Our top pick? Vichy's Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm
Oversleeping, sleep deprivation, dehydration, sun exposure, allergies, eyestrain, stress, and age are all proven causes of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines around the eyes. From personal experience, I understand how difficult it can be to mitigate these unavoidable factors in day-to-day life, so having a simple, easy, alternative solution is an absolute dream come true.
That simple, easy, alternative solution is - of course - a high-quality eye cream. Not just any eye cream, though; French eye creams are the crème de la crème (pun very much intended). Thanks to their no-nonsense formulations that consist only of the highest quality, most effective & tolerable ingredients, French pharmacy eye creams reign supreme when it comes to supporting the incredibly delicate skin around your eyes.
Deciding which one is best for you depends entirely on your goals, skin type and skin concerns. Our top 10 picks narrow down the best French eye creams based on each of these factors. Enjoy!
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#1 — Best eye cream for tired eyes
Tired eyes can vary in form depending on the person and the day. Sometimes they can present themselves as sunken eyes with dark circles; other times, tiredness presents itself as puffiness instead. Either way, they are understandably undesirable - and notoriously difficult to tackle!
Fortunately, the key ingredient in coffee & tea that gives you a buzz in the morning (that's right: caffeine!) is the same ingredient that can give your eyes a much-needed boost, too. The premier caffeine-containing French eye cream is the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm. It smoothes and moisturizes, and visibly reduces dark circles and under-eye bags by infusing the eye with intense hydration and pure caffeine. Furthermore:
- Upper lids get everything that the best under eye products do;
- Conditions and helps eyelashes grow;
- Half a pump covers the top and bottom lids on both eyes;
- Silky, lightweight, absorbs quickly and not even remotely sticky;
- And can apply make-up right away resulting in a velvety finish.
We are *obsessed* with this French eye cream; if there was a rank above #1, we would award it to this.
#2 — Best eye cream for sensitive skin
The skin around the eyes is super thin - we're talking somewhere in the realm of five times thinner than the skin on your face - combine this fact with generally sensitive skin, and you have a potential recipe for disaster. It is, therefore, crucial to have a dedicated eye cream rather than just using your face moisturizer, as even the most gentle face moisturizer formulas may not be tolerable around your eyes.
Perhaps unsurprisingly - considering they were awarded our 'best French skincare brand for sensitive skin' title - Avene offers the best French pharmacy eye cream for sensitive skin. Outstandingly gentle, the Eau Thermale Soothing Eye Contour Cream is a cult-favourite, especially amongst French women as part of their daily ritual. Much like many other French pharmacy products, this cream boasts an impressive collection of benefits, most notably:
- No more itchiness;
- No more redness;
- Relieved puffiness;
- Eye contour area is protected from further damage;
- And any irritation is soothed within just one night of use.
#3 — Best eye cream for irritated skin
On par with Avene's for sensitive skin is La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream. Possessing comparable amounts of rave reviews - and boasting the same impressive portfolio of soothing & repairing effects - the Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream's only differences are its pump mechanism and the thermal spring water used in its formula.
Check out our Avene vs La Roche Posay article for further details to help you to decide between the two; whichever you choose, though, remember to apply the cream with your ring finger for maximum gentleness!
#4 — Best eye cream for oily skin
The best French eye cream for oily skin would be one that respects the sensitivity of the fragile skin around the eyes and has a lightweight texture that doesn't feel greasy. Whilst not strictly a cream, the Mineral 89 Eyes Hyaluronic Acid Eye Gel by Vichy has precisely those qualities and has transcended cult status at this point with its enormous congregation of pleased reviewers.
Dermatologist recommended, mineral-oil free, non-comedogenic, extremely hydrating, smoothing, and luxurious yet affordable - this gel packs some serious bang for your buck. Furthermore, it is concentrated with pure caffeine to give you a brighter, more well-rested look day after day.
#5-9 — Best eye creams for anti-ageing
Have you ever wondered how Parisiennes seemingly defy age? Most of it undeniably comes down to their quintessentially French skincare routines, but more specifically, it is their focus on the windows-to-the-soul: their eyes.
The eye area is packed with the most visible signs of ageing on the face, and hence by focussing on rejuvenating and preserving this area, one can elude the maturing annals of time.
Whilst there is no shortage of supremely effective French anti-ageing eye creams boasting the reduction of eye bags, wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, sagging, and irregularities; the main differences ultimately come down to price. However, since this is an investment into the self-confidence and happiness of your future self, we recommend not holding back and going for a high-end option.
The Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate, the Lancome Genifique Yeux Light Pearl Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Serum and the L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Eye Balm are our personal favourites. Each effortlessly allows you to achieve stunning younger-looking eyes and brighter eye contours. Caudalie and Biotherm also offer amazing anti-ageing creams, each with more of a focus on the firming and lifting of your eyes.
A more potent anti-ageing alternative would come in the form of a retinol cream. They tend to yield much better results much quicker, but at the expense of price and increased skin sensitivity, learn more over at our best French retinol article!
#10 — Best concealer eye cream
For those looking for a quick under-eye fix, a French concealer eye cream is the ideal solution. Simultaneously covering up dark circles whilst also intensely hydrating the eye area, the L'Oreal True Match Eye Cream in a Concealer (available in 14 shades) is the best in this category. Not only does it provide a quick fix, but this ophthalmologist and dermatologist-approved concealing eye cream achieves an eye area that looks fresher and less puffy in one week of use.
If you're interested in a makeup solution, why not check out our best French concealer post, or perhaps even our guide to the Best French Makeup Brands! You will discover some more absolute *must-haves*, and find out where we have ranked L'Oreal amongst the other phenomenal brands.
Calum Torrington is the founder of FemmeNordic. He has worked as a beauty editor since 2020 and employs his analytical background in mathematics to thoroughly scrutinize complex INCI lists. Now, he helps over 1 million people per year to find the best beauty products.