Best caffeine eye creams to help with puffiness, recommended by experts

Brighten dark circles with the revitalising ingredient

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Ellie Davis26 January 2024
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It’s likely the first thing you think of as soon as you open your eyes, but getting your morning caffeine fix has taken on a very different meaning.

Not content with dominating your morning brew, the ingredient is making a play for your skincare regime.

The beauty buzzword has been lauded for its revitalising properties - and it’s fitting when you think about it.

You drink a cup of Jo (or two, or four) to give you energy for the day and it works in much the same way. This is why it has become a popular component in eye creams, in particular, treating the delicate area with a boost. After a night on the tiles – or scrolling TikTok for far longer than you intended – counteract sleep deprivation with a shot of espresso in your coffee and a swipe of caffeine in your eye cream to perk up your peepers and brighten dark circles.

What does caffeine eye cream do?

Dr Aiza Jamil, Consultant Dermatologist at sk:n Clinics explains, “Caffeine is known for its stimulating properties and is believed to offer various benefits when applied topically around the eyes. It reduces the appearance of puffiness and under-eye bags by constricting blood vessels and minimising fluid retention”.

She continues “By promoting better blood flow, caffeine may help reduce the appearance of dark circles around the eyes. It is also known for its antioxidant properties and may have a temporary skin-tightening effect, helping to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”.

Does caffeine eye cream work?

In short, yes! According to Dr Jamil, “Caffeine eye creams offer potential benefits, such as reducing puffiness, improving circulation and providing antioxidant effects”.

She cautions that “The effectiveness of caffeine eye cream can vary from person to person, and its impact may be influenced by factors such as individual skin type, the specific formulation of the product, and the underlying cause of the skin concerns trying to address”.

How long does caffeine eye cream take to work?

This very much depends. “The time it takes for a caffeine eye cream to show noticeable results can vary from person to person”, says the dermatologist. “Some people may experience immediate benefits, such as a reduction in puffiness or a temporary tightening sensation after applying caffeine eye cream”.

The more you use it, however, the better the results. She confirms “With consistent use, you may start to notice short-term improvements in the appearance of puffiness and dark circles within a few days to a couple of weeks. For longer-term benefits, such as improved skin texture, reduced fine lines, and enhanced skin resilience, it may take several weeks to a few months of regular use”.

How to apply caffeine eye cream

The eye area is extremely delicate. It is 10 times thinner than the rest of the face and should be treated with case, especially when it comes to applying eye cream. Do not drag the skin. Dr Jamil breaks it down, “Ensure the face is cleansed and pat dry it. Put a small amount of the caffeine eye cream onto your fingertip. Using a gentle tapping or patting motion, spread the eye cream around your eye area. Start from the inner corner near your nose and move outwards, following the contour of your eye. Be careful not to apply the eye cream too close to your eyes”.

How often should you use it?

“Many caffeine eye creams are formulated to be used both in the morning and at night”, the derm concludes. “Applying it in the morning can help reduce puffiness and awaken the eyes, while using it at night can contribute to hydration and overall eye care”.

Shop the best caffeine eye creams below

The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream

The INKEY List

Caffeine is an ingredient you’ll spot in many eye creams, chosen for its revitalising bright-eyed results. It takes centre stage in this formula from The INKEY List – an affordable label that cuts through the noise with simplified ingredient line-ups.

It can be used by all skin types, even those with sensitivities due to its fragrance-free nature, and works to combat puffiness and brighten the look of dark circles. You can even layer under makeup without fear of balling or flaking.

Buy now£9.99, The INKEY List

Sunday Riley Autocorrect Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream

Sunday Riley

A periorbital facial in a bottle, this hero product from Sunday Riley is designed to reduce the look of dark circles with a powerhouse combination of caffeine, horse chestnut and Brazilian ginseng root extract. The depuffing cream also contains watermelon extract, shea and cocoa butter for a calming, moisture-packed and revitalising effect.

Buy now£60, Cult Beauty

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

The Ordinary

This is not only one of the most lauded eye serums on the market but also one of the Holy Grail skincare products of all time. It is an efficacious lightweight formulation that is packed with potent ingredients to minimise the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

The solution contains a combination of a green tea leaf derivative as well as the named ingredient caffeine to give a refreshed appearance. It may appear slightly sticky but absorbs quickly without leaving a residue. Follow this with a hydrating moisturising formula.

Buy now£8.40, lookfantastic

Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Eye Cream


For bright eyes, look to Caudalie and its cult Vinoperfect Brightening Eye Cream.

The formula tackles dark circles and any form of pigmentation with an illuminating effect that is enhanced by the cooling applicator that is immediately soothing for tired peepers. The formula is fragrance-free and is made up of Viniferine, a patented ingredient that is derived from vine sap and is responsible for the reduction in the look of vascular and pigmentary circles.

This is set alongside soothing niacinamide and naturally derived caffeine to counteract puffiness.

Buy now£30, Cult Beauty

Typology Eye Serum with 5% Caffeine + 5% Niacinamide


Whether it’s puffiness or dark circles, your eyes are the first giveaway of a heavy night. A formula infused with both caffeine and niacinamide, Typology’s serum will at once de-puff, reduce redness, and brighten the area, solving all of your tired-eye-concerns.

Buy now£16.50, Typology

Skinceuticals A.G.E. Advanced Eye For Dark Circles & Wrinkles


Celebrated for its firming and brightening properties, Skinceuticals proves its prowess once again with the A.G.E. Advanced Eye. The multitasking cream tackles the most common concerns related to the periorbital area – namely dark circles, crow’s feet and wrinkles.

It has a smooth, silky texture that glides onto the delicate zone imparting a potent combination of trademarked ingredients as well as the anti-ageing peptide Matrix 3000. Within the formula, there is also caffeine that has a brightening effect on the eyes after a sleepless night.

Buy now£105, Skinceuticals

La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] Retinol Eye Cream

La Roche-Posay

Retinol and sensitive skin, generally speaking, do not go hand in hand – but La Roche-Posay is trying to change this. The French pharmacy label which specialises in gentle formulations made specifically for those prone to irritation has incorporated the vitamin A derivative into its formulation so that no matter your skin type, you can make the most of its anti-ageing properties.

Alongside the pure retinol component, there is also caffeine and together these two buzz ingredients get to work to minimise the appearance of fine lines and brighten tired peepers. This is all while coating the area in a soothing gel texture.

Buy now£30, Cult Beauty

FARMACY Cheer up Brightening Vitamin C Eye Cream


When it’s a product you love, it makes it all the easier to slip into your skincare routine and the Cheer Up eye cream is one you will love. For those who often forget this step, look to Farmacy’s creation which has an instant wide-eye impact on sleep-deprived peepers. The formula combines caffeine, hyaluronic acid and the hero acerola cherry-derived vitamin C to lighten dark circles and smooth out fine lines, all without any artificial fragrances or greasy residue.

Buy now£18, Cult Beauty

Drunk Elephant A-Shaba Complex Eye Serum

Drunk Elephant

Whether you had a restorative eight hours or a sleeping schedule that leaves much to be desired, dark circles can be a constant fixture and just don’t seem to budge. That’s when you call in the big guns of elephant proportions. The nasties-free skincare label has retained its cult status thanks to hard-working formulas like the A-Shaba Complex Eye Serum.

The lightweight product minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and calms puffiness with a cocktail of buzzed-about ingredients. These include the anti-ageing powerhouse retinol, plumping copper peptides, soothing and smoothing niacinamide and boosting caffeine with a long list of benefits that include antioxidant protection from external aggressors.

Buy now£56, Cult Beauty