The skin around the eyes is naturally thin and is constantly exposed to oxidative stress from environmental stressors such as sunlight, smoking, and air pollution. This constant assault gradually breaks down the fibrous network composed of proteins, elastin, and collagen, resulting in thinner skin in the eye region as you age. Facial expressions like laughing and frowning further contribute to the destruction of the skin proteins and stimulate the formation of wrinkles (crow’s feet), dark circles, and bags under the eyes. We sat down with Dr. G to find out what we can do to banish those unwanted dark circles for good. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.49.13 AMPhoto via Byrdie

Retinoid’s: “Using an eye product that contains Vitamin A (Retinol) is so beneficial for many anti-aging purposes (brightening, fine lines), but because Vitamin A increases collagen production, it creates an increased plump appearance to the eye area which helps to fade the visual appearance of dark circles.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD 

Brightening Ingredients: “Skin brightening ingredients are so important to use when working to eliminate dark circles. The most powerful naturally-based brightening ingredients include skin brightening Vitamin K, Arnica and Soy and Rice Bran Peptides. These heavy treatment oriented ingredients work together to break up the dried blood trapped within the bags underneath the eye area while simultaneously working to increase circulation to move the excess colored fluid out. Using treatment-based products are most beneficial for long-term benefits vs. using a concealer and calling it a day.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD 

Cool Water and compress: “Always rinse off with cool water as warm water will add to increased inflammation and darkness. Keep a tea bag in the freezer, add cool water, and apply onto the eye area for a quick spa treatment – you’ll be amazed how fast-acting this trick is for reducing puffiness and darkness and brightening the overall eye area.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD

Makeup Remover: “Aggressive rubbing of the eye area can lead to inflammation and even broken capillaries that will only add to the issues underneath the eye area. Selecting a gentle non-toxic makeup remover is key (try Tatcha’s Camellia Oil Cleanser) and work to pat the eye area free of any and all makeup vs. rubbing.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD

Sunscreen: “The thin skin just underneath the eye area is especially prone to increased hyper pigmentation as a result of over sun exposure, so be sure to extend your sun blocking agent underneath the eye area too. Using a lightweight, oil-free and fragrance-free formula is highly recommended so that it won’t cause heightened irritation to the eye are. Look for SPF based products that contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as a safe option.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD 

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