If you have dark circles under your eyes, you'll find a huge number of products on store shelves claiming to solve that problem. However, there isn't much science behind the claims. Popular ingredients for treating dark circles include vitamin K, which is thought to repair blood vessels that create a bluish hue under the eyes, as well as kojic acid and hydroquinone, compounds that have some skin-lightening abilities. While you might see some lightening after regular use, no topical cream can get rid of dark circles completely.
Contrary to popular belief, dark circles aren't caused by lack of sleep. Instead, they can be triggered by myriad causes, including allergies that can lead to extra pressure in the sinuses, dark shadows caused by the depth of the eye socket, leaking capillaries that can lead to a bruised appearance and excess pigmentation under the eyes due to genetics. According to a report in Dermatology News, there are several treatments that can help to remedy dark circles under the eyes, ranging from retinoic acid creams to chemical peels and intense pulsed light (IPL), but the best treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Most cosmetic surgery and laser treatments require multiple treatments that cost between $250 and $1,500 each, depending on where you live, the type of therapy you choose and your surgeon. If something like this is of interest, consult a doctor for more information on which procedure best suits your needs.
For more mild cases, reviewers say a treatment designed to disguise dark circles like our Best Reviewed Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum (Est. $70 for 0.5 oz.) can at least reduce the appearance of dark circles. It contains ferulic acid and retinol, supporting natural collagen production and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as antioxidants and licorice root extract, which brightens dark circles and reduces puffiness, and caffeine for immediate tightening and firming effects.
Skincare expert Paula Burgeon gives this eye serum a 5 star rating, praising its packaging (a brown glass bottle with a pump applicator), which can help to maintain the integrity of ingredients that are sensitive to light and air. That said, Burgeon does point out that Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum doesn't contain any ingredients that are uniquely beneficial to the eye area; rather, every ingredient in this eye serum is beneficial for reducing the signs of aging, including wrinkles, anywhere on the face.
Editors at The Fashion Spot name Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum the "best overachiever," calling it an "impressive eye potion" that "attacks every eye concern and really works." Editors say it offers several desirable benefits including reducing puffiness and lightening dark circles, as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Nearly 225 users reviewing Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum at Sephora.com contribute to a rating of 3.9 stars out of 5, with about half giving it a perfect 5-star rating. Users say it absorbs quickly and isn't greasy, plus it takes only a small amount of serum for each application. Like most eye skin treatments, however, there are some users who say they saw little to no improvement.
Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream (Est. $45 for 0.51 oz.) earns a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 in more than 1,500 reviews at Sephora.com. Users say that it excels at brightening the skin under the eyes, as well as helps to eliminate puffiness and reducing the appearance of crow's feet and other fine lines in the sensitive eye area. It's both hydrating and soothing, users say, and it absorbs quickly and is fast-acting. Some users say they've tried many eye creams in the past in an effort to lighten genetic dark circles and have only had success with Shiseido.
Despite overwhelming praise by consumers, skincare expert Paula Burgeon gives Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream a single-star rating at PaulasChoice.com, citing its fragrance ingredients, which can be irritating to sensitive skin. She calls it "a very basic, overpriced eye cream that's little more than water, standard thickener, mineral oil, Vaseline, and wax," and points out that while it feels rich and soothing, a simple drugstore cream like Aquaphor Healing Ointment (Est. $10 for 14 oz.) can do the same at a much lower cost. Aquaphor makes no claims about reducing dark circles or eliminating puffiness or wrinkles, but it's a good option if you're looking for an affordable, quality moisturizer that you can use on your face, hands, and even the sensitive eye area.
If you're looking for an affordable, easy-to-find alternative to minimize dark circles, L'Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Eye Treatment (Est. $17 for 0.5 oz.) earns solid feedback from hundreds of users across sites like Ulta.com and Amazon.com, where it earns a rating of 4.3 and 4.2 stars out of 5, respectively. This eye treatment claims to replenish sunken under-eye hollows that often lead to the appearance of dark circles, while also working to lighten dark circles arising from other causes. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which works to minimize the appearance of fine lines.
Some users don't like the fragrance of L'Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Eye Treatment, but many say that while it works slowly, it does improve the appearance of dark circles and smooth fine lines when used consistently over time. Many users say the filling effect is ideal for the sunken-eye appearance that comes with fatigue or lack of sleep, giving the eyes a refreshed, less-tired look overall. Editors at Cosmopolitan praise L'Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Eye Treatment, noting that it contains caffeine which can reduce puffiness and create a firming effect for a younger appearance. There are a fair number of reviewers who say they didn't see results from this product, however.