I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Everyone on this pretty green earth has dark circles. All of us. And if you're some miraculous exception, please, do tell the rest of us where you're sourcing your Blood of Virgins facial cleanser.
Darkness under the eyes is just a fact of life, like sweat or body hair. It's totally normal and natural, yet we all feel stricken and singled out as we stare at our raccoon eyes in the mirror. Why me, God, why?
My dark circles aren’t the worst you’ve ever seen, but I'm obsessed with them. I feel like they make my eyes look smaller, and that really gets in the way of my life goal, which is to have eyes like an IRL Disney princess.
So of course, I hit up PubMed, which confirmed my suspicion that there are a whole boatload of causes for dark circles. They range from the temporary and curable (allergies, sleeplessness) to the harder-to-address (thin skin, leaking capillaries) to my old nemesis, hyper-pigmentation. I shouldn’t be surprised, though, because hyper-pigmentation circles are most common in dark-skinned women, one of which I’m blessed to be one.
Because I’m allergy-free and (mostly) getting enough sleep, I narrowed it down to the more permanent causes. Sigh. I knew it wasn't leaking or broken capillaries--which cause a pooling of blood under the skin--because those types of dark circles tend to be blue or purple. Mine are more reddish-brown. So thin skin and hyper-pigmentation is my self-diagnosis.
On the rest of my face, I've addressed hyper-pigmentation with alpha hydroxy acids, and studies show that retinol products can thicken the dermis. But both of those actives are too harsh to use around my sensitive eye-area.
Then, the clouds opened up, angels sang, and this study descended from the heavens. It suggests that certain forms of vitamin C can thicken the dermis enough to lessen the appearance of dark circles and fade hyper-pigmentation. Best of all, it does so without bleaching brown skin. So I reached for two relatively new eye creams that both contain a potent dose of vitamin C.
Caudalie sent me their Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream, formulated with vitamin C, grape polyphenols, and a ton of antioxidants. The brand notes that trial subjects experienced a 21 percent decrease in dark circles after four weeks of use.
Origins, meanwhile, hooked me up with their Mega Bright Dark Circle Minimizer with rosa roxburghii, which is rich in vitamin C and touts a whopping 86 percent of participants experiencing an improvement in dark circles after four weeks of use.
Still, the skeptic in me is always wary of trials conducted by the skincare brand that's selling the product. I'm going to put both of these products to the test. I'll apply each twice daily--Origins on my left eye, Caudalie on my right eye. Time will tell... Results coming straiiiiiiiight at ya in 4 weeks!
In the meantime, tell me which products you've used on your under-eye circles? Were they aimed at hyper-pigmentation or ruptured capillaries?