When you just can’t seem to get going in the morning, there’s nothing like a steaming cup of coffee to jump-start your day. Turns out that caffeine isn’t just a gift to those in need of a boost of energy—it’s also a notable ingredient in formulations that help to minimize the appearance of dark under-eye circles and puffiness.
Yes, formulas with everyone’s favorite morning (and, occasionally, afternoon) ingredient has some serious energizing benefits for your skin, especially when it comes to your under eyes. It’s for this reason that Kiehl’s incorporates caffeine into many of our most popular eye products. Our eye cream formulas with caffeine are fast-acting, so you’ll see immediate benefits with lasting results, including illuminating the under-eye area for a rested look. So, there’s no need to look like you didn’t catch a wink of sleep, even if that really is the case. You can address tired-looking eyes with the right eye cream.
Why Do My Eyes Look So Tired?
First things first, let’s talk about why you have tired eyes to begin with. While genetics and age play a role in the appearance of dark circles and under-eye puffiness, anyone can see these two issues become more pronounced after a bad night’s sleep.
Dark circles under the eyes most often show up because you’re tired.I They can be exacerbated further by some of the side effects of not getting enough shut-eye. For instance, when you don’t get the necessary sleep, your skin tends to look paler in the a.m., making your shadows and dark under-eye circles (which you would have regardless) appear even more pronounced.II Repeatedly rubbing your eyes, something you may be prone to doing when you are sleepy, can also worsen under-eye circles.III As for puffiness and under-eye bags, they can be a direct result of too little sleep and will make you look extra tired.II
Kiehl's Expert Tip: Speaking of sleep and dark circles, what’s your pillow situation like? It’s time to stop sleeping on a single pillow. Prop your head up with extra pillows, and it can help prevent that aforementioned puffiness. This is because fluid will be less likely to pool in your eye area.II
Do Caffeine-Infused Eye Creams Work?
Identifying why your eyes look tired isn’t particularly helpful unless you also know how to look more awake. While concealer and illuminating makeup can certainly help, today, we’re focused on whether caffeine eye cream can be your saving grace. Caffeine is known as an antioxidant, just like vitamin C, and when antioxidants are included in eye creams, these formulas can help protect against damage and keep your eye area looking its best.IV Research also shows that thanks to its antioxidant properties, caffeine may help reduce your chances of developing wrinklesV and slow down the process of photoaging.VI
Eye creams formulated with caffeine are also popular picks for dark circles because studies indicate topical caffeine application is effective for reducing their appearance.VII This is what happens: The caffeine helps blood circulate around your eyes and accelerates blood flow. This may not sound like it would impact how you look, but it actually has an instant effect, making the skin surrounding your eyes look fresh and rejuvenated.V
Is Caffeine Good For Under Eyes?
If it wasn’t clear, applying caffeine skincare formulas to your eye area can be great for your skin and help address under-eye concerns like dark circles. The key is to find the right eye treatment formulated with caffeine. If you’ve been searching for the best eye cream for dark circles or puffiness, below, we’re sharing our top four.
The Best Eye Creams With Caffeine From Kiehl’s
Try one of the following eye creams to combat tired-looking eyes.
Eye Fuel, which is part of our men’s collection, diminishes the appearance of puffiness and dark circles with continued use. The eye cream formulated with caffeine and vitamin B3 (also called niacinamide) instantly feels cool and weightlessly hydrates the under-eye area. Additionally, it provides a feeling of refreshed relief for tired-looking eyes. It’s a great way to fuel up after a long flight or a long night.
Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer
If under-eye bags are your main concern, Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer is the solution. This lightweight, innovative stick with caffeine leaves the under-eye feeling rejuvenated. It provides an instant cooling sensation and helps to visibly minimize puffiness while improving the appearance of the skin in the eye area. The stick applicator makes it a quick and easy addition to any men’s skincare routine.
Kiehl's Expert Tip: A cold compress can also help with dark circles.II Try storing your eye cream in the fridge or applying it with a chilled eye roller to offer your skin an extra cool treat.
Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream
Two of the more common reasons to use an eye cream are wrinkles and dark circles, but you don’t have to pick one or the other to address. Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream is formulated with caffeine and niacinamide to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness. The anti-aging formula also refines the look of skin’s texture.
Age Defender Eye Repair
For men who want visible anti-aging benefits, try Age Defender Eye Repair. The formula contains caffeine and blurring minerals for a men's eye cream that firms the eye area, diminishes the appearance of crow’s feet, and reduces the look of dark circles under eyes.
How To Apply Kiehl’s Eye Creams With Caffeine
We covered how rubbing your eyes can make their tired appearance worse, so it’s essential that you apply your eye cream the right way—no rubbing involved. Dot the formula of your choice under your eyes in a semi-circle shape. Then, carefully pat the product until it absorbs. The skin surrounding your eyes is delicate, so being gentle is a must. Apply your eye cream morning and night, after cleansing and moisturizing.
Next: Wake up looking more awake with help from the right Nighttime Skincare Routine.
I.“Dark Circles under Eyes Causes.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Oct. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/dark-circles-under-eyes/basics/causes/sym-20050624.
II.“Dark Circles under Eyes When to See a Doctor.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Oct. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/dark-circles-under-eyes/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050624.
III.Sarkar, Rashmi et al. “Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Comprehensive Review.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 9,1 (2016): 49-55.
IV.Family Health Team. “Hello Bright Eyes! How to Pick the Eye Cream That's Right for You.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, 4 Sept. 2020, health.clevelandclinic.org/hello-bright-eyes-how-to-pick-the-eye-cream-thats-right-for-you/.
V.Shatalebi, Mohammadali, and Fatemeh Ahmadraji. “Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy and Safety of an Eye Counter Pad Containing Caffeine and Vitamin K in Emulsified Emu Oil Base.” Advanced Biomedical Research, vol. 4, no. 1, 2015, p. 10., doi:10.4103/2277-9175.148292.
VI.Herman, A, and A P Herman. “Caffeine's mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use.” Skin pharmacology and physiology vol. 26,1 (2013): 8-14. doi:10.1159/000343174.
VII.Nakra, Tanuj, et al. “Infraorbital Dark Circles: A Review of the Pathogenesis, Evaluation and Treatment.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 9, no. 2, 2016, pp. 65–72., doi:10.4103/0974-2077.184046.