One of the perks of being married to a commerce editor at a wellness publication is getting to test a lot of skin care. At least, I think it's a perk—my husband does not. In fact, M would just rather just stick to his bottle of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap as a body/face/shampoo/conditioner all-in-one wash and call it a day. But sometimes, he indulges me. Like when I noticed him checking out the puffy bags under his eyes after a long night of video gaming a few months ago. "I have a solution for that," I said, and before he could say anything, brought out the big guns: Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Hydra-Gel Eye Patches ($75).
- Firms and de-puffs skin
- High-quality ingredients
- Stays on without slipping
- Works in 10 minutes
- Results are temporary
He relented—not worth the argument when you can just put the shiny gold masks under your eyes while you drink your coffee. Happy wife, happy life. 10 minutes later, I reminded him to take them off, and as soon as he did, I was legitimately shocked by how much the masks reduced the swelling and smoothed out his wrinkles. It was like I had applied an Instagram filter to his face in real life. "Okay, that's...pretty cool," he admitted, which is a win in my book (... and something I will probably use against him for the rest of our lives, because that's how marriage works, I guess).
My husband's review of Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
"They're cooling and feel kind of nice," M tells me, which is as good as his review is going to get, if we're being honest (I think the selling point will be the 'before and after' transformation photos, which I'll get to in a second). I wear them all the time, and he's right—they feel cool on your skin when you put them on, and you can actually feel the formulation working its magic to calm down inflammation and puffiness.
Meant to be worn in the morning to wake up tired eyes, the eye masks brighten and firm the delicate under-eye area in about 10-20 minutes. I'll apply them as the last step in my morning skin-care routine, then make breakfast and sit with a coffee. After I take them off, I'll put on foundation, usually skipping under-eye concealer since the PTR eye masks have eliminated the need for any under-eye area cover-up. The bags under my eyes are gone, the dark circles have faded, and I'm left with brighter, firmer skin.
But it was really the most apparent on M, who is in his 40s (I haven't asked him if I can share his age on the internet, so we'll just leave it at that), gets five hours of sleep a night, and doesn't drink nearly enough water. The results were honestly stunning.
While his under-eye bags aren't gone, they're drastically reduced—in only ten minutes. I slacked our senior beauty editor, Zoe Weiner, asking what she thought. "Worth a story?" I asked. And, well:
How Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Hydra-Gel Eye Patches work
So, how do these $75 gold eye masks work, exactly? Well, they're literally infused with 24-karat gold, which has been used as a luxury skin-care ingredient for ages (according to ancient lore, Cleopatra painted her face with gold to keep her skin healthy and youthful). In a 2021 study conducted by Molecules, scientists found that gold nanoparticles may speed up healing via their antioxidants. And in a slightly older 2018 study from The Journal of Pharmaceuticals, it was found that gold nanoparticles can even potentially delay skin aging—but more studies definitely need to be done before you start melting your jewelry for the sake of your skin.
The other stars of the show include caffeine (which has been proven to reduce inflammation), glycerin and hyaluronic acid (two hydrating superstars that infuse the skin with moisture and then retain it), niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3 that boosts hydration, combats redness and inflammation, and reduces wrinkles and dark spots), and hydrolyzed collagen (this mainly smooths fine lines and wrinkles).
There's a reason why celebs (like Selena Gomez) and skin-care buffs alike love these eye patches so much. "I am 50 years old and did a good bit of research on eye patches before finally settling on these. The reviews kept showing these to work great for brightening under the eyes, and yes, they did! I saw results right away. I've been using them daily for a week, and my eyes have lost the dark circles underneath. I will likely pare down to 2x a week. These will be a buy on repeat for me," one Amazon shopper writes in a review.
Another says, "I will admit these are a bit pricey, but I'm happy to report it's because THEY ACTUALLY WORK! I've tried so many under-eye patches, and most of them burn my skin, but these don't do that. They feel great, and I can genuinely see a difference when I remove them. I will never go back to anything else!"
The only con? They're $75, as the latter review points out. But a tub does include 60 patches, and you can technically reuse them a couple of times before tossing them. But when a skin-care product actually delivers on its promises and works, we're inclined to keep investing. Just ask my husband.
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