There are different kinds of retinoids, and they vary in strength. As cosmetic chemist Kevin Gallagher explained, this strength comes with a trade-off: the stronger the retinoid, the faster it works — and the harsher it is on skin. The strongest retinoids are only available with a prescription. But that’s not to say over-the-counter formulations are ineffective. A three-month, double-blind, randomized study of 34 women showed there was no significant difference in efficacy between an over-the-counter 1.1 percent retinol cream and 0.025 percent prescription tretinoin. In short: Retinoids work.
What causes them? Puffy eyes are the result of temporary swelling that is often caused by seasonal allergies. Puffiness can also arise if you’ve had too much salt or alcohol, which can leave you dehydrated—that leads to water retention, which in turn leads to swelling in the face. Lack of sleep makes puffy eyes worse, too, because of the pooling of fluid in the area. As a result, puffiness is often worse in the morning and resolves itself by the afternoon as the accumulated fluid drains with the help of gravity and time.

Even though its damage-blocking superpowers sound great, vitamin C can’t replace SPF, so be sure to wear a sunscreen along with this moisturizer during the day. This specific cream is loaded with extra skin-saving ingredients like aloe vera, two forms of vitamin B, and CoQ10. Store this bottle in a cool place and away from direct sunlight, which may weaken ingredients.
"I live where it's dry, and on top of that my mom, bless her heart, is always turning the heater up. I also have very fair skin that freckles and burns easily. This moisturizer leaves my skin refreshed and not dry, goes right in, isn't greasy, doesn't have a weird smell. And the UV has shielded my skin so that one particularly dark freckle/sun spot has faded." —Kimberley S.

The vasoconstriction from products with caffeine can reduce puffiness, and cooling products can help reduce inflammation and promote blood flow. But keep in mind that any benefit you see is temporary. A metal roller ball—either on its own or as the applicator of an eye cream or serum—can gently distribute lymphatic build-up, helping it drain from underneath the eyes while also cooling the inflammation.

Studies have shown contaminated beauty products contain nasty bacteria like staph and E. coli. How do they get in there? Your fingers. Sure, you might wash your hands and face before applying your wrinkle cream, but what if you don’t get every particle of dirt out from under your nails? Boom: bacteria. Some jars come with applicators: little spoons that you’re supposed to use to take dollops of the product out. Maybe you’re the type that can always follow the rules (we’re not) — so while we didn’t declare tubs a deal breaker, we did consider it.


No matter how old you are, we bet that one of the last things you want to show up on your pretty little face—right up there with fine lines and wrinkles and dark spots—is a set of bags under your eyes. Ugh, be gone, puffiness! If this is something you’re dealing with, you’ve probably searched high and low to find out how to get rid of under-eye bags. Sadly, there’s no magic solution that’ll completely get rid of the puffiness under your eyes—but there are some skin care products and tips you can add to your skin care routine to help reduce the look of under-eye bags. Of course, it’s also important to understand what can cause under-eye bags in the first place. Keep reading to find out about the most common reasons behind noticeable under-eye bags, plus learn multiple ways—15, to be specific—to help minimize their appearance.

A: Stimulating collagen production is key in combating signs of aging. For the novice, I like to start with microneeding, chemical peels, or IPL. These are all low downtime and usually affordable treatments done in a series of three to six sessions. For the individual that needs a more rigorous anti-aging treatment, I am a huge fan of laser resurfacing treatments such as Fraxel and Pixel Erbium laser. These treatments act on a deeper level and can correct texture, tone, and sun damage at a more aggressive level.
This wrinkle cream checked all the boxes on our ingredient wish list, but unfortunately came in the wrong packaging. Unlike squeeze tubes and pump bottles, a jar means that the entire cream is exposed to air, sun, and bacteria every time it’s used. But if you’re sold on the idea of a thick lotion or cream, it’s the closest competitor to the $530 La Prairie.
If you are concerned about products drying out your skin, the best way to find out is to try it out – try to get a tester, or check out other users’ reviews. Out of the products, we couldn’t find any products which were drying on your skin, in fact most of them are specifically designed to keep your skin hydrated, but everyone is slightly different – so test it out first.
“I started researching natural skin lines a few years ago when I was looking to replace my underperforming hydrating gel. That’s when I discovered this gel and serum combo. I was initially attracted to the hypoallergenic and non-toxic nature of these two products, but after I tested them, I was immediately drawn to their silky texture and smooth application — and their results.
A collection of ingredients go to work when you gently pat on this under-eye gel, like tightening caffeine, elasticity-strengthening peptides, botanical extracts that minimize puffiness and lessen the appearance of dark circles, and a proprietary one called Fimatrix, which smooths under-eye bloat, if you will. Sure, it's on the pricier side, but it actually helps make a difference temporarily—aka when you need it—so it's worth the cash.
I REALLY hope it’s a new Wander mascara! I’m getting the Unlashed in my GBP this month. If I receive any of the other extra items other than the Mally lip gloss I’ll be much happier with the February box. I never seem to get lucky with colors on lippies (still trying to laugh about the awful pale lilac/white Smash is lippy I received, I think from Boxy.)

Awesome Box, Bad Customer Service! I gave the Allure Beauty Box a try for a year and while 8/10 times I loved the items I was mailed, the customer service and lack there of was a deal breaker for me. When they send out the 'spoiler' email it was always without a link, the tracking number came more often than not after my package arrived and after January's huge SNAFU (first they send out a mass email that they have canceled your order, then they send another that reads they have refunded your money and will be sending out a free box, but when this message is opened it says nothing of the sort, and finally an "oops" message stating the box will ship "soon" which for me was another 2 weeks. I decided to cancel my subscription, because what should be a fun, enjoyable treat was becoming nothing but stress.
This serum focuses on the retinol contained within, because that is the ingredient that will stimulate the collagen production and therefore tighten your skin. But the other ingredients included in this serum will have an equally noticeable effect. The hyaluronic acid will hydrate your skin for an incredible length of time and that will leave you seeing smoothed out wrinkles and plumped skin. The aloe vera and Vitamin E will protect your skin from harmful UV rays and provide antioxidants to fight off free radical damage.
Same! I only see a reference to the refund and free box in the preview of the e-mail while I’m looking at my entire mailbox. If I open the message, the subject says nothing about a refund and free box, and the body of the e-mail just says they apologize for the shipping delay. I’m not optimistic the refund and bonus box will really happen. I think that part may have been a mistake.
Featuring clinically tested and patented ingredients, Prototype 37-C easily takes our #2 spot. It would have been the #1 rated wrinkle cream if not for the controversy surrounding its similarity to Botox. However, our research has revealed that it does NOT contain any Botox-related ingredients, but simply powerful peptides! In fact, Prototype 37-C is guaranteed with an industry-leading 100% Money Back Guarantee! Read more...

"I've been using this product since my early 40s. I am now 53 and am told I look like I'm in my 30s. It really is the best retinol serum I've ever used. It is a retinol product, so it may sting a bit at first as your skin gets used to it. If that happens I recommend using once a week at first and then stepping up of the frequency until you're able to use it on a daily basis. I have very sensitive skin and this process worked for me." —T.Long
This anti-aging serum was the top performer in our test, because it reduced brown spots and pores, firmed and softened skin. Consumers rated it fastest to be absorbed, and all agreed that it had a nice texture, and it was the best at brightening and evening skin tone. "My jaw seems lifted and more defined," one raved. "I will definitely purchase," two said. In the lab, it increased skin's firmness by 24%, and digital imaging showed a 7% improvement in both visible brown spots and pores after four weeks of use.
I am a subscriber to It cosmetics, I like it because the makeup itself is light and provides full coverage without caking and it looks fresh all day and I have never heard of the other listed makeup boxes. I like that I can choose how many items I want and which items I receive and pay for it over 3 months. I also like that I know what I am getting and can order what I want or need, that they are also coming out with new products and expanding the line so you need to check with the website if you need or want something else. But the price is a little high, and they do not have online ordering to change and update what you receive. You have to call them but the customer service people were very knowledgeable, professional and accommodating. They say you can cancel at any time.
This is primarily a hydrating facial sun screen. The ingredients are meant to protect your skin from the sun. But in doing so that, in and of itself is a form of anti-wrinkle protection. There are a few minor ingredients that will also help with the desired anti-aging effect, such as glycerin, for example. But maintaining a hydrated skin, even in direct sunlight, will go a long way to keeping your skin’s youthful appearance.
Specially formulated to support your skin’s natural regeneration process, this nighttime pro-collagen cream is a great option for anyone looking to take advantage of all of the time we spend catching z’s. The luxurious, moisture-rich texture of this nighttime cream feels wonderfully soft on the skin and helps to promote your skin’s natural abilities to restore elasticity and hydration. It delays the visible signs of premature aging.
Hello. I subscribed to allure beauty box just about a week ago. I understand it takes time to send out boxes and things can hectic during holiday season. However I believe that when people are paying money every month for a service there needs to be at least reliable customer service and communication. I sent an email to their customer care and did not get any response within 48 hrs as it is stated. I subscribed to other beauty boxes and so far they at least answered promptly and kept me up to date in the service. I wish I had read all these reviews since I am getting an impression that their customer service is pretty bad.

L’Occitane claims this cream is made from a flower they discovered in Corsica named the Imortelle that, like the name may suggest, never fades. They also claim that 85% of women who use this product have younger-looking skin. We’re naturally skeptical about most statistics a company volunteers like these, but the reviews suggest we’re wrong to be so. One reviewer was even asked if she’s “had work done” – there must be something here!

Testers adored its texture, both immediately after applying, and hours later. It’s a lightweight formula that absorbs nearly instantly, and rests almost invisibly on the skin. This is particularly impressive given that La Prairie also includes a host of moisturizing plant-based oils like jojoba and sunflower seed oil. These absorbed quickly when we applied in the evening, and helped soothe our skin so our faces felt refreshed and moisturized in the morning.

While we like to think we actually get better with age, we totally understand that there might be some pesky skin changes you want to address as the years pass. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when to start incorporating anti-aging products into your routine, so we chatted with one of our favorite experts, Genevieve Vielbig, R.N., B.S.N., C.A.N.S., to get the scoop on the best approach to wrinkle creams.

Vichy is considered the number 1 brand in European pharmacies, and even a dermatologist to celebrities names it as one of her favorite French skincare brands. Vichy products are highly effective and luxurious, yet an affordable product, infusing mineralizing volcanic thermal water to help improve your skin’s resilience. This is clean, safe and the properties have been respected for centuries! It promises safe, effective formulas to give you strong, healthy skin – what more could you ask for?
Use gentle strokes on the eye area. I like to use light pressure and plenty of serum/cream. Use light, shimmering tapping (imagine doing jazz fingers). Be sure to press the serum into the skin instead of just pushing it around. Finish up by drawing a horizontal figure 8 (or the infinity symbol!) around the boundaries of your eye area–this is good for lymphatic drainage.

Is there any new news on the November box & that one-day bonus Sunday Riley CEO? I haven’t had any of my emails (to various addresses) returned. Last I heard (here on MSA, bless you all!) was that people who had managed to get a live person on the phone were told that shipments were lost. I haven’t received my December box, either, tho I haven’t unsubscribed because I still want that Sunday Riley if at all possible. I’m not even as much angry anymore as sad.
I subscribed on Dec. 8th, 2018. Allure charged my bank account that very same day. No delays there. I understood that they ship boxes the third week of the month, and that is when I received my tracking number. Note: They also say, you will be billed on the same day of month as when you sign up. I received my December 2018 box on December 24th, which was a great day... Christmas Eve. As I was looking at the "new to me" subscription box as a Christmas present to myself. So this was my first Allure box ever. My box arrived with one item in it...damaged.
Now, I know there’s nothing productive about sitting around complaining about “flaws” that aren’t actually flaws. We are aware of the way we’ve internalized idealized standards of beauty—and that articles about how to “fix” them can reinforce those standards. (The irony is not lost on me as I write this very article.) And yet there we were, comparing notes about our particular eye concerns, wondering what was causing them and what we could do about them, when suddenly we realized: We don’t actually know what we’re talking about. One person said she had “puffy eyes.” Another rued the “bags” under hers. We thought we were all talking about the same thing, but maybe we weren’t. We started to wonder: What are puffy eyes versus bags versus dark circles, anyway? And which ones were we actually complaining about?
For an anti-aging serum, moisturizer and sunscreen in one, with line smoothers (such as peptides), hydrators (like glycerin) and broad-spectrum SPF 30, this GH Seal-holding light lotion may be the only product you need in your morning skincare routine. Users reported that the "quick-absorbing," "non-greasy" formula firmed skin, diminished wrinkles and brightened complexions. GH's tests found it increased moisture levels in skin by 31%, more than any facial SPF 30 previously evaluated.
I chose Allure Beauty Box because of how long it lasts. When water hits my face, my makeup doesn't come off. It's really good. When I eat, it doesn't smear on the food. It met all my expectations. However, bright colors aren't appealing to me and I disliked on how some colors were very bright. I prefer low, aesthetic colors that match my outfit. Bright colors stand out too much. Other than that, I like the quality and how unique it is. From all the others, I like the aesthetic colors. It blends in when I'm taking a photo. It's great for going out on parties as well. You should purchase and try it.
Truth is, your eye puffiness and darkness could be inherited. "The undereye area is one of the thinner areas and is easily neglected in basic skin care," says Paul Jarrod Frank, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City. "There is a strong genetic component to dark circles, which is out of people’s control." Womp, womp. Yes, much of the reason you have those circles is that of your parents' own thin skin (thanks, Mom). Sometimes you have them because of an increase in pigment in that area. But don't run to the doctor asking for a pricey laser or needle treatment. Below are ways to minimize the appearance of those circles that won't cost you an arm or a leg. These affordable tips go way beyond putting cucumbers on your eyes.

"Sometimes dark circles are caused by increased pigment, either from rubbing or from sun damage," says Nazarian. "The best treatment for this includes topical lightening agents such as vitamin C, kojic acid, and licorice extract. These ingredients help decrease skin pigmentation over time, ultimately resulting in the lightening of the dark circles." And you must wear sunscreen. "Invest in a broad-spectrum physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide," Tung says.


Like creams, serums can be easy to use and highly effective, depending on the formula. Some serums use botanical antioxidants to treat under eye bags. The antioxidants help to prevent collagen damage, maintain the skin’s elasticity and brighten skin pigmentation. Others contain hyaluronic acid or retinol. Retinol, while highly useful for fighting wrinkles and producing collagen, can be harsh on the sensitive eye area, so always test it first. No matter which serum you pick, try to choose one in a rollerball tube for an easy application that also helps disperse fluid build-up.

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:
Genetics do play a big role. If you’ve “always” had them or since a young age, you have probably inherited them. But other factors such as lack of sleep and lack of hydration will make them worse. Also, if you don’t wear sunglasses, your dark circles may actually be hyperpigmentation. Finally, as you age, the decrease in collagen under your thin skin will make the blood vessels more visible–hence making this area look darker.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is another solution for those wondering how to get rid of dark circles and how to get rid of bags under eyes. Eating food rich in vitamin C is helps your body produce collagen. Collagen is a protein your body produces, and one of its top qualities is that it keeps your skin—included the delicate skin under your eyes—healthy, hydrated and dark circle-free. Here are some foods that are rich in collagen-boosting vitamin C:
When all else fails, help cover your under-eye bags with makeup! Stock your makeup bag with a flesh-toned concealer so that you can quickly dab over any unwanted under-eye bags. Try the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer, and for a natural-looking finish, gently apply concealer with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Concealer Blender.
"I live where it's dry, and on top of that my mom, bless her heart, is always turning the heater up. I also have very fair skin that freckles and burns easily. This moisturizer leaves my skin refreshed and not dry, goes right in, isn't greasy, doesn't have a weird smell. And the UV has shielded my skin so that one particularly dark freckle/sun spot has faded." —Kimberley S.
More than 8,000 5-star reviewers swear by this bestselling anti-aging serum with powerful vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, two of the most essential ingredients for preventing fine lines and boosting collagen production. Even better, the plant-based formulation means no additives or fragrances—just healthy, all-natural ingredients like aloe, jojoba oil, and witch hazel.
The NuFace Collagen Booster with Copper Complex is especially great for those suffering from lackluster or dull skin which, let’s be honest, can happen to even the best of us every now and then. Over time, the pollutants, chemicals, and harsh radicals that our skin come into contact with each and every day can wear down the natural glow of our skin, making those pesky wrinkles that much more noticeable.
I received the peel off mask in my box and it nearly took off my skin. It was like peeling a giant band aid off of my face. I could have used the Ren after that experience. Straight in the trash with that one. I wish Alkure would offer a “skip a month” option… I could have lived without the Decenver box. I want the January for Sunday Riley. And I am so-so on February. They did promise extra sample sizes in boxes from January, so I will hang in for another month
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