Healthy Skin

What to Look for in an Eye Cream

What Causes Under-Eye Circles?

Prior to treating those dark circles under your eyes, you should know what is causing them so you can use the proper ingredients to lighten and brighten them. The skin beneath your eyes is very thin, and there are lots of blood vessels in this area bringing blood flow to your face and head. This combination of thin skin and lots of blood vessels is what gives your under-eye area that dark tint. Different factors can exacerbate the circles, a few of these factors are:


  • Blocked sinuses
    • Congestion in your sinuses leads to increased blood flow in the area. When blood flow increases, dark circles become more pronounced.
  • Genetics and hooded eyes
    • If your skin tone is light/pale your chances of circles being more pronounced is high as the blood vessels will appear darker against the light skin.
    • Additionally, if you have deep-set eyes, the shadow from these can make underneath your eyes appear darker.
  • Lack of sleep
    • Tiredness and stress can create poor circulation throughout the body, leading to more pronounced eye circles.
  • Diet
    • Diets high in artificial sugars, salt, alcohol, and caffeine lead to a buildup of toxins in the kidneys. This buildup can cause leakage in the body and will make your eyes look puffy and dark.
  • Allergies
    • Dust, mold, or seasonal allergies create an inflammatory response in the body. Similarly to congestion in the sinuses, blood vessels in this area become inflamed and this reflects under the eyes.
  • Aging
    • As we age, skin tissue thins out and begins to sag. Thinner skin tissue allows for a darker color to become more pronounced. Sagging skin will pull the lower eye area down, creating shadows and under-eye wrinkles.


How to Get Rid of Dark Circles

With thousands of eye creams on the market, it is difficult to determine which will be the best one for you. As eye creams can be quite expensive, it is important to educate yourself on what to look for before making a purchase decision. Depending on the causes of your dark circles, different ingredients are available in eye creams to help reverse and prevent further darkening.


Hyaluronic Acid

  • Hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that creates and helps keep moisture in the skin, is great for dehydrated skin cells. It can brighten and plump the skin in the area to help mask the darkness.



  • Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, stimulates collagen production. Collagen is a natural protein found in the body that keeps skin youthful, soft, and firm. As we age, less collagen is produced in the body. Supplements and ingredients that stimulate collagen production have been proven useful in preventing further aging in the skin. So, by using retinol underneath your eyes, the skin will become tighter, plumper, and lighter.



  • When applied topically, neuropeptides are known to have a similar effect on the skin as retinol. They have anti-aging effects on the skin, including fighting fine lines and wrinkles, stimulating collagen production, and tightening the skin. They can change the tone and texture of skin creating a brighter look.


Vitamins C + K + and E

  • Vitamin C helps to strengthen skin and create a thicker skin barrier in areas where the skin is thin. It also makes skin more elastic and resilient to help the body maintain a strong circulatory system. When skin is stronger, and blood flow is better, dark circles become less pronounced.
  • Vitamin K works to create proper blood clotting and promotes healthy circulation. When Vitamin K levels are low, blood capillaries weaken. When this happens, small amounts of blood can pool in areas; when this happens under the eyes, darker discoloration can occur.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects our bodies against free radicals and toxins that can cause the thinning and aging of the skin. This protection from toxins will help to prevent puffiness and skin aging underneath the eyes.



Remember that dark circles are natural and occur in everyone. If you do wish to minimize the look of them and to prevent the thinning of the skin in this area there are ingredients that can help! Look for eye creams that contain hyaluronic acid, retinol, neuropeptides, and Vitamins C, E, and K. If you are in need of more information on this subject or have any other dermatology skin conditions or concerns, here at Apotheco Pharmacy, we are happy to help answer any questions and will recommend the right products for you!


  • The 15 Best Eye Creams Dermatologists Actually Use on Themselves - Byrdie
  • Want to fight dark circles? Look for these ingredients in your next eye cream - CNN
  • Skin Care: Best Eye Cream Ingredients - ELLE
  • Make dark circles under eyes a thing of the past - Naked Chemist

This blog is based on research and/or other scientific articles and is written by our experienced Chief Strategy Officer and Pharmacist, Ronak Desai. This blog is fact checked by our educated Pharmacist in Charge, Darshan Patel, who additionally runs our Apotheco Manhattan location.

Here at Apotheco Pharmacy Group, our goal is to provide the most up to date and accurate information on health and dermatology related topics. We do this to ensure our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All blogs undergo an extensive review process before posted.

This blog contains trusted sources. All sources are listed at the bottom of this article with hyperlinks that take you directly to the source.