If reducing under-eye puffiness and lightening dark circles is at the top of your beauty to-do-list, you are not alone. Over 53% of women cite under-eye circles and puffiness as their No. 1 beauty concern. Dozens of beauty companies proclaim to make potions to treat those dark under-eye circles, and not just cover them up, but how many of those eye treatment products actually work? One company alone sells more than 50 products designed to "specifically treat under-eye circles." With so many products out there it can be tough to figure out which potions and creams are the best. In an effort to make your life a little easier, we scoured reviews and recommendations from dermatologists and skin care specialists for simple ways to remove bags from under your eyes. If you want to know how to make the bags under your eyes disappear, we are going to give you some proven treatments and solutions to your under-eye problems.
What Causes Dark Under-Eye Circles?
Despite what most people think, deep, dark circles and bags under your eyes are not primarily caused by being tired, stressed or one too many margaritas. While it is true, to a certain extent, that fatigue can make skin dull and that drinking alcohol dehydrates and thins the skin, dermatologists say the most likely culprits causing chronic dark circles are:
- Excess pigmentation in the skin. Dark circles are prevalent on all skin colors and types, but they especially trouble African-Americans, Southeast Asians and Southern Italians. Sun worshipers take note - sun exposure exacerbates dark circles.
- Capillaries leaking blood close to the skin's surface. When this blood begins to oxidize, it turns a bluish red color, similar to an ugly bruise. And since the skin under the eyes is very thin, this leads to the appearance of the embarrassing bags and dark circles. The more transparent your skin and the more blood that pools under it, the darker the circles appear.
- Dilated blood vessels that sit close to the thin under-eye skin are another cause. Airborne allergens, which cause blood to pool in the vessels under the skin, can worsen their appearance.
- Aging, which causes skin to thin, can also darken the eye area, as can certain medications such as birth control pills, which can dilate blood vessels.
- As always, a combination of heredity and genetics also contribute to dark circles.
How to Get Rid of Dark Under-Eye Circles?
Let's go over a few of the causes again and list possible treatment options. Remember, not all options will be suitable for all individuals. You may need to consult a physician to help you determine the best course of treatment.
- Lack of sleep or too much sleep: You can usually tell which one is your problem. Either increase or decrease your sleep time as needed. Yes, you may already be stressed out and have no time, but if you are regularly not getting enough sleep (or too much), under-eye circles will be the least of your problems
- Airborne Allergens: These can cause blood to pool in the dilated vessels under the thin under-eye skin, worsening the appearance of under-eye circles. Treatment for allergy sufferers may be as simple as an antihistamine pill.
- Hyper-pigmentation: Dark circles under the eyes are often seen in people with darker skin. The skin under the eyes is healthy, but is a darker shade than the rest of the face. Topical hydroquinone (skin brightening cream) is a good option as it can lighten the skin, if that is the problem
Dark Under-Eye Circle Treatments
One problem with potions and creams is that few, if any, of them on the market are formulated for people with excess pigmentation or dilated veins. Considering the glut of products on the market with a variety of active ingredients, the fact that there are so many of them available usually means they are not terribly successful.
For people who have dark circles, topical products that contain a plumping agent or alphahydroxy acids, which can thicken the skin, or vitamins C and K, which can inflame skin and add volume, are recommended. Here are some proven treatments and solutions recommended by dermatologists and skin care specialists to fix your under-eye problems.
SkinMedica TNS Illuminating Eye Cream
SkinMedica TNS Illuminating Eye Cream ($79, skincarerx.com) is a top recommendation for the treatment of under-eye circles. This luxurious-formula eye cream contains TNS Recovery Complex with NouriCel-MD, a proprietary fusion of key ingredients that interacts positively within the skin to help noticeably improve skin's appearance and firmness. The cream diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhances skin texture, and helps eliminate iron and bilirubin (the substance responsible for the yellow color of bruises) under the eyes to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. Apply a thin layer to the area surrounding the eye twice daily after cleansing.
emerginC Lighten-Up Under-Eye Circle Fighter
Potent, highly-concentrated, advanced ingredients make
emerginC Lighten-Up Under-Eye Circle Fighter ($67, skinstore.com) one of the most effective under-eye circle fighters available, helping to address both the superficial and underlying causes of dark circles. The rich and powerful blend of Arbutin, Black Mulberry, Vitamin K, and more is designed to lighten dark circles, soothe stressed skin, and revitalize the overall eye look. Use both morning and evening after cleansing, using fingertips to massage in until product is fully absorbed.
Arbutin is a hydroquinone-derivative that lightens and clarifies. Vitamin K lightens, strengthens, and revitalizes lackluster skin. Black Mulberry extract softens and soothes.
Revitol Eye Cream
Revitol Eye Cream (39.95, revitol.com) combines a proven compound that reduces dark under-eye circles and puffiness, as well as simultaneously reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its moisturizing emollients and natural ingredients help counter moisture loss and other characteristics of under-eye circles. Its soft, non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling smooth and supple. Apply a small amount under and around the eye area in a circular motion. For best results apply to clean skin twice daily.
Niacinamide - A water-soluble Vitamin B complex that helps retain skin moisture.
Bisabolol - An ingredient derived from Chamomile that soothes and calms irritated skin; reduces the appearance of puffiness.
Chrysin - A flavonoid that helps reduce the appearance of excess skin pigmentation caused by breakdown of hemoglobin.
N-Hydroxycicinimide - Reduces the appearance of a pigmentation factor and thus dark circles.
Bliss Baggage Handler Eye Gel
Bliss Baggage Handler Eye Gel ($28, Ulta.com) is a top rated treatment for puffy eyes. The unique formula uses cucumber and cornflower extracts and fine-line-whittling wheat proteins to reduce incumbent wrinkles and help you look bright-eyed. Cucumber extract gives your eyes an instant cooling sensation that reduces under eye puffiness almost instantly. Algae extract smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increases the elasticity and firmness of under eye skin. Hydrolyzed wheat proteins provide for long lasting hydration.
Vasanti Eye Wonder Triple Action Eye Treatment Cream
Vasanti Eye Wonder Triple Action Eye Treatment Cream ($42, amazon.com) treats dark under-eye circles, puffiness and wrinkles no matter their cause. Whether it is hereditary, thinning skin, inflammation or lack of sleep, this eye cream has the active ingredients to combat all the causes. Apply twice a day using your ring finger all around the eye area.
Problems Addressed -
- Dark under-eye circles due to overproduction of melanin (commonly known to be hereditary), poor blood circulation and breakage of the capillary walls, accumulation of hemoglobin and inflammation under the eyes, and thinning of the skin under the eyes.
- Puffiness due to fluid trapped under the eye which is usually most severe when you wake up, temporarily caused by alcohol, salty foods or tears the night before.
- Wrinkles due to aging, sun damage, and poor elasticity.
Dermican - a tetrapeptide that promotes restructuring of the skin by acting on its components (collagen and lumican involved in the synthesis of collagen fibers). Clinical studies show 82% of volunteers got a positive effect with improvement of skin thickness and firmness.
Eurol Bt - a natural olive extract that inhibits activity on tyrosinase production, which has a regulating effect on skin melanin pigmentation while lightening and brightening the skin.
Haloxyl - a peptide that re-enforces the structure of the skin and activates the elimination of the blood originated pigments responsible for dark circles and local inflammation.
Eyeliss - helps prevent and fight bags under the eyes by decreasing the capillary permeability and increasing lymphatic circulation, and improves firmness and elasticity. It provides an anti-inflammatory effect, improves blood circulation and strengthens the capillary walls.
Matrixyl 3000 - an ingredient that is effective in achieving anti-wrinkle and lifting effects. Matrixyl 3000 contains matrikines which are messengers of skin restructuration and repair.
Clinique All About Eyes Rich Cream
Clinique All About Eyes Rich Cream ($39, cosme-de.com) is a 2006 Glammy Winner voted by readers of Glamour Magazine for its ability to diminish the appearance of eye puffs, darkness, and fine lines. Its lightweight, non-creep, cream/gel formula should be used morning and night, under eyes and on the lids. Apply sparingly to entire eye area using a gentle patting motion with the ring finger.
Hylexin Serious Dark Circles
Do you want to know what Katherine Heigl uses to keep her eyes looking rested and smooth? It’s Hylexin Serious Dark Circles ($59, spalook.com). Hylexin is specifically formulated to reduce puffiness and extreme dark circles under the eyes. By promoting enzymatic activity, its advanced formula breaks down the dark pigments in the skin that cause chronic under-eye circles. In a double-blind clinical trial, more than 72% of women who had serious dark circles and used Hylexin's key compound saw an obvious, tangible, visible reduction in the color and severity of their dark circles. Get brighter eyes, firmer skin and no more puffiness all in one product. Although it is a bit pricey, the benefits of using Hylexin are worth the cost, and the small amount needed in a single application make it last longer than other under-eye creams.
There they are. A list of proven treatments and solutions for under-eye circles and puffiness. These dermatologist and skin care specialist recommended products provide simple and effective ways to solve your under-eye problems. If under-eye circles and puffiness are your No. 1 beauty concern, give one of the products listed above a try and watch your under-eye problems fade away.
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