Ugh, dark circles. Unless you’re a perfect specimen who gets eight hours of sleep every night, chugs water constantly, and has superhuman genes, you’ve definitely had to deal with ’em. And even if you’ve spent years learning how to get rid of dark circles, there’s really only one thing that can destroy those pesky shadows: fillers (I know, the truth hurts, but dark circles are just a natural, human part of your face that stem from genetics, bone structure, and thin skin). Not all hope is lost, though, because there are some really great over-the-counter products that can help minimize the appearance of dark circles by hydrating, plumping, and brightening your under-eyes. Lucky for you, I rounded up the 12 absolute best, most-effective serums, patches, creams, and gels that’ll help you in your fight against, well, nature.
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How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Retinol
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum
Not only is retinol the gold standard when it comes to anti-aging, it also works wonder on dark circles and under-eye bags. The MVP ingredient stimulates the production of collagen, boosting your skin’s volume, and also increases cell turnover, leaving you with brighter and firmer under eyes.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Hyaluronic Acid
SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
A hyaluronic acid serum can help solve allll your problems. Okay, so, it won’t bring your inbox down to zero, but it can help minimize dark circles and under-eye bags caused by dehydration. Basically, it draws in moisture from the air and pulls it into your skin, making it plumper and firmer. This serum from SkinMedica not only has HA, but there’s also collagen-boosting peptides swimming around in the formula, too.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Color Correcting
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correction Palette
Thankfully, makeup is basically magic, and if you use a color-correcting palette, you can make your dark circles disappear ASAP. There are six different palettes in this collection, including one for fair skin tones, deep skin tones, and everything in between. Each palette contains two shades to color correct and cancel out the darkness, and two shades to help conceal.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Lightweight Concealer
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer
Not only does this lightweight concealer completely cover dark circles and under-eye bags, but it’s also filled with the holy trinity of anti-aging ingredients: peptides, collagen, and hyaluronic acid. That means it doesn’t just mask your dark circles, it helps minimize them, too. Get you a concealer that can do both.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Vitamin C
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream
Vitamin C is kind of magical: It has the power to brighten your under eyes, fade dark spots, even out your skin tone, and make you look significantly more awake with prolonged use. And this serum is one of the best, thanks to the fact that it also has a blend of eight peptides.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Full-Coverage Concealer
Pacifica Liquid Cover Full Coverage Lasting Concealer
Unfortunately, sheer concealers aren’t your friend when it comes to minimizing dark circles. So reach for a full-coverage option, like this one from Pacifica, that helps camouflage shadows while offering a smooth, semi-matte finish. Consider this your new go-to hack to help you look alive, even if you feel a little dead inside.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Eye Gels
Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks
Typically, under-eye bags and circles come hand in hand, so even though these hydrating eye masks won’t really help with your circles, they will help take down the puff and plump up your fine lines, thanks to cooling aloe leaf extract and hyaluronic acid.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Antioxidants
Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Caffeine
Tula Glow & Get It & Brightening Eye Balm
The key ingredient in this cooling balm? Caffeine, which helps temporarily tighten and firm skin for a flatter appearance. After applying your favorite moisturizer, swipe this stick around your eyes and cheekbones for a dewy, brightening highlight.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Vitamin C Eye Cream
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème
This eye cream does it all—it banishes dark circles and works as a primer for concealer, if you still want more coverage. Not only does the formula’s vitamin C help brightens the skin with consistent use (which is ultra helpful if you also have melasma or PIH under your eyes), but it’ll also help stimulate collagen production, which, in turn, will lessen the appearance of your shadows over time.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Pigment Corrector
Tatcha The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment
This tinted cream, which comes in three natural shades, contains hyaluronic acid to help your skin retain its moisture, and a touch of iridescence to help light reflect off your under eyes for a brighter appearance. Apply a de-puffing cream at night before bed, since you usually develop most of your puffiness overnight. Then in the morning, use your pigmented cream to conceal dark circles.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Algae Extract
Ren Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift
This gel-serum hybrid contains light-reflecting particles that brighten the hollows of your eyes (right where dark circles form) as soon as you swipe it on. Bonus: It quickly absorbs into your skin without leaving a residue, so you can use it before makeup without issues. The formula also contains algae extractions that temporarily thicken and firm skin, as well as provide a protective barrier against moisture loss.
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