The first place men notice signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and fatigue usually shows up is around your eyes. In short, the skin around your eyes is slightly thinner than the rest of your face, which is why it often is the first to show changes due to fatigue and yes, you guessed it; age. An abundant number of American men attempt to kill two birds with one stone by using moisturizer around your eyes, but because that skin around the eye area is quite sensitive. Truth be told, once I used a moisturizer around my eyes and the result was painful burning that lasted for an hour or more.
This is where eye cream for men comes in. In the morning and before bedtime, put a few dabs under your eyes, using your ring finger, and voilà. Eye creams are specifically formulated to be used on around the eyes because the skin is many times very sensitive. Therefore, the active ingredients in the cream won’t irritate your eyes.
Few things give away a sleepless night more than dark circles. Okay, your untucked shirt and mismatched socks are a dead giveaway too, but hey, who out of the 15 members at the weekly morning board meeting are really paying attention to your wardrobe? Whether you spent the night drowning in work or you’ve pulled an all-nighter to party a little extra hard, one thing is for sure: Come morning, your eyes will reveal all. Thankfully, it’s nothing a little eye cream can’t fix. And yes, dudes should be applying eye cream too.
More to the point, there’s something intriguing about finding a cream that’s able to cover up a night of tossing and turning. But if you find one that can brighten up your dark circles and combat those fine lines and wrinkles, it can feel like you’ve won the skincare jackpot. After all, your eyes are one of the first areas to show signs of aging.
Once you land on the right formula of eye cream, you’ll see that it not only brightens your skin; it can keep your under-eye area looking youthful and tight, too. First things first, though: tackling that darkness. Here are the best eye creams for dark circles that do just that.
1. Restorative Eye Stick by Blu Atlas
Blu Atlas’ highly-rated restorative eye stick strikes the perfect balance between all-naturalingredients and clinically proven effectiveness. One of my favorite ingredients is the rose water, which gently hydrates skin and reduces signs of irritation and puffiness. The stick also uses caffeine to jolt your skin awake, while vitamins B3 and C go deep into your pores to even out your skin tone and get rid of those pesky dark circles. You can expect this paraben-free Blu Atlas eye stick to improve your skin’s elasticity, dull puffiness, and brighten up those dark circles. With a generous discount program and excellent customer service to boot, Blu Atlas is my go-to brand.
2. OLE HENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
Don’t let the name of this eye cream fool you—the banana refers to banana powder, a makeup hack that incorporates a yellow-toned powder to instantly brighten up the under-eye area. The creators behind this eye cream took this makeup-artist secret and used it as inspiration for this vitamin C−packed eye cream. Not only does the creamy, citrus-oozing formula tackle dark circles; it’s built a serious cult following thanks to its ability to smooth out the under-eye area and combat dryness. And it’s suited for all skin types, meaning those with oily skin will appreciate its featherlight formula while those with dry skin will find its thirst-quenching ability impressive.
3. Lancôme Advanced Génifique Wrinkle & Dark Circle Eye Cream
If you’re serious about keeping your skin hydrated and free of dark circles, you’ll want to look for an eye cream that boasts a barrier-strengthening formula. Try this pick from Lancôme, which uses a prebiotic to restore the skin’s moisture barrier and not only seal in the hydration, but prevent moisture loss at the hands of pollution and cold weather. Have a dry under-eye? This cream makes it a thing of the past thanks to a blend of moisturizing hyaluronic acid and radiance-inducing vitamin C. The result: Skin looks brighter, feels smoother and is better protected.
4. Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening + Depuffing Eye Cream for Dark Circles
Ever wish you could autocorrect your dark circles like your computer autocorrects your spelling errors? We’re here to tell you that auto correction is possible with this heavenly eye cream from Sunday Riley. The formula is enriched with what the brand has dubbed a Dark Circle Complex, a medley of ingredients that kicks dark circles to the curb. Caffeine, Brazilian ginseng, horse chestnut and light-reflecting particles instantly wake up tired, sallow skin and make for a brighter, smoother under-eye region. They also throw in some watermelon extract to improve dehydration on this delicate area of the skin, along with lutein, an antioxidant-rich ingredient that offers blue light protection (you know, for all those times when your head is buried in your phone).
5. Clinique for Men Super Energizer™ Anti-Fatigue Depuffing Eye Gel
The only thing worse than having dark circles is having dark circles and puffiness. Which is precisely why this formula from Clinique combats both issues in one targeted formula. The cooling roll-on tip is the perfect pick-me-up for mornings after sleepless nights, but the energizing formula is where it’s at when it comes to sending dark circles packing—we’re talking caffeine to de-puff, glycerin to hydrate, and rosemary-leaf extract to calm. Plus, with packaging so portable and easy to throw in your briefcase or gym bag, you’ll never have an excuse to sport tired eyes again.
6. First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Niacinamide Brightening Eye Cream
Fatigue? Don’t know him. Fine lines? Nixed. Brightening niacinamide meets de-puffing pumpkin-seed extract in this power-packed eye cream that combats everything from dark circles and dullness to dryness and fine lines. Micro-pearls work to illuminate the under-eye area and restore skin vitality, while sodium hyaluronate imparts a plump, hydrated finish and caffeine aids in getting rid of water retention that eventually leads to puffiness. A multi-targeted formula, indeed.
7. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Brightening Eye Cream
Sometimes all you need is a product that instantly hydrates, but finding one that works hard to ward off dark circles over time is an added bonus. That’s exactly what this formula from IT Cosmetics provides. Hyaluronic acid moisturizer dehydrated under-eyes, while collagen and cucumber extract promote a more youthful appearance. The product contains a slight blue tint that’s meant to minimize the appearance of dark shadows. The result? Less tired looking peepers and less apparent fine lines. It’s a win-win situation.
8. Jack Black Protein Booster Eye Rescue
For eye-opening results, this high-performance eye cream is the real deal, delivering a hefty dose of peptides, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids to provide the delicate under-eye area with the ultimate rejuvenation. Everything from crow’s feet and fine lines to puffiness and dark circles are the target of this weightless formula. Have sensitive skin? You’ll appreciate that the vegan formula is free of potential irritants such as synthetic fragrances, dyes and triclosan.
9. Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
Top-rated for a reason, this potent eye cream calls on ultra-hydrating squalene and line-reducing marine algae to deliver some seriously efficacious—and skin-tightening—results. While you’ll be able to feel the firming powers of the eye cream instantly upon application, the real magic happens over the course of 7 days. But what’s really impressive is how the rich consistency is able to fully penetrate into the skin in an instant, meaning you won’t have to spend your precious minutes rubbing it into the skin and waiting for it to absorb.
10. Murad Vitamin C Dark Circle Correcting Eye Serum
Live in a polluted city? You’ll want to arm your skin with ample protection against the elements. And even if you don’t, Murad’s dark-circle-correcting serum has an incredibly unassuming consistency that’ll turn even the most anti-eye cream users into converts. The star of the show here is a stable form of vitamin C, a highly sought-after antioxidant that not only brightens the skin, but keeps it shielded from barrier-damaging factors like pollutants and other environmental toxins. We love that this pick focuses on combating three levels of dark circles: blue (which is typically caused by oxygenated blood), brown (which is caused by sun damage and hyperpigmentation) and red (which is usually caused by irritation and allergies). Plus, the hydrating cucumber extract in the formula doesn’t hurt.
11. Kiehl’s Eye Fuel
We get it: Sometimes, heavy creams can be overpowering. If you prefer a lightweight gel formula to a rich cream, check out this option from Kiehl’s. It fuels your under-eye area with everything necessary to stay hydrated and free of dark circles: caffeine to get rid of morning puffiness, vitamin B3 to ward off dark circles, and a 24-hour hydration complex that keeps your under-eye area in mint condition as you tackle the day. This one also gets bonus points for being travel-friendly (seriously, throw it into your airplane carry-on to ensure you’re bright-eyed upon landing).
The skin of your under-eye area is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, making it more susceptible to things like dark circles and fine lines. That being said, dark circles can form for a number of reasons. They can show up on anyone, no matter your age or skin type, and they often come with other concerns in this area, such as puffiness, lines, dryness and bags. Here are the most common causes of dark circles in the under-eye area.
• Fatigue: Ever wake up after a sleepless night and notice a shadow underneath your eyes? This is due to your blood vessels dilating, which increases blood flow and eventually leads to a dark tint underneath the eye. Not getting enough sleep can also cause other things like puffiness in the under-eye area—this is due to your body building up fluid in the area, which can also occur when you consume high-salt foods. Overall, skin appears saggy, sunken, puffy and dark when you’re sleep-deprived. Not to mention the effects lack of sleep can have on your overall complexion.
• Genetics: For many people, dark circles on the under-eye area is a result of family history. Often, those with darker skin tones are more likely to have hereditary dark circles than those with lighter skin tones. This is due to this skin color having more pigmentation. Dark circles can be part of your genetics.
• Age: As we age, our skin goes through many changes, one of which is thinning of the skin. This, combined with the slow decline of collagen and elastin production, means the under-eye area is less firm and elastic than it was when you were younger. Thus, the blood vessels underneath of your skin become more apparent because the skin is thinner due to age. Thin skin plus the loss of elasticity can inhibit a youthful-looking appearance for the skin on the under-eye area.
• Allergies: If you’re dealing with allergies, you’re likely dealing with a trifecta of issues: congestion in your sinuses, stuffed-up nasal passages and swelling. This makes it difficult for your body to drain blood in these areas, which can widen the veins underneath your eyes and give a darker appearance to this area.
How to make dark circles disappear?
Whether or not your dark circles will go away depends on what’s causing them. The good news? In most cases, it’s temporary. If you’re dealing with a case of fatigue, ensure you’re getting a good night’s rest (at least eight hours) and you’ll probably see a decline in the darkness—or at least, the puffiness—underneath your eyes. If your dark under-eye circles are a result of genetics, there are some surgical treatments available (such as injecting fat pads underneath the eyes to make the area thicker and minimize the appearance of darkness). Age-related dark circles may require a targeted skincare treatment that involves using eye creams containing brightening ingredients. Research the best eye creams for dark circles and choose those that are easy on the skin. If you find that your darkness is getting worse over time, it may be time for a visit to your dermatologist.
What ingredients to look for in a dark circle eye cream?
With a dizzying number of eye creams on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to use. But when it comes to tackling dark under-eye circles, choosing the right formula is imperative if you want results. Here are the best ingredients that help to fight dark under-eye circles.
• Caffeine: Under-eyes that are experiencing puffiness along with darkness will instantly feel refreshed and brightened after using a caffeine-rich eye cream. This is because caffeine is a natural de-puffer, containing antioxidant-rich properties that are effective at getting rid of water retention.
• Vitamin K: While vitamin C is touted in the skincare world as being the ultimate skin-brightener, vitamin K is also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to alleviating dark under-eye circles. Antioxidant-rich and effective at reducing dark spots and pigmentation, vitamin K can also help improve skin elasticity for double the benefits.
• Alpha lipoic acid: Known for its ability to fight skin aging, alpha lipoic acid is also effective at brightening dark under-eye circles. And because dark circles often come with textured skin, alpha lipoic acid is a great ingredient to look for in an eye cream because it’s an instant skin smoother. Look for an eye cream that contains this ingredient if you’re noticing slight dark circles but also want an effective wrinkle reducer.
Are there any natural remedies to remove dark circles?
There are some natural at-home remedies you can try to help minimize the look of your dark under-eye circles.
• Coffee: If you’re dealing with dark circles and puffiness, coffee can make a world of difference (after all, there’s a reason why it’s in a slew of eye cream formulas on the market). A natural source of antioxidants, coffee can be effective at improving blood circulation in this delicate area. To use coffee on your under-eyes, mix a half a cup of ground coffee with sweet almond oil and avocado oil. Strain the mixture with a cheese cloth and pour it into a clean, empty bottle for a DIY coffee serum. Apply morning and evening for best results.
• Cold compress: A cold compress is effective at improving blood circulation on your under-eye area, especially if your dark under-eye circles are a result of fatigue. Apply a cold compress in the morning and evening for 15 minutes underneath your eyes to reap its soothing benefits.
•Cold tea bags: Don’t have a cold compress? Cold tea bags work just as well. Better yet—use a green tea bag, as it’s chock-full of skin-loving antioxidants that can help heal inflammation. Soak an unused tea bag in cold water and then let it cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove, and place on your eyes for 10 minutes at a time three times daily.
• Potato juice: Shocking, we know, but potatoes are packed with vitamin C and can help synthesize collagen in the skin. To reap the brightening benefits of potato juice, simply grate potatoes, extract the juice with a paper towel or kitchen towel, and soak a cotton pad with it. Then apply to your under-eye area for about 7 minutes before rinsing.
• Cucumbers and lemon juice: While cucumbers contain vitamin K, which can reduce the appearance of darkened blood vessels underneath the eyes, lemon juice offers a natural form of vitamin C to brighten the skin. To use, cut slices of fresh cucumber and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool. Then squeeze lemon juice on top and apply it to your under-eye area, ensuring you’re not getting anything in your actual eye (you don’t want to feel any stinging). This is a great option for those dealing with age-related dark circles.
How to apply eye cream:
Most experts agree that for eye cream to reach its maximum efficacy, it should be applied twice a day—in the morning and evening. And, if you’re using an eye cream that doubles as an anti-aging ingredient, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re applying it at night—this is because your skin repairs itself as it sleeps. The key with using eye cream, and any other skincare product, is to be consistent.
While the packaging of the eye cream you’re using may vary from tub to squeeze tube to pump, the amount of product you use should be the same: a pea-sized amount to cover both eyes. Usually, this means half a pump to one pump if you’re using an eye cream that’s in pump form. It may not sound (or look) like it’s enough to cover both eyes, but eye creams are usually heavily concentrated, and a little bit goes a long way. Plus, the product will spread naturally as you open and close your eyes, so you don’t need to apply much.
When you’re applying your eye cream, it’s best to warm up the product with your fingers, and then begin applying underneath the eyes, moving upward and outward toward the orbital bone. Use tapping motions rather than rubbing to ensure the product is absorbing into the skin. Also, remember to use gentle pressure, as the skin underneath your eyes is more sensitive and delicate than the rest of your face. Abrasive rubbing can lead to irritation at best and broken blood vessels at worst, which can actually make your dark circles more prominent. Be sure to use your ring finger to apply the product—this is the finger that has the least amount of pressure and will ensure you’re not being too rough on your skin. When using eye cream, it’s important to note that most are meant solely for the under-eye area. You’ll need to read the product label carefully to see if the eye cream is suitable for the upper lid area.
Eye Cream Storage:
Storing your eye cream in the refrigerator not only makes for a more refreshing application, but the coldness of the cream will help constrict (or tighten) the blood vessels in the under-eye area, which can help eliminate swelling, dark circles and puffiness. Some eye creams already come equipped with a cool-tip applicator, but putting them in the refrigerator can offer double the cooling benefits. Plus, a cold skincare product just feels more refreshing, especially if you’re an early riser and need a morning pick-me-up to start your day.