The Low Down: Eye Creams + Dark Circles


What causes dark circles & how to get rid of them?

  • Fatigue

  • Genetics

  • Allergies, asthma, eczema (any condition that causes the eyes to itch)

  • Medications that cause blood vessels to dilate (ex blood pressure medication)

  • Nutritional deficiencies (ex iron deficiency anemia)

  • Sun exposure, which prompts your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color

  • Thinning skin and loss of fat and collagen that comes with aging, which can make the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes more obvious

    Treatment Options:

  • Tear trough filler- if the dark circles are caused by hollowing/volume loss

  • Platelet-Rich Plasma injected into the dermis to thicken the skin and replace volume loss

  • Laser skin resurfacing or Microneedling to thicken the skin, which improves crepey skin

  • Eye creams (see below for my top 5 recommedations) are not miracle workers but they work well in adjunct to other treatments

  • Having an in person consult with an experienced provider is the best way so that they can create a treatment plan for you. When treating the eyes there is no one treatment that can do it all. Many times I will do filler to address the hollowing under the eye and then skin resurfacing (lasers/microneedling sometimes with PRP injections) to address the crepey skin. Every person is different so individualized treatment plans are key.


How to choose?
One with antioxidants which help fight oxidative damage from pollution + UV irradiation. Creams with vitamin C, retinols & growth factors encourage thickening of collagen in an area where the skin is thin and delicate. Eye creams with caffeine are good for temporary de-puffing by constricting blood vessels in that area. Regular use can maintain elasticity and improve some fine lines and wrinkles. Eye creams are definitely not a magic potion but they are great to add to your daily skincare regimen.

If you want the most affordable eye cream option it would be:
AM: Use your Vitamin C serum to full face and under the eyes with sunscreen layered on top
PM: Vaseline/Aquaphor

I recommend my patients first purchase the core skincare items (medical grade Vitamin C, Sunscreen, a Retinoid) and then add an eye cream in if you want to spend the money at a later time. Here are 5 higher end and middle end eye creams I like:

1. Neocutis Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye Cream:
This eye cream is great for brightening + tightening. It contains hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate skin and an advanced complex of PSP growth factors to boost cells’ ability to repair and revitalize your skin, increasing firmness and reducing wrinkles.

2. Obagi Medical ELASTIderm Eye Treatment Cream:
Best suited for mature or damaged skin, it works to reduce fine lines by strengthening the skin around the eyes & encouraging production of collagen. (safe during pregnancy/nursing)

3. SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair:
Contains hyaluranic acid (hydrates and brightens), vitamins A, C, & E (antioxidant protection to lighten dark circles)

4. Avene Retrinal EYES:
Contains retinaldehyde (a stabilized version of retinol) which help reduce fine lines + hyaluranic acid to hydrate.

5. PCA Skin EyeXcellence:
Good for puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles without drying the skin and wild increasing collagen production. (safe during pregnancy/nursing)

All products can be purchased Dermstore which is an authorized retailer. (On some products they offer 20% off your first purchase too!)

*product content adapted from dermstore