Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 22 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 182 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best eye gels for dark circles

    Last Updated January 2019

    There are many reasons we wake up with dark circles under our eyes — not just a lack of sleep. Genetics play a role, and so may diet. The bluish circles you see under your eyes are actually visible because the skin under your eyes is super thin, and the blood vessels there are more visible (blood looks blue through your skin).

    Unpleasant as this may sound, there are ways to combat dark circles with eye gels designed to constrict blood vessels, brighten the area, or plump up that thin under-eye skin.

    While most eye gels won’t eradicate your dark circles permanently, there are many that reduce them significantly with cutting-edge technology. Which ones actually work? What works best for aging skin? We cover all you need to know about eye gels for dark circles in this shopping guide.

    Eye gels are well-suited for your morning beauty routine to refresh tired eyes. They absorb quickly into the skin, and their light texture makes them highly compatible with makeup.

    What causes dark circles in the first place?

    “You look tired.” When you hear that unflattering comment, it’s often because you have dark circles under your eyes. While you may actually be running low on sleep or feeling stressed at work, dark circles could also be caused by the following common reasons.

    • Aging: As part of the aging process, collagen production declines and skin loses its elasticity, resulting in thinner skin under the eyes.

    • Allergies: Allergies not only cause your eyes to water and itch, but they may also bring about puffiness and circles — especially if you’re constantly rubbing your eyes.

    • Anemia: Caused by an iron deficiency, anemia may manifest dark circles under your eyes. Other nutrient deficiencies may also cause this effect.

    • Eye bags: Puffiness under your eyes can make that area appear darker due to the way light and shadow reflect. They also push blood vessels closer to the surface, which appear bluish through the skin.

    • Cortisol production: Cortisol caused by stress or little sleep may keep us going, but it also causes our blood vessels to enlarge, making them more visible under the eyes (and also causing puffiness).

    • Genetic predisposition: Some people are genetically prone to having dark circles under their eyes.

    • Hyperpigmentation: This is caused by an overproduction of melanin, which can occur under the eyes and result in a darker skin shade there.
       

    Serious medical problems can also cause dark circles under your eyes, so it’s always best to check with your doctor if you suspect something more serious is going on.

    CAUTION

    Eye gels are water-based and are safe to use on the eyelids. However, you should avoid getting the product in your eyes.

    Benefits of an eye gel

    Eye gels vs. other under-eye treatments.

    You may have noticed an arsenal of creams, gels, serums, and masks on the market to combat dark circles under the eyes. Gels, which are made from non-oily ingredients suspended in water, are lighter in weight than creams and serums. While they may not be as moisturizing as oil-containing products, they are ideal for day wear, and they stay put if you sweat throughout the day. They also settle into the skin better, without a greasy or slippery residue, making them better as a primer for makeup. If you already have oily skin, these gels are better suited for your skin than creams or serums.

    Eye gels have a cooling effect on the eye area. Creams tends to be dense, adding volume to the under-eye area. This is great for fine lines and wrinkles but doesn’t work as well on puffiness, which we know enhances the dark circle effect. A cooling gel soothes puffiness, whereas a cream may only work to weigh down the skin with extra moisture. Rest assured, however, that most eye gels provide ample hydration.

    Physician formulated

    If you’re looking for clinical results, this eye gel tightens and lifts skin without invasive procedures. It provides great anti-aging benefits in addition to reducing dark circles under the eyes.

    Features

    Eye gels designated for dark circles often come with extra beautifying perks, like reducing wrinkles and puffiness. Here’s a breakdown of some of the common ingredients you’ll see listed on your eye gel bottle.

    Amino acids

    While your skin naturally contains amino acids, adding a boost of them helps maintain hydration and smooth, youthful-looking skin. For best results, look for a product also containing peptides, which work in tandem with amino acids.

    Caffeine

    Mmm, we love to perk ourselves up with coffee in the morning, but how about a caffeine pick-me-up for your eye area? Caffeine applied to under-eye skin works to constrict blood vessels, making those bluish veins less visible.

    Hyaluronic acid

    A common ingredient found in under-eye treatments, this natural acid locks in hydration and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the skin.

    Lutein

    Many eye gels contain antioxidants, which work to combat environmental damage and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Lutein is an antioxidant that works well on discoloration such as dark circles.

    Peptides

    A very common anti-aging ingredient found in under-eye gels are peptides, or a peptide complex. These tiny proteins boost collagen, which can help improve elasticity and firm up thin skin.

    Plant-derived stem cells

    Although the jury is still out on the claims of skincare products using plant stem cells, they potentially help defend and repair damage from environmental aggressors. They may work similarly to antioxidants to keep skin looking younger.

    Vitamin C

    This is a popular antioxidant used to brighten the eye area and even skin tone.

    Vitamin E

    This is also an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that damage and prematurely age the skin.

    EXPERT TIP

    Store your eye gel in the refrigerator to help enhance its cooling effect.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Unlike rich eye creams, eye gels will not cause your concealer to crease into fine lines.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Eye gel prices

    Cosmetic products for the eye area can be notoriously expensive. You may see price tags upwards of $100, or even $200, for a tiny pot.

    Luckily, eye gels tend to be some of the more reasonably priced eye treatments. We’ve found feature-laden eye gels for dark circles as low as $15 for a 0.5 to 1.7 ounce bottle.

    A mid-priced eye gel from a name brand may cost between $25 and $35. The very best eye gels are priced around $50.

    Rapid results

    With just a week of use, this product can help you start to see your dark circles and discoloration fade away. Makeup glides smoothly over the gel, so don’t be afraid to apply it liberally in the morning.

    Tips

    • Apply your eye gel before moisturizer and/or makeup.

    • Allow eye gel to settle into the skin before applying under-eye or eye makeup. If it feels tacky to the touch, it hasn’t yet dried.

    • A small amount goes a long way with eye gel. Use a pea-sized amount, and dab it around your ocular area. Then, use a gentle patting motion to press the gel into your skin; never rub it in.

    • Beauty experts recommend using your ring finger to apply eye gel because it exerts the least amount of pressure on your delicate, under-eye area.

    Others products we considered

    There are excellent, and affordable, clean beauty products on the market that put a lot of care into finding non-toxic ingredients that work. For an entry-level price, InstaNatural Youth Express Eye Gel will tackle all your anti-aging concerns and dark circles with botanical ingredients free from a long list of harmful chemicals. This little-known brand has developed a popular following for their inexpensive yet effective natural products.

    Another responsibly formulated eye gel at a low price point is Amara Organics Total Repair Eye Gel. With an organic ingredient list packed with features like plant stem cells and peptides, this eye gel is free from parabens, dyes, and fragrances and is safe for sensitive skin. It quickly absorbs into the skin to diminish dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.

    Use your eye gel twice daily, in the morning and before bed, for the best results.

    FAQ

    Q. What’s the difference between an eye gel and an eye cream?

    A. Whereas many eye gels and creams share the same functions, like anti-aging and reducing dark circles and puffiness, the big difference between them is texture. Eye gels have the consistency of hair gel. When applied to the skin, the gel feels light, smooth, and cool. Eye creams are more emollient. They have a creamy, moisturizing, and thicker feel. Because of this, some people prefer to only use eye creams at night.

    Q. What are the benefits of eye gels with rollers?

    A. Some under-eye treatments come in a tube with a rollerball applicator. Blood pooling in the under-eye area can cause the appearance of dark circles. As you gently roll over the under-eye area, the rollerball gently stimulates microcirculation. The cooling metal of the rollerball applicator also helps de-puff the area.

    Q. How long does it take for dark circles to diminish when using an eye gel?

    A. Generally speaking, you should perform twice-daily applications for a month before expecting results. If you don’t see results by then, this probably isn’t the product for you, or your dark circles need to be addressed from another angle.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Ana
      Ana
      Writer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jacob
      Jacob
      Editorial Manager
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

    BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
    and give us feedback about your visit today.

    Take Survey