Best Korean eye creams to reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines

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Glow Recipe
Ellie Davis8 February 2024
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K-Beauty is well on its way to worldwide domination.

According to Straits Research, the beauty products from The Land of the Morning Calm had “a revenue holding of USD 8.30 billion in 2021” and is “expected to reach USD 18.32 billion by 2030”.

Ingredients like snail mucin, masking practices and jade rollers have become a mainstay in our routines as we attempt to recreate the plump, hydrated complexions that are the skincare signatures.

Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, Simple Skincare Brand Ambassador and Founder & Medical Director of Adonia Medical Clinic, explains “Korean skincare focuses heavily on maintaining skin hydration, often utilising lightweight, hydrating formulas like essences and serums. They often incorporate gentle exfoliation methods such as chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs and feature natural ingredients like green tea, ginseng, and snail mucin known for their beneficial properties”.

K-Beauty is likely best known for its extensive 12-step routine. This always starts with a double cleanse and includes a stage for moisturiser and SPF. Eye cream is a priority, even for those taking a more pared-back approach to their AM and PM applications.

A designated cream for the periorbital area ensures your precious peepers are cared for with gentler, easily absorbed creams that are more suitable for the delicate zone of the face, which is 10 times thinner.

This is especially true for Korean eye creams. Dr Ejikeme says “They tend to have lightweight textures that absorb quickly into the delicate skin around the eyes”. But unlike their non-K-beauty counterparts, “They often contain a variety of unique ingredients such as ginseng, green tea extract, and snail mucin, which are popular in Korean skincare for their anti-ageing and brightening properties”.

Whether you are looking to brighten tired eyes after a restless night, counteract puffiness, up the hydration levels or tackle fine lines, the crop of Korean eye creams is up for the task. The skincare expert advises to look out for the inclusion of these active ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Provides hydration and plumps up fine lines.
  • Peptides: Help to firm and lift the skin around the eyes.
  • Niacinamide: Brightens dark circles and evens out skin tone.
  • Caffeine: Reduces puffiness and helps to de-puff the under-eye area.
  • Vitamin C: Helps to brighten and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

To join the K-beauty revolution and nourish parched peepers, shop the best Korean eye creams below.

innisfree Intensive Hydrating Eye Cream with Green Tea Seed


Transport to the beautiful beaches and waterfalls of Korea’s Jeju Island with Innisfree, the Korean skincare label that was already a cult buy before it even landed on UK soil. The brand has been changing the game since 2000 with its clean formulas that spotlight only 14 ingredients. One that you’ll spot across the collection is organic green tea derived from the Southern hotspot and grown in the soil and water that are brimming with skin-loving nutrients.

Green tea seed oil and green tea water extracts take a starring role in this eye cream that is designed for tired, dry and fragile under eyes to add radiance and hydration. It uses an interesting Dual Moisture Rising technology that adds to the longevity of the skin’s moisture levels long after application and ensures immediate results.

Buy now£23.33, Cult Beauty

COSRX Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream


It may not sound like the most appealing prospect, but snail secretion is the not-so-secret ingredient that has K-Beauty lovers running to the tills. It has been spearheaded by COSRX and features across the Korean label’s range as an essence, cleanser and you guessed it, an eye cream.

In this periorbital product, the component has been combined with five forms of peptides, an anti-ageing powerhouse and plumping niacinamide to firm up the skin around the peepers and fill fine lines and wrinkles. The lightweight texture is lapped up by parched skin without any greasy residue left behind.

Buy now£35.99, lookfantastic

PURITO Centella Green Level Eye Cream


Centella extract is an ingredient that those with sensitive skin will be familiar with. It is often included in nourishing skin products for those prone to irritation as the tall glass of water for the complexion should not form a reaction in its wake. Instead, it treats dry skin with soothing, hydrating properties, while acting as an anti-ageing element as an antioxidant.

In this eye cream from PURITO, it does all the above, but the brand takes this one step further by creating a moisturising cocktail with hyaluronic acid and fine-line fighting peptides. The natural label is vegan, cruelty-free and uses only ethically sourced ingredients and recycled materials.

Buy now£17.80, lookfantastic

Dr.Jart+ Ceramidin Eye Cream


Extreme nourishment is the M.O. of Dr.Jart+’s Ceramidin collection, a range dedicated to healing and conditioning the skin.

For the gentle area around the eyes, the brand has gone for a lighter texture without sacrificing the cushiony texture, brightening properties and ceramide-rich formulation that defines the face creams.

In fact, for the latter, there are five included as part of a protective, strengthening complex that will leave you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on the day.

Buy now£29.52, Cult Beauty

Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream

Saturday Skin

Don’t judge the deceiving pared-back packaging, the Sunday Skin range is packed with innovation, epitomising the signatures of K-beauty by combining high-powered plants with science-backed formulations and sensorial applications.

Fake a restful eight hours with the Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream. The product is made up of date seed extract to bring a touch of radiance to tired peepers, an antioxidant-rich ingredient that brings vibrancy to dark circles. There is also avocado protein extract to strengthen, hyaluronic acid for hydration and firming peptides.

Buy now£36, Sephora

Erborian CC Eye Cream


A holy grail makeup-skincare hybrid in the beauty cabinets of those in the know, the Erborian CC Crème earns its stellar reputation. The tiger grass-enriched formula encourages healing and soothes inflammation, all while providing a subtle tint on the complexion.

The eye cream is no different but switches tiger grass for tiger fruit. It also adds centella asiatica into the mix to add hydration to the equation and houses the pigments in encapsulated form for a flawless finish. The three-in-one product also has SPF20.

Buy now Space NK

AHC Real Eye Cream For Face


AHC was founded in an aesthetic clinic in Korea to bring high-performance products and make them accessible to all. The quality formulations are a testament to the brand’s prowess. Take the Essential Real Eye Cream, for instance.

The composition includes a proprietary vitamin-rich and peptide complex to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while fortifying the skin. It was created to be easily absorbed – so much so that the label recommends applying it all over the face.

Buy now£11.99, Amazon

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream

Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe was founded in the US but takes its inspiration from Korean practices. In fact, the brand started as a platform for Seoul-imported K-Beauty cosmetics before creating its own in-house skincare label and becoming one of the most hyped-about brands around the world. Founders Christine Chang and Sarah Lee show their commitment to healthy skin with Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream.

After a night on the tiles, you’ll be reaching for its brightening and reviving properties. While silky smooth and lightweight in texture, it infuses the delicate skin area with encapsulated vitamin C and niacinamide to hydrate and even skin tone. There is also caffeine for a revitalising effect.

Buy now£36, Cult Beauty

Laneige Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Eye Cream


Puffy peepers have met their match with this instantly soothing eye cream from Laneige. The second that its cooling cream texture reaches your eyes, you will be treated to a hard-working blend of hyaluronic acid and sea algae-derived fucoidan that provides moisture that lasts. There is also niacinamide and caffeine contained within to brighten and rejuvenate the periorbital area. Keep it in the fridge for that extra reviving on tired mornings.

Buy now£33, Space NK