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Eye Cream for Dark Circles

By: Angela Stringfellow on December 19, 2017

Brightening eye creams help to reduce dark circles

Dark circles 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. 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 a topical cream isn't likely to get rid of dark circles completely -- or permanently -- it is possible to see some lightening after regular use.

If you're looking for an eye cream that's up to the task, experts at Beautypedia say Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting EyeSwirl (Est. $20 for .5 oz.) contains the mineral pigment pica, which creates "a soft, reflective glow that visibly reduces the appearance of dark circles." A fragrance-free eye cream dispensed from a pump container, experts say it offers instant brightening along with hydration. Other beneficial ingredients include vitamin E, peptides and panthenol, as well as niacinamide, a known skin lightener which experts say can improve skin tone and barrier strength, and it has a texture that works well under makeup.

Users say this affordable eye cream works just as well as many pricier brands, and it goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly without leaving a sticky or greasy residue behind. Reviewers say it contains tiny light-reflecting particles that can give a boost to your concealer or foundation during the daytime, although several say they also use it at night. Some reviewers say they notice a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles after using Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting EyeSwirl, while others say it's had no effect at all. A few users say that rather than moisturizing, it seemed to dry out the skin around their eyes.

If you prefer an eye serum rather than a cream, Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum (Est. $60 for .5 oz.) is also effective at minimizing dark circles. Like Olay Regenerist, it's fragrance-free, and it also contains anti-irritants, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin, as well as antioxidants, cell-communicating and reparative ingredients. It has a rich texture that won't leave a greasy finish, and it works well under makeup, according to experts at Beautypedia.

Users say their fine lines and wrinkles are noticeably less visible after using Drunk Elephant, and their foundation and concealer goes on smoother, and many say that in addition to lightening dark circles, it also helps to reduce puffiness. While it's more expensive than a drugstore brand, reviewers say a single bottle lasts for several months, as you need only a single pump of serum for an application.

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector (Est. $35 for .34 oz.) earns high praise from experts, but user opinions are mostly mixed. A tinted eye cream, it pulls double-duty as a sheer concealer to help disguise dark circles with a combination of three cosmetic pigments: titanium dioxide has a brightening effect, iron oxides give the cream a light tint, and the mica adds a hint of shine to reflect light away from shadowy areas, according to skincare experts at Beautypedia. This silky-textured eye cream also contains anti-aging and smoothing ingredients that can make dark circles less apparent, although it doesn't contain anything that would eliminate them permanently.

Users say the metal-tip applicator gives Clinique Even Better Eyes a cool, refreshing feeling when it's applied. Some say it helps to alleviate puffiness and helps aging or tired eyes look more refreshed, and many say it reduces the appearance of dark circles, even if only temporarily. However, a fair number of reviewers say it didn't do anything to minimize the dark circles under their eyes at all, and others saw minimal effects only due to the cream's tint.

Experts at Beautypedia call Paula's Choice Skincare RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Cream (Est. $35 for .5 oz.) "a seriously emollient, balm-like cream that blends without dragging or pulling" that can keep dry skin moisturized throughout the night. This extra-thick cream contains a blend of beneficial ingredients, including glucosyl hesperidin, which is said to help restore and brighten skin, multiple peptides, and other ingredients with antioxidant and anti-aging effects. Paula's Choice Skincare RESIST is fragrance-free and packaged in a foil-like squeeze tube which protects the air- and light-sensitive ingredients.

Dozens of users have mostly positive feedback for RESIST, noting that its thick texture has a luxurious feel. Reviewers say it absorbs readily into the skin and leaves the eyes feeling refreshed. Many say they've noticed a reduction in the appearance of fine lines, and some say they've used it on other areas such as their lips, expression lines, and hands. However, some users say the texture is too thick, making it difficult to apply.

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What every best Eye Cream has:

  • Ingredients that won't irritate your eyes.
  • Effective moisturizers.
  • Ingredients that specifically benefit the skin around the eyes.

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