Now more than ever, our eyes are taking center stage. Not so lucky for us, our under-eyes are also home to the thinnest skin on our body, making them especially susceptible to issues such as wrinkles, darkness and puffiness, to name a few. Whether you’re looking to smooth the eye contour, counteract dark circles or tighten under-eye bags, here’s how to do it at home.
Puffiness around the eyes can result from genetics, lifestyle changes, an imbalanced diet, or the aging process. Regardless of why fluid retention forms, one thing is for certain: it can make us appear much older, more tired and a lot unlike ourselves.
PERK UP: “The main ingredient I recommend for both short- and long-term improvement in undereye puffiness is caffeine,” says Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias. By revving up circulation in the skin, caffeine—found in Clarins Total Eye Lift ($89), launching in February—reduces swelling and inflammation while also boosting collagen in the area.
SHADE SHIFTER: To quickly de-puff the eye area with makeup, celebrity makeup artist Carolina Gonzalez suggests applying a color-correcting formula and topping it with a concealer two to three shades lighter than your usual color. Her go-to concealer: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Concealer ($38), which contains caffeine for a flawless, second-skin effect.
Environmental exposure and constant movement—blinking and smiling—can lead to wrinkles around the eyes. Neurotoxins, including Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin, Dysport and Jeuveau, can smooth out crow’s-feet by temporarily halting the muscle movements that cause lines and wrinkles to form.
A-TEAM: “Bar none, the best topical ingredient for fine lines around the eyes would be a form of vitamin A like retinol,” Dr. Elias explains. Plumping ingredients such as acetylated sodium hyaluronate, found in ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Eye Serum ($130), also work to “fill” these expression lines while supercharged growth factors help stave off wrinkles in the long-term.
TEXTURE PLAY: Lightweight, powder-based formulas tend to settle into creases and accentuate them. To camouflage lines, opt for creamy textures such as Clinique Even Better All-Over Concealer + Eraser ($26), created with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to conceal and correct problem areas.
Dark circles can form due to a number of factors—thin skin, pigment and blood-vessel prominence are common causes—and as such, there are many ingredients that can help alleviate the issue.
BRIGHT IDEA: Depending on the cause of darkness, which should be evaluated by a professional, Miami dermatologist Dr. Deborah Longwill notes that hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides, ceramides, and coenzyme Q10 work best to brighten a shadowed look. MUTHA Up All Night Eye Cream ($90) boasts hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and rice peptides in a velvety-smooth formula.
COLOR THEORY: Gonzalez likes to brighten dark under-eyes with a combination of concealer, correctors and powders. “Very dark circles can appear green or gray when treated with only concealer—correctors put the blood back into the skin.” Hyaluronic acid–infused KKW Beauty Correctors ($20) come in four melt-into-your-skin shades to neutralize discoloration and leave behind a smooth finish.