Caffeine eye creams are one of the most common beauty products made in the industry today. Everyone wants to get rid of under-eye bags, darkness, and puffiness.
But how do they work? And are they beneficial enough to add them to your routine long-term?
How Caffeine Eye Creams Work
When used on the skin under the eyes, caffeine has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It boosts blood circulation, reduces puffiness, improves discoloration, and protects the skin.
Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. This means that it tightens the blood vessels just under the skin. So when applied to the under-eyes, it increases circulation (more blood passes through the area) but it also reduces the amount of blood that accumulates in that area. This helps to reduce darkness, puffiness, and inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects are what help to improve discoloration and protect the skin (from free radical damage, wrinkles, etc).
How Long Does It Take to Work
Caffeine creams will take about 2-4 weeks for you to see significant differences in the skin under your eyes.
Additionally, the effects are temporary. Just like caffeine works out of your system when you drink it, it will also work out of your skin. So, to keep up the results, you will need to use this consistently and for the long term.
However, once used consistently, it will be effective.
Benefits Of Using Caffeine Eye Creams
Once used correctly, caffeine under-eye creams will:
- Reduce dark circles
- Reduce eye bags and puffiness
- Tighten the skin around the eyes
- Prevent premature aging and wrinkles under the eyes
- Improve the appearance of discoloration
- Brighten the under-eyes
If you are looking for something to help more with wrinkles, check this article out: How to Use Vitamin C for Under Eye Circles & Wrinkles
Side Effects Of Using Caffeine Eye Creams
Like all skincare products, especially those being used on thin, sensitive skin like the skin under your eyes, there is always a possibility of irritation.
Because it easily penetrates the skin and affects the blood vessels just underneath, you can experience some tingling and redness (due to the increased circulation). This is usually mild and should go away within a few minutes.
However, if the redness persists, and the tingling gets worse or progresses into a burning sensation, wash the product off (avoid getting any into your eyes) and seek medical attention.
Also, make sure that you are not allergic to caffeine or any other ingredient that is used in your cream.
How To Use Caffeine Eye Creams
Caffeine creams are applied under your eyes just after your toner and before your moisturizer.
Just take a small dot on your ring finger and gently tap the product on your under-eye area until it is well distributed. Do not rub or tug harshly at your skin. This can rough up the very thin and fragile vessels under the skin in that area which causes bruising and darkness.
Now, to keep the effect going, you will need to use your caffeine eye cream every day. I also recommend applying it in the morning. The effects will wear off in a few hours. So, it is best to used this when you are up and about.
However, you can also use this in the night and it can be left on overnight. When you skin is relaxed, the product will absorb better and the effects will be longer lasting since it’s boosting up the earlier, daytime application.
Does it keep you awake?
This is a very common question that we get and sadly, the answer is no. Caffeine eye creams do not keep you awake.
This is a good thing for the evening but if you are looking for an energy booster in the morning, this is not it.
Caffeine will only keep you awake if you drink it. Applying it under your eyes will wake up your skin, but not your nervous system!
Caffeine vs Retinol Cream
Caffeine creams are very different from retinol.
Retinol penetrates the skin and exfoliates it. Caffeine will not exfoliate the skin. It will, instead, affect blood circulation and the vessels.
So, retinol will help more with things like skin texture and wrinkles while caffeine will help more with things like puffiness and swelling.
They are both great and effective ingredients in skincare. Therefore, which one will be better will depend on what issues you are trying to treat under your eyes.
To read more about using retinols under your eyes, check this article out: Tretinoin For Under Eye Circles & Wrinkles: What to Know
Best Caffeine Eye Creams To Try
1- Neutrogena Hydro Boost + Caffeine Gel Eye Cream
This gel eye cream is a great, budget-friendly option. I loved using it because it not only wakes up the under eyes but also hydrates the skin really well.
So, you’re getting double the benefits. The added hydration also helps to prevent any irritation and soothe the skin.
2- The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream
This eye cream is also another great, budget-friendly option. It contains caffeine, The Inkey List’s Matrixyl 3000 Peptide, and Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract. Together, the three help to depuff, lighten, hydrate, and smoothen the under eyes.
I like this one because the formula is not as wet as the Neutrogena. But it absorbs well. I find that it is great for nighttime use.
3- La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Dark Circles Eye Cream
If you’re looking for something to get rid of your dark circles and that is great to wear under makeup, then this is your girl. This little tube contains a formula that not only has caffeine, but also niacinamide, glycerin, dimethicone, iron oxides, titanium dioxide (mineral sunscreen), Phe-Resorcinol and silica.
While the caffeine de-puffs and tightens the under-eyes area, it also teams up with niacinamide and Phe-Resorcinol to target darkness and discoloration.
Click here to read more about Niacinamide for Dark Spots & Wrinkles Under the Eyes
It also comes with a cooling, metal applicator that soothes the skin and makes it easy to apply the cream without wasting any.
The downside is that it is quite pricey. But a little goes a very long way so one tube will last you a while.