It’s hard to believe there was a time before under eye masks existed. And while I don’t quite remember when I first started using them, they’ve since become a go-to for me on many sleep deprived mornings. Drenched in skin brightening and hydrating ingredients and cooling to the touch, these little gel patches do wonders for puffy, dry or shadowy under eyes in ten to twenty minutes flat. Here’s eight of my favorites to use whenever I need a little pick-me-up.
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
These cooling gel pads are a celeb fav (Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard love them) and for good reason: they give tired peepers a quick boost. Speaking from personal experience, I also appreciate that they stay in place better than some of the others Ive tried and are instantly depuffing. Just peel the backings away, stick them under each eye and go about the rest of your morning routine as they work their magic. Ten minutes later and poof! Eye bags are deflated.
Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks
Truthfully, I’d love these gold foil eye masks even if they didn’t work, because they’re just that fun to wear. Luckily, they’re also highly effective, thanks to their three innovative layers: the gold foil, which retains heat and prevents the serum from evaporating; the elastic, which prevents the masks from slipping; and the cellulose fiber, which condenses and delivers the key ingredients (hyaluronic acid and jojoba seed oil, to name a few) to brighten, hydrate and reduce the appearance of dark circles. I've honestly lost count of the number of times these depuffing masks have come through for me over the past year.
Derm Institute Rejuvenating Eye Contour Masque
If you’re looking for a bit more than depuffing—like, say, softening fine lines or crow’s feet around the eyes—these rejuvenating masks go a cut above your standard gel masks. Packed with active anti-aging ingredients like retinol and peptides, each mask hydrates the undereye area immediately (which can help to minimize the appearance of those superficial lines) and plumps up deeper lines over time. Plus, the C-shape of these masks are especially adept at covering more surface area, so you’re targeting all of the skin around your eyes.
Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches
This French pharmacy staple is an absolute godsend during allergy season. Steeped in soothing cornflower water, arnica and chamomile, they feel like a cold compress against puffy undereye skin and offer sweet (sweet) relief immediately upon application. And, unlike other eye masks, they’re not slimy or wet in the slightest, so you never have to worry about them dripping onto your cheeks or leaving behind a trail of gloopy residue as you finish getting ready.
Kat Burki KB5 Eye Recovery Masks
For the ingredient conscious folks or those of you with sensitive skin that’s easily irritated, I’d suggest giving these gentle gel masks a try. Formulated with cold pressed avocado oil and a blend of lavender, calendula and chamomile, as well as hyaluronic acid, each mask gives tired peepers a quick pick-me-up without stinging or causing additional inflammation. Quite the contrary, I've found them to be extremely hydrating and soothing with each and every use.
Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask
A longtime favorite for the most discerning skincare devotees (hi, mom!), these retinol infused masks are widely lauded for how effective they are at diminishing fine lines and brightening dark circles with continued use. Admittedly, they’re a bit on the pricier side (which is why I save them for special occasions only) but boy do they get the job done.
Earth Therapeutics Hydrogel Under-Eye Recovery Patch
On the flip side, if you’re looking for a no-frills option that you can use whenever you need a boost, these hydrogel masks are a tad easier on the wallet (but just as easy on the eyes). Bathed in a trifecta of green tea extract, aloe vera and cucumber, they quell swelling and soothe the delicate skin around your peepers. Tip: Pop them in the fridge the night before for an extra cooling effect to tamp down puffiness.
111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask
For the ultimate splurge, look no further than these extra plumping and hydrating masks that are literally infused with teeny tiny black diamond particles that help with the absorption of the other superstar ingredients in each hydrogel pad. Hyaluronic acid hydrates dryness, while retinol and peptides work beneath the surface to firm up any crepiness. Add to that neurobioxTM, a unique yarrow extract that gently resurfaces dead skin, and you’ve got yourself a potent solution for panda eyes. Pack a set of these ahead of your next international (or red eye) flight and emerge from the plane bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.