As someone who works on deadline for a living, I am well acquainted with late nights hunched over my laptop (cute). Dark, dehydrated, puffy under-eyes are an unfortunate consequence, so by default, I’m also pretty well versed in counteracting them.
Under-eye masks are one such trick I rely on. They’re quick, easy, and (usually) pretty effective. Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels are lauded as some of the best. They contain a cocktail of botanical ingredients and promise to leave the skin revived, soothed and rejuvenated.
Obviously, I was more than happy to put them through their paces for the purpose of this review. And—spoiler alert—I’ve already emptied out the box and repurchased them (they’re that good).
Keep scrolling for my thoughts.
Star rating: 4/5
Best for: Dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines around the eye area.
Uses: These work as a quick treatment to hydrate, de-puff, and tighten the eye contour.
Potential allergens: The patches don’t contain known allergens and are both dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested.
Active ingredients: Hydrolyzed extensin, ginko biloba leaf extract, coenzyme q10, acetyl hexapeptide-8, Icelandic complex.
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
Price: $33 for a box of 8
About the brand: Skyn Iceland is an Icelandic skincare brand specifically formulated to treat the damaging effects of stress on skin using pure and potent ingredients.
About My Skin
My skin is typically quite good, the area around my eyes included. But I’m very prone to puffiness, dehydration, fine lines, and dark circles. It can be brought on by too much salt, too many glasses of champagne, poor sleep, or an eye cream that’s too rich (sometimes all of the above). Day to day, I lean heavily on the power of concealer, but sometimes I just need something more, and that’s where an under-eye mask comes in handy.
Enter Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. I opted to try these on a particularly flat Saturday morning. I had Thai takeout and slept a grand total of four hours the night prior (cheers, Netflix), so my eyes were essentially hanging out of my head. I grabbed the product, headed to my vanity, and prayed for a miracle.
As an eye mask connoisseur, I know a quality product when I see one. Often they’re too slippery, irritate the delicate skin, or underwhelm in terms of results. Skyn Iceland’s version, however, is different. It’s a fabric-backed gel pad that adheres well, so you can keep doing life admin while they work their magic. (I sent a few emails, vacuumed, and unpacked the dishwasher—exciting stuff).
True to their name, they do feel nice and cool, but a tip from me is to chill them further in the fridge for 30 minutes before use—it's immensely soothing and the extreme temperature will constrict blood flow, helping to decrease darkness from the pooled blood in the area. And if you really want to amp things up, layer a chilled sheet mask on top.
The only negative I’ll make note of is that they feel a little dry—not super moist or drenched in product like other eye gels. But somehow, they still feel hydrating, so this isn't a deal breaker, but worth pointing out if you're expecting them to have more of a product-soaked feel.
Some eye gels are pretty basic in terms of what’s actually in them, but the ingredient list for the Hydro Cool Gels is quite impressive (if I do say so myself). The hero is the Icelandic complex, a blend of glacial water, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids to nourish, soothe, and energize. There’s also hydrolyzed extensin to plump lines, ginkgo biloba to improve circulation, coenzyme Q10 to fight free radicals, and muscle-calming peptides to firm and tone. Yes, yes, and triple-yes.
After about 15 minutes, I peeled them off, and the difference was definitely noticeable. My eyes looked less puffy, fine lines were softened, and the blue-ish circles were subdued.
I finished with a layer of lightweight eye cream (Youth To The People Dream Cream and a touch of Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, and it was nothing short of miraculous. I looked well-rested, healthy, and glow-y (despite how I felt on the inside, but that’s what coffee is for).
At $33 for 8 patches (or $4 a piece) these aren’t insanely expensive, but they certainly aren’t the cheapest on the market either. I think for the luxurious feel and the active ingredients, they're worth it—but personally, I think I’d save them for special occasions, like before a work event or post-flight.
Eye masks are in no short supply, so peep some of my other favorites below:
- Milk Makeup Cooling Water Eye Patches: Like your beauty treatment with a side of selfie? Milk Makeup’s cute Chill Out printed option has you covered. Enriched with seaweed, aloe, and caffeine, they’re perfect for calming redness and irritation (allergy season, we see you).
- Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask: The Ferrari of under-eye masks, this pick from Estée Lauder is like a super charged version of the brand’s iconic Advanced Night Repair Serum. There’s caffeine, chamomile and ChronoluxCB™ technology to repair and rejuvenate.
- E.l.f Cosmetics Hydrogel Under Eye Mask: Cheap and cheerful, these gel masks contain glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to brighten up tired, dehydrated eyes. Keep them in the fridge for emergencies.
As someone who lives for masking, I’m a huge fan. Late nights are a regular occurrence for me, and there’s nothing I love more than a beauty hack to wake me up. Skyn Iceland’s Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels are great. They stay put, refresh, and hydrate—and who doesn’t want that?