For being such a teeny-tiny area of the face, the undereyes tell a big and very vivid story. Had more than a few glasses of wine? Didn’t get home until 3:30 AM on a Tuesday? Can’t take the pollen floating around? The proof is usually in full view right under your peepers. But don't resort to caking on the concealer or wearing sunglasses all day (we give you an excuse if they're cute) because there are products and treatments made to fix even the most specific undereye woe. From puffiness to fine lines and wrinkles, keep scrolling to learn more.
Puffiness and Bags
If only we could fan-girl over these bags like we do the Proenza Schouler ones... According to Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a common cause of puffiness or bags under the eyes is fluid retention. While he says it's common in the morning because we're laying down and build-up occurs, it's not the only cause.
"Fluid retention can occur due to numerous factors: lack of sleep, allergies, excess salt, or alcohol intake, smoking, etc," he says. "Healthy lifestyle changes can help to minimize under eye puffiness. In extreme cases, the fat pad that protects the eye in the orbit (eye socket) actually herniates (or extends beyond where it should) and causes the appearance of undereye bags. Surgery is the only option to cure a fat pad. Fat pads are mistaken for exhaustion, but are usually genetic."
He says a quick DIY fix, though, is to apply an ice pack, a frozen tea-soaked cotton pad, or frozen cucumbers to the eyes can help as well.
Product wise, dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler suggests looking for formulas—like Olay Eyes Depuffing Eye Roller—that contain caffeine to constrict blood vessels and minimize the appearance of bags. This buy even has a cooling tip you can use to massage the sensitive area around the eye.
"Diet, sleep, and exercise all play factors into dark eye circle creation," says Dr. Frank. "Stress reduction is the number one thing to make you not look tired and then exercise. This area under the eyes is one of the thinnest areas—it is easily neglected in basic skin care."
As you get older, Dr. Frank says a loss of collagen under the eyes can make that tiny area look thinner, which means your veins and the pigment under the skin will be more noticeable. "Look for products that contain arnica, green tea, resveratrol (derived from grapes), niacinamide, and/or licorice, as well as caffeine. Some products will also have an irridescent appearance to camouflage the discoloration," he says.
Caudalie Premier Cru Eye Cream is one example of a product with an illuminating factor. "It is composed of resveratrol, made from grapes, filled with anti-oxidants, and helps pigmentation," he says.
Uneven Skin Texture and Tone
Here's yet another reason to be diligent about applying SPF and wearing a hat at the beach. "Uneven skin tone and texture is more commonly due to long time exposure to sun," says Dr. Wexler. "One sees brown spots, fine lines, crows feet, slightly overgrown sebaceous glands, and thinner skin around the eyes." The first line of defense is using SPF and staying hydrated, but Dr. Wexler says you can try to even pigmentation by using glycolic acid or vitamin C for cell turnover, but make sure the product is made specifically for the eye region.
As for products, she suggests her Patricia Wexler MD Dermatology Three-in-One Eye Cream, which lifts, firms, and addresses wrinkles, moisturizes, and stimulates cellular renewal. She also suggests trying something ike Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream, which uses ingredients like dimethicone to smooth fine lines, mica to blur imperfections.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
It's most commonly known as a sign of age, but there are several factors that could play into the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Wexler says these include things like sleep habits, loss of fat around the eyes as we age, and sun exposure.
And sadly? Your email could be to blame for your new fine lines. "Squinting to read texts and emails can cause crow’s feet and wrinkles to form around your eyes," says Dr. Grossman. "To prevent these troublesome lines, increase the font size and brightness on your phone."
He also suggests looking for a product with natural stem cells from berries, papaya, and apple, which have an exfoliating effect, and one that is moisturizing, like Chanel Sublimage Eye Cream, to reduce the formation of wrinkles. "Even though this product is pricey, it is worth every penny. This product is able to moisturize and make fine lines disappear, ultimately allowing the eye concealer to hold better. The product has an exclusive ingredient—Enriched Planifolia PFA—which fights key signs of aging based on individual skin needs," he says.