Fatigue Might Not Be the Problem
"Under-eye circles can be caused by lack of sleep, stress, fluid retention from dehydration, shifts in hormones, and excessive alcohol intake," says New York City-based dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum. "Some people are also genetically predisposed." If you've been getting a restful eight hours and still look groggy, there's likely another cause. Drink your two liters, try to de-stress, use the right products (more on that below), and see a dermatologist if your under-eye circles won't vanish.
There Are Two Types of Under-Eye Issues
"Bagginess and puffiness are caused by fluid retention, while dark circles are actually superficial blood vessels, which give the thin under-eye skin a bluish tinge," says Dr. Nussbaum. "As such, treating under-eye circles most often requires one of two things: reducing fluid retention if you're puffy and constricting blood vessels under the eyes if you have colored circles." Use an anti-inflammatory eye cream for under-eye puffiness, and an anti-hyperpigmentation product to reduce dark circles.
Fidgeting Might Be to Blame
"Allergies can also inflame the eye area, making eyes appear red and feel itchy, which in turn makes you rub your eyes," says Dr. Nussbaum. "This increases inflammation and puffiness under the eyes, and the thinness of the eye area also makes this area more vulnerable to irritants and allergies in the first place." The lesson? Try to keep your hands off your eyes—and treat allergies as soon as they arise.
Moisturizer Is Your Best Friend
"In general, the eye area—unlike the rest of the face—does not contain oil glands, making it more prone to dryness, flaking, and, ultimately, fine lines and wrinkles." says Dr. Nussbaum. Prevent dryness by using a moisturizing eye cream every night; your under-eyes will also be less likely to develop dark, puffy circles.
Go for Anti-Inflammatory Products
"Eye creams and gels with anti-inflammatory ingredients like caffeine and antioxidants are helpful in reducing puffiness, while coenzyme Q10, found in products like Sebamed's Q10 Lifting Eye Cream, works to boost elastin and collagen in the skin, making your under-eye area look more youthful and healthier," says Dr. Nussbaum. Look for products that promote elasticity if you want to give your routine an anti-aging boost, and turn to caffeine to diminish puffiness.