Didn’t get to bed at a decent hour last night? Stayed out later than you said and now you’ve got the puffy eyes to prove it? We’ve all been there. Dark circles suck, but lack of sleep is not the only culprit.
Those dark circles are the result of swollen blood vessels. Unfortunately, heredity, aging, and diet can make them worse and lead to puffy, dark under-eye bags, making us look older than we are. Ugh! Hope is not lost, though.
We’ve rounded up five hacks to help prevent and diminish those pesky dark circles and bags, and, at worst, how to cover em’ up like the pros.
1. Do age-old remedies really work? Short answer, yes. Frozen tea bags, cold spoons, and cucumbers placed on your eyes are a quick fix. These remedies work by cooling the skin and tightening blood vessels in the eye area, instantly reducing inflammation and puffiness. Caffeine and antioxidants in tea and vitamin C in cucumbers help by brightening skin and reducing discoloration.
2. If you don’t already, start using eye cream, now. This should go without saying for the sake of good skincare. The skin under your eyes is thin and delicate, when blood builds up in those vessels, dark circles are more noticeable. Eye creams help moisturize this skin, and ingredients like caffeine combat puffiness while collagen and retinol help maintain skin’s firmness to fight wrinkles and keep those dark circles from peaking out.
Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream ($24), the pearlescent finish doubles as a highlighter while the cream diminishes dark circles over time.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye ($37), squalane to heal skin, primrose oil to brighten, and butcher’s broom to depuff.
Korres Wild Rose Face and Eye Serum ($45), a concentrate of Vitamin C brightens skin and helps reduces skin discolorations.
Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate ($78), the key ingredient cools for less puffy, brighter eyes.
No7 Early Defence Première Défense Eye Cream ($20), designed for young skin, this cream helps protect eyes so you can combat wrinkles and dark circles before they start.
3. Avoid salty foods and excess alcohol. We know, what’s left to eat then? Think about this, excess salt leads to water retention and thus puffiness, while alcohol widens blood vessels making eyes puffier and circles darker. Essential vitamins like vitamin K ease blood flow, reducing build-up under eyes. Eat your greens, which are loaded wth vitamins, and always remember to drink lots of water; hydration also helps with circulation. Or take a supplement to ensure proper nutrition and avoid vitamin deficiencies.
4. Dab oil on them. Almond oil and the all-purpose coconut oil are nourishing and perfect for delicate skin. Also, both oils are said to be natural lightening agents, helping to fade dark circles over time. Try dabbing one of these oils under eyes at night as part of your skincare routine.
5. When all else fails, color correct. To cover those dark circles and fake a well-rested visage, use color-correcting and light-diffusing concealers. Opt for an orange concealer for darker skin tones and a yellow concealer for lighter skin tones, then top it off with a light-diffusing concealer that best matches your skin tone. The orange and yellow counter the bluish tint of under-eye circles, and the specks in highlighted concealers reflect light for brighter looking eyes.