Alas, under-eye bags are not a feature that improves with age. Now, many people get dark circles when they have a bad night’s sleep–occasionally, but not severely. I’ve had a combination of under-eye bags *and* dark circles since college. If you’re wondering what that even looks like, imagine curtain valances (the half-moon drapes that top your curtains). Thank you, Dad.
As mentioned, having noticeable bags under the eyes is not a medical concern, but an aesthetic one that doesn’t imply a disease or a health-threatening condition.45 If the saggy skin obstructs your peripheral vision, an under-eye bags surgery or blepharoplasty could be done. This procedure gets rid of the excess tissue in your eyelids46 through an incision.
There are three different types of acids in this nighttime treatment: alpha hydroxy, beta hydroxy, and flower acids. The result? The perfect combination of exfoliating, pore-reducing, and skin-clarifying benefits. The addition of hyaluronic acid and honey ensure your complexion never feels stripped, just soft and smooth. Use it two to three times per week, gradually increasing the frequency.
According to a 2013 study, using a broad spectrum sunscreen and wearing UV-coated sunglasses may help reduce bags under the eyes.17 However, in choosing a sunscreen, make sure that it doesn’t contain oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances or retinyl palmitate; your safest choice is a lotion or cream with zinc oxide. You may also wear a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to protect your face and eyes.
Wrinkle creams that come in tubes or pump-tops can be stored in a medicine cabinet or drawer with the rest of your cosmetics. But if you do opt for a wrinkle cream in a jar, we’d suggest the following precautions: Wash your hands thoroughly or use a clean applicator wand for each use, and keep your cream in the fridge (bacteria grow more slowly in the cold).
The gold-standard anti-aging ingredient retinol, which stimulates cell turnover to boost collagen, is the powerhouse in this serum, dispensed as a special foam for faster absorption. "This faded the dark spots on my cheeks and plumped both my fine and my deep lines," a tester said. "I got compliments on how even-toned and bright my skin was," another glowed. After four weeks of use, 76% of testers saw diminished lines and wrinkles, and we measured a nearly 10% reduction in UV spots in the Lab test, with little to no irritation.
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.
What causes them? Though you might hear the word “bags” used interchangeably with “dark circles” or “puffy eyes,” these distinct under-eye pouches are markedly different from either one. This structural puffiness is caused by a combination of fat herniation and skin laxity—they’re genetic and a normal sign of aging. They can appear as early as your late-20s or 30s—but apparently none of the SELFies who complained about bags actually have them, because the docs didn’t diagnose any instances of bagginess in our photos.
Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, fights free radicals, a byproduct of cell metabolism in your body. Free radicals are thought to attack proteins, fats and DNA -- and break down collagen, leading to lines and wrinkles. Anti-wrinkle eye creams that include vitamin C are top in the anti-aging category because of their ability to minimize lines, while firming and brightening skin. Dermatologist formulated Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15 is a top anti-wrinkle eye cream, featuring a patented anti-aging formula.
On the other hand, there are a variety of all-natural wrinkle creams that are reasonably priced, and the beauty of this is that many of these creams last an extra-long time due to the fact that you only need a few drops per day. Take some time to compare prices as well as read user reviews in order to ensure you are getting a quality product at a fair and reasonable price.
I ordered my first box in July 2018 expecting to still be able to receive the July box according to the cutoff times on their site, but of course, it ended up selling out so I had to wait over a month for the August box to ship out and then eventually be delivered. I ended up sending a cancellation email and was offered a promotional offer of 4 boxes for $10 each, I agreed to keep the subscription and waited for my next box. A few weeks later I received a letter in the mail telling me my card had been declined, I called the customer service number on the letter and was told somebody updated my credit card and when the monthly charge went in it was declined.
As you can see, my under-eye bags and darknesses (“Hello darkness my old friend….”) haven’t completely disappeared. Instead of obsessing over getting them perfect, I’m going to embrace this quirk. If every weirdness was wiped out of one’s face, one would look so robotic and character-less, right? I’m okay with my under-eyes giving me some personality–as long as they don’t rise up in mutiny again, haha.
Here’s another way your fridge can come in handy: Store a few metal spoons inside. When you find yourself with a little free time, perhaps while you’re watching an episode of your favorite TV show, grab two chilled spoons from the fridge and place them on your under-eye bags. The spoons will work in a similar manner to your refrigerated eye cream, helping to de-puff.
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.
A retinol cream can make your skin appear more youthful over time, and this is our favorite one at a budget-friendly price. We'd expect to pay more for results this legit, but this steal from Body Merry truly works to improve aging skin. The Retinol Surge Moisturizer addresses wrinkles and uneven skin tone, providing the kind of results you'd expect from a professional product.
A cocktail of anti-aging plant extracts—for example, pea extract (a source of amino acids that make up your skin's structural proteins), crithmum (which acts like retinoic acid on skin), and anogeissus (that supports your body's natural fibrillin production, giving your skin a supple-looking bounce)—make this cream a perfect choice if your goal is a firmer and tighter complexion.
“I've been applying hyaluronic acid to my skin for years. It’s a substance naturally found in the skin and works to maintain water for a fuller, more youthful look. Its unique, moisture-binding feature allows it to hold many times its own weight in water. I used to apply a high-grade version of hyaluronic acid topically to my face, but the molecules were large, making it difficult for them to absorb into my skin. Today, smaller molecules of high-grade hyaluronic acid with better topical absorption capabilities can be found in over-the-counter products, including this gel cream that I apply nightly. Bonus: Its hydrating properties curb the irritation caused by retinols.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that alcohol causes dehydration – you only need to think of your last “morning after the night before” to know that! But you may not know the effects it can have on your skin. Research has shown that drinking alcohol in excess can cause premature or accelerated aging. This can also be linked to the effects that excessive alcohol has on your blood pressure and other organs.
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.
"Believe it or not, the best anti-aging steal under $10 is petroleum jelly. Just like any other part of the body, your skin is made up of cells. And skin cells are made up of water. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. It also loses its function as a protective barrier to keep moisture in and environmental stressors out — like allergens, dust and bacteria. Skin cells are layered like bricks and dry skin creates gaps in these layers, allowing stressors in. So protecting this barrier is crucial to keeping your skin looking young,” says Dr. Julie Russak, M.D., volunteer facility at Mount Sinai Hospital.
We began our search for the best wrinkle cream by pulling top-sellers from major retailers like Walgreens, Amazon, and Target, compiling a list of 112 creams, gels, and serums — everything from high end brands like Estee Lauder and Lancome to drugstore staples like Neutrogena and L’Oreal. From here, we reached out to cosmetic chemists and dermatologists: We wanted to find out which ingredients would help skin look youthful, and which weren’t worth the hype.
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.
Retinoids remain one of the tried-and-true ingredients worth incorporating into your p.m. routine (they can be rendered inactive by the sun, making it important to reserve them for the overnight hours). This treatment marks the first time adapalene, a type of retinoid previously available by prescription only, has been available OTC. Its collagen-boosting benefits make it choice for smoothing wrinkles, while its skin-clearing benefits make it a good choice for clearing pimples. "It's highly effective in keeping pores open and minimizing breakouts, and is better tolerated than most retinoids," points out Dendy Engelman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Luckily, there are a slew of skincare products on the market right now that work to fight the peskiest of under-eye bags—no matter their cause. According to Shereene Idriss, M.D., of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York, anyone looking to de-puff swollen eyes should opt for creams and treatments that contain caffeine, green tea extract, or antioxidants like vitamin C for the best (and fastest) results. "These ingredients work to constrict the superficial vasculature, which results in less swelling," she says.
It can be tempting to layer on lots of cream, especially if you’re excited about trying out a new product. But everyone's sensitivity to retinol and AHAs is different, so it’s best to be cautious until you know how well your skin will tolerate the product. Dr. Ford recommends a graduated approach: “We tell our patients to begin using retinol on Mondays and Thursdays for a few weeks, then up it to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a few more weeks, and eventually you’ll just be taking weekends off. Some people can tolerate these products every day of the week.”
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.
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.