How to Pick an Eye Cream for Dark Circles

Brittany Kline
By: Senior LetsTalkBeauty Editor  |  Brittany Kline

With the variety of eye creams that claim to cure dark circles under your eyes, how do you know which one will work best for you? In this article, we’ll figure out what exactly dark circles are, how they’re caused, and clue you in on the most important factors to consider in the battle against them, including the ingredients that have proven most effective in removing them. Keep reading for tips, tricks, and facts to help you find out which eye cream you should choose.

In this article:

  1. What Are Dark Circles & Why Do You Get Them?
  2. How to Best Fight Dark Circles
  3. Best Ingredients in Eye Cream for Dark Circles
  4. A Final Word

What Are Dark Circles & Why Do You Get Them?

Dark circles are actually bruises, medically known as periorbital ecchymosis. Blood collects in the soft tissues around the eyes, bruising the delicate tissue and causing discoloration in varying shades from reddish to purple. So what causes the blood to collect there specifically? Well, that answer is more complicated than you might think.

What Are Dark Circles and Why Do You Get Them?
Dark circles can happen to anyone.

The most commonly blamed culprit is fatigue. We have all stayed up a little too late one night, only to awaken the next morning looking a little raccoon-faced around the eyes.

That is because one of the side effects of sleep deprivation is pallid, dull skin, and this makes any dark circles all the more prevalent. It also causes fluid and blood buildup, which can cause bruising and discoloration. It can also cause swelling in the eyelids, which cast shadows right below the eyes.

But what if you’re getting your eight hours every night, and your still riddled with inky-looking smudges around your orbs? Unfortunately, there are several other sources which may be causing your orbital woes.

Eye strain is more and more common today as computer use has become a way of life for many. I do my job by looking at a screen all day, and much of the world does the exact same.

And when we get home, many of us relax by watching television, perhaps in low lighting, or look at our phones in the dark in bed. All of this can strain our eyes, causing the blood vessels around them to bulge.

That means more blood will flow through, making them more visible, thus appearing puffy and darker.

Eye strain from screens
People work and play while looking at screens, making eye strain more common than ever.

Additional but less common causes include:

  • Allergies – histamine reactions cause redness and puffiness
  • Dehydration – lack of water makes eyes look sunken
  • Sun overexposure – can trigger too much melanin production
  • Genetics – family history, particularly thyroid disease, increase predisposition
  • Aging – thinning skin causes darkness to be more visible

How to Best Fight Dark Circles

So you’ve slept your eight hours, limited screen time, taken your allergy meds, gotten plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and done everything else you’re supposed to do. And yet still, you have dark circles.

That’s okay. That’s just reality for some, and it’s not your fault. That’s where a bit of cosmetic help and know-how can come into play and save the day.

Right eye cream for dark circles
The right cream can banish dark circles, for good.

Creams that are simply high quality moisturizers alone are not adequate weapons to use in the battle against dark circles and wrinkles. To win in this battle, it’s necessary to be armed with an effective eye cream or serum that’s made with superior ingredients.

Consumers should search for an eye cream that does more than just target and correct dark circles. While correction is certainly what you’re after, prevention should be right next to it on your eye cream checklist.

The best way to prevent dark circles is with quality anti-aging ingredients, so look for a cream that contains the best ingredients in fighting aging.

Best Ingredients in Eye Cream for Dark Circles

Some anti-aging ingredients that work exceptionally well are Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 and Palmitoyl Oligopeptide. Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a peptide made of amino acids, but most importantly for eye cream, it is an anti-inflammatory.

That means it tackles that puffiness around your eyes and reduces irritation. Palmitoyl Oligopeptide works similarly, but when used in conjunction with Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, they enhance one another for even more efficacy.

When these ingredients are present in a dark circle cream, you are armed with a double weapon—a product that rejuvenates your eyes, while simultaneously keeping away dark circles.

If you’re looking for a natural anti-inflammatory, try searching for products with Chrysin, an extract from the blue passion flower, which touts the same anti-inflammatory properties.

The best ingredients are often the simplest.

Other important ingredients to look for in a superior dark circles cream are those that work to protect and strengthen the blood vessels that surround the eye. One such ingredient is Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, a natural flavonoid derivative found in oranges and grapefruit.

This can help to prevent those dark circles brought on by broken blood vessels. Finally, quality dark circle creams won’t cause your eyes to sting or burn.

Many dark circle treatments contain well-known ingredients such as cucumber extract and Vitamin E. Although these ingredients soothe the skin and decrease dark circles and puffiness, they do not have the power to attack serious dark circles. Still, they are beneficial and a nice bonus.

The best eye creams for serious under-eye circles will contain the most advanced and powerful ingredients available, such as Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide and Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone.

When combined, these ingredients effectively reduce blood vessel leaks beneath the skin which cause dark circles.

These ingredients also boost collagen production, which helps in repairing wrinkles and fine lines that gather around your eyes. The end result is radiant eyes and softer, smoother looking skin. Some of the top ingredients for removing heavy dark circles are:

  • Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone: This ingredient works by shrinking those small blood vessels within the delicate skin surrounding your eyes, thus reducing fluid and blood build-up
  • Palmitoyl Oligopeptide and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7: Working together, these peptides stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. As a result, you look younger.
  • Retinyl Palmitate: Retinyl palmitate, a form of Vitamin A, promotes the growth of new skin cells, which causes your skin to glow and look rejuvenated.
  • Chrysin: This anti-inflammatory antioxidant is a vasorelaxant, which works by preventing the capillary leakage and reduces puffiness under the eyes.
  • Argireline: Sometimes called “Botox in a Jar”, this powerful peptide is derived from botulism toxin, but is not a toxin itself. Argireline, scientifically known as Acetyl Hexapeptide 3 or Acetyl Hexapeptide 8,   helps to partially neutralize facial muscles when applied topically, helping to reduce the appearance and formation of wrinkles.

Additional helpful ingredients include:

  • Shea Butter: one of the most powerful natural moisturizers
  • Aloe Vera: nature’s best anti-inflammatory

A Final Word

good skin care habits
A killer combo of good habits and skin care will make dark circles a thing of the past.

For optimal results, combine taking care of your health to try and prevent as many dark circles from forming in the first place, and when you must inevitably battle against them with a little cosmetic help, be sure to find a cream with the advanced ingredients that are necessary in a dark circle eye cream.

Look for a product which contains proven components which are combined to work effectively in removing dark circles and diminishing wrinkles and fine lines under the eyes.

To see which products contain ingredients such as the ones we’ve just mentioned, take a look at our reviews of the top dark circles treatments here.

Our best recommendation against dark circles is RevitaLume, a twice daily dark circle solution which brightens dark circles and reduces puffiness around the eyes by utilizing all of the ingredients discussed above and more.

It also features soothing botanicals like cucumber and green tea extract to nourish your skin and give it an extra little boost, and absorbs on contact leaving no greasy residue behind. For more information on RevitaLume, take a look at it here.

Brittany Kline
Senior LetsTalkBeauty Editor
We sent Brittany to venture across the world in search of discovering basically the world's best products and then bringing those back to you. She has documented all her research so you can receive the most vital information and latest innovations in beauty.

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