Pillowy under-eyes are complicated, but if baggage is a concern, two main culprits—fat tissue and lymphedema—are likely to blame, says Dr. Barbara Sturm, who specializes in non-surgical skincare treatments. The former, "appears when the muscles around the eye are weakened and tissue moves lower," Sturm explains, whereas the latter, lymphedema, is often triggered by sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalances, high sodium food and genetics. In terms of prevention, Sturm cautions against eye-rubbing and recommends sleeping face up, which reduces nighttime water-retention. For a quicker fix, we polled dermatologists for their most effective semi-instant under-eye remedies. From Preparation H to black tea, here's what really works.
We found the formula pleasantly lightweight when we tested it. It only took us about four drops to cover our entire faces, and the serum absorbs within a couple of minutes. Its scent is fairly light — you might have to focus to catch it, as opposed to Dermatologica’s knock-your-socks-off approach — and has herbal and medicinal tones that none of our testers objected to.
What can you do? There’s not a lot you can do for bags, though fillers may help raise the skin to counteract sagginess. Essentially, these fillers elevate the surrounding skin to the level of the fat to make the texture smooth and uniform again. Radiofrequency treatment is another alternative to tighten and smooth the area. The procedure heats the skin to induce collagen and elastin formation. Dr. Engelman recommends four rounds per treatment, and once a year maintenance. Each session costs around $500 to $600.
UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and reddening. It has different strengths during different seasons, times of day and location, but it can burn and damage your skin all year. It may not penetrate glass as much as UVA rays do, but as much as 80% of UVB rays bounce off reflective surfaces such as snow. It is also a contributing factor to premature aging from sun damage.
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The best bang for your buck, No7 worked as well as or better than pricier options. This Good Housekeeping Seal-holder scored nearly on par with the winner and earned the best marks for smoothing skin's texture. Testers described it as "lightweight," and said the serum made skin "look younger" and wrinkles "less visible," though some reported slight irritation. In our lab analysis, it received strong scores for improving firmness and texture and diminishing pores.
Never, ever, EVER go to sleep with a full face of makeup on your face! We know it can be frustrating and time-consuming to wash away that killer smoky eye at the end of the evening (especially after a few cocktails), but trust us: your face will thank you in the morning! Not only does makeup prohibit your skin’s natural abilities to breathe and create a breeding ground for bacteria and blemishes, sleeping in those harsh chemicals can cause eye irritation and even infections. Yuck!