- An under-eye mask hydrates and cools the often-stressed skin around the eyes.
- The Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels from Skyn Iceland provide instant cooling through a formula containing Icelandic glacial water, peptides, and botanicals.
Under-eye masks are basically sheet masks for, you guessed it, the skin under the eyes. They’re typically single-use patches that come individually wrapped for convenience. When I travel, I prefer to use these to counter the negative effects on my skin caused by flying or a change in climate. Plus, I don’t have to deal with messy liquid moisturizers. (Yes, I’m that person applying skincare products while watching an in-flight movie. Avert your eyes.)
These masks deliver quick hits of nutrient-dense, hydrating ingredients. Long-term effects are not the focus, but rather short-term benefits like depuffing, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and minimizing dark circles. Of course, if you use them regularly, you might see more dramatic results.
Most under-eye masks purport to do similar things: make you look more awake, temporarily smooth-out puffy eyes and wrinkles to help with makeup application, and soothe irritation. But there’s plenty of variety when it comes to the formulas.
As a reporter who covers and tests beauty and skin-care products, I have tried numerous under-eye masks and even incorporated some into my routine. Based on my experience and research, here are the top picks.
If you have sensitive skin or any concerns, consult a dermatologist before trying.
The best under-eye masks you can buy in 2019:
- Best under-eye mask overall: Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
- Best under-eye mask for anti-aging: Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask
- Best under-eye mask for instant results: Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra Gel Eye Masks
- Best under-eye mask for travel: Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks
- Best soothing under-eye mask: Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best under-eye mask overall
- Skyn Iceland
The Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Masks contains Icelandic glacial water, peptides, and botanicals to soothe, hydrate, and depuff skin.
The Skyn Iceland Hyrdo Cool Firming Eye Masks were the first under-eye patches I ever tried, and they remain my go-to. The cooling effect is instant, thanks to the Icelandic glacier water in the formula.
In addition, peptides and a variety of botanicals are used in the soothing, wrinkle-reducing formula. I love to use these on airplanes to prevent my eyes from getting irritated. They’re also great for refreshing my skin before applying makeup. The patches come in sealed packs to maintain the efficacy of the ingredients.
Pros: Comes in pack of eight, individually wrapped, instant results
Cons: No long-lasting results unless used regularly
The best under-eye mask for reducing the appearance of wrinkles
The Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask contains a Vitamin-A derivative that helps reduce signs of wrinkles or fine lines.
Under-eye masks aren’t usually known for anti-aging ingredients, but the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask contains retinol, a derivative of the vitamin A commonly used in anti-aging skin-care products.
In addition to a liquid form of retinol, the product contains chlorella, mukurossi, and gambir plant extracts for further anti-wrinkle support, plus hydroxyproline to boost collagen production and hyaluronic acid for hydration. The individually-packaged masks are made of flexible cotton so they feel comfortable when applied.
You can flip one on its side and apply them to lines around the mouth, too. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use them consistently to see real anti-aging results.
Pros: Contain retinol and other anti-aging ingredients, available in a pack of 12
Best under-eye mask for instant results
The Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra Gel Eye Masks give the area around your eyes a quick boost thanks to potent tightening and hydrating ingredients.
The best eye masks are the ones that deliver instant results. My favorite for smoothing the eye area before an event or anytime I want to look less haggard is the Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra Gel Eye Masks.
These clear, easy-to-apply gels are infused with potent ingredients like chlorella, plankton extract, and hyaluronic acid, the later of which holds onto as much as a thousand times its weight in water to keep your skin hydrated. I find that there’s a tightening effect as soon as I put the gels into place, almost like the skin is being gently pressed with a fingertip. I leave them on for about 10 to 20 minutes, and afterward, the area under my eyes is left feeling super soft, supple, and slightly dewy.
You’ll probably need to follow-up with your regular eye cream for additional moisture.
While the fine-line reducing, brightening effects aren’t permanent, when I do these masks at night I wake up with extra-smooth under-eyes. The masks are great as a prep for makeup, and they’re not as liquid-y as similar ones I’ve tried, so there’s not as much mess.
The experts at Good Housekeeping also give Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra Gel Masks high marks for visible results and ease-of-use. Elle rates them “best for anti-aging” and praises the short time necessary to see results, and Refinery29 editors are also fans.
Pros: instant results, easy to use, not super messy, six masks per box
The best under-eye mask for travel
- Wander Beauty
The Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks are the perfect hydrating, brightening companion for your travels.
Travel can be rough on the skin, from dry airplane cabins to lack of sleep and changing climates. Wander Beauty’s Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks is made to combat the common issues that arise when you’re on the road.
The gold-foil masks are triple-layered, but the shiny color isn’t for showing off in your Instagram selfies. It traps heat and locks in the serum, while elastic in the center holds the mask firmly in place (even if you cry during the in-flight movie) and cellulose fiber delivers ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf extract, and lavender oil.
Hydrating, soothing, and brightening ingredients help combat all the worst effects of travel on your under-eyes and keep you looking fresh when you reach your destination. The Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks have been recommended by Elle, Allure, Total Beauty, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Pros: Individually wrapped, gold-foil for trapping heat and locking serum
Cons: Not as hydrating as eye gels
The best soothing under-eye mask
The Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches calm irritated under-eyes with soothing cornflower extract.
If you’re always rubbing your eyes (I’m guilty of it) the Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower provide relief from dryness and itchiness.
The patches are formulated with a soothing cornflower extract that moisturizes and brightens the delicate skin around the eyes and calms irritation. They come in seven sets of two masks, for $24 per box, making this the best value of all the picks on the list.
This is a great option for sensitive skin as well. The patches are hypoallergenic, dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested, and cruelty-free. They’ve been featured by Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town & Country.
Pros: Best value, soothing, good for sensitive skin
Cons: Results aren’t very lasting