Say goodbye to dark eye circles.

By Christie Calucchia
August 29, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Activated Charcoal Eye Mask with HydroGel by BLAQ
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Once an activity reserved for beauty bloggers and the first-class elite, practicing a skincare routine while cruising at an altitude of 35,000-feet is quickly becoming a far more popular way to pass the time and squeeze in a bit of self-care while traveling — even for those cramped in coach. From hydrating facial oils to carry-on-friendly face masks, there are now so many ways to tend to your skin while traveling. Although, some are more conspicuous than others (we’re looking at you, sheet masks).

I’ll admit it, the thought of publicly donning a face mask in the tight quarters of a commercial aircraft was initially intimidating. Picturing a flight attendant asking for my drink order while I had on a face full of product, or my neighbor waking up to find me lathering on a fragrant serum just didn’t sit well with me. That was until I discovered what might very well be the best in-flight skincare essential that’s not as blatantly obvious as some others: the Activated Charcoal Blaq Eye Mask (, $18).

Unlike sheet masks — which make for an easy cleanup but can leave you looking like a character from a scary movie (especially when the lights are low on an overnight flight) — these under-eye masks are hardly noticeable when applied mid-air. The compact hydrogel patches are mess-free (imagine the feeling of a thin, slippery slice of gelatin), and sit just below the eyes.

Not only do they instantly feel cooling and soothing, but they’re packed with hard-working ingredients designed to detoxify the skin, reduce the look of wrinkles, and depuff under eye circles. The cruelty-free formula comes from Blaq, an Australian beauty brand that bases all of its products around one do-it-all skincare essential: activated charcoal. So it’s no surprise that the hydrogel eye masks include activated charcoal to absorb excess oil and remove toxins, combined with Hamamelis Virginiana extract for its calming, anti-inflammatory properties and hyaluronic acid to restore moisture and plump skin.

I first tried out the patches on a long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Barcelona. After hours of exposing my skin to recirculated air (and sleeping far less than I hoped I would), I popped the slippery under-eye patches out of their container and onto my puffy, tired face just beneath my eyes. So long as you’re careful not to spill any of the excess serum stored in the package when opening the product, they’re completely mess-free, which was another added plus for using them mid-flight.

I left the black masks under my eyes for 10 to 15 minutes,and when I closed my eyes, I almost felt like I had been upgraded to first class as I let the patches work their magic. They come off in one piece and don’t leave any residue behind on your face, save a healthy glow.

Although the initial results weren’t particularly dramatic, I did feel like the dark circles that had expanded under my eyes throughout the flight were significantly depuffed and brightened. Plus, I enjoyed indulging in some relaxing skincare without the fear of being judged by my fellow passengers.

And I’m not the only one who has good things to say about this compact, travel-friendly skincare product. Amazon shoppers agree that the masks work wonders when it comes to treating puffy, dark under eye circles.

“I’ve used many brands of eye patches and this is by far the best,” one reviewer wrote. “No other patch I’ve used gives such a brightening effect to the eye,” they continued. Another noted that the masks were seriously refreshing. “Left my eyes feeling super bright and puff-free. Very cold at first but it wakes you up. Love love love,” they wrote.

Whether you have a long, international flight ahead of you or are looking for a low-maintenance brightening product to add to your skincare routine, give these soothing eye masks a try.

Activated Charcoal Eye Mask with HydroGel by BLAQ
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

To buy:, $18 (originally $19)