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.
We decided to call in the experts. First, we lined up in a conference room and took pictures of our tired-looking eyes—first thing in the morning, and makeup free. Then I called up a couple dermatologists and asked them to review the photos and tell me what we were looking at. I’m not saying that we needed to be diagnosed or that we had “problems” that needed to be “fixed.” But we knew we had these things that bothered us, and we wanted to learn about what we were working with, and what tricks we could use to minimize their appearance. The dermatologists I spoke to explained what makes eyes puffy, what causes dark circles, and what so-called bags even are. They pointed out the telltale signs in our photos, and gave their expert recommendations for how to treat them.
Bags under the eyes are a common development of age and a frequent complaint among patients who no longer feel as youthful as they once did. To describe what happens a bit more, normal fat that helps support the eye sometimes moves into the lower eyelid, which causes the lid to appear puffy. Additionally, fluid may accumulate in the area below your eyes, which adds to the swelling.
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.
Amazon had some sort of sale so I signed for a few subscriptions to see if anything was worth it. After the first month, the only one I kept was Allure. I'm a serious skincare person and a terrible make-up person but the box had a nice blend of both -- enough make-up for me to play with and some good skincare stuff/brands I hadn't seen. The second month I got an envelope in the mail and it's a single Kat Von D lipliner -- I'm not a fan of her make-up line and thought 'yep, this is it, subscription boxes suck' and canceled. Tonight, I got home and there's a proper box with some great make-up and two different face oils to try (and seriously, no joke, I was googling face oils today). So I signed back up and am now writing this review.