Your No-B.S. Guide To Getting Rid Of Undereye Bags

Spring marks the return of rosé and festival season — and allergies, which means you’ll probably be packing your eye bags along with those cutoffs as you gear up to see Ariana Grande at Coachella this year. That's because puffy eyes are often provoked by allergens — which includes both seasonal factors, like pollen, and irritants found in makeup or skin care — along with other causes of water retention. Add a couple of sleepless nights to the mix, and the amount of eye baggage can mount in the form of dark circles.

An exception to the rule? When puffiness and darkness don't come and go with lifestyle changes. “Permanent puffy eye bags are generally genetic,” says dermatologist Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D. “As a temporary fix, they can be softened with dermal fillers, which last six months to a year. These procedures have a very high patient satisfaction rate, and should be done by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.” Those looking for a more permanent solution can opt for surgical correction to remove puffy fat pads from beneath the skin.

Like puffiness, permanent dark circles are also typically caused by genetics, Dr. Mudgil says — though poor sleep, dehydration, and straining your eyes for prolonged periods can also exacerbate darkness. Dermatologist Ashley Magovern, M.D., says there are several options for addressing dark circles that never seem to budge. “In some people, darkness under the eyes has a shadow component due to volume loss. If we improve the volume loss, the shadow improves," she explains. "The placement of hyaluronic acid fillers, like Restylane, can improve the shadow and make a big difference." Dr. Magovern also cites lasers like IPL, chemical peels (which help exfoliate dead cell layers), lights like BBL, and radiofrequency treatments combined with microneedling as other ways to help bust through undereye shadows.

If your brand of eye bags come and go, less invasive and significantly more affordable options abound in the form of eye creams, gels, serums, and masks. Ahead, see which ingredients make actual headway to lift shadowy circles and deflate puffiness, so you can roll into spring as bright-eyed as Ari herself — no matter how little sleep you get in that tent in the desert.

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<p>A cocktail of peptides — which constrict blood vessels and therefore reduce volume — gives this eye cream its de-puffing power. But there's more to love: The botanically-driven cream is housed in a pump-style tube, which not only makes it built for travel, but a boon to stability and sterility, too.</p><br><br><strong>Joanna Vargas</strong> Revitalizing Eye Cream, $75, available at <a href="https://www.dermstore.com/product_Revitalizing+Eye+Cream_71654.htm" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:DermStore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">DermStore</a>

A cocktail of peptides — which constrict blood vessels and therefore reduce volume — gives this eye cream its de-puffing power. But there's more to love: The botanically-driven cream is housed in a pump-style tube, which not only makes it built for travel, but a boon to stability and sterility, too.



Joanna Vargas Revitalizing Eye Cream, $75, available at DermStore
<p>It’s not just the cool sensation of these undereye gels that helps deflate bags: The addition of licorice root extract, a tyrosinase inhibitor that lifts pigmentation, has been shown in studies to be one of the safest ingredients for <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18045355" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:fading dark spots" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">fading dark spots</a>.</p><br><br><strong>Soap and Glory</strong> Puffy Eye Attack Under-Eye Brightening Hydrogel Patches, $4.49, available at <a href="https://www.target.com/p/soap-glory-puffy-eye-attack-under-eye-brightening-hydrogel-patches-1oz/-/A-53205574" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Target" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Target</a>

It’s not just the cool sensation of these undereye gels that helps deflate bags: The addition of licorice root extract, a tyrosinase inhibitor that lifts pigmentation, has been shown in studies to be one of the safest ingredients for fading dark spots.



Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Under-Eye Brightening Hydrogel Patches, $4.49, available at Target
<p>Dr. Magovern calls niacinamide a stand-out skin brightener. You can find it in this cream gel, which is dispensed via a cool, soothing metal tip that can help minimize eye bags on contact.</p><br><br><strong>Dermalogica</strong> Stress Positive Eye Lift, $69, available at <a href="https://www.sephora.com/product/stress-positive-eye-lift-P423143" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Dr. Magovern calls niacinamide a stand-out skin brightener. You can find it in this cream gel, which is dispensed via a cool, soothing metal tip that can help minimize eye bags on contact.



Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift, $69, available at Sephora
<p>“Topical vitamin K has been shown to improve dark eye circles,” Dr. Magovern says. This formulation uses the ingredient to reduce shadowy bags over time, along with mica and silica to refract light for an instant brightening effect.</p><br><br><strong>Naturopathica</strong> Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum, $74, available at <a href="https://follain.com/p/vitamin-k-brightening-eye-serum" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Follain" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Follain</a>

“Topical vitamin K has been shown to improve dark eye circles,” Dr. Magovern says. This formulation uses the ingredient to reduce shadowy bags over time, along with mica and silica to refract light for an instant brightening effect.



Naturopathica Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum, $74, available at Follain
<p>With its ability to address fine lines, acne scars, uneven texture, and more, there’s very little retinol <em>can’t</em> do to improve the skin. Now we can add "fade dark circles" to the list, because Dr. Magovern suggests trying a retinol cream made for the eyes to do just that. If your eye area is particularly sensitive, try an option with a natural alternative, like this serum, which taps chicory root and tara tree for its retinol-like effects.</p><br><br><strong>Eminence Organics</strong> Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum, $58, available at <a href="https://www.dermstore.com/product_Neroli+Age+Corrective+Eye+Serum_39157.htm" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:DermStore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">DermStore</a>

With its ability to address fine lines, acne scars, uneven texture, and more, there’s very little retinol can’t do to improve the skin. Now we can add "fade dark circles" to the list, because Dr. Magovern suggests trying a retinol cream made for the eyes to do just that. If your eye area is particularly sensitive, try an option with a natural alternative, like this serum, which taps chicory root and tara tree for its retinol-like effects.



Eminence Organics Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum, $58, available at DermStore
<p>We were expecting a goopy balm when uncapping this formula made with plant-based actives, but its creamy texture pleasantly surprised us. Caffeine helps depuff, while vitamin C lifts undereye darkness over time.</p><br><br><strong>Alpyn Beauty</strong> PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm, $62, available at <a href="https://credobeauty.com/collections/alpyn-beauty/products/plantgenius-line-filling-eye-balm" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Credo" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Credo</a>

We were expecting a goopy balm when uncapping this formula made with plant-based actives, but its creamy texture pleasantly surprised us. Caffeine helps depuff, while vitamin C lifts undereye darkness over time.



Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm, $62, available at Credo
<p>There are plenty of gel eye masks packed with vitamin C and E to help brighten dark circles, but this affordable option is a standout because the hydrogel patches are grippy enough to actually <em>stay</em> on the undereyes — and deliver ingredients where intended — without sliding down.</p><br><br><strong>No. 7</strong> Instant Results Revitalising Hydrogel Eye Masks, $14.99, available at <a href="https://www.ulta.com/instant-results-revitalising-hydrogel-eye-masks?productId=xlsImpprod17162823" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

There are plenty of gel eye masks packed with vitamin C and E to help brighten dark circles, but this affordable option is a standout because the hydrogel patches are grippy enough to actually stay on the undereyes — and deliver ingredients where intended — without sliding down.



No. 7 Instant Results Revitalising Hydrogel Eye Masks, $14.99, available at Ulta Beauty
<p>Made with horse chestnut, which has been shown in studies to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18503457" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:reduce swelling" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">reduce swelling</a>, this vegan eye cream also works to diminish undereye darkness thanks to vitamin C, one of Dr. Magovern’s go-to brighteners.</p><br><br><strong>Madara Organic Skincare</strong> Smart Antioxidants Anti-fatigue eye rescue cream, $39, available at <a href="https://www.madaracosmetics.com/us/shop/anti-fatigue-eye-rescue-cream" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Madara Organic Skincare" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Madara Organic Skincare</a>

Made with horse chestnut, which has been shown in studies to reduce swelling, this vegan eye cream also works to diminish undereye darkness thanks to vitamin C, one of Dr. Magovern’s go-to brighteners.



Madara Organic Skincare Smart Antioxidants Anti-fatigue eye rescue cream, $39, available at Madara Organic Skincare
<p>This luxurious eye cream feels rich and buttery, yet absorbs much faster than many others with similarly heavy textures — though its real selling point is the actual formula, which contains caffeine, peptides, and a host of other ingredients that minimize the ill effects of a <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/smoking-effects-on-skin" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:sugary diet" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">sugary diet</a> on the skin.</p><br><br><strong>SkinCeuticals</strong> A.G.E. Eye Complex for Dark Circles, $98, available at <a href="https://www.skinceuticals.com/a.g.e.-eye-complex-for-dark-circles-635494358001.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SkinCeuticals" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SkinCeuticals</a>

This luxurious eye cream feels rich and buttery, yet absorbs much faster than many others with similarly heavy textures — though its real selling point is the actual formula, which contains caffeine, peptides, and a host of other ingredients that minimize the ill effects of a sugary diet on the skin.



SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex for Dark Circles, $98, available at SkinCeuticals
<p>Peptides, glycosaminoglycans, and caffeine come together in this fan-favorite eye cream to help minimize dark circles and take down puffiness in one fell swoop.</p><br><br><strong>Rodan + Fields</strong> REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream, $64, available at <a href="https://www.rodanandfields.com/shop/product/aaey015#divingredients" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rodan + Fields" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rodan + Fields</a>

Peptides, glycosaminoglycans, and caffeine come together in this fan-favorite eye cream to help minimize dark circles and take down puffiness in one fell swoop.



Rodan + Fields REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream, $64, available at Rodan + Fields

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