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Best eye cream for men 2023: Disguise dark circles with these under-eye essentials

The best eye creams you can buy from just £6

Poor old Uncle Fester. If only the Addams Family’s sunken-eyed hellative had had access to a decent eye cream, maybe he wouldn’t have faced a life of ridicule and torment. Thankfully, the rest of us do have access to these essential little skin savers; these days, an eye cream, gel or serum is almost as likely to be part of a man’s grooming armoury as a moisturiser or face scrub.

It’s easy to see why. Specially formulated to treat the delicate skin under the eye, they’re the perfect antidote for dark circles, crow’s feet and any excess “ocular luggage” you might be carrying. They’re easy to use, too, and, since they’re concentrated products, a little goes a long way.

So, if you woke up feeling a bit Fester, are worried about your wrinkles or look like you’re carrying more luggage than RyanAir, the solution is in plain sight.

We’ve rooted out the very best eye creams, gels and serums – from inexpensive essentials to expensive anti-ageing superheroes – to ensure that when it comes to a better-looking you, the eyes have it.

Best eye cream for men: At a glance

How to choose the best eye cream for you

Do I really need a separate eye product?

In a word, yes. At around 0.5mm thick, the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest on the body – which partly explains why it’s one of the first areas to show fatigue, irritation and is so susceptible to wrinkling.

Eye products are specially formulated for use on this particularly delicate skin, whereas an ordinary moisturiser could overload it, leading to redness and irritation.

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What’s the difference between eye creams, gels, balm and serums?

As a rule of thumb, gels and gel creams are best for dealing with eye bags because they’re lighter and cooler, instantly constricting blood vessels and tightening the skin around the eye.

Creams and balms are thicker and tend to be more hydrating so are good for minimising fine lines and wrinkles.

Serums, meanwhile, are usually the most potent of the three. Packed with skin-saving ingredients, they couple the cooling properties of gels with the anti-ageing ones of creams and tend to be lightweight and liquidy. You don’t need to spend a fortune on an eye product, but money often buys you better active ingredients, especially when it comes to serums.

How do I apply them?

Working outwards from the inner corner, gently tap a tiny amount of product around the eye socket, using the tip of your ring finger. Tapping helps stimulate circulation, helping drain away toxins and improving absorption of the eye cream. Don’t rub or you’ll irritate the delicate skin around the eye.

Are products delivered by rollerballs better?

Not necessarily, but they’re often more convenient, especially if you’re a bit cack-handed. Rollerballs – particularly steel ones – are cooling and help massage the product in, too.

When’s the best time to apply an eye product?

For maximum effectiveness apply twice a day – once in the morning after cleansing and again just before bed. The evening application is important because skin creams are better absorbed at night while we’re sleeping.

Any tips to help me get the most out of my eye cream?

To boost the effectiveness of an eye product, keep it in the fridge or on a cold windowsill. Not only will it feel more revitalising when you apply, the cold will help reduce puffiness. Oh, and remember that when it comes to eye creams, gels and serums, less is more: a blob about the size of a grain of rice is usually plenty for each eye.

How we test eye creams for men

The acid test for eye creams is whether they make skin feel refreshed and provide any obvious improvement after application. To gauge this, we apply each cream morning and night for three days and assess whether there is any discernible difference to skin.

When testing, we’re on the lookout for creams and gels that virtually disappear once applied. Given that the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest, most sensitive and most easily irritated on the body, the last thing you want with an eye cream is something that feels heavy or sticky.

We also take into consideration price, method of application (many prefer the ease of rollerball applicators) and ingredients. For a fair comparison, we use the same amount of cream for each application.

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The best eye creams for men you can buy in 2023

1. Shakeup Cosmetics Eye Eye Captain Under Eye Concealer & Moisturiser SPF25: Best eye cream overall

Price when reviewed: £20 for 15ml | Check price at Amazon

One of the stars of Shapeup Cosmetic’s high-performance cosmetics range for men, this multifunction eye cream takes a 360-degree approach to eyecare, not only reducing puffiness but providing 24-hour hydration and disguising dark circles with the aid of a subtle tinted concealer. It also features an ingredient called Gransil Blur-X60, which “blurs” the appearance of fine lines and masks skin imperfections.

On top of this – yes, there’s more – it also packs an SPF25 sunscreen to help guard against wrinkle-creating sun damage.

Available in four shades – from light to dark – and delivered via a cooling rollerball, it’s almost impossible to fault. Think of it as the Swiss army knife of eye creams.

Key specs – Quantity: 15ml; Delivery system: Rollerball; Texture: Cream

2. Bulldog Age Defence Eye Roll-On: Best-value eye product

Price when reviewed: £6.66 for 15ml | Check price at Amazon

An eye-saver that doesn’t come with an eye-watering price, Bulldog’s award-winning Age Defence Eye Roll-On is the perfect product to see you through the cost-of-living crisis.

Formulated for mature skin, it’s designed to brighten and depuff, while a trio of natural antioxidants (rosemary, echinacea and vitamin E) help fortify and protect against premature ageing.

It doesn’t have the whizz-bang, fancy-pants ingredients of some of the other products we tested, but with belts tightening it’s a great-value piece of grooming kit.

Key specs – Quantity: 15ml; Delivery system: Rollerball; Texture: Gel

3. Lab Series Daily Rescue Energizing Eye Treatment: Best for tired eyes

Price when reviewed: £34 for 15ml | Check price at Boots

Lab Series is a premium range that’s always focused on providing solutions to men’s most pressing skincare problems, so it’s no surprise that its hero product for eyes is all about fighting the signs of fatigue. Hence the presence of ginseng and caffeine to instantly energise skin, and light-reflecting particles that blur imperfections and help dark shadows.

A gel cream, the texture is somewhere between the richness of a cream and lightness of a gel, making it hydrating but cooling all at once. Think of this one as an energy shot for undereye skin.

Key specs – Quantity: 15ml; Delivery system: Nozzle; Texture: Gel cream

Check price at Boots

4. Heath Eye Serum: Best for hangovers

Price when reviewed: £14 for 18ml | Check price at Amazon

Fragrance-free and made in England using 97.90% natural ingredients, Heath’s generously sized eye serum is as light as a feather on the skin and feels instantly cooling as it goes on. Hyaluronic acid keeps skin hydrated, while two powerful botanicals (butterfly bush extract and Persian silk tree extract) protect skin against the damaging effects of blue light emitted by digital devices, and reduce puffiness and dark circles.

One of the more refreshing products we tried, it instantly makes you feel more awake, making it perfect for tired or hungover skin.

Given the size it’s also great value, and we liked the indentations on the casing, which provide grip for your fingers when you’re applying.

Key specs – Quantity: 18ml; Delivery system: Rollerball; Texture: Transparent serum

5. Dermalogica Biolumin-c Eye Serum: Best skin brightener

Price when reviewed: £69 for 15ml | Check price at Lookfantastic

The superhero of skincare, vitamin C not only ensures skin stays strong and healthy, it helps neutralise harmful free radicals caused by stress, pollution and sunlight, helps prevent uneven pigmentation, improves the overall texture of skin and boosts collagen production, ensuring skin stays firm and youthful.

It’s the key ingredient in this concentrated eye serum, whose key objective is to firm and brighten skin around the eyes. It’s silky smooth and a small amount goes a long way (we found one drop did for both eyes).

Key specs – Quantity: 15ml; Delivery system: Dropper nozzle; Texture: Lightweight serum

Check price at Lookfantastic

7. Horace Under-Eye Serum: Best rollerball eye product

Price when reviewed: £19 for 10ml | Check price at The Grooming Clinic

Formulated with 99% ingredients of natural origin, French brand Horace’s best-selling Under-Eye Serum tackles all your under-eyes issues and then some. Caffeine and horse chestnut extract reduce eyebags and dark circles, while hyaluronic acid and aloe vera keep skin soft and hydrated. The “and then some” bit comes in the shape of natural orange pigments that have been incorporated to provide an immediate healthy glow effect around the eye contour. The colour might seem alarming at first, but once applied with the rollerball and gently blended in with a fingertip it quickly disperses.

At 10ml it delivers slightly less bang for your buck than the other products we tested, but the addition of the bronzing pigment makes up for it.

Key specs – Quantity: 10ml; Delivery system: Rollerball; Texture: Lightweight serum

Check price at The Grooming Clinic

8. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum: Best anti-ageing eye serum

Price when reviewed: £67 for 15ml | Check price at Amazon

If you’re serious about your skincare and are looking for the ultimate anti-ager, this high-potency serum from skin specialists Murad is for you. The key ingredient here is retinol – a pure form of vitamin A that’s pretty much the gold standard ingredient when it comes to anti-ageing. As well as stimulating cell turnover it improves skin elasticity and stimulates collagen production – all of which is bad news for your crow’s feet, but good news for you.

Retinol itself can be irritating in high doses, but Murad’s is time-released and designed for sensitive skin (we certainly experienced no problems when using it) and it certainly made the skin around our eyes feel softer after a few days.

The serum itself is non-greasy and quickly absorbed and the pump dispenser delivers the exact amount you need, which is handy. The only drawback is that you need to make sure you wear a daily SPF product when using anything with retinol.

Key specs – Quantity: 15ml; Delivery system: Pump dispenser; Texture: Lightweight serum

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