How to Combat Dark Circles

How to Combat Dark Circles

I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to combat the dark circles that live under my eyes. As someone who doesn’t sleep well, they’re pretty much a constant in my life. In fact, I used to never take photos without sunglasses because I was so self-conscious about my undereye bags. The fact that I’m sharing a selfie that I took last night with no sunglasses is not something I ever thought I would do.

Obviously sleep is the best thing you can do for this situation, but it’s not always realistic, especially if you have insomnia or a small child (or both, as the case may be!). So I’ve found other ways to deal with dark circles. After years of trying pretty much everything, this routine really works for me and I hope it’s helpful for you too!

Diet: Before I get into any products, it has to be noted that besides sleep, diet is the single most important thing you can do for combatting many skin issues, including eye bags. There are two main things that really make my face puff up, especially under my eyes: alcohol and salt. If you’re going to have a drink, try to have it earlier in the night as opposed to right before bed. And avoid overly salty foods at night whenever possible.

On the flip side, hydration is the best thing you can do for your skin. I try to drink half of my body weight in oz of water every day. It’s a lot of water, but I see a difference both in my appearance and the way I feel when I do this. If you want to take it a step further, a quick Google search last night led me to this article about 11 foods to reduce dark circles.

Don’t treat your eyes like the rest of your face: Never rub them harshly, never use an exfoliant on them, and only use your ring finger to (gently) apply any serums or creams. When you remove eye makeup, use a gentle remover (I like Neutrogena Makeup Remover) and a soft cotton pad. The skin around your eyes is incredibly delicate, so treat it that way!

Ice roller: Jade rollers are great, but this $12 plastic tool from Amazon is a game-changer when I wake up with dark and puffy eyes. I keep it in the freezer and roll it over my eyes and cheeks when I really need it. It’s freezing cold and feels so good.

Jade roller: The ice roller is great for an in-the-moment fix, but I think of the jade roller as a preventative measure. I keep it in the fridge and use it daily after moisturizer and before makeup. I know a lot of people use it to rub in their creams and serums on a deeper level, but I just use it for puffiness. I roll the larger roller on my cheeks and forehead, and I use the smaller one for my eyes. I do it for about three minutes every morning and that’s it.

Eye masks: I discovered Grace & Stella gold eye masks in a Fab Fit Fun box and have been a loyal fan ever since. Anel even put them in my Christmas stocking because he knows how much I love them. I use these eye masks first thing in the morning when I have a shoot or an event for which I want to look exceptionally refreshed. They really work.

Eye cream: I’ve used a lot of different eye creams and have settled on two that I really like. But I keep coming back to PCA Skin’s EyeXcellence. It’s not cheap, but a little bit goes a long way. I like the way that it easily rubs in, and that I can put makeup over it without any issues. It’s not super thick or heavy, but it moisturizes really well.

Concealer: I can use all of the masks, creams, and rollers in the world, but I still have some amount of darkness under my eyes. Concealer is the only thing that combats that. I’ve been using Benefit’s Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer for years and I swear by it. It glides on smoothly over my eye cream and never looks cakey.

So those are my secrets for combatting dark circles. When combined, they really work! What are your secrets?

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  1. Emily said:

    This is great! I struggle with this also! I always tried to do those “color correct” concealers, but could never get them to work for me! Can’t wait to try these options also. Thanks!

    3.5.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Those NEVER work for me either. The Boi-ing is so much better, I promise!

      3.5.19 · Reply
  2. I needed this post! Especially today after a bad night of sleep. I struggle with dark circles and always put concealer on daily as my first makeup item. I’ve been using All About The Eyes from Clinique for years and it seems to help with the circles and puffiness. I may try the PCA since switching it up is always good!

    3.5.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I like to try new eye creams, but always end up coming back to this one.

      3.5.19 · Reply
  3. Caitlin said:

    Thank you for the eye mask Rec. I am newly obsessed with eye masks because #nurselife.
    I am loving the clear elf hydrogel ones and the boots no 7 ones but can’t wait to try these.

    3.5.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      These are the best, I’m telling you! They immediately reduce puffiness, it’s like magic.

      3.5.19 · Reply
  4. Libby said:

    This post is what I needed in the midst of midterms, and when my under eyes are showing it hahah! I got those eye masks in an Ipsy, and have yet to use them, but now I am so excited to use them!! I think my only secret for better under eye is to keep it moisturized with sunscreen because it is some of the thinnest skin. Hydration is another thing I would also recommend!

    xx Libby
    https://premedwearspearls.blogspot.com

    3.5.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      The masks are the best, you’ll love them! Good call on sunscreen too.

      3.5.19 · Reply
  5. Christine said:

    Ugh, dark circles are the worst! Great tips. I rarely deal with puffiness but I’ve had dark circles basically my whole life thanks to genetics. Pretty much everyone on my dad’s side of the family is cursed with them. Do you find the eye masks help with both the darkness and the puffiness?

    3.5.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes the eye masks help with both, but the concealer is the best product for the darkness itself.

      3.5.19 · Reply