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Best cream for puffy eyes 2024: Smooth out your under eyes with our favourite creams

Our pick of the best cream for puffy eyes, for a range of skin types and budgets

Puffy eyes are an all too common issue for many of us, and they could be the result of a number of reasons – from lack of sleep to allergies and irritation, colds and congestion, or even diet. The good news is that the best creams for puffy eyes, used as part of your daily skincare routine, can really make a difference.

The key to a good under-eye cream is the delivery of hydration, without clogging pores in this delicate area. Soothing ingredients that improve circulation and reduce inflammation by flushing away excess liquids can also bring down puffiness and improve the eyes’ appearance.

We’ve put a range of different eye creams for an array of budgets to the test, the best of which you’ll find in our roundup below, along with a buying guide that runs through the main factors you should consider when making your purchase.

So, whether you have sensitive eyes that are easily irritated, or are looking to treat other issues aside from puffiness, you can be sure to find a cream that’s best for you below.

Best cream for puffy eyes: At a glance

Best all-round cream for puffy eyesSunday Riley Eye Contour Cream (~£60)Check price at John Lewis
Best-value cream for puffy eyesThe INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream (~£10)Check price at Cult Beauty
Best cream for puffy, sensitive eyesAvène Soothing Eye Contour Cream (~£13)Check price at Boots

How to choose the best cream for puffy eyes for you

What causes puffy eyes?

Eye puffiness is the result of fluid buildup underneath the eye causing the area to become inflamed, for which there are a number of causes. Lack of sleep is a common culprit, as is the skin becoming less elastic as a result of ageing. Genetic factors such as skin type or face shape, too, can show puffiness prominently. Fluid retention from colds and hayfever, and a diet too high in salt can all contribute to under-eye puffiness. Fortunately, a dedicated skincare product with the right ingredients can rapidly improve puffiness from any of these causes.

Which ingredients should I look out for?

For tackling puffy eyes, one of the most effective skincare ingredients to look out for is caffeine. Featuring anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, caffeine can help to relieve water retention and reduce the appearance of puffiness under the eyes. Chamomile and green or white tea also have useful anti-inflammatory benefits.

Many creams also deliver a dose of hydration; and in that vein hyaluronic acid helps the skin to retain moisture, which in turn will help firm and tighten the eye area. Ingredients such as vitamins C and E can help the eye area to look brighter, which will also minimise the look of puffiness under the eyes.

Those wanting to keep wrinkles at bay should look for products with retinol, which can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eye area when used consistently, improving the overall appearance of the undereye area.

How do I apply an eye cream for puffy eyes?

Your eye cream of choice should be applied as one of the final steps of your skincare routine: after you cleanse and tone, and following the application of any serums, but before you apply your moisturiser.

And in the case of eye cream, remember that less is more. Use only a small, pea-sized amount of eye cream across both eyes. We recommend gently dabbing the cream on with your finger, starting at the inner corner of your eye and working your way along to the outer corner. Then tap the product into the skin lightly.

The skin around the eyes is fragile, so be careful not to rub or pull at the skin as you apply your eye cream; and take care not to get any of the cream in your eye itself. Some creams come with a metal applicator tip for ease of application. Storing your eye cream in the fridge can help deliver cooling and increase the de-puffing benefits.

How soon will I see results?

Like most skincare products, consistent use is key. While you won’t necessarily see results immediately, we found that some of the eye creams below – especially those containing anti-inflammatory ingredients – did make a noticeable difference to under-eye puffiness on first application, particularly if they had been stored somewhere cool beforehand.

What else can I do to improve puffy eyes?

The single best thing you can do to help puffy eyes is to improve your quality of sleep. Make sure you aim for at least eight hours; and if you still see puffiness then try elevating your head with an extra pillow to help any fluids drain away from the eye area. Increase the amount of water you drink as well, to keep the skin as plump and healthy as possible overall; while reducing your salt intake may also help.

If puffiness remains a persistent problem, then keep in mind that anything that cools the eye area will help bring down inflammation. For example, try a cold compress made from cotton wool or a clean flannel dipped in cold water and squeezed almost dry, or even a spoon that’s been kept in the fridge. Long-trusted home remedies such as cold cucumber slices or fridge-cooled teabags placed over the eyes for a few minutes will also help soothe away puffiness and leave eyes looking and feeling refreshed.

How we test creams for puffy eyes

We personally test all of the creams and gels in the roundup below. We start by noting the active ingredients included in the eye cream and, where applicable, apply the product to the recommended skin type, as directed on the packaging.

We note how comfortable the under-eye area feels after initial application, highlighting any immediate benefits such as cooling or reduced irritation. Over the longer-term with repeated use, we consider improvements to the overall appearance of the eye area. Finally, we note how easy each product is to use, how much of it is required for one typical application, and how comfortable the skin around the eyes feels through the day after application.

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The best creams for puffy eyes you can buy in 2024

1. Clinique All About Eyes Serum: Best hydrating serum for puffy eyes

Price when reviewed: £31 | Check price at LookFantastic

best cream for puffy eyes Clinique All About Eyes Serum on a white background

As mentioned above, under-eye puffiness is usually the result of poor circulation, which leads to fluid retention under the surface of the skin. Clinique’s de-puffing serum from the brand’s All About Eyes range of eye care products addresses this in two ways. It includes caffeine to boost circulation and gently lift and tighten any sagging skin, while a clever rollerball design massages the serum into the undereye area as you apply to encourage any excess fluid to drain away.

Other ingredients in this lightweight serum include hydrating glycerin and brightening rosemark and tangerine extracts, which feels cool and refreshing on the skin. The product can be kept in the fridge for added cooling, and for best results, use the serum morning and night to hydrate and massage puffy bags away.

Key features – Size: 15ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: Yes

Check price at LookFantastic

2. Sunday Riley Autocorrect Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream: Best all-round cream for puffy eyes

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at John Lewis For those with particularly pronounced puffy eyes, this great all-rounder is our top pick. With ingredients including caffeine, horse chestnut and ginseng root extract, it does a good job of depuffing. Not only that, but it also brightens dark circles, hydrates and protects against pollution and factors such as sunlight, indoor heating and air conditioning. It’s also cruelty-free and fragrance-free.

Even though the packaging recommends 2-3 pumps per application, you don’t need any more than a pea-sized amount when applying, as we mentioned in our buying guide above. It does have a slight sheen to it, but this blends seamlessly into the skin as it begins to dry. It also absorbs quickly, allowing you to apply makeup on top of it a few minutes later.

Key features – Size: 15ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: No

Check price at John Lewis

3. Origins Ginzing Eye Cream: Best brightening cream for puffy eyes

Price when reviewed: £29 | Check price at Boots

If you’re looking to achieve a more radiant and refreshed look, this eye cream from Origins is our favourite for achieving that brightening effect. Because of its slight tint, this lightweight and hydrating cream gives a revived look to even the puffiest of eyes and because of this, it’s a great option for those who struggle with dark circles too.

It’s available in two distinct shades: Original and Warm. Original is ideal for those with fair to medium complexions and cooler undertones, while Warm works best for medium to deep skin tones and warm undertones. Both variants include ingredients such as vitamin C and niacinamide to brighten the skin, as well as caffeine, ginseng and chicory root.

Key features – Size: 15ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: No

Check price at Boots

4. The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream: Best budget cream for puffy eyes

Price when reviewed: £10 | Check price at Cult BeautyAs we mentioned above, caffeine is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to dealing with puffy eyes. This lightweight eye cream can be used in the morning or evening, and can be applied directly onto the skin thanks to its precise applicator. The cream itself absorbs into the skin nicely and leaves the area feeling soft and hydrated, while giving a plumping effect to the applied area.

While this might not be the best product for those with particularly pronounced puffy eyes as a result of ageing or genetics, it’s a great starter eye cream for those who are starting to experience the first signs of ageing. At just £10, it’s affordable, too.

Key features – Size: 15ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: No

Check price at Cult Beauty

5. Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream: Best cream for puffy eyes for sensitive eyes and skin

Price when reviewed: £13 | Check price at BootsIdeal for those with sensitive eyes and skin, this eye cream is fragrance-free and doesn’t irritate your eyes at all, even when applied close to the waterline. This moisturising eye cream smoothes out puffiness while adding much needed hydration to dry or irritable eyes, and it can be used on your eyelids as well as under and above the eyes. It’s also suitable for those who may be prone to eczema or other skin conditions.

This cream has a particularly soothing and cooling effect on the eye area, especially if you store it in the fridge beforehand. It also contains Avène’s famous thermal spring water, known for its anti-irritation and therapeutic properties.

Key features – Size: 10ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: No

Check price at Boots

6. Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx Temporary Eye Tightener: Best quick fix cream for puffy eyes

Price when reviewed: £32 | Check price at Beauty BayThe social media-savvy may already be familiar with this TikTok-famous product, and it truly does need to be seen to be believed. If you have pronounced puffy eyes, this cream temporarily tightens the area to create a smooth and puff-free appearance. You need only a tiny amount for this cream to work wonders: apply a thin layer and let it dry for around five minutes. During this time, try to keep your face as still as possible to ensure that it sets correctly. Once it’s dry and any excess has been removed, you can then apply any makeup, including concealer and powder.

If you’re after immediate results, this is definitely the cream for you. Admittedly, results are only temporary, lasting several hours on average. But of all the skincare products we’ve put to the test, this is a significantly transformative product.

Key features – Size: 30ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: Yes

7. Olay Hyaluronic 23 Vitamin B5 Day Eye Gel: Best eye cream for dry and puffy eyes

Price when reviewed: £38 | Check price at Bootsbest cream for puffy eyes Olay Hyaluronic on a white background

This super-lightweight, non-oily gel cream from Olay is super hydrating and perfect for eyes that are puffy and tired owing to dehydration. The non-sticky gel absorbs beautifully quickly and feels light and refreshing on the eye area – especially if you store the gel in the fridge.

Olay’s formula includes hydrating hyaluronic acid, with vitamin B5 to nourish and plump up the skin around the eyes, reducing fine lines and improving the overall smoothness and texture of eye bags. The gel doesn’t include any anti-inflammatory ingredients, so this formula is best for hydrating sore and tired eyes that suffer from dryness.

Key features – Size: 15ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: No

8. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye: Best overnight cream for puffy eyes

Price when reviewed: £32 | Check price at John Lewis While this product can be used both in the morning and in the evening, we suggest using it as part of your nighttime skincare routine. Scented with lavender essential oil, it helps you relax and get ready to doze off. And while you sleep, the cream works to give you hydrated and soothed eyes by the morning.

With ingredients such as butcher’s broom extract, known to improve microcirculation to help reduce puffiness, and evening primrose oil, which is said to aid elasticity in the skin, this eye cream continues to impress us when we wake up each morning to see the difference it has made.

Key features – Size: 15ml; Vegan: No; Ophthalmologist-tested: No

Check price at John Lewis

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