As we age our delicate under-eye skin becomes more fragile than ever - lavish love on it with these eye creams for older skin

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From SPF eye cream s to eye creams for sensitive skin  there are endless pots and tubes out there that promise to revive our under-eyes and make us look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; in our younger years we'd reach for any packaging that promised under-eye refreshment, but as we age it's important to choose eye creams for mature skin.

“The eye contour is the first area to be marked by the tests of time,” says Jose Ginestar, scientific director for  Sisley . “This area is the most vulnerable part of the face because it has such a fine texture and is constantly in motion. Dark circles and puffiness gradually set in, robbing the eyes of their sparkle."

You might have noticed the circles under your eyes darkening as you’ve got older and no, you’re not imagining it, sadly.

What causes dark circles in mature skin?

“With age, skin microcirculation, which is already lazy under the eye, tends to decrease even further resulting in a stagnation of blood pigments under the eye. They become visible because the skin is very fine and can form blue or violet dark circles," Jose continues.

Our lifestyles also contribute to dark circles: “The latest scientific research has highlighted the impact of epigenetic ageing, also known as behavioural ageing (ageing caused by our personal lifestyle; pace of life, everyday stress, life’s hardships, smoking, sun exposure, poor diet) on the appearance of dark circles,” says Jose.

What causes eye bags in mature skin?

Bags under the eyes also come to play as we age. “Eye bag formation is due to a deficiency of the lymphatic network of the eye-contour,” explains Jose. “As we age we see a gradual deterioration of the function of the lymphatic system. Drainage of toxins becomes less effective leading to accumulation of fluid under the eye, casing selling and puffiness.

"Eye bags are accentuated by the loss of firmness of the lower eyelids due to ageing.”

What to look for in eye cream for mature skin

“Using eye creams containing ingredients such as  caffeine ,  vitamin C  and  retinol  can be beneficial alongside using sunscreen to the eyelids - this is often missed by most people,” says dermatologist  Anjali Mahto . “Sunscreen will reduce damage caused by UV exposure. Caffeine will temporarily reduce puffiness and vitamin C can be used to brighten the under-eye area. Retinol or vitamin A applied at night alongside peptides will help boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Both young and more mature or post-menopausal skin can benefit from these.”

Dr Dennis Gross  agrees with Anjali about the importance of retinol eye cream but advises mixing with other ingredients. "Retinol can help tackle crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles and crepey lids, however most times retinol is too strong for the delicate eye area. Combining retinol with ferulic acids, if formulated correctly, can make it gentle enough for the eye area – and even on the lid."

Look for hyaluronic acid in your eye cream, says Julia Stewart, national training manager at  Shiseido.  "The eye area is naturally prone to dryness which can accelerate the appearance of wrinkles. Products which infuse the area with moisture are crucial in reducing the appearance of wrinkles."

One final ingredient to look out for is passionfruit extract - exotic, we know. "This boosts the formation of the lymphatic network and as a result, decreases puffiness, making the eyes fresh, seem less tired and appear more open," says Jose.

If it's dark circles you want to banish,  Dr Tiina Meder  – dermatologist, cardiologist, and founder of Meder Beauty Science recommends looking for formulas including niacinamide as it's great for microcirculation and pigmentation.

Best eye cream for mature skin reviews

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream, £67.00 for 50ml

This range originally launched back in 1996 and has had four upgrades since then. The latest reincarnation of the cream-gel formula is fused with super hyaluronic acid to brighten the skin around the eyes and provide moisture. Testers claimed to noticed benefits immediately with increased results over a period of four weeks - after three days they reported a reduction in fine lines, under puff lines and crow’s feet wrinkles. Other ingredients include assam extract to provide antioxidant powers and yuzu extract to energise and strengthen.

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 Liz Earle Instant Brightening Eye Cream, £22.50

This tinted lightweight formula brightens and hydrates the under-eye thanks to horse chestnut flower to revive the appearance of the eye contour plus a naturally derived light-reflecting pigment that makes the eyes look lighter and more full of life. Echinacea soothes and conditions the delicate skin and borage oil hydrates and visibly plumps.

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Kate Somerville +Retinol Firming Eye Cream, £72 for 15ml

This silky, weightless eye cream visibly firms, brightens and hydrates to recover a more youthful appearance we thought was long gone. It hydrates the delicate eye area and light-diffusing optics help to soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles by deflecting the light. The retinol in the mix increases skin elasticity and firmness, enhances skin clarity and reduces the appearance of dark spots too - quite the high performer!

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Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream, £8.99

Anjali Mahto cites this as one of her favourite eye creams and when a dermatologist suggests something, you know it's good. It has Matrixyl 3000 in the ingredients, one of the key elements that gives Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair its cult status - it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Caffeine is obviously key in this budget-friendly buy too. It was sold out everywhere at the time of writing, but fingers crossed it'll be back soon.

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No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream, £18 for 15ml

You can always rely on Boots to deliver the best drugstore eye creams for mature eyes; this tube targets fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes to help you achieve smoother, younger-looking skin. It also has anti-wrinkle formula Matrixyl 3000+ for those Advanced Night Repair results, along with No7'S Double Defence Technology, a powerful antioxidant formula to boost the natural defences of the skin.

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Sisleya L'Integral Eye and Lip Contour Cream, £145.50

This very high-end contour cream (just look at that gold packaging!) addresses wrinkles and lack of firmness around the eyes as well as puffiness and dark circles, intensely moisturising the creases around the eyes to make them appear smoothed and rested. The ingredients list is rather exotic, comprising Persian acacia extract, and lindera extract to improve skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The massage tool makes applying this a truly luxe experience.

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Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and De-puffing Eye Contour Cream, £60 for 15ml

Tired looking eyes are banished by this cream which promises to give the effect of eight hours sleep in just one pump - sounds heavenly! It’s jam-packed with energising ingredients including caffeine and Brazilian ginseng root extract to reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles while the fragile skin is given a radiant glow by antioxidant lutein.

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IS Clinical Youth Eye Complex, £85.00 for 15g

Created to address the most common signs of ageing, this eye cream is one of iS Clinical’s best sellers. Powerful peptides, growth factors and proteins join together to smooth and strengthen delicate skin while antioxidants brighten darkness at the surface.

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Clinique All About Eyes, £24.75

Another eye cream that comes recommended by Anjali Mahto; it's lightweight and absorbs easily leaving a cooling feel in its wake. The refreshing gel-creme formula reduces puffiness and minimises dark circles and fine lines. Caffeine in the ingredients list plays a part in the brightening powers.

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Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme, £91 for 15ml

Tata Harper’s eye cream was formulated to combat the effect of age on the sensitive skin around the eyes using enzymes and botanicals to revitalise dull and tired-looking eyes - sign us up! Buckwheat wax and arnica brighten dark circles and carrot seed oil and date palm extract soothe skin while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles around the eye.

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Dr Dennis Gross Skincare, Ferulic and Retinol Eye Cream, £68 for 15ml

The two power ingredients of ferulic and retinol combine to firm, brighten and tighten the delicate area around the eye. The formula feels really soothing when you apply it and instantly makes eyes look more alive - perfect if you’ve had a long night and need something to make you feel more awake, pronto.

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Prai Ageless Eye D-Crease, £27.99

Prai has got all areas of the eye covered, creating this for under the eye and a serum , £29, for above the eye, because the two parts ages differently (above needs to be uplifted, while below wants to be smoothed). Again this has Matrixyl 3000 in it to fight visible signs of ageing; the formula includes collagen and hyaluronic acid and avocado and marula oil boost hydration and plump and smooth fine lines.

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 IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Ageing Treatment Eye Cream, £37 for 15ml

Just looking at this jar makes us feel hydrated - it’s essentially a drink of water for your peepers. It instantly cools the skin taking down puffiness and reduces the appearance of bags. Keep it in the fridge for extra soothing power. It has a very slight blue tint to reduce the look of dark circles, too.

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Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Eye Concentrate Instant Smoothing, £62.10

A favourite of Mary Greenwell, this fresh textured cream rapidly absorbs into the skin creating an instant smoothing look which lights up the eyes, making them appear younger thanks to the smoothed and firmed appearance. “Don’t be shy with how to apply eye cream,” says Mary. “Use it around the entire eye and don’t forget the corners as this is the area of the eye that reveals age the most.”

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MZ Skin Soothe and Smooth Collagen Activating Eye Complex, £87 from QVC UK

This collagen activating cream comes recommended by skin expert and facialist Joanne Evans, founder of London skin health centre Skin Matters . This pink pot house tri-peptides and albizia bark extract to stimulate collagen and elastin, strengthening capillaries which when broken can lead to dark circles.

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Medik8 Illuminating Eye Balm, £32

Another of Mary’s top picks; as mentioned, illuminating products reflect light, diffusing the appearance of under-eye bags. The balm is infused with sheer light-reflecting mineral pigments in a subtle colour-match tint to brighten the area.

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Dr. Levy Eye Booster Concentrate, £165 for 15ml

People praise this for being just like botox and with a rather steep price point, you’d expect serious results. The formula is packed with plant-derived argan CDV – the stem cell of the argan tree – which stimulates the duplication of skin’s dermal stem cells which manufacture the collagen and elastin to help maintain skin’s density, strength and resilience. This sinks into the skin beautifully meaning it doesn’t feel like you’ve left half the product on your pillow after applying it before bed.

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