These Cheap Eye Creams Are Just as Good as Their Expensive Counterparts

It’s fair to say that I have made no secret of my scepticism about eye cream. They are usually eye-wateringly expensive when you look at the cost per millitre and come with a whole host of unwarranted promises about their ability to reverse wrinkles and eradicate eye bags. In fact, until I discovered The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution back at the start of 2019, I basically didn’t use eye cream at all. This one really only changed my mind because it’s pleasingly affordable at just £6 and didn’t make any ludicrous claims that it then failed to deliver on. Fast-forward two years, however, and how times have changed. I am now in my early 30s with a 1-year-old baby, and contending with dark circles and under-eye puffiness has become a daily challenge. If an eye cream lands on my desk these days? Trust me—I’m trying it.

Thankfully, I have since discovered a whole array of brilliant eye creams that help to minimise dark circles and allow me to fake an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Having said that, whilst I am so grateful to be able to test out some of the best eye creams in the beauty industry as part of my job, I am still totally not on board with the fact that basically every eye cream I get sent is ridiculously expensive. In my opinion, diminishing puffiness and brightening shadowy under-eyes shouldn’t set you back £100+.

It’s good news, then, that more and more skincare brands are coming out with affordable eye creams that are brimming with ingredients that actually work—and have the customer reviews to prove it. Even if you’re already loyal to a premium eye cream, I think you just might be converted once you try these. 

Ahead are eight of the best affordable eye creams that actually work.

Both of these plant-based formulas contain aloe barbadensis leaf juice as their star ingredient to cool, soothe, and hydrate tired eyes. It’s perfect if you’re after a morning eye cream that provides an instant pick-me-up.

Kate Somerville’s peptide blend might be a little more advanced than AHC’s, but both do a brilliant job of smoothing the appearance of wrinkles and plumping dried-out skin for dewy, hydrated under-eyes.

Beauty editors rave about both of these eye creams for their ability to reduce puffiness and inflammation thanks to a healthy dose of caffeine. Admittedly, The Inkey List’s purse-friendly version feels more lightweight than Sisley’s ultra-luxurious serum, but it’s to be expected with the huge difference in price.

I’m actually a big fan of this SkinCeuticals eye cream thanks to its skin-brightening abilities. CeraVe’s eye cream has a similar texture that hydrates the eye area.

Retinol is one of the few skincare ingredients actually proven to slow down signs of skin ageing, like fine lines. Both of these hardworking eye creams contain it in abundance, along with revitalising peptides to leave the skin under your eyes feeling firmer and looking smoother.

Much like retinol, vitamin C is an ingredient that skin experts recommend for its efficacy. It works in both of these eye creams to minimise discolouration and reduce dark circles. It’s worth pointing out, though, that Omorovicza’s brilliant formula also contains retinol for an extra dose of anti-ageing power.

If you’re looking to target fine lines or that crepey skin appearance under your eyes, then these hyaluronic acid–based eye creams will both do a solid job of nourishing and toning. However, it’s the cooling metal applicators that really make both products stand out—providing a mini massage to revive sleepy eyes.

I have to admit, La Mer’s Eye Concentrate is one of the most luxurious eye creams I’ve had the pleasure of using, and my skin always drinks it up when I’ve applied it. However, it’s extortionately expensive, so if you’re looking for something to leave your eyes with a similarly refreshed appearance, then this one from Q+A also uses seaweed to hydrate and brighten. Up next: It’s Official—These Are the 9 Biggest Hair Trends of 2022