infused with vitamin C and are supposed to instantly brighten the eyes, reduce dark circles and help you look fresher.
When we tried these patches, we found them a little bit fiddly to put on as they weren’t the easiest to remove from the packet.
However, we really liked that they were more padded compared to some of the other ones we tried.
By sticking it in the fridge before use, these patches had a much more refreshing effect when compared to similar eye masks.
We didn’t notice any immediate reduction to our dark circles although the difference was definitely more noticeable a day or two later.
Because of this, we think it’s a great regular-use option for those who often get dark circles.
Kat Burki KB5 eye recovery masks
Credit: Kat Burki
- Kat Burki KB5 eye recovery masks, £90 from Feel Unique – buy here
Kat Burki is known for its premium nutrient-packed beauty products so it’s no surprise that its KB5 eye recovery masks are the most expensive option we tested.
You get eight applications in each box, which means per use it’s already the same price (or more) as half a dozen of the other masks we tried.
The tissue mask – it’s a paper rather than gel one – is designed to go around the eyes but can be used anywhere that you feel needs a bit of love.
The serum is the brand’s KB5 complex, which contains ingredients like arnica, gotu kola, lavender, calendula, and chamomile – all known to soothe and calm the skin.
It also contains plant stem cells, silk amino acids and cold-processed avocado oil, which should all help nourish the skin and help you look rested.
Although it sounds incredible on paper, we’re not completely won over.
The tissue mask fitted very snugly against the eye area, which we loved.
But unlike the other eye masks we tried, this one had a burning sensation best described as spicy when we had it on.
It was a bit concerning but the sensation faded as the tissue dried, and we didn’t actually experience any allergic reaction.
We thought it might be our sensitive skin but another tester also had the same experience.
In terms of results, we did see a little bit of skin tightening after use but it didn’t get rid of our fine lines – nor did we see any noticeable improvements after subsequent use.
For the price point, we had hoped for more.
Bloom & Halo Eye Need Dew eye patches
Credit: Bloom & Halo
- Bloom & Halo Eye Need Dew eye patches, £18 from Bloom & Halo – buy here
The Bloom & Halo Eye Need Dew eye patches are all about hydration.
It contains the hero ingredients of hyaluronic acid, collagen, peptides and retinol to increase hydration, reduce puffiness, and combat those fine lines.
You get 30 pairs in a jar, making it budget-friendly enough to use daily.
Because of the way they’re arranged in the jar, the eye masks have a more rounded shape compared to the ones in individual packets.
It meant that they didn’t fit around our eyes as well – there were areas under the eyes that just didn’t get any coverage at all.
Another issue we found was that because there was so much serum in the jar, the eye patches were extremely slippery and kept sliding off our face.
It’s not so much of a problem if you’re lying down and taking a moment to relax, but not so helpful if you usually do other things at the same time.
But we got pretty decent results from it.
The treated area was visibly smoother compared to the untreated area, helping us to look more fresh faced.
Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork gel eye masks
- Arbonne RE9 Advanced Prepwork gel eye masks, £52 from Amazon – buy here
Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced Prepwork gel eye masks are designed to soothe the undereye area and intensely hydrate it at the same time so you look like you’ve had your full eight hours of sleep.
You get 30 pairs of eye masks in a jar, alongside a spatula to help you lift them out hygienically.
There are a few hero ingredients, including Kakadu plum, which helps with a vitamin C and moisture boost.
There are also antioxidants extracted from strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, acai, cranberries and blueberries, as well as caffeine, to reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles.
And finally vitamin B3 to hydrate the skin and promote an even skin tone.
Like the Bloom & Halo eye masks, these didn’t fit as well around the eyes because of their shape but they were much easier to apply thanks to the spatula.
The patches also stuck to the skin much better, which meant they were easy to wear when doing other things.
In terms of results, we saw a visible difference in terms of depuffing the area around our eyes but for our dark circles, we may still need those eight hours of sleep.
Thera-Pearl eye mask
Credit: via Feel Good Contacts
- Thera-Pearl eye mask, £7 from Feel Good Contacts – buy here
The Thera-Pearl eye mask is slightly different – it’s designed to be used without products.
The eye mask contains little gel pearls that move around to help mould the mask around your face.
You can freeze or microwave the eye mask depending on what effect you’d like. Do make sure you check the temperature before you plop it over your eyes though.
We found that when it’s cool, it’s great for depuffing the eyes. And once heated, it can help soothe tired eyes.
Obviously as it doesn’t contain any products, the effects are only temporary and won’t improve your skin condition.
That said, because you can reuse it – and because it’s pretty affordable – it makes great value for money.
The only downside for us was that it fitted pretty snugly so it might not be the best option if you have a bigger head.
How to put on an eye mask
Eye masks are pretty straightforward to put on but it’s always worth reading the instructions first if it’s an unusual product.
Generally though they come in a tear-drop shape.
You place the wider end towards the outer corner of your eyes and the thinner end should be near your nose.
The curve of the eye patch should then follow the natural curve of your eyes.
However, for some products you might need to reposition it slightly to maximise the coverage around your eyes.
Make sure it’s not too close though, in case the product gets into your eyes.
How long should you keep an eye mask on?
The length of time you should keep an eye mask on varies from product to product so do check the instructions for yours.
For most of them, you leave it on for about 10 to 20 minutes and then remove and massage in any leftover serum.
If there’s ever any discomfort with an eye mask you should remove it immediately.
For best results, most brands recommend chilling your eye mask in the fridge first.
If you’re looking for sleep masks – the ones you use to cover your eyes to block out the light – we’ve created found the best eye masks for sleeping.
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