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Best eye creams: Defy the signs of ageing with our favourite eye creams from £1.75 to £48

Need to up your eye care game? Here are the eye creams that can tackle fine lines, dark circles and crow's feet from as little as £1.75

Cleanser and toner? Check. Anti-ageing serum? Check. Hydrating moisturiser? Check. Good – we’re all done then. Not quite. The delicate skin around the eyes is the one part of the face that’s often forgotten about, but it’s likely to be where the signs of ageing are most apparent. To protect against fine lines, dark circles and puffiness, it’s essential to use an eye cream daily, but with so many options out there, it can be difficult to know which to choose. Do you use the one that corresponds with your moisturiser, or opt for something different? Read on to discover how to go about finding your perfect formula, what to look for on the label, plus we reveal which eye creams we believe are the best on the market.

How to buy the best eye cream for you

What should an eye cream be doing for you?

As we’ve mentioned, the eye area is likely to one of the first areas of the face to show signs of ageing, so it would be wise to begin work on delaying fine lines, or at least de-puffing, as soon as possible. As well as prevention, an eye cream should also be tackling more specific concerns – for examples, dark circles or crow’s feet. Don’t expect results straight away, however. A product will need to be applied twice daily for a few months at least before you see results. Your eye cream shouldn’t irritate the skin; if it does, stop using it immediately.

What are the main things to look for in an eye cream?

This will depend on your particular concerns. Cooling cucumber and caffeine will help reduce puffy eyes; vitamin C, liquorice and peptides all tackle shadows and discolouration; while retinol will help to smooth fine lines. A cream containing an SPF should be considered if it’s to be used mainly in the day, while a gel formula will often feel cool and refreshing and will be perfect to perk up tired skin. Think about packaging, too: a pot will be fine, if applying your eye cream at home; but on the go, a tube will prove more hygienic.

How much should you spend?

How much you choose to spend on your eye cream will depend on your overall skincare budget and beauty concerns. If you feel ageing around the eyes is more of an issue than the condition of the skin on your face overall, then you might choose to spend more on your eye cream and less on a serum, for example. Or, vice versa. Either way, it isn’t necessary to be spending into three figures to get a decent cream.

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The best eye cream you can buy

1. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye: The best eye cream for under £45

Price: £43 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re into skincare then you’ll be familiar with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair range of products – the skin serum and mask-in-oil are well known for their anti-ageing formulas. And this eye treatment doesn’t disappoint. Dot the luxurious cream around your eyes with the ball applicator, and the skin around your eyes will feel instantly refreshed, de-puffing as it sinks into your skin. It also promises to fade dark circles, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, even up skin tone, as well as hydrate the skin around the eyes too. That’s a pretty long list – but in time (with regular application morning and evening), you’ll be certain to notice a difference.

2. Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream: The best eye cream for under £20

Price: £16.50 | Buy now from Amazon

This zingy smelling little pot of super-smooth cream promises to brighten and de-puff – and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s the perfect companion for those who travel often, or for the morning after a late night. Active ingredients such as coffee and ginseng brighten and awaken the eyes, leaving the skin around the eyes visibly de-puffed, soothed and hydrated. Those who have sensitive skin will be thankful of its claim of zero irritation. For less than £20, Origins’ GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream certainly delivers on its promises.

3. Boots Essential Cucumber Eye Gel: The best eye cream for under £2

Price: £1.75 | Buy now from Boots 

Okay, so this high-street tube isn’t exactly going to deliver an instant eye lift, but there’s something about the cucumber-scented product that will make you want to slather it on. And the smell isn’t the only thing that’s good about it. For less than £2, this cooling eye gel will leave you feeling refreshed on the spot (store it in the fridge for even more zing), tackling puffiness straight away. It’s packed with vitamins, and despite fearing that you might be left feeling a little dry having spent so little, skin under the eyes is left comfortably hydrated. At this price, we simply can’t complain.

4. Dior Hydra Life Cooling Hydration Sorbet Eye Gel: The best designer eye cream

Price: £39 | Buy now from Boots

For a designer skincare product, this is – believe it or not – a bit of a bargain. Its clever ceramic applicator makes for easier and smoother application; use it to dot, spread and massage the gel onto skin, without your fingers needing to be involved at all. Clever ingredients such as cornflower water promise to brighten, de-puff and open up the eyes, while micronized powders banish dark circles and abyssinica oil nourishes and strengthens lashes and eyebrows. But does it deliver? On the whole, yes. The cooling gel instantly calms swollen eyelids, dark circles are reduced, and on using it over time, you’ll notice a subtle difference to the quality of your brows and lashes. Overall, we’d say it’s worth a try.

5. Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream: The best eye cream for under £50

Price: £48 | Buy now from Amazon

Who’d have thought that the most expensive, and arguably the best, eye cream on the list would come from a makeup brand? Don’t let it put you off, however. Just be reassured by the fact that a surprising number of professional makeup artists recommend Bobbi Brown’s Extra Eye Repair Cream over any other. It’s a thick, rich cream, which makes it brilliant for hydrating and smoothing the skin around the eyes. The formula includes a list of peptides and plant oils to tackle the signs of ageing, plus clever technology supports the skin’s natural collagen production too. On application, skin feels beautifully plumped; and over time you’ll notice brighter, firmer skin around the eyes. It even leaves a subtle gleam, too for those who love that healthy glow.

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