Our testers thought this cream had the best texture, scent and absorption out of the eight day creams we tested. "It was very light and went on creamy," raved one fan. In the lab, got great scores for moisturizing skin and even showed improvements in UV spots. Good to know: Four testers mentioned that the product tends to "crumble up" or "flake off" after makeup application.
Lymphatic massage the whole face. This is a huge one–I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Recently I got a Radio Frequency (RF) facial, which vibrates the skin to promote lymphatic drainage and boost collagen, and my facialist said that it reduces under-eye bags as well. Lo and behold, she was right. This doesn’t mean you have to get RF facials every night, but that you can do the self-massage routine at home to mucho effect. Your under-eyes don’t exist by themselves–they’re connected to the rest of your face. To DIY, pump plenty of lotion or cream of your choice (I use Herin Beauty Omega-3 Cream, great for repair) and dot your cheeks, chin, forehead, neck, and decolletage. Use 2-3 fingers of both hands to do circular strokes lifting up and out from the center of your face. Note: You can use firmer strokes as long as you don’t tug the top layer of your skin. Think of it as gently massaging the muscles of your face rather than skimming the surface. You’ll know you did it right if you feel a refreshed, “just-worked-out” sensation all over. 2x a day.
If you're looking for extra moisture that will last while you sleep, you'll find your match with this product. Light in feel (and price!), this gel-like L'Oréal cream received high marks for firming and moisturizing. In the Good Housekeeping Institute's test, it led to a 36% uptick in skin's firmness in four weeks, plus a 40% rise in moisturization.
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.
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.
Like our top pick, Dr. Dennis, The Ordinary is applied with a dropper. Our testers preferred Dr. Dennis’ angled tip over The Ordinary’s straight one, which they found trickier to control, but it was still a huge step up from dipping a finger into a jar. It’s an emulsion, which is similar to a serum, with a consistency that put us in mind of liquified lotion.