The thin, delicate undereye skin becomes noticeably darker as we age, and using an eye cream for dark circles can help prevent and treat shadows. But, if you take a walk through your local Sephora, Ulta, or Nordstrom, you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of products available. (Walmart alone stocks more than 1,000 eye creams and treatments on its digital shelves.)
To help you discover the best eye creams for dark circles on the market, we chatted with dermatologists about their no-fail picks and everything you should know about dark circles before shopping. Whether you’re budget conscious or looking to splurge, these eight dark circle eye creams are either derm-recommended or passed our beauty editor’s vetting process, which includes analyzing active ingredients, average star rating, and product availability.
Best Dark Circle Eye Creams
What to Consider
According to board-certified dermatologists Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., and Dr. Ava Shamban, M.D., there are two possible reasons why you have dark circles:
- There’s a buildup of pigment that causes “true darkness” under the eyes that’s more visible as we age and lose volume around the thin undereye area.
- The undereye area is hollow and casts a shadow, which looks like dark circles.
Figuring out the root cause of your dark circles is simple, and will help you find the best eye cream for your needs. First, face your lighted makeup mirror and gently pinch the skin under the eye to pull it forward, says Zeichner, who is also a director at Mount Sinai Hospital. “If the darkness remains after you pull the skin forward, then it is true pigment. If the darkness goes away, then you likely have hollows and shadows underneath the eyes.”
Ingredients on the Label Matter
Zeichner and Shamban say a few standout ingredients to lighten dark circles include the following:
- Retinol is the gold standard for any anti-aging skincare routine because it promotes fast skin cell turnover and collagen production.
- Vitamin C isn’t just for improving dark spots left behind from picking acne. It has a brightening effect to help perk up dark undereye circles.
- Caffeine is a temporary vasoconstrictor, meaning that to it helps minimize the blood vessels that cause undereye darkness.
Now that you have a better understanding of why you have dark circles and how to shop for eye creams for dark circles, here are the most impressive dermatologist recommendations. We also researched and found other top-rated eye creams for dark circles, aligned with their expert guidance.