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Dark circles. Whether they come from your genetics, your skin tone, or just a bad night’s (or bad year’s) sleep, these unwanted half-moons can give you serious I woke up like this vibes in the worst way possible.
Luckily, you don’t have to deal with dark circles or simply try to cover them up with some concealer. Here are some products and tricks that can actually help you ditch the raccoon-chic look for good.
In order to effectively treat your dark circles, your first have to understand what’s causing them - and other common eye conditions - in the first place
Usually, people have three main complaints about their eye area: purple color (aka dark circles), puffiness, and expression lines or wrinkles. And it’s important to distinguish between the three and nail down your specific concerns. No eye cream will treat all three, and if you don’t really know what you’re fighting against or what to do, you’ll have a much harder time doing things that work.
Though most people attribute dark circles to fatigue or lack of sleep, there are actually various factors that can contribute to this condition:
Eye puffiness or bags under the eyes can occur throughout your life - but it typically gets worse as you age. It’s caused by:
Finally, there are expression lines, fine lines, and crow’s feet. These are a natural result of aging, although external factors like smoking, pollution, sun damage, or free radical damage can certainly make them appear more quickly and more dramatically.
Now, despite what a lot of eye cream marketing will tell you, there is no one ingredient that’ll effectively tackle all three concerns.
When it comes to effectively treating dark circles, you want ingredients and practices that can minimize their appearance by hydrating, plumping, and brightening the under-eyes.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those categories and ingredients that work within them:
First, you want to look for ingredients that will deliver deep moisture and seal that moisture in for real, skin-plumping hydration. That includes hyaluronic acid, squalane, and cocoa butter.
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (that’s a mouthful!) - a powerful substance found naturally in your skin. It acts as a humectant, meaning that it draws moisture from its surrounding environment. And it’s extremely effective: just one gram (0.03oz) of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water, and it’s capable of binding 1,800 times its own weight in water - whoa!For your delicate eye area, that means effective, non-comedogenic hydration in the deepest layers of the skin. Exactly what you need.
Squalaneis the stabilized version of squalene, an oil found in sebum (as well as in olives, rice bran, sugarcane, and shark liver - Eight Saints uses sustainably sourced squalane from olive oil).
This oil plays a huge role in your natural ability to moisturize your skin and is particularly effective at preventing transdermal moisture loss. Why do you need to apply it to your skin if your body already produces it? Young, healthy skin produces sebum with 10-13% squalene. That percentage begins to decline in your 20's. It can get all the way down to 5% (or lower) once you hit your 50's, which causes dry skin and exacerbates signs of aging.
For dark circles, squalane can help moisturize and keep that moisture in, thereby decreasing the appearance of lines and revealing supple, healthier undereye skin.
With a melting point near body temperature, this naturally derived ingredient helps to retain moisture by providing a permeable barrier on the skin. This both seals moisture in and protects sensitive skin from airborne pollutants.
We’ve done our homework, and we only use ingredients that really work. That’s why you can find all three hydrating ingredients in All In Eye Cream here.
As we mentioned, dark circles can be caused both by thinner skin and by increased pigment due to either skin tone or sun exposure.
While hydration can largely address the thin skin, it doesn’t do much for the pigmentation besides help improve overall skin health. To visibly brighten skin, then, you also need effective topical lightening agents and antioxidants like:
This MVP is a potent antioxidant that reduces signs of aging, repairs damaged skin, accelerates collagen synthesis, and corrects hyperpigmentation.
Specifically, by fighting free radicals and photo-damage, vitamin C effectively brightens skin tone by reducing any dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
You'll find it in Eight Saints products like Cloud Whip and Seeking C as Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP). This is the most stable form of vitamin C - it will never oxidize or decrease in effectiveness with time. It easily penetrates the skin, unlike ascorbic acid (a popular version that many brands use) which is not easily absorbed
MSM is a natural compound found in all living things. Formed organically from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur, it is the “glue” in our bodies that holds together our amino acid chains (the base of our body tissue).
It’s known for inhibiting the breakdown of collagen, reducing inflammation, and making the cell wall more permeable, thereby helping vital nutrients flow through. When it comes to eye cream, specifically, these properties give MSM the ability to help brighten the dull skin around the eyes while correcting hyperpigmentation.
Used topically, green tea has been shown to decrease inflammation, reduce the number of sunburn cells, and protect cells from UV damage. If that’s not enough, the catechins and polyphenols in green tea have also been known to fight free radical damage and protect against the five most common environmental toxins (pesticide, smoking, mycotoxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, and arsenic) thereby toning the skin and reducing signs of aging - win!
You can find green tea antioxidants in the All In eye cream, too!
Raspberry seed oil can absorb UV rays, making it an unexpectedly effective sunscreen. It’s also rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids - all of which make it great for your body and your skin! (If you’re interested, you can find out about other superfruits in skincare here).
Vitamin E (or tocopherol) is a natural component of healthy skin. While it’s often overshadowed by trendy newcomer ingredients, this powerful (yet gentle!) antioxidant is great for all-around skincare. It can effectively defend the skin by neutralizing free radicals caused by pollution and other environmental stressors. This strengthens, tightens, and firms skin over time - oh, and it adds moisture too!
Photodamage is the number one cause of physical aging on the skin - so dark spots and wrinkles around the eyes are going to continue to pop up if you don’t invest in some SPF.
These ingredients certainly have some overlap with the “hydrating” ingredients - a moisturized face is a more plump face, after all - but there are some differentiating points here as well.
The most overlap you’ll see, of course, is with the hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalane, and cocoa butter. These will help fill fine lines and decrease the visibility of dark circles as they hydrate the skin.
Antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which is huge. Stress and the free radicals it produces break down collagen and get in the way of the skin’s natural repair process. That triggers inflammation, fine lines, and loose skin. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants prevent this damage and allow your skin to heal and recuperate.
Peptides are proteins found naturally in skin that communicate with cells to trigger collagen production. Our skin is primarily comprised of collagen, which breaks down as we age. When topical skin care peptides are applied, they signal your body to produce new collagen.
This minimizes wrinkles and plumps skin. All In and Night Shift gel moisturizer contains the anti-aging peptide Matrixyl 30000, composed of 2 proteins that trigger the formation of several important skin components, including elastin and collagen.
The reality is that you could have the best, most effective skincare in the world and it just won’t be effective if the rest of your habits sabotage your efforts. If you really want to tackle those dark circles, we recommend that you also:
Incorporate these ingredients and tips, and you’ll be looking bright-eyed in no time! Bye-bye, dark circles!