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The Best Brightening Eye Creams to Combat Dark Circles

highest-rated brightening eye cream
Dark circles, puffy eyes, and fine lines are a frustrating trio that can cause even the most radiant skin to appear tired. Whether it’s because you’re pulling all-nighters for that crucial work project or binge-watching your favorite series well into the wee hours of the night, your eye area is often the first part of your skin to betray your secrets. If you’re tired of covering up those pesky dark circles and puffy eye bags with layer upon layer of concealer and makeup, it’s time to get your hands on a brightening eye cream. 

These specially formulated creams work wonders to rejuvenate the delicate skin around your eyes, giving you that fresh, youthful, and lively look you’ve been craving. But with so many brands and different types of creams on the market claiming to be the ultimate solution, how do you choose the one that’s perfect for you? To help you in this search, we’ll review some of the top brightening eye creams of 2023 and give you a little guide to help as you narrow down your options.

Comparing the Leading Brightening Eye Creams of 2023

Tree of Life Brightening Eye Cream – Best Overall

tree of life brightening eye cream
Say goodbye to dark circles and hello to brighter, more youthful-looking eyes with the Tree of Life Beauty Brightening Eye Cream. Formulated with a rich blend of nourishing ingredients, including vitamin C and plant extracts, this eye cream reduces the appearance of dark circles and under-eye discoloration. It also helps protect your skin from free radicals and environmental aggressors, keeping the eye area looking fresh and radiant.

Unlike other eye creams, it contains gentle, non-irritating ingredients, so it’s suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. Plus, this product is cruelty-free and PETA-certified. To reap the full benefits, you’ll only have to apply a small amount of product to clean, dry skin around the eyes, and gently pat until fully absorbed. For optimal results, you can use it morning and night as part of your regular skincare routine. Thanks to its skin-friendly ingredients, amazing results, and hassle-free application, this brightening eye cream stands at the very top of our list.

  • Firms and smooths fine lines
  • Calms and rejuvenates the eye area
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Easy to apply
  • Might not work well for deep wrinkles

TULA Brightening Eye Cream – Best Ingredients

tula brightening eye cream
The TULA Skincare Brightening Eye Cream is ideal for all your under-eye skin woes. Infused with aloe water, apple, and watermelon extract, this luxurious eye cream deeply hydrates your skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The unique formula also contains probiotics that help restore balance to your skin’s natural microbiome, while caffeine helps to tamp down puffiness, giving you that bright-eyed, wide-awake look. 

This eye cream delivers a cooling sensation to soothe and rejuvenate tired eyes. The balm-to-gel texture glides on effortlessly, leaving a dewy, glowy finish that’s never greasy or heavy. Unlike some other eye creams out there, this one doesn’t contain harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, or mineral oil, so you don’t have to worry about any allergic reaction. Plus, the cream’s lightweight formula easily absorbs into the skin, so you can wear it under your makeup.

  • Cools the skin
  • Free from harmful ingredients
  • Offers a glowy, dewy finish
  • Balm form for easy application
  • May leave a temporary blue tint behind

First Aid Beauty Brightening Eye Cream – Best for Sensitive Skin

first aid beauty brightening eye cream
First Aid Beauty is a market-leading skincare brand that formulates top-of-the-line beauty products to help you achieve healthier skin — and its Eye Duty Brightening Cream is no exception. This eye cream is expertly formulated with niacinamide and pumpkin seed extracts that help brighten, hydrate, and smooth the eye area. This powerhouse ingredient also regulates melanin production, which in turn helps diminish the appearance of dark circles and discoloration. With the inclusion of sodium hyaluronate, this eye cream also delivers a dose of hydration, making your skin appear smooth and youthful.

Unlike other eye creams with iffy ingredients, this one is free from drying alcohols, artificial colorants, artificial fragrances, lanolin, mineral oil, and parabens. This means even folks with sensitive skin can use it without any issues. Thanks to its lightweight and creamy formula, it’s super easy to blend into your skin as well. Plus, it won’t leave behind an oily residue or clog up your pores, so you can use this eye cream both day and night.

  • Improves skin texture and discoloration
  • Lightweight and non-greasy texture
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Unscented formula
  • Shimmery finish may not appeal to everyone

Origins Brightening Eye Cream – Best for Depuffing Eyes

origins brightening eye cream
The Origins Ginzing Brightening Eye Cream would make an excellent addition to your daily skincare routine. Formulated with a powerhouse of natural ingredients and potent actives, this eye cream targets dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines, all while brightening and rejuvenating the delicate skin around your eyes. It also contains skin-firming peptides that help restore elasticity and firmness, giving your eyes a more plump look. 

This cream features a lightweight formula that glides on easily and absorbs quickly into the skin. It has a gel-like consistency that feels refreshing and cooling, which makes it perfect for a rougher morning. Plus, it will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, with no sticky residue or white film. And what’s even better is that you can apply this cream under your makeup without worrying about creasing or smudging. This cream also has a pleasant fragrance, which makes it even more enjoyable to use.

  • Smooths out skin texture
  • Reduces puffiness
  • Lightweight and gentle formula
  • Absorbs well into the skin
  • May not help with very dark under eyes

Olay Brightening Eye Cream – Best for Wrinkles

olay brightening eye cream
Olay’s Vitamin C Brightening Eye Cream is the ultimate solution to rejuvenate and illuminate your delicate eye area. This luxurious eye cream is specifically formulated with powerful ingredients, including aloe vera, that help reduce inflammation and redness. This will leave your delicate eye area looking and feeling revitalized and refreshed. The cream also includes benzoyl peroxide to aid in clearing out acne and blemishes while minimizing the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles.

It even comes enriched with essential nutrients like vitamin B3 and C that supports the skin’s natural barrier and helps improve texture and tone. The formulation can also protect against environmental stressors while promoting collagen production for a firmer, brighter, and more youthful-looking eye area. 

The cream’s lightweight texture will effortlessly melt into the skin without leaving behind a greasy residue. Plus, you can use it in the morning to tamp down puffiness or at night to boost radiance, making it a versatile addition to any skincare routine.

  • Can reduce fine lines and wrinkles over time
  • Combats puffiness and dark circles
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Fast-absorbing formula
  • May not be hydrating enough for some

Brightening Eye Creams: A Buyer’s Guide

Tired of looking tired? Fed up with dark circles and puffy bags stealing the spotlight from your beautiful eyes? Fear not, the solution to all your eye woes is a miraculous brightening eye cream! But before you sprint to the nearest store or click ‘add to cart’ online, it’s essential to know the ins and outs of its features. Keep reading to uncover the key factors you should consider before investing in an eye cream. 

What To Look For Before Buying Brightening Eye Cream

Skin type

Just like any other skincare product, eye creams may have special formulations for different skin types. Identify whether you have dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin, and choose a cream that will complement it. This will ensure the product will work with your skin’s natural balance and target your unique concerns.


The brightening eye cream’s ingredients will determine its overall effectiveness. Look for brightening ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and kojic acid to combat dark circles. To reduce puffiness, seek out caffeine, green tea extract, aloe, or even cucumber. If fine lines and wrinkles are your concern, opt for creams with retinol, peptides, or hyaluronic acid. Always be sure to read the label and avoid products containing harmful chemicals or artificial fragrances, especially if you have sensitive skin.


The area around your eyes is delicate, and a heavy cream might cause irritation, milia, or acne. Try to choose a lightweight, fast-absorbing formula, such as a gel or serum, that won’t weigh down your skin or cause unwanted side effects. If you have dry or more mature skin, a thicker cream may be better. 

Cruelty-free brands

As an informed and compassionate consumer, you’ll want to consider the ethical practices of the companies behind the products you purchase. Many brands use cruelty-free practices and display certifications from organizations such as Leaping Bunny or PETA. By selecting a cruelty-free eye cream, you can contribute to a more humane and ethical beauty industry while still enjoying the benefits of high-quality brightening eye cream.


Exposure to air and light can cause some active ingredients to degrade or lose their potency. Look for eye creams packaged in opaque, air-tight containers, which will help maintain the product’s effectiveness.


Before purchasing an eye cream, complete some thorough research on the brand and its reputation in the market. Read customer reviews and testimonials to get a better understanding of the product’s performance. It’s also a good idea to consult with a dermatologist or esthetician for their recommendations.

People Also Asked

Q: What’s the difference between a brightening eye cream and a regular eye cream?

A: Brightening eye creams and regular eye creams serve different purposes. Brightening eye creams are specifically formulated to target dark circles, uneven skin tone, and pigmentation around the eye area. They usually contain ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, and other lightening agents to help brighten and even out the skin tone. Regular eye creams, on the other hand, focus more on more on daily hydration. They often contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants to nourish and protect the delicate skin around the eyes.

Q: How do I use brightening eye cream?

A: To use a brightening eye cream, you should start by cleansing your face and patting it dry. After applying any serums or treatments you use in your skincare routine, gently dab a small amount of the brightening eye cream onto your ring finger. Apply the cream in a tapping motion along the orbital bone, avoiding direct contact with the eye. Begin at the inner corner of the eye and work your way outward, making sure to cover the entire area where dark circles and pigmentation are present. Allow the cream to fully absorb before applying any other products, such as moisturizer, sunscreen, or makeup. Keep in mind that it’s important to use the cream consistently for the best results. 

Q: When should I start using a brightening eye cream?

A: It’s never too early to start a preventive skincare routine. Most experts recommend starting to use an eye cream sometime in your 20s or when you begin to notice the first signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles or dark circles. Plus, many young people can suffer from dark under-eye circles due to genetics, so it’s not a bad idea to consider a brightening cream! 

Q: Should I use brightening eye cream in the morning or at night?

A: You can use many brightening eye creams both in the morning and at night. However, it’s essential to consider the specific product and its ingredients. If the brightening eye cream contains ingredients that make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, such as retinol or certain acids, it’s better to use it at night. If the product contains antioxidants and sunscreen, it’s typically more suitable for daytime use.

Q: How soon will I see the results of my brightening eye cream?

A: The time it takes to see results can vary depending on the product, your skin type, and your concerns. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to see noticeable improvements in the appearance of dark circles and pigmentation. Consistency is key, so make sure to use the brightening eye cream as directed for best results.

Q: Should I apply my brightening eye cream before or after sunscreen?

A: You should apply your eye cream before applying sunscreen. This allows the eye cream to fully absorb into the skin and provide its benefits. After the eye cream fully absorbs, follow up with a broad-spectrum, eye-safe sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

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