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You know how a cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning just wakes you right TF up? Well an eye cream with caffeine has the same effect for your face. When used in an eye cream, caffeine has the ability to perk up tired eyes by (temporarily) reducing puffiness to give your under-eyes a tighter, firmer look and feel. Basically caffeine eye creams are a great idea in any skincare routine—and a godsend for anyone who's running low on sleep, dealing with seasonal allergies, or indulged in one too many margs the night before.
So to help you find the perfect caffeine eye cream for your skin type and eye area concerns, I tested a ton of different caffeine eye creams and reached out to board-certified dermatologists David Kim, MD, and Adrienne O'Connell, DO, for their favorite formulas. Here's a quick snapshot:
Keep scrolling for the full list of the 13 best caffeine eye creams, along with everything you need to know about shopping for a caffeine eye cream and successfully adding one to your skincare routine.
Caffeine Eye Cream
Besides the wallet-friendly price point, Dr. Kim loves this caffeine-packed eye cream for its lightweight texture and cooling feel. The formula is excellent at reducing under-eye bags and puffiness and, thanks to the addition of a peptide called Matrixyl 3000, it can even help minimize fine lines around the eyes too.
THE REVIEWS: “This eye cream is non-greasy, unscented, and very light but still effective—especially if the skin around your eyes is puffy," reads one tester's review. "I really like that it is in a small tube and I can squeeze out the tiniest bit without putting my finger into the container too—there's no waste."
Universal C Eye Perfector
This silky-smooth eye cream combines depuffing caffeine with brightening vitamin C to tackle both under eye bags and under eye circles. Vitamin C helps regulate melanin production to fade dark circles as a result of hyperpigmentation—plus it can help stimulate collagen production, which helps plump and thicken the skin under your eyes to minimize dark circles as a result of visible blood vessels.
THE REVIEWS: “I cannot say enough wonderful things about this product. It sounds cheesy, but it's changed my life,” writes one tester. “I've been using it twice a day for just over a week. Even during that short time, the difference in the skin in my under eye area is really noticeable.”
Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm
NGL, it grosses me out to dip my long nails into jars of skincare, so anything in a stick—like this caffeine eye cream from Tula—is my jam. The twist-up format is sanitary, great for traveling, and using on-the-go (I keep one in my bag for that inevitable 3pm slump when my eyes demand a little pick-me-up). Along with caffeine for firming and tightening, the formula packs hydrating ingredients like watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid to make your eye area soft and supple too.
THE REVIEWS: One reviewer said that her under eyes are dry from constant rubbing, noting “the hydration is nice but the cooling, soothing effect is instant relief and makes eyes feel fresh.”
Vinoperfect Dark Circle Brightening Eye Cream
I’ve been a huge fan of this French beauty brand for years...I mean what’s better than a fresh bottle of the Caudalie Beauty Elixir Mist? I digress. The brand's new eye cream—with a cooling ceramic tip—is the real deal. It’s laced with caffeine, niacinamide, and grape-stem-derived viniferine (a vitamin C alternative that's highly tolerable for sensitive skin types) to majorly brighten up and depuff your eye area.
THE REVIEWS: “Not only did it brighten the worst of my dark circles, it also feels so good when applying, I love to pop it in the fridge for a bit of extra chill."
Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid + 1% Caffeine Eye Serum
If you hate the idea of using something thick or heavy around your eyes, then you'll love this lightweight drugstore eye cream from L'Oreal Paris. The formula is technically an eye serum (and packed with a hefty dose of hyaluronic acid and caffeine) and is applied via a stainless steel applicator that helps massage away puffiness as you roll it along your eye contours.
THE REVIEWS: “This serum really helps with under eye puffiness— especially if stored in the fridge," writes a tester, adding that "it's lightweight and doesn't feel greasy."
Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
The combo of green tea extract, green coffee extract, and coffee cherry extract in this all-natural eye cream have major de-puffing benefits, says Dr. O’Connell, adding "there’s also some rosehip oil in the formula too which is great for nourishing and moisturizing the skin around your eyes."
And in case Dr. O'Connell's praise isn't enough for ya, go check out this product’s page on Amazon. It's full of rave reviews that are multiple paragraphs long...when that many people feel that passionate about a product, you know there’s something special about it.
THE REVIEWS: One review labeled, “my favorite eye cream,” reads, “This is a really great eye cream for daily use. It gets rid of morning puffiness and keeps the area moisturized. I have been using it for years and I think it keeps the area under my eyes looking fresh and young.”
High-Performance Eye Cream for Dark Circles
Another favorite of Dr. O’Connell's, this rich cream is loved by reviewers for its occlusive texture that’s deeply hydrating, but doesn’t feel too heavy or leave behind annoying milia (the white under the skin bumps that can crop up under the eye). The powerhouse, plant-based ingredients in this formula actually work, says Dr. O’Connell, who adds that "the caffeine-rich Yerba mate tea extract really wakes up my under-eye skin."
THE REVIEW: According to one reviewer, who said it’s one of their favorite skincare products, “it has reduced the noticeability of my dark under eyes and replenished/hydrated my sensitive skin. The fine lines and wrinkles beneath my eyes are completely gone.”
Superhue Brightening Eye Cream
As a lifelong dark circle sufferer myself, I need something a little more heavy-hitting than a cream that promises to lighten my dark circles over time. (Also, spoiler alert, if your dark circles stem from hollowness under the eyes, there’s no topical product that can make them disappear, sorry!) So, a formula that has a slight tint to it that brightens shadows instantly is music to my ears—and magic to my under eyes. It also has long-term brightening benefits courtesy of circulation-boosting caffeine and a combo of pigment-correcting vitamin C and niacinamide.
THE REVIEWS: “Concealer always looks too obvious on me; I have been looking for something to brighten and soothe my undereyes. THIS IS IT. I like to apply it with my skincare, then a little more over makeup to get some added light reflection.”
A.G.E. Eye Complex
This product comes highly recommended not only by Dr. Kim and Dr. O’Connell but by countless other derms and skin experts, too. Dr. Kim applauds its inclusion of peptides for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, while Dr. O’Connell raves that it’s one of her “all-time favorites” because it’s “hydrating, smoothing, and brightening.” Basically, there’s not much that this powerhouse formula won’t do. I personally love that it has a thicker consistency, which is exactly what my dry, crepey under eyes call for at night.
THE REVIEWS: One reviewer notes that they’ve repurchased this twice already and writes, “I use it AM and PM and notice it helps keep my under eye area hydrated and less puffy. It wears well under makeup too!”
Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream
The shiny pink bottle was enough to draw me in, but the benefits of what’s inside are what kept me coming back for more. The peptides and green caffeine help tighten under eye skin and minimize puffiness, while niacinamide and encapsulated vitamin C visibly brightens without causing irritation. And the lightweight gel texture is perfect for under makeup—it soaks in instantly but is hydrating enough to prevent your under eye concealer from settling into fine lines.
THE REVIEWS: “I just had a baby 4.5 months ago and the bags under my eyes were so bad but THIS stuff has literally saved my skin. I have sensitive combination skin and this didn't irritate my eye area at all—couldn’t recommend this product enough.”
InterFuse Eye Treatment Cream
Another derm-beloved line, Skinbetter Science is full of treatment-focused essentials that work well on their own, but will also enhance in-office procedures. Dr. Kim is a fan of it because it has kakadu plum extract, which is rich in vitamin C and helps to treat discoloration. The cream formula also has a patented delivery system that drives ingredients like caffeine, peptides, niacinamide, and humectants deep within the skin for better results.
THE REVIEWS: One tester writes, “this eye treatment has helped with fine lines and retaining moisture which isn't easy to find because so many that help with fine lines leave the under eye dry and creased by the end of the day.”
Eye Renewal Treatment
The skin under your eyes has fewer oil glands than the skin on the rest of your face, and because of that, it tends to feel drier and look crepier. Enter: This super-rich eye cream that helps deeply hydrate your eye area, smooth fine lines and crepiness, and reduce puffiness and dark circles. I like to pat it along the contours of my eyes and then go in with an ice roller to really max out the smoothing and depuffing benefits.
THE REVIEWS: “This is an extraordinary eye cream," reads on tester's review. "It feels fantastic and gives visible results immediately and amazing results after just a week of daily use."
Cold Brew Undereye
This formula offers a two-pronged effect to brightening with diamond powder that reflects light upon application plus niacinamide and caffeine to brighten over time. Dr. Kim likes the metal roller applicator because it makes the cream easier to apply and further depuffs the undereye area as you smooth it on. Pro tip: Store the tube in the fridge so that the formula and the roller get extra cold, boosting its soothing and awakening properties.
THE REVIEWS: “The metal applicator feels so cooling and refreshing and I love how it works to correct my under-eye circles and fine lines, it's become a staple in my morning routine” reads one review, adding, “my eyes are very sensitive to most products but have not had any issue with this.”
Do caffeine eye creams really work?
Yes, caffeine eye creams work, says Dr. Kim. "Caffeine helps to reduce puffiness and dark circles by temporarily by constricting the blood vessels and improving circulation." Dr. Kim adds that caffeine eye creams are “especially helpful in the morning when the eyes are the puffiest.”
Dr. O’Connell also notes that caffeine is an antioxidant, so in addition to livening up your eye area, the ingredient can help protect delicate under-eye skin from environmental damage (from things like blue light and pollution) that leads to signs of aging, like fine lines and discoloration.
Is retinol or caffeine better for under eyes?
This depends on what you're trying to achieve. If depuffing and dark under eyes are your top concerns, then caffeine is the way to go. “I don’t recommend using straight retinol on the under-eye skin as it can be too irritating and drying,” says Dr. O’Connell, “I much prefer caffeine as it is more gentle and has the ability to decrease puffiness and dark circles.”
However, if it’s anti-aging benefits that you’re looking for, Dr. Kim recommends an eye cream with retinol. “It’s the best ingredient for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.”
How to choose the best caffeine eye cream
Pay attention to the applicator.
Some of my fave eye creams have earned top rank in my routine because of their cooling ceramic or metal tip applicator. It’s basically like if an ice roller and an eye cream got together and resulted in a hangover-fighting and depuffing magic wand.
Prioritize a formula with peptides.
Both Dr. Kim and Dr. O’Connell are big fans of eye creams that combine peptides and caffeine. These ingredients work particularly well together and complement each other to give you the best firming, tightening, and depuffing results, says Dr. O'Connell.
Be mindful of the texture.
Yes, your personal preference when it comes to the consistency of your eye cream matters, but know that the texture can also dictate the results. For instance, a “gel-like texture is better for someone who is most concerned with puffiness and dark circles,” says Dr. Kim, “and a thick creamy texture is better for someone who wants to smooth and plump fine lines under and around the eyes.”
Meet the experts:
David Kim, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Idriss Dermatology in New York, NY. Dr. Kim is an expert in fillers and lasers, and his top caffeine eye cream picks are from The Inkey List, Skinbetter Science, Skinceuticals, and Good Weird.
Adrienne O'Connell, DO, is a doctor of osteopathic medicine in Laguna Beach, CA. Dr. O’Connell is also the president and medical director of Laguna Beach Aesthetics and names Skinceuticals, Macrene Actives, and 100% as her favorite caffeine eye creams.
Why trust Cosmopolitan?:
Lisa DeSantis is a freelance writer who has been in the beauty industry for nearly ten years. She began her career in beauty and fashion at QVC and has since written for and contributed to top women's magazines and digital brands such as Health, Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, Motherly, Byrdie and more. She has tested thousands of products and considers herself a professional guinea pig who's always on the search for the next big trends in beauty, wellness, and beyond.
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