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Three Ways to Smooth, De-Puff, and Brighten Eyes

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We’ve all suffered from dark circles and dull, puffy skin under the eyes at one point or another. For some of us, it’s a hereditary fact of life. For others, it happens occasionally, when we don’t get enough sleep or party too hard. But thanks to the power of cosmetics and proper skin care, we don’t have to live with the status quo. Here are a few tips and tricks we learned from skin experts.

Wrinkles and Sagginess

For saggy skin around the eyes, San Francisco–based cosmetic surgeon Dr. Edward Miranda recommends looking for products with retinol, antioxidants, and peptides. “They grow, rebuild and retain collagen levels and also reduce wrinkles,” he says. Also keep an eye out for Emblica extract, an anti-inflammatory agent that also helps stimulate collagen production.

The fix: Dr. Miranda recommends antioxidant-packed creams, like Ravish by London Riley’s  Illuminating Green Tea Eye Cream. “The chamomile extracts, green tea, and antioxidants in vitamins A, C, and E camouflage fine lines and brightens up the entire eye area,” he says.

Product picks: Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing Antiwrinkle Eye Cream, Ravish by London Riley Illuminating Green Tea Eye Cream, Peter Lamas Brightening Emblica Eye Cream

Dark circles

The skin under our eyes is the thinnest skin in the body, which means that blood passing through the veins close to the surface can show up as a bluish or purplish tint. This can be hereditary, or made worse by lack of sleep.

The fix: Unfortunately, there are no cures for chronic dark circles, but you can brighten them up with the right ingredients! “The best ingredient to date is Haloxyl,” said aesthetician and skin care expert Karen Asquith. Haloxyl works by breaking up the blood fragments that leak from capillaries under the skin (kinda gross-sounding, but hey!).

Of course, there are makeup tricks, too! Celebrity makeup artist Julianne Kaye’s favorite eye brightener product is the cult classic luminizing pen YSL Touche Éclat. “Its radiance catches the light perfectly, adding lift and vibrance!” says Kaye. Her other trick for brightening the under eye area: dust your concealer with a soft, light-reflecting powder. “By using a lighter or different shade to set your concealer,” she says, “you give your face more dimension. It’s like adding a soft glow in an area that is deeper-set or darker than the rest of the face.”

Product picks: Kinerase c8 Under Eye Treatment, Desert Essence Age Reversal Revitalizing Eye Serum, YSL Touche Éclat, Ben Nye Face Powder, Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Powder in Candlelight, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

Puffiness

Under eye puffiness can have several causes: allergies, dehydration, and lack of sleep. If bags are a persistent problem, re-evaluate your sleep schedule and stay away from salty foods. And don’t forget to drink water!

The fix: Chilled cucumber slices over the eyes will soothe inflamed skin. Look for products that contain caffeine, which helps with circulation by stimulating and tightening skin. For a solution with a punch, Asquith recommends eye patch treatments, like the G.M. Collin Instant Radiance Anti-Aging Eye Patch. “They’re so easy,” she says, “You can even wear them in the car on your way to work!”

Product picks: G.M. Collin Instant Radiance Anti-Aging Eye Patches, Le Métier de Beauté Ultra Hydration Eye Mask Duo

On a final note, all the experts agree that the two best things you can do for healthier, brighter eyes: stay hydrated and get enough sleep!