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.
I saw it advertised online and thought it would be a great way to try new beauty products without spending a lot of money on them first. I also was attracted to the ad showing some high-end cosmetics, like NARS. I liked the fact the box would contain some beauty products I'd never heard of, especially skin care products. I also liked the beauty tools that were included. However, I received a lot of products that I wouldn't use or colors outside of my palette. I would prefer it to be more customized, and I wish it had an option to be sent every other month as opposed to every month.
"If your skin has lost it's freshness and your expression lines are starting to appear more obvious, try this. The vitamin A in this cream will help with cell turnover making your skin appear smooth, soft and fresh. Hyaluronic acid will give your skin instant and long-lasting hydration. Just remember to use an SPF during the day when using any creams, serums and lotions with vitamin A” said Cinthia Lomeli, whose celebrity clients include Sean Diddy Combs, French Montana, Cassie Ventura, Yael Grobglas and Diana Madison.
I asked that very question of celebrity facialist and dermarolling proponent Kerry Benjamin only a few weeks ago, after it occurred to me that I wasn’t satisfied with my own explanation of “Uh, I think it boosts your collagen by making tiny micro-injuries in the skin.” I wasn’t wrong, but it was so unbelievably simplistic that even after months of putting it into practice, I was still half-convinced that there was dark magic involved. Not quite. “Basically, the skin around your eyes is very thin and delicate,” Benjamin explained as she pressed a roller into my face. “When you see dark circles, you’re actually just seeing the blood pool around your eyes through the skin. By microneedling and making those tiny injuries in the skin, you’re putting collagen production into overdrive and literally thickening that skin.” Doing so makes the blood much less visible and fills in those bags and lines, too.
The very best way to tackle wrinkles is to prevent them in the first place. Everyone we spoke to — dermatologists and chemists alike — noted that the most important wrinkle-fighting product you should own is sunscreen. And not just any sunscreen: a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 (as we learned when reviewing the best sunscreen). Stick with SPF 30; wear it every single day; and reapply as often as the instructions tell you to.
Dr. Wee also recommends SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex. The product contains anti-glycation ingredients to help protect the skin around the eye and reduce the appearance of under eye bags and wrinkles. “It also contains optical diffusers, anti-aging flavonoids and peptides, proxylane, and hydrating emollients to improve the appearance of under eye skin,” explains Dr. Wee.
Limit blue light exposure at night. Recent studies reveal that blue light emitted by electronic devices damages your skin perhaps even more so than UV. It also disrupts your sleep cycle–all in all, I notice that staring into my laptop late at night spells disaster for my eye area the next morning. Activate warm-light display on your laptop and phone after sundown. Close your electronics as early as possible at night and read a book instead, if you need to wind down!
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.
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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.
I signed up for allure with the SR promotion. I’d been charged for the first two boxes like everyone else. I got a shipment notice Friday, and the November box identical to spoilers was delivered today. No SR or mystery gift inside, but I’m guessing that will come separately, even though the insert said if it was my first month, the new member gift would be inside.
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.
"I added it to my routine (Cetaphil wash, The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner, and Corsx Snail serum, on a weekly basis). This is the third week and I have noticed a huge diminishing in my uneven skin tone and acne scarring. I look younger and my skin glows after. It doesn’t burn like stronger peels and my skin only slightly reddens after." —Alexandra Snyder