Skin Care Under the Eyes: Your Complete Guide


If the skin under your eyes seems to be struggling more than the rest of your face, you’re not alone – in fact, it’s completely normal. The area under the eyes tends to show signs of dehydration and loss of volume sooner because the skin there is much thinner – and therefore more delicate – than anywhere else on the body. Plus, studies show that the area under the eyes has fewer sebaceous glands and collagen, making it even harder to stay as hydrated and plumped as the skin on the rest of your face.

“The skin under the eyes has higher rates of transepidermal water loss, which increases the risk of irritation and dryness,” Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, told Bustle. from MDCS Dermatology. This contributes to the drought factor. As for too frequent dark circles, fragile skin is technically responsible for this too. “This can make the underlying blood vessels more visible,” Garshick explains, resulting in a bluish-gray discoloration – aka dark circles – as well as more prominent fine lines and wrinkles.

Other common skin problems concerning the area under the eyes include puffiness and sunken spots, which according to Shiri Sarfati, a beauty expert and licensed esthetician, can actually be hereditary, meaning they can occur regardless of what it is. that you are trying to prevent. That said, she notes that there are quick fixes that can help brighten and enhance the eye area. “Wrinkles around the eyes – known as ‘crow’s feet’ – benefit from early prevention and a good skincare routine.”

To help you craft the best under-eye skin care routine, keep reading for expert advice.

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Best Practices for Skin Care Under the Eyes

There are two basic elements to taking care of the skin below the eyes, and neither should surprise the skincare aficionado: substantial hydration and, of course, sun protection. “Keeping the skin around the eyes hydrated not only helps keep the skin soft, smooth and refreshed, but can also strengthen the skin barrier and minimize the potential for external irritation,” says Garshick.

When it comes to SPF, Garshick urges you to remember to apply sunscreen around the eyes, as well as to wear sunglasses outside. “UV exposure can lead to dark spots and collagen breakdown, which can lead to changes in texture, fine lines and wrinkles,” she says.

If you do all of the above fervently – and maybe even more – but continue to struggle with the skin under your eyes, it might be time to think about your lifestyle. “Occasionally [under-eye issues] are due to lack of sleep or dehydration, ”notes Dr. Renée Moran, DO, owner of Dr. Renée Moran Medical Aesthetics and founder of RM Skincare. In these cases, Moran encourages his clients to drink more water and sleep better, as well as apply hyaluronic acid for extra hydration.

Ingredients to use in your diet under the eyes

For discoloration: If you suffer from discoloration or hyperpigmentation under the eyes, Garshick and Moran suggest vitamin C to help lighten the skin and protect it from radical damage. “Other ingredients that may be helpful include niacinamide, which soothes the skin and may also help with pigmentation and improve the appearance of dark circles,” adds Garshick. Sarfati recommends vitamin K as another lightening ingredient.

For the pockets: If your dark circles are the result of thin skin around the eyes or if you’re prone to puffiness, Garshick advises going for creams that contain caffeine, which can tighten the area and help constrict the blood vessels to make them less visible. Antioxidants – like vitamins C and E as well as green tea extract – are also essential for protecting the skin under the eyes and helping maintain elasticity. Look for hydrating basics like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe vera to rehydrate dry, tired skin.

For fine lines: Peptides are your best bet if you are looking to firm the skin around the eyes. “Peptides are building blocks of protein and work to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Sarfati. The same goes if you feel a hollow under your eyes, according to Garshick. “Eye creams containing peptides and growth factors can help strengthen and support the skin around the eyes, helping to firm the skin,” she says. The anti-aging retinol may also help, as it stimulates cell turnover and stimulates collagen production, adds Moran.

Cream, serum or mask?

Now that you know which ingredients to implement in your routine, you may be wondering which ones type of product should transport said elements to your skin. Generally speaking, skin care under the eyes falls into three categories: creams, serums and masks. It is best to use the under-eye masks for maintenance or a quick lift once or twice a week – in the same way sheet masks are for a quick refresh – not for everyday use.

Serums and creams, however, do not are part of your daily regimen and, depending on your skin type, can be used simultaneously. “Serums under the eyes are often light or even gel-like, [and] can be layered under eye cream or used on its own for those looking for eye area benefits without using heavy cream, ”says Sarfati. She recommends serums for oily and acne-prone skin in particular.

If you suffer from dryness around the eyes, Sarfati advises you to opt for a thicker cream. “Eye creams are a wonderful way to nourish the delicate eye area which is often thin and dry with visible signs of wrinkles or as a preventative skincare regimen,” she says, adding that they can be layered on top of each other. on an eye serum or used on their skin. own. “It’s perfect for more mature clients or those in need of extra hydration.”

Shop Under Eye Skin Care

The multi-tasking moisturizer

Garshick suggests this multi-beneficial eye cream, which treats a variety of issues – including dryness, discoloration, puffiness, texture changes, and more. – and hydrate with glycerin, meadowfoam seed oil and squalane. Together, the formula works to support the skin barrier and improve the overall texture of the area under the eyes.

Firming serum

Formulated with Caffeine, Glycerin and Niacinamide, the superstars of the skin under the eyes, Mario Badescu Brightening and Firming Under Eye Serum helps fade fine lines, tone skin and lighten dark circles for reveal a freshly enhanced glow.

Illuminating Pomade

This illuminating under-eye cream includes five forms of vitamin C and eight peptides, mixed with soothing cucumber extract. The powerful combination helps protect, rebuild, strengthen and improve skin, while brightening uneven skin tone.

The smoothing balm for the skin

This rich eye cream is based on a blend of peptides, silk tree extract, squalane, niacinamide and ceramides to stimulate the area under the eyes. The formula does everything from stimulating collagen production and elasticity to reducing dark circles, while maintaining hydration.

The versatile mask

For a quick refresh, Garshick loves Wander Beauty’s versatile under-eye masks. Apply to your skin to fight discoloration and puffiness using Calendula & Aloe Extract, which refresh and soothe to keep you looking fresher in just one 10-minute treatment.

The pharmacy staple

Buy this lifting and brightening eye cream at the drugstore. Garshick suggests this one for unifying and firming the area under the eyes via niacinamide and retinol with glycerin so you can reap the benefits without irritation or dryness.

Referenced studies:

Ahmadraji, F., & Shatalebi, MA (2015). Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an ocular tampon containing caffeine and vitamin K in an emulsified emu oil base. Advanced biomedical research, 4, 10.

Talwar, HS, Griffiths, CE, Fisher, GJ, Hamilton, TA and Voorhees, JJ (1995). Reduced type I and type III procollagens in photo-damaged adult human skin. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 105(2), 285-290.

Falla, T., Rodan, K., Fields, K., Bianchini, R., Mahon, C. and Skobowiat, C. (2020). The new network of interpenetrating polymers offers significant and lasting improvements in skin hydration in different areas of the body. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 19(5), 1246-1253.

Amaro-Ortiz, A., Yan, B., & D’Orazio, JA (2014). Ultraviolet Radiation, Aging, and Skin: Damage Prevention Through Topical Manipulation of cAMP. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 19(5), 6202-6219.


Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, MDCS Dermatology Certified Dermatologist

Shiri Sarfati, beauty expert and qualified esthetician

Dr Renée Moran, DO, Owner of Dr. Renée Moran Medical Aesthetics and Founder of RM Skincare

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