Ingredients: You’ll find a variety of ingredients in under eye masks; what issues you’re hoping to address should inform what ingredients you look for. Retinol is a proven anti-ager, so if you’re concerned about signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, eye masks with retinol are ideal. Also look for peptides, which can help stimulate collagen and strengthen skin. For under-eye bags and sagging, you’ll want to look for tightening and plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which can help plump skin by infusing it with hydration. For dark circles, antioxidants like Vitamin C and niacinamide are your ticket; sometimes, you’ll also find caffeine, which can help stimulate blood circulation. Many under eye masks will have more than one of these ingredients, making them ideal for a variety of issues.

Single Use vs. Reusable: Most under eye masks are single use, like sheet masks. The downfall of these is that they can create a lot of waste and they’re not always budget-conscious, since you have to keep buying them over and over. Reusable eye masks can be a good option and often can be used with any sort of serum, which means you can use what you already have on hand. The downside of these is that you need to clean them well between uses to avoid contamination, especially since they sit so close to your eyes. They can also degrade over time, so you’ll eventually need to replace them anyway, just not as often as single-use varieties.

Material: Many under eye masks these days are made from gel-like biocellulose or similar ingredients, which have a cooling effect and stick well to your skin. You’ll also find hydrogel, which has the added benefit of offering an extra dose of hydration. There are also silicone masks, which usually don’t have additional serums or ingredients, but can be helpful in treating fine lines and wrinkles as well as aiding in the skin’s repairing process. Less frequently, you’ll find paper or foil masks that are infused with serums that penetrate the skin once they’re applied. None of these materials are inherently better than the others, but which one you choose depends largely one what you’re trying to treat.

Packaging: Usually you’ll find two kinds of packaging: individual packs of eye masks or a jar or tub with multiples. A tub is fine if you’re using them at home (plus you can usually get more out of a single purchase), but if you like to use an under eye mask when you travel (which we highly recommend), individual packs are easier and cleaner to use.

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