By the time your big day rolls around, you’ve likely spent weeks (if not months) committed to a dedicated skincare routine. All that’s left for you to do is sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor (i.e. fresh, glowing skin). But there’s one last minute product that you can pull out of your back pocket as you prep for all of the wedding festivities—under eye patches.
While they’re not an absolute skincare must-have, they can be very helpful for maximizing delivery of ingredients to the under eye area and are a great quick fix, says Dr. Fatima Fahs, a board-certified dermatologist in Michigan. They’re also a top choice to have on-hand both for the wedding day, and the time leading up to it. “For brides, under eye patches can be particularly helpful for the wedding week itself. Alcohol consumption, a lack of sleep, and stress can all make the under eye area appear puffy and dark,” says Dr. Fahs. “An under eye patch can hydrate, as well as reduce inflammation and swelling. Your makeup will go on smoother and you will look bright-eyed for all your photos.”
With so many under eye patches today, it can be hard to know which ones actually work and give you the results you are looking for. So with Dr. Fahs advice and our own experience, we researched the best under eye patches for a variety of issues and skin types. We looked for high quality ingredients, effective designs, and portable packaging, so you can take these on your honeymoon and beyond.
SkinMedica Instant Bright Eye Mask
Don’t be fooled by the name—these all-in-one patches much more than brighten. (Although, they are great for that too.) The hydrogel material is infused with plenty of hydrating and antioxidant-rich ingredients, effectively combating dryness, inflammation, puffiness, and dullness in one fell swoop. They’re pricey, yes, but they really do yield a visible improvement even after just one use. Best of all? They’re nice and sticky and stay put once you pop them on, without slipping and sliding down your face like so many other under eye patches have a tendency to do.
Price at time of publish: $50
Key Ingredients: Golden root extract, baker’s yeast extract | Quantity: 6 | Benefits: Hydrates, soothes, depuffs, brightens
Pixi DetoxifEYE Hydraringa and Depuffing Eye Patches with Caffeine and Cucumber
Not so long ago, you’d be hard pressed to find under eye patches at the drugstore. Happily, that’s no longer the case, and these are one of the best ones of the drugstore bunch. They contain soothing cucumber extract (yet are so much easier to use than putting *actual* cucumber slices on your eyes), alongside hyaluronic acid to hydrate and caffeine to help target both dark circles and puffiness. They come in a jar, but an included mini spatula makes it easy to pull out one pair of patches at a time.
Price at the time of publish: $24
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and cucumber | Quantity: 60 | Benefits: Hydrates, smooths, de-puffs, helps with dark circles
Best for Dark Circles
Drmtlgy Brightening Eye Masks
So, to be totally honest, there’s really no magic cure for dark circles, as they often are due to genetics. However, these patches can help temporarily minimize the appearance of discoloration. Credit their use of caffeine, which constricts the blood vessels underneath the skin to make that unsightly bluish-purple hue less noticeable. They’re a favorite of Dr. Fahs, who also lauds them for the addition of hydrating hyaluronic acid, anti-inflammatory niacinamide, and anti-aging peptides. “I love keeping these in the mini fridge next to my bed and popping on a pair while winding down for the evening,” she says.
Price starting at: $44
Key Ingredients: Caffeine, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides | Quantity: 60 | Benefits: Hydrates, soothes, depuffs, brightens, anti-aging
Best for Hydration
Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks
“I love these gold foil masks because not only are they cute for a selfie with your bridesmaids the morning of your wedding, but because the ingredients also pack a punch,” says Dr. Fahs. More specifically, these are ideal for targeting dryness, thanks to a litany of hydrating ingredients including glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe, and jojoba seed oil. There’s also soothing calendula in the mix, along with vitamin C-rich camu camu extract and peptides that help improve overall skin texture, Dr. Fahs notes. Yes, please.
Price starting at: $26
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe | Quantity: 6 | Benefits: Plumps, hydrates
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
As the name suggests, the star ingredient here is vitamin C, more specifically a very stable form known as THD ascorbate. You get to reap the ingredient’s protective antioxidant benefits (further enhanced by the addition of other antioxidants such as ferulic acid and vitamin E, all of which work synergistically). But vitamin C is also a choice skin-brightener and even helps boost collagen, too. If that weren’t enough, the caffeine in these patches helps to firm and reduce puffiness.
Price starting at: $65
Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, ferulic acid, vitamin E, caffeine | Quantity: 60 | Benefits: Smooths wrinkles, minimizes the look of dark circles, brightens de-puff
Best for Puffiness
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
As a general rule of thumb, any eye patch is going to do a good job at de-puffing the skin, simply by their mechanism of action. But these are especially good at keeping that promise, thanks to their innately cooling and soothing sensation. “These patches couple Icelandic glacial water for nutrient replenishment along with ginkgo biloba leaf extract to brighten the under eye, and have antioxidants like CoQ10 as well as peptides to both cool and firm at the same time,” says Dr. Fahs.
Price starting at: $46
Key Ingredients: Glacial water, ginkgo, peptides, CoQ10 | Quantity: 12 | Benefits: Hydrates, cools, firms, de-puffs
Best for Wrinkles
Patchology FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels
The majority of eye patches out there tend to skew more toward the hydrating/soothing/depuffing department, making these anti-aging ones all the more noteworthy. They’re a top pic for Dr. Fash, who likes that the star ingredient is retinol, one of the most tried-and-true wrinkle smoothing ingredients of all time. The vitamin A derivative is proven to stimulate collagen production, resulting in smoother, more youthful skin. “I’d recommend using these at night to work on fine line reduction, as well as the appearance of dark circles,” she says. (The arnica in the formula helps with the latter.) AKA keep these on your nightstand to pop on post rehearsal-dinner.
Price starting at: $20
Key Ingredients: Retinol, peptides, arnica | Quantity: 5 | Benefits: Smooths wrinkles, minimizes the look of dark circles.
Best for Sensitive Skin
Mary Kay Hydrogel Eye Patches
The thin skin under your eye can be more prone to irritation—the last thing you want on the morning of your wedding day. Enter these patches, which are dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested, great if you have sensitive skin and/or eyes, and even tested for allergy and irritancy. The crescent-shape fits under the eye area perfectly, and how cute is the sparkly pink color?
Price starting at: $40
Key Ingredients: Glycerin | Quantity: 30 | Benefits: Hydrates, cools, soothes, depuffs
Burt's Bees Renew Natural Hydrogel Eye Mask
If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly option (and/or want something that’s inexpensive enough that you can pick up for your entire bridal party), this is a top choice. You get one pair of hydrogel patches, whose formula is made with over 99% of natural origin ingredients. Namely, there’s antioxidant-rich algae extract, tons of moisturizing and hydrating ingredients, and brightening licorice root, too. The comfortable and soft hydrogel material is an added bonus, as is the fact that they work in just 10 minutes.
Price starting at: $5
Key Ingredients: Algae extract, glycerin extract, licorice root | Quantity: 1 |Benefits: Hydrates, soothes, brightens
Talika Eye Therapy Patch
We clearly love eye patches, but there’s no denying that (most) of the ones out there aren’t necessarily super sustainable, given their single-use nature. That’s why we appreciate that each of these is reusable up to three times; simply rinse it off after using and store in the included case. They’re great if you have dry skin—they contain heavy-hitting moisturizing such as ceramides, avocado oil, and shea butter—helping to improve the look and feel of the skin under your eyes in as little as 15 minutes.
Price starting at: $70
Key Ingredients: Ceramides, vegetable oils, shea butter | Quantity: 6 |Benefits: Hydrates, smooths
Dieux Skin Forever Eye Mask
Slightly different from all of the other picks on our list, this doesn’t contain any active ingredients. Rather, it’s a reusable, silicone eye mask that is meant to be used over your favorite eye product. Apply your favorite eye cream or serum then pop this on top for 10 to 20 minutes to maximize the absorption of all of the ingredients in the product, says Dr. Fahs, who is a fan. By occluding (a fancy way of saying covering) the skin, it helps ensure that any eye cream or serum better penetrates and ultimately is more effective. Plus, it’s reusable for up to a year.
Price starting at: $25
Key Ingredients: N/A | Quantity: 1 | Benefits: Enhances absorption of other products
111SKIN Sub Zero De-Puffing Eye Mask
Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Also yes. These manage to tamp down all kinds of peeper problems—from puffiness to dryness to dark circles—after just one use. The hydrogel adheres beautifully around the contours of your eyes, ensuring a perfect fit every time. After wearing them to a rehearsal dinner and wedding, we can attest they truly do feel colder than other under eye patches, even if you don’t stash them in the fridge. If you’re not up for shelling out the big bucks, you also can buy just a single pair of patches for $16.
Price starting at: $110
Key Ingredients: Seaweed, vitamin E, peptide complex | Quantity: 8 | Benefits: Hydrates, smooths, de-puffs, minimizes the look of dark circles
What to Look for in an Under Eye Patch
First and foremost, think about your biggest eye area complaints and exactly what you want to target. In general, all eye patches will be moisturizing and help combat puffiness, but many formulas out there are also more tailored to address specific issues, like dark circles or fine lines and wrinkles.
Your skin concern should dictate the types of ingredients you seek out. “If you’re looking for de-puffing benefits, look for caffeine and plant extracts such as aloe or cucumber for cooling and inflammation reduction,” Dr. Fahs suggests. Even though it’s a drugstore brand Pixi DetoxifEYE Hydraringa and Depuffing Eye Patches with Caffeine and Cucumber combines both caffeine and cucumber for ultimate de-puffing. Hyaluronic acid is great for hydration, while retinol, peptides, and vitamin C are all good options if you want to brighten and smooth fine lines, she adds. With its appropriate dose of retinol, Patchology FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels is our pick for those combating wrinkles.
Do eye patches actually work?
In a word, yes. “They work because they’re infused with powerful, highly concentrated ingredients to target things like puffiness, anti-aging, hydration and brightening,” explains Dr. Fahs. “The mask itself locks in these ingredients under occlusion so your skin can absorb them more readily.”
For instance, Dieux Forever Eye Mask is used over your eye cream to help the ingredients better penetrate the skin. Over all, under eye patches can be a quick fix, especially if you’re preparing for a major event and wanting to look your best, says Dr. Fahs.
How long should I keep eye patches on?
There’s no universal rule; follow the instructions on the particular product you choose, since you don’t want to risk leaving it on too long and causing irritation on this sensitive area, Dr. Fahs cautions. That being said, most are meant to be worn for anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes.
Should I keep eye patches in the fridge/freezer?
You don’t have to, but it’s a great way to increase their benefits. Keeping them in the fridge will make them feel extra cooling going on, which not only feels so good, but will also help maximize their de-puffing potential. The coolness helps to further constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation, explains Dr. Fahs, who adds that she personally loves keeping her under eye patches in the fridge.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Melanie Rud has nearly 15 years of journalism experience covering the beauty and lifestyle space for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She’s also a recent newlywed, who wore the 111Skin eye patches featured on this list both before her rehearsal dinner and on the morning of her wedding. (And still uses under eye patches regularly.)