'Tis the season to burn the candle at both ends — and for the state of your skin to reflect both those late hours at the office and even later hours spent out on a festive Saturday night. When a full eight hours of sleep is out of the question, there's only so much
concealer can hide. But a fatigue-fighting under-eye mask can work wonders when even full coverage fails.
"The skin around the eye area is extremely fragile and, if neglected, can become dry, puffy, and congested, and age your face beyond your years," says skin-care expert and
Elemis co-founder Noella Gabriel. "An eye mask will provide an instant boost of deep hydration, and have a cooling and anti-inflammatory effect."
But if you're already investing in a good
eye cream, do you really need an eye mask as well? Gabriel says yes: "An eye cream is a continuous everyday maintenance product to protect and support skin throughout the day," she explains. "Whereas an eye mask is like a booster — it delivers a concentrated surge of hydration instantly."
Bottom line: Consider the eye mask a quick fix to ensure your skin doesn't suffer, even as your social calendar heats up and the temperature drops. Ahead, our top picks for the best masks for tired eyes to see you through the end-of-year festivities and beyond.
These eye gels are popular for good reason: Their cooling effects go deeper than most, using transdermal technology to absorb the concentrated firming ingredients within. Designed to alleviate the effects of stress (of all kinds) on the skin, they're also enriched with peptides and botanical extracts to visibly depuff and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — the perfect accompaniment to a high-adrenaline lifestyle.
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, $30 for 8, available at Ulta.
These hydrating eye masks are formulated with a balance of naturally fermented coconut juice, brightening liquorice root extract, and a bio-cellulose serum which reduces the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. We recommend popping a pair on first thing in the morning: By the time you've finished brushing your teeth, you'll be left with rejuvenated and luminous skin.
Starskin Eye Catcher Smoothing Coconut Bio-cellulose Second Skin Eye Mask, $10 for 2, available at Barneys.
Infused with Estée Lauder's famous Advanced Night Repair technology, these masks combat the stresses of modern life, whether that's lack of sleep, pollution, or dehydration — or all of the above. They contain a highly concentrated dose of the brand's ChronoluxCB ingredient, which stimulates the skin's reparative process while soothing and hydrating the area.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Recovery Eye Mask, $40 for 4, available at Estée Lauder.
Perfect before a big night out, Elemis's Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks are formulated with collagen-boosting potent plankton extract and skin-tightening padina pavonica. Gabriel simply recommends using them whenever you need them most, depending on your lifestyle — early mornings and late nights are all fair game.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks, $76 for 6, available at Nordstrom.
Alleviate dark circles with these soft, easy-to-use eye masks from Japanese beauty brand DHC. Infused with brightening mulberry and peony to combat discoloration, the olive leaf extracts and natural soy essence will eliminate puffiness and deliver much-needed antioxidants to tired eyes.
DHC Revitalizing Moisture Strips, $9.50 for 6, available at DHC.
This fast-acting, dual-purpose treatment is actually one of the few under-eye masks to contain retinol, so it delivers a boost of moisture, leaves skin looking refreshed and revived, and helps prevent new wrinkles from forming, too.
Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Eye Masks, $63 for 12, available at Net-a-Porter.
These travel-friendly patches are the perfect pick-me-up for tired skin, and each set can be used up to three times, which gives you 18 treatments from six patches. With active ingredients including avocado, wheatgerm, and musk rose to revive and nourish skin, they're fast-acting
and come in a cute silver case — so if you're going away for the holidays, you have no excuse not to bring them along. Talika Eye Therapy Patches, $69 for 6, available at Dermstore.
That so-called "dragon's blood" is actually an extract from the South American croton lechleri tree, which reduces redness and inflammation, while arnica,
hyaluronic acid, and bio-cellulose provide a depuffing and intensely moisturizing effect. Rodial Dragon's Blood Eye Masks, $49 for 8, available at Ulta.
Designed to bring vibrancy back to the eye area, these elastic hydrogel patches are filled with volufiline, an ingredient derived from plant extracts, to help lift and tighten sagging skin while promoting circulation. They're also formulated without parabens or sulfates.
Dr. Jart+ Dermask Spot Jet Cheek & Eye Lift, $12 for 2, available at Sephora.
Great for the time-conscious, these concentrated eye masks will deliver a brighter and firmer appearance around the eye area in as little as five minutes. They're hydrating, soothing, and perfect for a (very) quick fix before a night on the town.
Trish McEvoy Instant Solutions Triangle of Light Eye Mask, $68 for 8, available at Nordstrom.
Enriched with cucumber extract, these hydra-gel eye masks reduce the appearance of fine lines, including crow's feet, while the blend of aloe and chamomile will calm any inflammation. The hydrating boost from a blend of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and hydrolyzed collagen will leave the entire eye area visibly brighter.
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Masks, $48 for 30, available at Macy's.
Like an energy drink for your eyes, these masks will leave you looking refreshed and more awake in just 15 minutes. They're enriched with cucumber extract to reduce puffiness and antioxidant vitamin C to deliver radiant and revitalized skin.
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask, $46 for 4, available at Amazon.
These supercharged patches might be pricy, but they're worth it: Oculoplastic surgeon and MZ Skin founder Dr. Maryam Zamani advises using them to restore long-lasting radiance to fatigued skin. They're packed with hyaluronic acid, rose oil, and seaweed to increase elasticity and minimize fine lines, and they're vegan-friendly, to boot.
MZ Skin Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatment Mask, $106 for 5, available at Net-a-Porter.
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