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They say that caffeine eye creams give short-term results. I say I’m not going to live forever, so I’ll take it. Who cares? Because sometimes, that’s exactly what you want! Maybe you have a hangover or you’ve cried yourself to sleep. Maybe you haven’t slept at all! But if you wake up tired in the morning, you don’t just sit and re-evaluate your dietary choices, you make some coffee! Similarly, when you have dark circles and puffiness, you grab a caffeine-infused eye cream.
We all deal with dark circles and under-eye bags. And we don’t always have the time to visit a dermatologist, look into the root causes, get proper treatment, observe, see if it works, and try something else if it doesn’t. That’s where caffeine eye creams come in.
What Does a Caffeine Eye Cream Do?
Eye creams made with caffeine are great for reducing the look of dark circles (1). Even if it’s temporary, they still make a difference. They boost microcirculation, which reduces discolorations. Plus, because caffeine has a “constrictive” effect on the skin, it also helps with puffiness as well.
Moreover, did you know that caffeine also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (2)? So it’s great for keeping the eye area smooth, wrinkle-free, and youthful. In sum, caffeine helps tighten and brighten, wake up and shake up, and soothe and smooth the eye area!
But first and foremost, it’s important to distinguish between caffeine and coffee. When your drinks are concerned, you might want to get your caffeine from coffee. But in terms of topical skincare, caffeine can be found in several plant extracts.
So in your skincare products, you might see caffeine as well as coffee seed oil or coffee arabica extract. But in addition, other plant extracts like green tea are also rich in caffeine.
Before we dig in, here’s the most important thing you should know about caffeine eye creams. If you’ve had dark circles your whole life due to genetics, the results may be underwhelming for you. Plus, as we age, the fat pads under the eyes become more prominent.
That is very different than having puffy eyes from eating too much salt. So if fat pads are the problem, you might want to manage your expectations from the de-puffing effects of caffeine eye creams. But as I said, they still offer antioxidant benefits, which is never a bad thing!
The Best Caffeine Eye Creams
Whether you’re dealing with dark circles or puffiness, find below the best caffeine eye creams.
1. Origins Ginzing Vitamin C Eye Cream To Brighten and Depuff
Has radiant finish
May not work for very sensitive eyes
If you’re into caffeine eye creams mainly because of dark circles, then it doesn’t hurt to have some vitamin C in your eye cream too. After all, it’s the mother of all that is skin-brightening. This eye cream’s just got a makeover and now contains vitamin C and niacinamide on top of caffeine. So you hit the anti-discolorations trifecta. In addition to caffeine, it contains coffee arabica seed oil, which is also rich in caffeine but majorly antioxidant and anti-aging as well.
With brightening niacinamide, rejuvenating ginseng, and a good amount of humectants, the eye cream is perfect for reducing the visibility of dark circles, and puffiness. Plus, you get to choose from two different shades depending on your skin tone, which ends up helping your makeup too. With a very subtle shimmer, the eye cream literally brings radiance to the under-eye area.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, vitamin C, niacinamide
Key Benefits: Reduces the look of dark circles, brightens the under-eye area, depuffs
Size: 0.5 oz/15 ml
Good To Know: Scented, vegan
2. The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream
Contains anti-aging peptides
May irritate sensitive skin
If you’re over the age of thirty and haven’t been able to shake that hangover off from a week ago, this is the caffeine eye cream you want to dab onto the skin under your eyes. It reduces the look of under-eye bags with caffeine. But it also targets lines and wrinkles with signal peptides, Matrixyl 300, which practically signals the skin into producing collagen.
The weightless eye cream is also formulated with hyaluronic and squalane for plumping the skin and reducing the look of fine lines immediately. It’s affordable, and an overall great caffeine eye cream for dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, peptides, hyaluronic acid
Key Benefits: Minimizes the look of wrinkles and dark circles, hydrates
Size: 0.5 oz/15 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free
3. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Brightening Eye Cream
Blue tint cancels out dark circles
Rich in antioxidants
Feels a bit thick
This unique brightening eye cream has a subtle blue tint to it to cancel out dark shadows under the eyes as a way of instant relief. But there’s more than what meets the eye. It illuminates the eye area with caffeine and niacinamide. And it hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and a blend of amino acids.
But the best part is the addition of peptides. It has both signal peptides to stimulate collagen production and neuropeptides, Argireline, for instant line-smoothing benefits. So overall, brightening with caffeine is the least this baby can do for your under-eye area.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, niacinamide, ceramides
Key Benefits: Illuminates the under-eye area, reduces the look of wrinkles and dark circles
Size: 0.5 oz/15 ml
Good To Know: Scented
4. The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
Potent, serum formula
Can be used all over the face
Reduces puffiness too
Requires additional product to moisturize
This is the most budget-friendly caffeine product on the market. It’s in serum form and it’s oil-free, which is great if your under-eye area is prone to milia. The caffeine eye serum also contains EGCG, which is short for epigallocatechin gallate.
It’s a compound derived from green tea that has mad antioxidant benefits for the skin. It’s what soothes the skin, reduces inflammation and redness, and provides protection against free radicals. If you’re on a budget, you have options. See our round-up of the best drugstore eye creams that actually work.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, EGCG, hyaluronic acid
Key Benefits: Tightens under-eye bags, minimizes dark circles
Size: 1 0z/30 ml
Good To Know: Oil-free, alcohol-free, vegan
5. Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels
Instantly plumps under-eyes
Freshens up tired-looking eyes
Smooths fine lines
Under-eye patches, even if it’s a very simple under-eye patch, are majorly helpful in reducing puffiness. They’re like cute little tapes to slap the tiredness out of your under-eye area. Well, even better when they’re packed with a goodie like caffeine. These under-eye patches multi-task big time.
They hydrate with hyaluronic acid and collagen, soothe with vitamin B5, aloe, and Centella Asiatica, and brighten and de-puff with caffeine. Eye patches are for instant results. So if you’re in a hurry and need to look your most awake, slap these on!
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, panthenol, collagen
Key Benefits: Helps diminish under-eye bags and dark circles, soothes, hydrates
Size: 5/15/30 patches
Good To Know: Contains fragrance, cruelty-free
6. Mario Badescu Caffeine Eye Cream
Not suitable for sensitive eyes
Made with a replenishing base, this one hydrates and plumps the skin around the eyes with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalane. Plus it contains fatty acids to nourish the skin and keep the eye area smooth and soft by boosting moisture.
The cream absorbs easily and brightens the eye area with the help of caffeine for more awake-looking eyes. It’s great if you’re dealing with occasional mild discolorations and dark shadows under the eyes.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, hyaluronic acid, squalane
Key Benefits: Moisturizes, helps reduce puffiness and discolorations under the eyes
Size: 0.5 oz/15ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan
7. 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
Has a tightening effect
Contains gentle vitamin C derivative
May not work for sensitive eyes
If you’re on the lookout for something organic for the delicate eye area, this one is formulated with all that is caffeinated. Coffee seed, coffee cherries, green tea extract -because you know, there is no such thing as too much caffeine.
But the potent eye cream also contains antioxidants like vitamins C and E for full-blown protection against free radicals. That way, it helps keep crow’s feet at bay.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, vitamins C and E, aloe
Key Benefits: Brightens the look of dark circles, minimizes under-eye bags and puffiness, moisturizes
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free, natural, vegan
8. Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40
Multi-tasking eye treatment
Protects with mineral SPF
Suitable for sensitive eyes
The texture is a bit heavy
OKAY, this is a whole eye treatment itself. It has everything you need to manage dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles, and other under-eye concerns you might have. It’s an eye cream made with mineral SPF 40! What’s more anti-aging than that?
It hydrates, brightens, and protects. As a multi-tasker, you really don’t need any other eye product. Infused with caffeine and green tea, it illuminates the eye area. And it contains probiotics to nourish and calm the skin too.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, probiotics, zinc oxide
Key Benefits: Prevents sun damage, helps minimize puffiness and dark circles
Size: 0.5 oz/15 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free, paraben-free
9. SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel
Contains high concentration of vitamin C
Rich in antioxidants
Fast absorbing gel
Great for mature, aging skin
And lastly, we have this featherlight eye gel that is brimming with antioxidants. It’s made with 5% pure vitamin C, 1% phloretin, and 0.5% ferulic acid. So it’s the ultimate dark circle treatment for aging skin, mature skin, or skin that’s a little bit too preoccupied with aging.
The whole combination is great for maintaining the integrity of the thin skin around the eyes. That way, you don’t get premature wrinkles. Needless to say, the fragrance-free gel cream also has caffeine to tighten and brighten.
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, phloretin, vitamin C
Key Benefits: Diminishes the look of dark circles, tightens under-eye bags, brightens
Size: 0.5 oz/15 ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, alcohol-free
So these are some of the best caffeine eye creams on the market right now. Remember to manage your expectations if your genetics have the upper hand.
Read Next: The Best Eye Creams with SPF
- Vrcek, I., Ozgur, O., & Nakra, T. (2016). Infraorbital Dark Circles: A Review of the Pathogenesis, Evaluation and Treatment. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 9(2), 65–72. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.184046
- Ahmadraji, F., & Shatalebi, M. A. (2015). Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Advanced biomedical research, 4, 10. https://doi.org/10.4103/2277-9175.148292