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14 best eye creams for mature skin that hydrate dry areas and tackle wrinkles

“It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it” as Bananarama once said and Ella Fitzgerald sang before them. By the same sentiment, it’s not just about the eye cream you apply, but how you apply it.

For those of us past the first bloom of youth, a nourishing eye cream is key. The lack of sebaceous glands in this area mean it is prone to dryness; the delicate skin surrounding the eyes is the thinnest on the whole body; and its near constant movement through smiling and blinking all combine to make the eyes particularly susceptible to signs of ageing.

To hydrate, smooth and help camouflage these signs, key eye cream ingredients to look for include vitamins A and C, peptides, hyaluronic acid and caffeine.

Alexandra Soveral, facialist and cosmetic formulator at Soveral shares her tips on how best to look after the eye area.

After that, “the best thing you can do to improve this area is ensure you get enough sleep and learn how to do a daily detoxifying eye drainage massage. This will increase the supply of nutrients to the skin as well as detoxifying the area, reducing puffiness and dark circles.”

“For a simple eye circle massage, start at the outer corners of eye and follow the (under) eye socket towards the bridge of the nose, then upwards towards the inner end of the eyebrow and outwards to the starting point. Pinching and holding at the natural eyebrow arch for 10 seconds will activate the lachrymal gland, bringing hydration to the eye area.”

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Dermalogica biolumin-c eye serum

An update of the original biolumin-c serum, this delivers a boost of vitamin C together with a synthetic peptide (aka skin’s building block), moisturising chia seed oil and tremella mushroom to brighten, firm and hydrate.

We were impressed with the results. The serum is very wet, but that made it feel as if we were flooding much-needed moisture into our skin. As the serum dried it had the effect of tightening the skin, making it feel lifted. On a shallower note, we also loved the reassuringly clinical looking dispenser on the end of the tube and the freshness of the subtle citrus fragrance.

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Zelens triple-action advanced eye cream

Zelens’ founder, Dr. Mark Lens, is a surgeon specialising in skin ageing and skin cancer. This looks and feels like a hybrid of a cream and a gel, with a lightweight texture that makes for gentle and easy application day or night.

It contains an impressive cocktail of crow’s feet fighting ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, caffeine, collagen, vitamin E and peptides. We felt that the lines around the eyes looked smoother and skin tone brighter after use.

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The Inkey List retinol eye cream

This brand is making waves for its no-nonsense, budget friendly formulations containing high quality ingredients. To be used at night once or twice a week to begin with, this is a relatively gentle, entry-level retinol product that did not irritate our tester’s sensitive eyes.

It can also be used on the lines around the lips. While not specifically aimed at the more mature consumer, this is still an option for those who are looking for a gentle retinol cream.

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Nuxe nuxuriance gold radiance eye balm

From Nuxe’s range for mature skin, this balm contains high levels of natural origin ingredients including saffron and bougainvillea. The comforting, smooth butterscotch colour makes a pleasant change to the usual clinical white. It sank in to the skin immediately without leaving any shiny residue and delivers a good dose of hydration. We felt it did make the undereye area look brighter (it contains micro-reflectors) and less wrinkly.

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CeraVe eye repair cream

This dermatologist developed brand from the US has something of a cult following. It is formulated around ceramides (basically, the oils naturally present in the skin) which help protect the skin barrier and retain moisture. The eye cream also contains marine and botanical extracts. The silky balm is easy to apply and suitable for sensitive skin and we felt it kept the skin around the eyes hydrated which helped our eyes to look more awake. A great buy for the price.

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L’Occitane immortelle overnight reset eye serum

This serum, in its jewel-like bottle, is designed to work overnight while you sleep. Suspended in the serum are tiny golden bubbles which contain a blend of essential oils sourced from organic producers in Corsica. The formulation also includes a botanical complex and caffeine.

We loved the luxurious feel of the product and the (recyclable) bottle, as well as the ritual of applying it before sleep. After using for a few days, we did think we could see an improvement in the smoothness around our eyes.

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Elemental Herbology eye elixir eye cream

The sleek rose gold packaging exudes sophisticated luxury. Inside, a triple peptide concentrate works to reduce dark circles and puffiness with anti-inflammatory marshmallow and hydrating blue green algae.

The smooth, gorgeously scented lotion absorbed easily without being greasy or sticky and with none of the sparkly trace that some brightening eye creams leave behind. The quick absorption also allowed for instant application of make-up. A week of use saw an improvement in under eye puffiness. We found that one pump (as suggested) dispensed too much product, half a pump was easily enough for both eyes.

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Sunday Riley auto correct eye cream

This one has a devoted fan club and a great name. It’s formulated with Brazilian ginseng and horse chestnut extract, caffeine and the antioxidant lutein to hydrate and smooth. If dark circles are your nemesis, this is one to try. We noticed it made us look less tired and definitely de-puffed. Plus, it has a rose gold hue that works to brighten the under eye shadows. A good investment for mature skin and worth noting that a little product goes a long way.

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SkinCeuticals mineral eye UV defence SPF30

This serious, scientifically researched brand is loved by dermatologists and plastic surgeons (see the “tested post procedure” claim on the box). It’s a clever twist to build the all-important SPF into an eye cream. One less product to worry about. While it doesn’t claim to contain all the age-fighting ingredients of a regular eye cream, it hydrates and protects from UV damage, so is more of a prevention than a cure. The mousse texture is quite lumpy when dispensed but absorbs smoothly and the tinted (universal) shade improves skin tone and provides a good base for make-up.

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Murad retinol youth renewal eye serum

Along with nutrient rich, marine kelp complex, the formula includes the triple whammy “retinol tri-active technology”: A retinoid, a time-release retinol and a retinol booster. It is still safe to be used during the day however (with an SPF), as well as at night and can be applied all over the eye area. We found it absorbed easily and without irritation. Dark circles seemed less severe after a few days of use, although that was perhaps more from the light-reflecting particles than any more substantial change. It even won the ultimate accolade from a teenage daughter who reported that our tester’s eyes looked “a bit less wrinkly and baggy”. Praise indeed.

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Beauty Pie super retinol anti-wrinkle eye cream

Beauty Pie members pay a monthly fee (from £5 a month) to access products made in the same Swiss lab as more expensive equivalents. The aim is to keep prices low by side-stepping big marketing budgets, fancy packaging and celebrity ambassadors.

This retinol eye cream contains slow release retinol micro-capsules together with hyaluronic acid. The advice is that those with very sensitive skin should avoid this one. Although we felt that the simple packaging was a bit too “no fuss” and that the texture didn’t feel luxurious, it did get the job done with no irritation and led to a notable difference in the surrounding lines and the shadows under the eye.

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Medik8 illuminating eye balm

This well-regarded UK cosmeceutical company specialises in anti-ageing. The eye balm is designed for use during the day, for under the eyes only (avoiding eyelids). It can be applied under or over make-up, making this one for the make-up bag rather than the bathroom shelf. The illuminating mineral pigments add brightness, antioxidant cucumber extract cools, while red algae extract works to minimise fluid retention. We found it soothing and noticed it definitely made us look perkier. A welcome addition to our daytime “look-less-tired” arsenal.

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Alexandra Soveral forever young eye cream

Hand blended in London; this little pot is big on moisturising power. The cream glides on easily and absorbs well. We found it left the eye area feeling well-nourished and therefore plumped. With an emphasis on natural ingredients, it contains frankincense, vitamins C and E for their antioxidant properties, peptides to encourage collagen production and plant based hyaluronic acid. Delicately fragranced, it suited our tester’s sensitive eyes and delivered real results.

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Willowberry reviving eye cream

It may not have the flashiest packaging, but this cream scored highly with us for the way it felt cooling and soothing around the eyes. With hyaluronic acid and vitamin E along with pomegranate extract, green tea, probiotics and caffeine, it is also designed to be a base for eye make-up. Made in the UK, it is cruelty-free and vegan and claims to be 99 per cent naturally derived. With no essential oils it is also kind to sensitive skin. We found it to be quite runny, so you need to give it time to sink in.

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The verdict: Eye creams for mature skin

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.