Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler’s educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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.
Waking up with puffy, swollen eyes is a major bummer—especially if you need to arrive at work looking bright and alert, or you’re tired of masking the puffiness with makeup. Even worse is when the puff is accompanied by dark circles, redness, underye bags, and/or irritation. It’s not a pretty look, and it can do a number on your self-esteem.
To avoid fluid retention and keep alcohol from setting up that anti-diuretic effect, try sticking to no more than one drink per night if you’re female, and two if you’re male. These are the CDC guidelines for moderate drinking, but if you still notice eye bloat, consider giving up the booze for good and limiting it to special occasions only. 
L’Oreal Paris’ White Perfect Magic White Double Whitening Eye Cream claims to whiten the skin from the inside, helping fade dark circles. It helps brighten the under eye area and claims to show results with the first use. It helps inhibit the production of melanin, which curbs pigmentation problems.
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).
Normal aging – As a person grows older, the skin around the eyes becomes thinner and may swell or droop.[2] Further a gradual and generally permanent increase in the size of the suborbicularis oculi fat pad along with the thinning and weakening of the overlying musculature contributes to the apparent distention of the lower eyelids.[3]
While some degree of puffiness may be normal for a given individual, factors such as age and fatigue may make the swelling more prominent. The periorbital tissues are most noticeably swollen immediately after waking, perhaps due to the gravitational redistribution of fluid in the horizontal position.
As you age, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that is normally confined to the area around the eye (orbit) can move into the area below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can accumulate fluid, making the under-eye area appear puffy or swollen. Several factors cause or worsen this effect, including:
Elevating the head while sleeping can prevent the gravitational redistribution of fluid that is associated with eye swelling. A low-carb diet can prevent eye puffiness by preventing water retention.[citation needed] Eating foods rich in vitamins, especially A, C and E, helps to reduce eye puffiness and to maintain clear, moist skin.[9]
So although it can be inconvenient, the best advice is to make sure you take them out before hitting the sack. Instead of waiting until the last sleepy minute, one trick is to remove your contact lenses in the late afternoon or evening—so you don’t forget or get lazy, doze off in them, and wake up looking like a blowfish.
Forest Essentials’ Intensive Eye Cream With Anise has been specially formulated to treat the delicate under eye area. It helps reduce dark circles and diminish dark circles, while also toning and firming the skin around your eyes. This herbal product contains extracts of papaya and potato starch, both of which help provide your skin with hydration.

If you are sensitive to eye treatments (or just have particularly sensitive under-eye skin in general), this is the product for you! This is meant for “worn out eyes,” so anyone struggling with fine lines, dehydrated eyes, or dark circles.
Need to know your skin type?Paula’s Choice breaks skin types up into three categories: Dry, Normal, and Oily. They advise washing your face, and waiting two hours without applying any products. If your skin looks flaky or feels tight, you have dry skin. Shiny and slick? Oily. Neither, but smooth? Normal, or you might have a combination of oily and dry sections.
Hi Tenzin, all the under eye creams mentioned above in the article are good products and you can try any one of them. Apart from regular usage of creams you can follow a home made skin care regime to get rid of pimples and dark circles. Application of cucumber juice or rose water on the face and under the eyes will rejuvenate your skin. Thin slices of cucumber or cotton soaked in rose water…when kept over the eyes for 15-20 mins will relax your eyes. A good and undisturbed sleep for about 6-8 hours will also help you. Hope you find these tips to be useful !!
I bought the two ingredients (organic coconut oil and vitamin E capsules), did some melting and mixing and viola! I have the best DIY Homemade Eye Cream that is gentle and homemade, but very effective. I’ve seen a big difference in just a couple weeks.
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.
Looking for a retinoid-based eye cream? A medium-weight formula is best place to start if you have normal skin and no pre-existing texture preferences. These creams leave your skin feeling moisturized — you won’t be left wondering whether you remembered to put them on — but, at the same time, they aren’t unpleasantly greasy. After testing, two of our retinoid-based contenders fit this category: Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream and Chanel Le Lift Creme Yeux Firming Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream.
If you’ve been using eye cream daily for at least six months, and still haven’t seen a difference, there are stronger options you can try: cosmetic injections and prescription-strength retinoids are two common options. Both will require seeing a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for consultation.
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.
Allergies can cause puffy, dark circles under your eyes. You may also experience redness or watery, itchy eyes. This reaction is caused by your immune system’s response to something that irritates it, or allergens.
We made an exception for one product, Youth to the People, which comes in a jar but is one of the few paraben-free options we were able to track down. We take a closer look at parabens below, and while we don’t consider them a deal-breaker, we wanted to provide options for people who would prefer to avoid them.
Sleep with a few pillows under your head to avoid fluid settling around your eyes. If you’re unable to sleep at an angle on a wedge pillow or stack of pillows, try raising the head of your bed a bit for the same effect.
Yes, it’s expensive. But La Mer’s Lifting Eye Serum really does deliver, using kelp-infused actives and the brand’s Stretch Matrix Complex to lift, tighten and contour the area around the eyes. The formula is lightweight, gel-like and refreshing – apply to drooping lids to lift and smooth.
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