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Best Eye Serums in 2024: Top Under Eye Serums For Dark Circles and Bags

The skin surrounding your eyes is notably thinner than in other facial areas. Additionally, specific issues, like puffiness and dark circles, demand specialized care and attention. For this reason, you may find it worthwhile to incorporate serums in your skincare regimen that are specifically designed to nourish the sensitive region around your eyes.

However, picking the best eye serum could be challenging as there are many options in the market. To help you choose, we compiled a list of a few promising products, analyzed their active ingredients, and examined their possible benefits in more detail.

Best eye serum in 2024: a shortlist

  1. Drunk Elephant — best eye serum for dark circles and wrinkles
  2. Instytutum — best eye bag serum featuring new-generation retinoid
  3. SkinCeuticals — best eye serum for dark circles and puffiness
  4. Kiehl's — best vitamin C eye serum
  5. The Ordinary — best eye serum for aging skin

How we ranked and reviewed the best eye serums?

Active ingredientsVitamin C, retinol, caffeine, hyaluronic acid
Possible benefits Targets concerns such as fine lines, puffiness, dark circles, and dehydration
Provider reputationPositive customer experience
  • Active ingredients. We analyzed the main active ingredients in the product to understand their possible effects better. Moreover, we compared the brand’s promises to the current scientific knowledge about eye serums or topical skincare cosmetic treatments in general.
  • Possible benefits. This article will provide a selection of products addressing common under-eye skincare concerns to help you choose the optimal solution. For instance, if your main goal is to reduce puffiness, you may need a different product than someone looking to minimize fine lines.
  • Provider reputation. When it comes to the manufacturer’s reputation, we tried to see the full picture by examining details related to customer satisfaction, including customer reviews.
  • Price. We picked products from various price ranges and included both budget-friendly and higher-end selections.

Best eye serum reviews: under-eye, hydrating serums

There are numerous eye serums on the market. Our list showcases a few products that we consider to be the best under eye serums based on criteria such as formulation and brand reputation.

1. Drunk Elephant — best eye wrinkle serum

Drunk Elephant A-Shaba Complex™ Eye Serum

If your main concern is fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, this eye serum from Drunk Elephant could be a great addition to your skincare routine. Formulated with retinol and peptides, this serum may target the signs of aging by potentially promoting collagen production.

Moreover, this product includes caffeine that may reduce puffiness and promote a refreshed appearance.

Keep in mind that since it includes retinol, one of the most potent anti-aging ingredients in topical skincare, it may be irritating to the skin of some people. Since Drunk Elephant contains a relatively low percentage of retinol (0.1%), this product appears to be gentler and suitable for sensitive skin under the eye. It is advised to introduce retinol gradually, meaning using it once or twice a week to allow your skin to adjust.

Right now, a 0.5 fl oz (15 ml) bottle of this Drunk Elephant serum costs $64.

2. SkinCeuticals — best eye brightening serum for dark circles

SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel

AOX+ Eye Gel by SkinCeuticals is a serum designed to reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. As its primary ingredients, it contains a blend of antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C), caffeine, and Ruscus aculeatus.

Moreover, the combination of phloretin, vitamin C, and ferulic acid featured in this serum has been clinically tested and shown to have an effect in reducing sun damage. Vitamin C, in general, is used as one of the most potent ingredients in anti-aging and skin-protecting products.

This SkinCeuticals is free of fragnances. However, due to this, some customers report that this serum has an unpleasant scent.

The price of this serum is $104 per 0.5 fl oz (15 ml) bottle. To save 5% off your order you can purchase SkinCeuticals products with a subscription that can be cancelled at any time.

3. Instytutum — best under eye serum with new-generation retinoid

Instytutum Eyemultitasker Retinol Serum

Active ingredients belonging to the retinoid family are known for their anti-aging properties. This Instytutum eye serum features hydroxypinacolone retinoate — the newest retinoid used in skincare products. It is believed to be more stable and less irritating than retinol while maintaining the same effectiveness. However, as of now, there are not enough studies to confirm this.

Moreover, this serum features a wide range of ingredients that may, according to the manufacturer, improve skin texture and elasticity, reduce dark circles and hyperpigmentation, and support collagen production. These ingredients include rambutan and white flower extracts, tetra-peptides, squalane, B2 and 12 vitamins, and many more.

If you decide to integrate this product into your routine, it is advisable to use SPF during the day as retinoid product may increase sensitivity to the UV light.

One 0.5 fl oz (15 ml) bottle of this product is priced at $95.

4. Kiehl's — best vitamin C under eye serum

Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Dark Circle Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum

Vitamin C stands as one of the most widely sought-after ingredients in skincare due to its potential anti-aging and brightening properties. This 10% pure vitamin C eye serum by Kiehl’s is formulated to help target puffiness, lessen dark circles, and brighten the appearance of the skin.

For hydration, this serum features hyaluronic acid — a potent humectant that can reduce moisture loss and provide a plumping effect. Kiehl’s is using the hydrolyzed form of hyaluronic acid, meaning that it has been broken down for potentially increased absorption.

Before any discounts, one bottle of Kiehl’s (15 ml) is retailed at $59.

5. The Ordinary — best eye serum for aging skin

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Eye Serum

Formulated to target signs of aging, Multi-Peptide Eye Serum from The Ordinary is a lightweight water-based product. The main active ingredients in this product are various peptides that may reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and fine lines.

Moreover, The Ordinary contains caffeine, a common ingredient used to reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Although the serum can be incorporated both in the morning and evening routines, it should not be combined with products containing direct acids, such as ferulic and salicylic acids, vitamin C, as well as resveratrol.

Currently, one 15 ml bottle of Multi-Peptide Eye Serum is priced at $25.

Comparison of the top firming and brightening eye serums

BrandProposed benefitsKey ingredients SizePriceOur choice for
Drunk ElephantReduce fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles, lessen puffinessRetinol, caffeine, copper peptides0.5 fl oz (15 ml)$64Best under eye serum for dark circles and wrinkles
SkinCeuticalsReduce dark circles, puffiness, protects the skinVitamin C, ferulic acid, caffeine0.5 fl oz (15 ml)$104Best eye serum for puffiness and dark circles
InstytutumReduce fine lines, wrinkles, and reduce dark, moisturize Hydroxypinacolone retinal0.5 fl oz (15 ml)$95Best eye serum with retinal
Kiehl'sReduce dark circles, puffiness, protects the skinVitamin C, caffeine0.5 fl oz (15 ml)$59Best eye serum with vitamin C
The OrdinaryReduce fine lines, wrinkles, and reduce darkPeptides0.5 fl oz (15 ml)$25Best eye bag serum for anti-aging

When should you start using an eye serum?

The optimal time to begin incorporating an eye serum into your skincare routine varies based on your specific skincare goals, given that eye serums may target a range of concerns.

For instance, certain eye serums could be formulated to address issues related to age, such as Crow’s feet. If you are aiming to reduce fine lines using eye serum, make sure it contains active ingredients that may address your concerns such as retinol and peptides.

Other issues that you may address with eye serums are dark circles or puffiness.

Different types of eye serums explained

Eye serums can be used for a variety of purposes. In this section, we will present a few of the most common issues eye serums may address and what ingredients to look for.

  • For fine lines and wrinkles. Some of the most potent ingredients that may have anti-aging effects are retinol, vitamin C, and peptides.
  • For dark circles. Look for ingredients like vitamin C, caffeine, kojic acid, azelaic acid, and retinol.
  • For puffiness. Caffeine is the most widely used to reduce puffiness.
  • For hydration. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular ingredients used to hydrate the skin.

However, whether eye serums will have any effect on your targeted concern will highly depend on various factors, including the cause and severity of your problem, your age, skin type, and overall skincare routine.

What to look for when shopping for eye serums

If you have decided to purchase an eye serum, there are a few things you should consider.

  • Active ingredients. Depending on the targeted concerns, you may need different ingredients. Moreover, certain active ingredients have undergone more extensive scientific research, rendering them more reliable in terms of their effectiveness.
  • Other products you have in your routine. Certain ingredients in skincare products should not be used at the same time. For example, retinoids should not be paired with AHAs and BHAs due to the elevated risk of irritation.
  • Reviews and brand reputation. Although customer reviews are often not the most trustworthy source of information, you can check them to identify any potential drawbacks or shortcomings associated with the product.

How to start using eye serums?

If you decide to purchase an eye serum, read the label for detailed information on how to use it. Usually, eye serums should be applied after washing the face but before moisturizer or SPF creams.

To apply the serum, use your ring finger to reduce the pressure on the skin.

Moreover, some active ingredients found in eye serums should be introduced gradually.

For instance, although ingredients from the retinoid family (e.g., retinol, retinal, hydroxypinacolone retinoate) are one of the most potent anti-aging ingredients in topical skincare, they may irritate the skin. This could be exacerbated if you introduce them into your routine too rapidly.

It is important to phase these ingredients gradually: start with 1-2 times per week and increase the frequency if you do not have the signs of irritation.

It is also advised to do a patch test before incorporating any skincare product into your routine. Apply the serum to a small area to assess for any potential adverse effects.

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