From your head to your toes, there's a treatment for everything nowadays, but few have caught the attention of the beauty world like under-eye masks. Perhaps it's the fact so many of us feel like we don't get enough sleep! A pampering step up from (although no doubt inspired by) a couple of slices of cucumber, they typically take the form of two sheet mask or gel pads that are placed beneath tired, puffy eyes to soothe, cool, and rejuvenate.
But it's not just dark circles, bags, or puffiness these magical masks can help with, as you'll also find those with anti-ageing extras like collagen or retinol to combat wrinkles or hydrating and brightening ingredients for dry or dull skin. Feeling intrigued? Today's buying guide will answer any questions you may have, and to make choosing a little easier we've also rounded up 10 affordable, effective masks to grab from Amazon, eBay and John Lewis. What late night?
Depending on whether you're after an occasional mask to ease the effects of a night on the town, an anti-ageing treatment or something luxe for a self-care Sunday, the under-eye mask you pick will have different ingredients, aims, and usages. Here we'll look at which would be best for your needs.
There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to skincare, and most of us are usually looking for products that tackle more than just one thing. Next we'll list each concern and the effective ingredients that can help to target it, so you can mix and match them accordingly and find a mask that does what you need it to.
Whether it's from an all-nighter, a tearful night, or just an awful night's sleep, most of us are no strangers to waking up with puffy eyes. Instead of holding a bag of frozen peas to your face before rushing out the door, we'd recommend an under-eye mask containing cooling ingredients like cucumber, arnica, aloe vera, and, wait for it, gold!
As well as soothing puffiness, nano-gold particles actually boast a whole host of under-eye benefits, such as hydrating the skin – which is good news seeing as ingredients like cucumber can be quite drying. You may also want to ensure there are other hydrators such as oils or butters to balance this out.
And finally, zingy caffeine-based ingredients such as coffee extract and green tea are also worth checking out as they have an almost instant effect at settling down puffiness.
Dark circles can appear for many reasons, and whilst this does include burning the candle, sometimes they're simply a part of your appearance. For example, they may be more apparent on those with thinner under-eye skin, in which case you could look for masks with retinol, which can help to thicken skin over time.
Other ingredients that can help to brighten darker under-eye areas include vitamin C, licorice root extract, niacinamide (vitamin B3), and circulation-boosting caffeine or ginkgo biloba leaf.
You may not know this, but there's actually a slight difference between dehydrated skin and skin suffering from dryness – essentially, dehydration refers to a lack of moisture produced by the skin, and dryness a lack of oils, but the two often go hand in hand. So how can we tackle both concerns in the under-eye area?
For dryness specifically, keep an eye out for masks containing plant oils such as olive or jojoba oil and skin-conditioning algae, and to tackle both dehydration and dryness, look to glycerin, and the current shining star of the beauty world, hyaluronic acid.
The skin under our eyes is much thinner and more delicate than on the rest of the face, which means it has fewer oil glands, and is more likely to lose elasticity and wrinkle as we age. As well as keeping under-eye skin hydrated, choose masks with antioxidants to renew and repair, and ingredients rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids such as chlorella.
Many anti-ageing masks contain collagen, which encourages the renewal of cells for a plumping, firming, crease-smoothing effect. Similarly, retinol has the ability to cause a surge in the amount of collagen your body naturally produces, so using these two side-by-side can double your chances in the battle against fine lines.
There are a few different varieties that fall beneath the under-eye mask umbrella, and within these categories, the time it takes each to work its magic will vary too. Check out the facts below and see whether you'd prefer a morning boost or an overnight healer!
Under-eye masks will usually only need to be left on for 10-20 minutes. The advantage of this, of course, is that you aren't limited to evening or overnight use – they're the ideal pick-me-up for groggy mornings that can be whacked on whilst you go about your other AM getting-ready tasks, leaving your eyes looking more 8 hours than 5.
These speedy treatments are also much-loved by frequent travellers, as you'll reap all of their cooling, awakening, and hydrating rewards without having to struggle with a rinse-off mask in a tiny aeroplane bathroom.
10 minute masks can come in gel or cream form, but if it's a quick turnaround you're after, you'll probably want to stick to patches. Checking the instructions should reveal the exact application time, which will be particularly useful if mornings (or evenings!) are a mad rush in your household.
Our skin does most of its healing while we sleep, so it makes sense to apply treatments with rejuvenating formulas whilst you slumber. With overnight masks, you'll also have the option of under-eye creams or gels, which may appeal more if you aren't keen on the disposable nature of patches, or if you prefer something more traditional.
Regardless of which you go for, the main draw of overnight treatments is that they're more intense, so will suit those looking for an extra boost alongside their regular eye cream. Bear in mind creams will probably be a pricier buy, although you do often get more mask for your money.
Time to check out the products! We've rounded up our 10 favourite under-eye masks that promise to cool, soothe, plump, and brighten, and ranked them in order of effectiveness, beneficial ingredients, and value for money.
|Beneficial Ingredients||Collagen, hyaluronic acid, chlorella|
|Application Time||20 minutes|
|Main Concern||Puffiness, dehydration|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Caffeine, glycerin|
|Main Concern||Anti-ageing, dark circles|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Retinol, chlorella extract, glycerin|
|Application Time||15 minutes|
|Main Concern||Anti-ageing, dark circles, puffiness|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Retinol, peptides, cucumber, arnica|
|Application Time||5 minutes or overnight|
|Quantity||5 masks, single pack available|
|Main Concern||Puffiness, dryness, anti-ageing, dark circles|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Hyaluronic acid, arnica, dragon's blood|
|Application Time||20-30 minutes|
|Main Concern||Anti-ageing, puffiness, dehydration|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Nano-active gold, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vegan collagen|
|Application Time||15-20 minutes|
|Main Concern||Anti-ageing, dehydration, dryness|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Caffeine, coffee extract, algae|
|Application Time||10 minutes|
|Main Concern||Dark circles, puffiness|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Vitamins C and B, coffee, green tea, licorice|
|Application Time||30 minutes|
|Main Concern||Puffiness, dehydration, dark circles|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, glycerin|
|Application Time||15 minutes|
|Main Concern||Anti-ageing, puffiness, dark circles, dehydration|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Hydrolyzed extensin, peptides, ginkgo biloba, antioxidants|
|Application Time||10 minutes|
Grace & Stella
Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
Hyaluronic Acid and Orange Juice Tissue Mask
Anti Dark Circles Brightening Eye Mask
Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Masks
Anti-Wrinkle and Energising Eye Masks
Dragon's Blood Eye Masks
Flashpatch Restoring Night Eye Gels
Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Smoothing Eye Mask
Eye Sleeping Mask
Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks
The Best Multi-Use Under-Eye Mask for Every Skin Type
Zingy, Moisturising and Easy on the Wallet
A Drugstore Favourite That Erases the Night Before
A Rich Weekly Treatment to Rejuvenate and Refresh
100% Natural and 100% Glam
Depuff, Hydrate and Tone with a Celebrity Favourite
Treats Any and Every Concern While You Sleep
Steam-Press Wrinkles in Just 15 Minutes
An Overnight Korean Skin Care Saviour
A Collagen-Rich Anti-Ageing Solution
|Main Concern||Anti-ageing, puffiness, dark circles, dehydration||Puffiness, dehydration, dark circles||Dark circles, puffiness||Anti-ageing, dehydration, dryness||Anti-ageing, puffiness, dehydration||Puffiness, dryness, anti-ageing, dark circles||Anti-ageing, dark circles, puffiness||Anti-ageing, dark circles||Puffiness, dehydration||Anti-ageing|
|Beneficial Ingredients||Hydrolyzed extensin, peptides, ginkgo biloba, antioxidants||Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, glycerin||Vitamins C and B, coffee, green tea, licorice||Caffeine, coffee extract, algae||Nano-active gold, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vegan collagen||Hyaluronic acid, arnica, dragon's blood||Retinol, peptides, cucumber, arnica||Retinol, chlorella extract, glycerin||Caffeine, glycerin||Collagen, hyaluronic acid, chlorella|
|Application Time||10 minutes||15 minutes||30 minutes||10 minutes||15-20 minutes||20-30 minutes||5 minutes or overnight||15 minutes||Overnight||20 minutes|
|Quantity||4 masks||Single mask||3 masks||4 masks||12 masks||8 masks||5 masks, single pack available||12 masks||25 ml||6 masks|
Looking for other solutions for a sleep-deprived soul? Or perhaps you want to treat a stressed-out loved one to a few other relaxing, pampering goodies (that loved one can still be you, by the way) – whatever you need, we've got the buying guides and product recommendations to soothe your ailments!
Choosing the best under-eye mask shouldn't be another thing in life that causes stress, there are plenty of those! With the help of our guide, you should now be wise to the most effective ingredients to look for and the right type of mask – which should hopefully lead you to your new self-care skin saviour.
Author: Natasha Dziubajlo
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