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Best Skin Care Products For Dark Circles, According To Dermatologists

For most people, the appearance of dark circles under the eyes is just a cosmetic concern (and not related to a more serious health problem), but that doesn’t make them any less annoying. And when it comes to eye creams and other treatments, determining the cause of your dark circles is key to fixing the problem.

“This is why so many people are disappointed with eye creams,” said Dr Corey L. Hartman, medical director and founder of Dermatology Skin well-being in Birmingham, Alabama, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the UAB Department of Dermatology.

He explained that the majority of people who come to see him with dark circles need filling. “An eye cream will never correct a shadow created by the lack of volume and lack of structure that occurs as you mature due to your genetics.”

Speaking with a dermatologist is a great first step in determining the best products to meet your needs. “Eyes are delicate and people need advice when choosing an eye cream,” Hartman said. “If you get an eye cream without identifying the real source of the problem, you’re going to be disappointed. This is why eye creams get a bad rap.

What causes dark circles?

Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by various factors. First of all, genetics.

“The area under the eyes may appear genetically hollow due to a lower bony orbital rim that surrounds the eye, so there is more room to catch a shadow and the eyes may appear more sunken,” Dr Janet Allenby, founder of Allenby Aesthetic Dermatology in Delray Beach, Florida, HuffPost reported.

She added that some people have genetically darker skin around their eyes or visible discoloration that comes from small blood vessels in the skin under the eyes.

“The area under the eyes is one of the thinnest and most sensitive areas of the face and body and it contains fewer sebaceous glands and collagen, which predisposes it to fine lines and wrinkles.” Dr Papri Sarkar, a dermatologist from Newton, Massachusetts, told HuffPost.

Age is another contributing factor to dark circles. “As people get older, the fat pad that provides structure in this area slowly sags down,” Sarkar said. “This causes a loss of volume in the lacrimal sac. In most cases, I can help alleviate this with filling or energy based devices like radio frequency microneedling. ”

Seasonal allergies or eczema can also contribute to dark circles, as they can cause itching and inflammation around the eyes. “The inflammation alone can cause blackening even after it heals, but rubbing it makes it much, much more worse,” Sarkar said.

“The most important thing to do is keep your fingers away from your skin! She advised. “Plus, sun exposure can cause the skin in that area to darken.”

For these patients, Sarkar recommends treating the cause of the inflammation first before using lightening creams, retinoids, and chemical peels.

Lack of sleep and alcohol consumption are another common cause. John Shaff, Physician Assistant at Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, explained that dark circles caused by these factors are usually temporary, and rest and hydration can help diminish their appearance.

Dermatologist-approved products for dark circles

For dark circles caused by real pigmentation / discoloration:

Best Skin Care Products For Dark Circles, According To DermatologistsThe Ordinary / Alastin / RoC

From left to right: Azelaic Acid 10% Regular Suspension, Alastin Eye Repair Treatment, RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream

10% Regular Azelaic Acid Suspension ($ 7.90)

This is recommended by Hartman, who says it is effective enough in treating discoloration and gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin around the eyes.

“If you have real melanin deposits due to actual discoloration due to allergies, chronic rubbing, or just genetic predisposition, in my experience azelaic acid is a good place to start, but as a active ingredient, you really want something with hydroquinone, cysteamine, or tranexamic acid. ,” he said.

Hartman added that although some over-the-counter products like AMBI Fade Cream contain 2% hydroquinone, when treating patients for discoloration, he prescribes products in the 8-12% range.

Alastin Eye Repair Treatment ($ 85)

This cosmeceutical contains green tea and oak leaf tea extracts, which help reduce the appearance of dark circles, as well as niacinamide and tetrapeptide-30, which help brighten and unify skin tone. Allenby notes that these ingredients reduce red and brown colors, which contribute to dark circles. “The colors can be due to thin, translucent skin that has vessels and muscles under the tissues that show a darker shade,” she said.

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream ($ 24.99)

Retinol, the hero ingredient of this product, builds collagen, evens skin tone, and decreases pigmentation – but it can be irritating. “This one has a slow release retinol, so it’s a lot less irritating than your average retinol, which is important in the area under the eyes,” Sarkar said. The product can also help with dark circles caused by aging or loss of volume.

For dark circles caused by aging / loss of volume:

Best Skin Care Products For Dark Circles, According To DermatologistsAvene / Elta MD

From left to right: Avène RetrinAL Eyes, EltaMD Renew Eye Gel

Avène RetrinAL Eyes ($ 48)

Ideal for sensitive skin, this eye cream is made with retinaldehyde, which is milder than retinol. “I really like this for patients with particularly sensitive eye areas (like me!),” Sarkar said.

EltaMD Renew Eye Gel ($ 57)

“This product contains the antioxidant and pigment reducer niacinamide, peptides and hyaluronic acid, so it can minimize hyperpigmentation, make the area fuller and can stimulate collagen,” Sarkar said.

Best Skin Care Products For Dark Circles, According To DermatologistsElastiderm / CeraVe

From left to right: Elastiderm Eye Cream, CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum

Elastiderm Eye Cream ($ 115.50)

Recommended by Allenby, this product “improves the sheen of the fabric by improving its thickness. It encourages the growth of collagen and elasticity and improves hydration. In her practice, she has found this helpful in treating the appearance of tired eyes.

CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum ($ 9.48)

Shaff recommends looking for products that contain hyaluronic acid, which hydrates and plumps the skin. Another good option is 2% Regular Hyaluronic Acid + B5. These products can also help with dark circles caused by lack of sleep.

For dark circles caused by lack of sleep:

Best Skin Care Products For Dark Circles, According To DermatologistsCeraVe / Dr. Brandt

From left to right: CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream, Dr. Brandt Needles No More No More Baggage

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream ($ 17.43)

This moisturizer contains dimethicone, an emollient that locks in moisture and smoothes the skin, according to Shaff.

Dr. Brandt Needles No More No More Luggage ($ 42)

This anti-swelling eye gel contains caffeine, which “works to constrict blood vessels and may lighten and help relieve inflammation and puffiness,” Shaff said. He also recommends The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream.

Best Skin Care Products For Dark Circles, According To DermatologistsSkinCeuticals / Light

From left to right: SkinCeuticals AGE Eye Complex, Neocutis Lumière Illuminating Eye Cream

SkinCeuticals AGE Eye Complex ($ 100)

“Moisturizers, peptides, and caffeine are the star ingredients of it,” Sarkar said. “They come together to plump the skin, potentially reducing fat over time (good for bags under the eyes) and can increase collagen.”

Neocutis Lumière Illuminating Eye Cream ($ 97)

Containing hyaluronic acid, caffeine, antioxidants and peptides, Sarkar notes that this eye cream contains ingredients similar to the previously mentioned SkinCeuticals AGE Eye Complex, but it adds antioxidants to help counteract the damage caused by pollution and minimize damage from UV rays. As a bonus, his patients love the texture of this product.

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