Thin, fragile and susceptible to dehydration, the skin under the eyes requires a special level of care. Stylist looks into why under-eye masks are a great way to perk up tired eyes.  

The first place that shows signs of how we’re feeling is usually our under-eyes. Down to a lack of sleep, dehydration, genetic predisposition and even eye strain, the reasons for dull, tired eyes are plentiful. They also get a rough ride when we’re experiencing hayfever, but we can’t just treat them the same way we would the rest of the face.

Our under-eye skin is drastically different from the rest of our face so they need special treatment. “The skin in the under-eye area is thinner and therefore more prone to irritation and allergies,” says bareMinerals global dermatology ambassador, Dr Joyce Park. 

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Considering its thinner density, keeping our under-eyes hydrated is just as important as your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. “When our under-eyes are dry, it leads to more fine lines in the skin, so it’s important to keep the skin well hydrated,” says Dr Park.

Why aren’t our under-eyes as hydrated as other parts of our face? Well, founder of Harley Street Skin, Dr Aamer Khan explains: “The skin under the eyes is thinner and has fewer glands producing oil. It means that it doesn’t retain moisture to the degree other areas of the face and body can and is more likely to dry out quickly.”

So, what’s one of the most effective, non-intrusive treatments? An eye mask. 

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The benefits are pretty incredible. “Under-eye gel masks can be great for soothing the skin in the under-eye area,” explains Dr Park. “Keep your under-eye mask in the fridge so it is nice and cool when you put it on – this helps to reduce swelling to minimise the appearance of puffy under eyes.”

Although eye masks differ from product to product, they also help to reduce the appearance of dark circles and hydrate the skin. If your under-eyes are calling out for some TLC, it’s worth investing in one. 

But, you don’t need to use them every day. “Use eye masks weekly unless, your eyes are particularly dry then I’d suggest using them twice or three times a week,” explains Dr Khan.

Here, we’ve rounded up the best masks in gel and sheet form worth adding to your skincare routine to perk up tired under-eyes.

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The best under-eye gel masks, picked by the Stylist beauty team

  • Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvinating Eye Gels

    Each eye gel is laced with caffeine extract to brighten and stimulate microcirculation in the under-eye skin.  They also do a great job at hydrating; the serum contains sodium hyaluronate which helps to bind moisture to the skin, as well as a hydrolysed version of collagen to increase skin’s elasticity and density.

    Shop Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvinating Eye Gels at Cult Beauty, £30 for 15 pairs

    buy now

  • Eclat Double Collagen and Rose Hydro Gel Eye Pads

    Combining the plumping benefits of collagen with the soothing and de-puffing wonders of rose, these eye masks are great for rejuvenating the under-eye area. Plus, rose is an antioxidant, meaning it’ll help to protect your delicate eye area against environmental aggressors, such as free radicals and pollution.

    Shop Eclat Double Collagen and Rose Hydro Gel Eye Pads at The Drop, £9.90 for five pairs (usually £29.90)

    buy now

  • Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Under-Eye Brightening Patches

    These eye gels are all about hydration and improving skin’s texture. With ingredients including cucumber to soothe and hydrating hero glycerin, it’s a formula that works – and it’s budget-friendly.

    Shop Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Under-Eye Brightening Patches at Boots, £3.50 for one pair

    buy now

  • Pixi DetoxifEYE Eye Patches

    These eye patches are made of a brightening medley including caffeine and gold extract, combined with arguably the most common recognisable ingredient in the beauty world, hyaluronic acid. You’ll also get a spatula to help scoop out the gels for easier application.

    Shop Pixi DetoxifEYE Eye Patches at lookfantastic, £22 for 30 pairs

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  • 111 Skin Rose Gold Illuminating Eye Mask

    Although on the pricier side for an eye mask set, these eye masks have potent brightening power. They make use of natriance extract (a combination of water, glycerin and hydrolysed protein), packed with peptides and proteins to help create a natural glow, while pomegranate seed extract works to improve hyperpigmentation.

    Shop 111 Skin Rose Gold Illuminating Eye Mask at Cult Beauty, £12 for one pair

    buy now

  • Milk Makeup Cooling Water Undereye Patches

    These under-eye masks help cool the skin while de-puffing under-eyes. The gel side of the mask uses caffeine, natural sea water and lavender to soothe skin. The fabric topper on the masks makes sure they don’t slip and slide off while wearing them, for a no-fuss hit of hydration.

    Shop Milk Makeup Cooling Water Undereye Patches at Cult Beauty, £21 for six pairs

    buy now

  • Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Hydra-Gel Eye Masks

    All about re-energising under-eye skin, these eye gels are made of a cooling concoction of ingredients including soothing cucumber extract, chamomile and aloe vera. To help with any redness, they’re infused with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated.

    Shop Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Hydra-Gel Eye Masks at lookfantastic, £41 for 30 pairs

    buy now

  • Eclat Under Eye Patches 24K Gold

    De-puffing and increasing plumpness of skin is at the top of the agenda in these eye pads. Infused with gold known for its antioxidant properties it helps to increase the skin’s firmness and brighten darker areas. The eye gels also contain collagen to help mature under-eyes stay moisturised and make skin feel smoother.

    Shop Eclat Under Eye Patches 24K Gold at Eclat Skin, £29.90 for five pairs

    buy now

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Images: Getty and courtesy of brands.

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