The 12 Best Under-Eye Patches Of 2023 For Dark Circles, Fine Lines & More
The eyes are quick to betray a late night or bout of poor sleep, with puffiness and sallow half-moons on full display. Because the skin is so thin and delicate, it can easily dry out and crease (or swell due to inflammation from sugar).
To help deflate the skin in a pinch, many reach for eye masks or patches: These comma-shaped swishes are soaked in serums to deliver much-needed hydration to the delicate eye area, much like a sheet mask can nourish and plump the skin post-cleanse.
Granted, eye masks won't magically erase every crease and fine line in one go, as banishing under-eye wrinkles takes a committed routine. But can you slap on a set of patches one groggy morning and fake a solid eight hours for the time being? You bet.
Ahead, find the best under-eye patches to freshen up your complexion.
Sneak peek of the best under-eye patches of 2023
Sneak peek of the best under-eye patches of 2023
Benefits of under-eye patches.
Eye patches aren't necessarily vital for a simple, cleanse-treat-moisturize regimen, but if you're looking for some extra benefits, these serum-soaked swishes do have some worthy perks:
- Seals in skin care ingredients: "Under-eye masks are unique because they actually provide a layer of protection to seal in the ingredients they are delivering," says board-certified dermatologist Kim Nichols, M.D., founder of NicholsMD of Greenwich. Especially if you use a reusable silicone option, those patches can keep those precious hydrators from evaporating into the air.
- Preps the skin for makeup: "I love applying under-eye masks while prepping the rest of my skin for a night out for a quick pick-me-up," says Nichols. After all, concealer applies much smoother on hydrated, supple skin.
- De-puffs & brightens: Some of these eye patches contain vasoconstrictors (like caffeine and green tea) that constrict blood vessels, dial down inflammation, and brighten dark circles. "For added cooling and de-puffing, I always leave my under-eye masks in the fridge!" notes Nichols.
- Plumps the skin: Think of how a sheet mask immediately plumps the skin with hydration. Will it permanently erase your fine lines? Not quite, but it does provide some instant gratification. The same goes for eye patches.
- Smooths fine lines: Hydrated skin appears brighter and way more supple. The under-eye area is especially prone to dehydration, which can result in parched fine lines. By drenching the region with hydration (plus potent actives, like peptides, retinol, or bakuchiol), you may notice those etchings start to fade.
How we chose:
Eye patches are generally single-use, which isn't too environmentally friendly. However, newer, innovative formulas do tend to be reusable or biodegradable, so we made sure to highlight those options here.
We tested out products firsthand to see what worked and what didn't. When this wasn't possible, our editors utilized verified customer experiences.
Various under-eye concerns need different ingredients. For example, someone dealing with dark circles might want to look for caffeine, while those looking to smooth fine lines might want to use retinol. Here, you'll find the best formula for your specific under-eye goals.
Cooling gel masks tend to be great for dialing down inflammation and puffiness, bio-cellulose or cotton masks tend to provide way less slip, and some masks come in fun shapes and colors. The eye masking experience is definitely something to consider when choosing a product, so we made sure to call out the look and feel.
mbg's picks for the best under-eye patches of 2023
Best for dark circles: Three Ships Beauty Brighter Days Red Algae + Avocado Biodegradable Eye Masks
- 100% biodegradable
- Instantly brightens
- Can be slippery on the skin
This formula is a secret weapon for brighter under-eyes. The serum contains glycerin and red algae extract, both of which are beloved humectants that draw water into the surface of the skin and plump it up with hydration; allantoin, which is a super skin-soother great for reducing inflammation; and upcycled avocado extract, which delivers conditioning fatty acids that further soften and soothe the area. A bonus? The swishes are 100% biodegradable: Simply pop them in warm-hot water for 10 minutes so they can dissolve, then you can pour the remaining liquid down the drain. (I can attest, it really works!)
What our tester says:
These are the eye patches I personally swear by. I deal with some pretty stubborn dark circles (thank you, genetics!), but after my very first use, I was floored by how bright my under-eyes looked—no concealer necessary.
Best for puffiness: Peace Out Puffy Under-Eye Patches
- Made from biodegradable material
- Super hydrating
- Some reviewers say they're slippery
Caffeine is a known vasoconstrictor, meaning it compresses blood vessels in the skin, which can help decrease swelling and inflammation. It’s also a hero ingredient in these bio-cellulose swishes, along with niacinamide to minimize the look of dark circles and hyaluronic acid to make the under-eyes appear oh-so supple. Plenty of reviewers note they immediately look more awake after slapping these on for 15 minutes; and with six pairs for $25, it’s a pretty good deal.
Best for wrinkles: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Instant Eye Lift Algae Mask
- Made with freeze-dried algae instead of cotton
- Certified organic ingredients
- Requires some prep time
It comes with a bit of a learning curve, but the results are well worth it: First, pour the vial of Activator Fluid (brimming with fruit stem cells known for enhancing smooth, youthful skin) onto the freeze-dried algae-derived eye masks, and allow them to soak. Once they’re fully saturated, then apply them to your under-eye area for 10 minutes. It’s like a tall glass of ice water for puffy eyes; not to mention, 70% of participants reported a reduction in fine lines, according to a third party lab consumer panel test.
Best for sensitive skin: Klorane Smoothing And Soothing Eye Patches With Cornflower
- Soothing & calming
- Extra cooling when placed in the fridge
- Great for puffiness
- 99% natural origin ingredients
- Comes in plastic packaging
The eye area is one of the most thin and sensitive regions of your face, so you have to be very careful what you put up close to those irises. That said, if your skin runs especially sensitive, you’ll want to be extra vigilant of potent actives (like retinol) and fragrance. These fragrance-free patches are purely calming and hydrating, with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and soothing cornflower water.
Best affordable: Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels
- Can even wear overnight
- Works quickly
- Contains fragrance
With caffeine, centella asiatica, and hyaluronic acid, these hydrogel patches will reduce puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines in a snap. Seriously: In the brand’s 5-minute use study with 100 participants, 94% of folks said just one treatment provided more immediate results than their current under-eye skin care routine, and 100% said their eyes appeared more awake, revived, and revitalized. Plus, you get five pairs for $12—a little mental math, and that amounts to around $2 per pair.
Best reusable: Dieux Forever Eye Mask
- Lasts a long time
- Works with skin care products you already have
- Chic design
- Requires a serum or eye cream
Like its name suggests, you can use these eye masks, well, forever (or up to one year before the logo may start to fade). The 100% non-porous silicone patches holds gels, serums, and creams close to the skin for maximum absorption—the hardest part is choosing which eye elixir to slather on.
Best disposable pack: iNNBEAUTY Project Electrify Lightning Bolt Eye Mask
- Fun shape
- Reusable to an extent
- Not completely reusable
While these patches are technically disposable, you can easily get two to four uses out of them if you rehydrate them with a few drops of your favorite serum. And you’ll surely want to make them last—just look how cute those lightning bolts are! Aesthetics aside, these masks contain caffeine to brighten dark circles and deflate puffiness, as well as hyaluronic acid, licorice, and indigo leaf extract to hydrate and soothe inflammation. Feel free to stick them in the fridge for a few minutes for some extra de-puffing power.
What our tester says:
I cannot resist snapping a photo every time I pop these babies on—my camera roll is practically littered with lightning bolts. The aesthetics alone are enough to sell me (I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging), but my bright-eyed results make me a die-hard fan.
Best gold: Skin Gym Youth Haus 24k Eye Patches
- Chic aesthetic
- Larger masks that cover more surface area
- Sensitive eyes might not do well with retinol
Does 24K gold make the eye mask experience a whole lot fancier? Absolutely. However, the ingredient has some skin care benefits of note: According to Nichols, gold acts as a natural antioxidant, and it has anti-inflammatory properties ideal for reducing irritation and puffiness.
“The true benefit to gold, however, is that it helps increase the efficacy of other ingredients a product is formulated with,” she adds. “When combined with ingredients such as caffeine, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, gold under-eye masks help to brighten, de-puff, hydrate, and soothe the eye area.” So along with gold, these masks feature hyaluronic acid, collagen, retinol and bakuchiol for supple, smooth under-eyes.
Doctor-recommended: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Masks
- Immediately firms skin
- Made from no-slip bio-cellulose
These patches were co-created by skin care expert Zion Ko Lamm, M.D., so you can bet they pack a punch. Not only are they extra large masks, so they cover a ton of surface area, but they’re also formulated with the brand’s “retinol tri-active technology” that balances fast-acting and delayed-release retinols (think: rapid results without wreaking havoc on the skin).
And according to holistic plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, M.D., the hype is real: After performing a Visia skin analysis of his skin on TikTok, he found a significant reduction in wrinkles from a 15-minute application.
Best microneedling: Skyn Iceland Dissolving Microneedle Eye Patches
- Penetrates more than regular eye masks
- Instantly makes the area look plumper
Microneedling masks tend to provide more direct penetration than a standard eye mask, which generally just sits on the skin. The term "microneedling" might sound scary, but all it entails is a mild prickling sensation when you press on the patches; it goes away as the micro-darts start to dissolve, then it functions just like your regular eye patch.
This option from Skyn Iceland hyaluronic acid- and peptide-infused tips to smooth crepey skin and fine lines, plus a proprietary Icelandic Complex to brighten up the area.
Best before makeup: Jillian Dempsey Hydrating Eye Masks
- Doesn’t slide on the skin
- Recyclable outer packaging
- Contains fragrance
For pre-makeup patches, who better to trust than a celebrity makeup artist? A $75 price tag sounds like a lot, but you do get a lot of bang for your buck with these patches—they’re $7.50 per pair. And as someone who loves a milky, hydrating serum, these masks immediately caught my eye: They’re infused with a soothing, prebiotic formula, plus hyaluronic acid, camelina oil, almond oil for an ultra-moisturizing experience. Pro tip: Use Dempsey’s vibrating Gold Bar over them for extra de-puffing.
Best hydrating: Rare Beauty Hydrating Under Eye Patches
- Gentle & cooling
- Hydrating yet don’t slide around
Chances are you’ve seen these beauties gracing your social media feeds; some even consider them the hero product of Selena Gomez’s cult-favorite beauty brand (although, it’s hard to top the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, IMO). With caffeine, green tea extract, hyaluronic acid, and cacao seed extract, the formula is like an antioxidant-packed green smoothie for your under-eyes. And according to Ms. Gomez herself, they never leave behind a sticky residue.
How to choose.
We did most of the legwork for you, but here's what to keep in mind as you shop:
Again, different skin concerns require targeted ingredients. If you're dealing with puffy eye bags, look for caffeine and skin-soothers like chamomile. For fine lines, seek peptides, antioxidants, and retinol. Caffeine works great for dark circles, too, as does niacinamide and vitamin C. And if you're looking for some much-needed hydration? Load on the humectants, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and nourishing oils.
Gel masks tend to come with extra cooling and de-puffing benefits, although they also tend to be more slippery. Bio-cellulose or cotton swishes can better cling to your skin, while reusable silicone is great for making sure those skin care ingredients really sink into the under-eyes. Each has its own set of benefits—it's up to you!
We typically don't like to recommend single-use products here at mbg since they're not too environmentally friendly. Good news: Many eye patches are formulated with either biodegradable materials or are completely reusable. The market has come a long way, and we recommend making sustainability a vital part of your shopping experience.
Do under-eye patches really work?
"Both eye creams, gels, and masks can be beneficial to skin in the sensitive, thin under-eye area," says Nichols. You'll still need a proper eye care routine, but eye patches can provide an extra wave of hydration. They won't secure long-lasting results, but they can certainly plump your skin temporarily.
What is the benefit of under-eye patches?
Under-eye patches are great for de-puffing, brightening dark circles, dialing down inflammation, soothing an irritated eye area, and prepping the skin before makeup. And depending on the masks you use, they can even help smooth fine lines over time.
How often should I use under-eye patches?
"I recommend that my patients apply under-eye masks two to three times per week as needed," says Nichols. "It is important to note that while under-eye masks help to minimize the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness, if you're looking for a more impactful or dramatic result it is best to consult your board-certified dermatologist for treatment options."
What is the best time to use under-eye patches?
"You can apply under-eye masks as a part of either your morning or nighttime skin care routine. I typically apply under-eye masks in the morning or right before I prep for a big event, but it truly depends on personal preference," Nichols says.
Discovering the best under-eye patches ultimately depends on what skin care goal you're trying to achieve. The Three Ships Beauty gels are my personal favorite since they immediately brighten and deflate puffiness, but they can be pretty slippery. Rare Beauty's set locks better into place if sliding patches tend to bother you. Or if you're looking for a reusable option, the Dieux Forever Eye Mask is a classic beauty editor favorite. Just know that if you do opt for reusable silicone patches, you'll need an ultra-hydrating eye cream to layer underneath—here, you can find our favorites.