The best under-eye masks you can buy

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Skyn Iceland / Business Insider

  • An under-eye mask hydrates and cools the often-stressed skin area around the eyes.
  • The Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels from Skyn Iceland provides 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 are 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 doing skin-care while watching an in-flight movie. Avert your eyes.)

These masks deliver quick-hits of skin-boosting and -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 smoothe-out puffy eyes (bags) 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:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best under-eye mask overall

The best under-eye mask overall
Why you’ll love it: 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 of two to protect the efficacy of the ingredients.

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Masks have been featured in Elle, Allure, Rank and Style, Total Beauty, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar. Ulta shoppers rate the product 4.2 stars.

“When I removed them to start on my makeup I was surprised at how refreshed my eye area looked. Wasn't so puffy and my makeup went on much smoother,” one Ulta customer said.

Pros: Comes in pack of eight, individually wrapped, instant results

Cons: No long-lasting results unless used regularly

Buy Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Masks at Ulta for $30

The best under-eye mask for anti-aging

The best under-eye mask for anti-aging
Why you’ll love it: The Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask contains a Vitamin-A derivative that helps reduce signs of aging.

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 Vitamin-A that is 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.

This product is an Allure Best of Beauty winner and has been featured by Harper’s Bazaar, Rank and Style, Town & Country, Allure, and Elle. Sephora shoppers rate it 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 373 reviews.

“My eye area looks so much smoother after using these,” wrote one fan.

Pros: Contain retinol and other anti-aging ingredients, available in a pack of 12

Cons: Expensive

Buy the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask from Sephora for $68

The best overnight under-eye mask

The best overnight under-eye mask
Why you’ll love it: The Patchology FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels can be worn while you sleep.

I love an ultra-hydrating overnight mask when my skin is feeling dehydrated, and my under-eyes often need the most TLC. The Patchology FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels are designed to be kept on while you sleep to get the maximum benefits.

“These hydrogel patches take advantage of the body's natural nighttime repairing abilities,” according to Allure. The formula contains anti-aging and hydrating ingredients like retinol, peptides, squalane, plant extracts, and betaine — all for adding luminosity and fighting fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles while you rest, according to Patchology. You can use them for five minutes or keep them on all night long.

The product is biodegradable, and the 30-patch option comes in a jar rather than the individually packaged kits you'd typically find. It's not as convenient for travel, but you get a better value and reduce waste.

If you prefer the patches to be individually packed, Patchology does sell them in packs of five, for $20. Of course, you pay more for convenience.

Ulta shoppers rate it 4.6 stars based on 71 reviews and it has been recommended by reviewers at Allure and Total Beauty. “I use this product nightly to reduce the puffiness and my tired eyes appearance. It has helped lessen my dark under eye circles but not completely removed them. These eye patches smell wonderful, are very soothing and helps me relax,” said one customer.

Pros: Can be used overnight, anti-aging ingredients, good value, biodegradable

Cons: Jar not as convenient, not individually wrapped

Buy the Patchology FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels on Amazon for $60

The best under-eye mask for travel

The best under-eye mask for travel
Why you’ll love it: 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 those skin-care issues 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.

Although the product received mostly 5-star reviews on Sephora, some said they saw no results.

Pros: Individually wrapped, gold-foil for trapping heat and locking serum

Cons: Some customers saw no results

Buy the Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks from Sephora for $25

The best soothing under-eye mask

The best soothing under-eye mask
Why you’ll love it: 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 provides relief, without the exaggerated fine lines.

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. It's been featured by Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town & Country.

“I use these patches whenever I feel like my eyes need something cool and soothing. The second I put these on my eyes I feel much more relaxed and they actually help me fall asleep. There is a slight cooling sensation but it's very subtle,” said one Sephora reviewer.

Pros: Seven sets of two, soothing, good for sensitive skin

Cons: No anti-aging ingredients

Buy Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches on Sephora for $24
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