Of the many cult products Kiehl’s is known for, the Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado is one of our favourites. A rich, hydrating cream packed with nourishing avocado oil and shea butter, it is ideal for those with sensitive eyes since it’s ophthalmologist-tested, and great for dry skin too thanks to its luxurious formula.
Drinking more water and applying a cold compress can help shrink eye bags quickly, but the only way to reduce their appearance in the long term is to make a few lifestyle changes. This is especially true if your eye bags and dark circles are genetically inherited.
Peptides are a more recent entrant into the field of skin care, which means that they’re not as well documented. Kevin Gallagher told us that peptides were derived from medical research into wound healing, and he recommended them over retinoids because they have less risk of irritating the delicate skin around the eye area. “Peptides are small fragments of collagen and proteins that are meant to ‘trick’ the skin into thinking that its collagen is broken, and that it needs to make new collagen to replace it. Over time, it can help thicken skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles,” explains Shainhouse.
“I don’t have terrible dark circles, but I do often end up watching Netflix way later than I should. On those mornings after, I reach for this. It’s got a peachy hue to counteract that blue-ish tinge, botanicals to de-puff, and a firming complex that leaves a fine film under your eyes, so your concealer doesn’t settle into any lines. It’s like Spanx for your eyes.” —Lindsay Schallon, senior digital beauty editor
Tvam’s Olive And Soya Under Eye Cream contains the goodness of olive oil, almond oil, nutmeg oil, and aloe vera. Its unique formulation helps treat the delicate under eye area effectively. The product helps minimize dark circles, reduce puffiness, and smoothe out wrinkles and fine lines.
At Swell No More, we have finally developed a solid solution for reducing puffy eyes and bringing about several other beneficial results. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress and poor diet. Your eyes will become puffy when the skin around them becomes irritated or itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may also wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention. Stress may cause your skin and eyes, along with other parts of your body, to weaken and become susceptible to problems like swelling.
It is very effective for eye puffiness and fine lines but not very effective for severe eye bags, dark circles, and deep wrinkles. There are many good customer feedback and testimonials but there are also negative ones saying it isn’t very effective. It is dermatologist tested and fragrance-free but some people may be allergic to certain ingredients of this eye cream. It is one of the most affordable eye creams on the market ($24.99).
Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to body bloating, which will have an effect on your eyes as well. Go easy on the diet sodas and other products containing fake sugar substitutes, or give them up completely. You can also try easing the eye puff caused by this fake sugars by consuming more inflammation-fighting foods like berries, tomatoes, and ginger.
Puffy or swollen eyes can be caused by fluid retention, stress, allergies, hormone changes, and other factors. Crying is often accompanied by swollen eyes because the tiny glands in the eyelids that produce tears become inflamed from overactivity.
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Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism – Facial puffiness and periorbital swelling occur due to infiltration with the mucopolysaccharides hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, pulling fluid into the interstitial space by osmosis.
There are plenty of eye cream ingredients that claim to improve blood circulation (like caffeine) or blood coagulation (like Vitamin K) which will theoretically reduce puffiness and dark circles. But the outer layer of your skin does such a good job protecting against invaders that it prevents most of these ingredients from penetrating deeply. You may be better off adding a cup of coffee or a spinach soufflée to your diet than waiting and hoping that these ingredients will sink in.
We all know that the skin under our eyes is extremely delicate. It is almost always the first to age and is about 0.5mm thick while the rest of our skin is about 2 mm thick. Under eye skin, or periorbital skin, becomes thinner much faster than it should when it is not cared for appropriately. With the hectic lifestyles and the constant pollution we’re exposed to, the skin deteriorates, showing the blood vessels under your skin more clearly. This causes the appearance of dark circles.
Some eye cream types contain ingredients that help firm the skin, like caffeine, retinol, or vitamin C. These may temporarily provide a firmer look to the eyes. Those creams that help to lighten skin around the eyes, especially dark circles may contain ingredients such as hydroquinone or Vitamin K. Occasionally you’ll find creams that offer anti-aging or firming benefits and reduce dark circles.
“This Burt’s Bees eye cream is a staple in my morning routine. It’s powerhouse ingredient is Royal Jelly, which contains macronutrients, antioxidants and vitamins to really help fade out fine lines. I keep it in the fridge so that it wakes me up and reduces morning puffiness.” —Jill Amos, digital photo editor
Bromelain, which is an enzyme found in pineapple, has a positive effect on reducing inflammation throughout your body, and can also assist in fighting bloating and puffiness. Another one of our remarkable ingredients is known as quercetin, which is a type of antioxidant that is naturally found in plant foods like leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and broccoli. This has been proven to bring longevity, heart health and better endurance to those who take it, and it has been linked to preventing certain cancers from developing within the body. These are just a few examples of the super-food ingredients our water pills stem from.
Treat your allergies. Puffy eyes are often caused by allergies, which inflame the face and cause water to collect there. You might see a big difference if you treat your seasonal allergies with a good allergy medication.
We also used Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary (a cosmetic ingredients database) to identify products that contain known skin sensitizers: These ingredients include things like lemon or mint — compounds that smell great and are totally fine for occasional use. But if you’re using a skin sensitizer on a daily basis for months at a time, your skin may develop an allergic reaction. We found 44 sensitizing ingredients in our remaining eye creams.
One of the main causes of puffy eyes is aging. The skin under your eyes is very thin, which augments any changes that may occur in your body as you age. Over time, the tissue in your eyelids can weaken. This can cause fat in your upper eyelid to fall, coming to rest in your lower eyelid.
Dark circles can be the result of your particular genetics, a circulatory issue (your blood flow needs a boost) — or a natural consequence of aging. Dr. Greene explained that as we age, our facial anatomy shifts, which contributes to how smooth or uneven the skin around the eyes appears. Skin damage from ultraviolet light causes skin laxity. Areas that once appeared full may now look shallow. Hydration with ingredients like sodium hyaluronate can help against shallowness, but most eye creams for dark circles rely on pigments to color over dark circles, or reflective materials like mica or pearl dust to provide the optical illusion of fullness. Whether these work depends heavily on matching your skin color and tone.
Testers generally preferred pump-tops over squeeze tubes or roller-balls. Clinique Pep Start had a roller-ball that turned squirt-gun on us unexpectedly and was difficult to control. Testers did like the metal ball of Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On, but reported that it was still a little trickier to apply than, say, a squeeze tube.
Hyaluronic acid is most effective when it can get into the deeper layers of the skin — which is why it is a common ingredient for fillers and injections. But in topical creams, it often has a hard time getting past the outer layer of skin because it is comprised of fairly large molecules. As a workaround, the most effective eye cream will use sodium hyaluronate instead, a derivative that is more easily absorbed into the skin because it has smaller molecules. We looked only at products that contained sodium hyaluronate (although we didn’t ding them for including HA).
Kate Somerville was our favorite by a very narrow margin. Both brands come with pump dispensers that dole out precise amounts of eye cream as needed. Both felt hydrating and refreshing, leaving skin moisturized without being too heavy. Kate Somerville is slightly pricier, at $125, versus Chanel’s $105. So why did we prefer the pricier option? It was virtually odorless. Chanel had a lightly floral (almost medicinal) scent on first whiff, which some of us enjoyed, but two unhappy testers reported fishy undertones as it dried. Chanel was also more prone to flaking as it dried. We’ll stick with Kate Somerville.
A great all-purpose formula for everyday use, Olay’s Ultimate Eye Cream acts on fine lines, dark circles, puffiness and crow’s feet – as well as using a colour-correcting formula to tackle uneven skin tone. It makes a brilliant base for make-up too, and all for under £30.
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“After my roommate literally gasped when I told her I didn’t use an under eye cream, I decided I better go out and find one. This Ole Henriksen ultimate lift eye gel cream has convinced me to never go back to the dark side. My eyes feel less puffy and squint-tired as soon as I apply it.” —Tess Kornfeld, editorial assistant