I Never Used Eye Cream Until I Discovered This £6 One

At the risk of making myself sound like a totally inept beauty editor, I've never really seen the point in eye creams. They make bold claims about eradicating fine lines and erasing the effects of a 3 a.m. bedtime and two bottles of wine (maybe I'm hyperbolising), but I've always had the sneaking suspicion that they're just a face moisturiser in a tiny tub—for triple the price.

Of course, I've dabbled with various formulas over the years, but none have ever set up a permanent home in my skincare stash. Sure, some of them felt nice when applied, but I never got that immediate visible result promised. (What can I say? I'm impatient.) In fact, the only instant result I ever experienced was when I awoke after using a very popular eye cream to find that a cyst had formed under my eye. Nice.


(Image credit: @MICARICKETTS)

So what was it that caused me to come out of eye-cream retirement? I had heard rumours flying around in the beauty world for a while of a £6 product that genuinely brightened tired eyes and soothed puffiness. The price point was a definite point of intrigue but for me, the real sell was that this product contained 5% caffeine—an ingredient that I know delivers results within skincare.

The product in question is The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG. If you haven't heard of The Ordinary, just know that it's an innovative skincare brand that's part of the larger Deciem beauty group. The brand is renowned for its high-performance formulations, but its unique selling point is the low prices. In fact, the vast majority of the products come in under the £10 mark. I've been using the eye cream for the past few weeks now and can honestly say it's become a staple in my morning routine. Keep reading to find out exactly why it's so great.

1. It's So Lightweight


(Image credit: @ASOS_LESLEY)

More of an eye serum than an eye cream, I was immediately impressed with the lightweight texture of The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution. Eye creams are notorious for their rich, heavy textures, but personally, I've found in the past that using a thick lotion under my eyes can clog the pores and cause breakouts (or in my case, that unsightly cyst). Unlike formulas I've used in the past, this one sinks immediately into your skin, so there's no waiting around in the morning to apply your makeup. Perfect if you're a fan of the snooze button like I am.

Related: A Basic Skincare Routine for Your 20s That Genuinely Works

2. It's Based on Science


(Image credit: @STELLASIMONA)

As I mentioned earlier, the ingredients in The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution were the real draw for me. It contains a 5% concentration of caffeine (super high for a beauty product) and a purified natural compound called epigallocatechin gallatyl glucoside, which is found in green tea leaves and is a potent antioxidant. The benefit in beauty products is the way it can help to minimise damage within your skin cells and protect your skin from harsh environmental factors. Independent studies have shown that this, combined with the topical use of caffeine, can help minimise the appearance of dark circles and reduce puffiness. Basically, while other creams might claim to be able to brighten and disguise the effects of a late night, this one actually prevents tired-looking eyes altogether.

3. It Reduces the Need for Concealer


(Image credit: @MARISAMARTINS_)

While I won't claim that The Ordinary Caffeine Solution is a miracle worker (on a particularly hungover Sunday, this stuff didn't even touch the sides of my eye bags), but on a daily basis, I've found that my eye area looks so much brighter than before. I apply it daily (after my face serum and before my moisturiser) and find that it instantly cools and calms any puffiness, and just makes my face look a little bit perkier. I'm using less concealer than ever before, and have skipped it on some days altogether when I'm having a natural makeup day. And for the cost of a couple of coffees, you really can't do much better than that. Keep scrolling to shop some of my other under-eye beauty favourites.

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Mica Ricketts