Skin Care

3 Common Under Eye Problems: Causes & Solutions

Today we want to answer two common questions and inquiries in the beauty & skincare world:
1. Why most eye creams are crap?
2. And what you should know before wasting your money on another one?

We don’t want to call them a straight-up scam but eye creams are one of the biggest marketing ploys in the industry and a way that a lot of brands get you to spend more of your hard-earned money but they’re overpriced moisturizers.

We want to break down why that is but also tell you what to look for And what to spend your money on If you are dealing with issues in this under-eye area. Because there are things that do good, the problem is that the little tubes that these brands are selling you are only a small portion of the big answer.

When someone starts to use an eye cream it’s probably because they have a problem what are the problems that happen under the eyes:

1. You could have wrinkles such as crow feet
2. You could have puffiness such as inflammation
3. You could have purple under-eye bags.

Those are three dramatically different issues with three dramatically different causes do you think that one cream is going to have all of the ingredients necessary to treat all of those things and to pay special attention to the skin around the eye area? Most of the time the answer is NO.

We as consumers must turn and learn about our ingredients because when we learn what those ingredients are and how they work on and in our skin we can start to understand why the front doesn’t tell us much. And the true story of what’s happening in that product is on the back, so when it comes to our eye creams when we turn most of them over we see a lot of great ingredients such as shea butter or such cap Relic-Triglyceride which comes from coconuts or even certain oils or dimethicone which can both smooth over the top of the skin and give it a glow.

But if you’ve also been turning and learning your moisturizers you’ll notice that they have a lot of the same ingredients again with that caprylic triglyceride shea butters dimethicone’s again if we look at these from a formulation and ingredient perspective they’re both moisturizers. The difference is that brands are selling you a super tiny tube of one of them and jacking up the price to get you to part with your hard-earned money while they have the same basic delivery system or vehicle inside of the base which is a moisturizer

The other thing is these brands are happy to sell you an eye cream but not even tell you what it does, again wrinkles are very different than under-eye puffiness and under-eye colors or bags so let’s break those down and let’s talk about what you should look for so that you don’t have to continue wasting your money.

1. The Dark Under-Eye Bags

When we’re talking about dark under-eye bags this usually comes from a pooling of blood in this under-eye area. Remember that the skin under our eyes still has an epidermis and the dermis are the layers of the skin that the rest of our face has, the difference is that it’s slightly thinner.

There’s also a myth that underneath your eyes you don’t have oil glands that are not true you might have less of them and again this area is smaller but you have oil glands and follicles underneath your eyes and around the rest of your face.

If beauty magazines or celebrities or even influencers are telling you that the under-eye area doesn’t have pores or doesn’t secrete oil, they are lying probably not on purpose but based on dermal science this stuff can be confusing especially turning and learning your ingredients.

We talk in this article about skin science and ingredients to help you learn what these things mean to break down some of those myths and help you spend your money where it matters and turn your skincare routine into a self-care routine so that you can get inspired by the biology of your beauty.

But we digress, because of the little capillaries and the little blood vessels that we do have in our face, and because this area is a little bit thinner it’s a little bit more transparent and you can see the capillaries through them more especially if you have certain lifestyle choices such as not getting enough sleep eating too much of the wrong foods or even if you have allergies.

These can all be contributing factors to the cooling of this blood and this vasodilation again dilation of the little blood vessels and capillaries which makes the blood pool up here and inevitably turns your under-eye area purple.

How To Treat It?

One ingredient that you can look for that works on that dark under eyes and those little capillaries those little blood vessels is caffeine.

Now caffeine, when applied to the skin, works very differently than the way it does in your body if you decide to drink a cup of coffee but when applied topically caffeine is vasoconstrictive again Vaso talking about our veins and constrictive meaning to tighten.

And if we apply caffeine-containing products to this area and it’s absorbed transdermally again through the skin it can cause that vasoconstriction making those little blood vessels tighter and again if they’re tighter not as much of that blood can pull up and fill up in them so therefore it helps to get rid of some of the purpleness that’s underneath your eyes.

Caffeine also has antioxidants that can help, and this is for the dark under eyes that come from sleep or allergies, or bad dietary choices.

Some conditions such as periorbital hyperpigmentation don’t go away they stay there for a long time, peri means around orbital is referring to the orbit of the eye and hyperpigmentation means hyper or excessive pigmentation or color.

If you have this type of under-eye darkness caffeine and constricting those little blood vessels and capillaries isn’t going to do much because that is a pigment issue whereas most purple under-eye bags are a blood vessel and capillary issue.

But again a company would love to sell you their little tiny sample-sized tube of eye cream for 50 bucks to try to get rid of this when it really won’t do anything and that’s why you need to know what’s the issue you’re trying to treat and what ingredients should you reach for to try to mitigate that.

2. Crow’s feet & Wrinkles

the second issue that a lot of people try to target underneath the eyes are things such as crow’s feet or wrinkles. So then we have to dive into:

the second issue that a lot of people try to target underneath the eyes are things such as crow’s feet or wrinkles.

What Is A Wrinkle?

Think of your skin as a piece of paper let’s say that you take that piece of paper and you fold it over and open it up about a hundred times on the hundred and the first time you decide that you are done and you try to smooth it out no matter how smooth you try to make it that paper is going to have a crease in it. That is essentially what a wrinkle is.

We have collagen and elastin in the deep layers of our skin that give it its structure and its flexibility and its stretchability, but if we are smiling or squinting our eyes in the sun and we constantly do that again folding our skin over and over in that same place. Eventually, that’s going to create a little divot or a little wrinkle that we just can’t smooth out.

How To Treat It?

If you do have that type of issue we need very special products and very special ingredients to target it and specifically retinoic acid or retinol-based products are ones that you can look for.

You have to be careful because not all retinol-based products are safe for around the eye area yeah some of them are very potent and you wouldn’t want to put them around here but some are safe over-the-counter and specifically, if you have fine lines or wrinkles you do want to find something in that retinoic acid family.

Remember that these ingredients are part of a family so retinol, retinol, retinyl acid, and even a dappling gel are all part of the vitamin A family and can do work, but your eye can only tolerate certain things and these different ingredients do have different strengths.

This is why if you’re trying to treat wrinkles or fine lines in the eye area you do want to search for a product that is eye-safe you can ask your dermatologist or aesthetician about these or you can read the brand’s website or email the brand and ask.

3. Under-Eye Puffiness

We’ve got that under-eye puffiness those big bags that people complain about, and think about it the big bags the puffiness that’s not a wrinkle that’s no color. That’s an actual puffy and bumpy area that happens underneath our eyes and again we need to treat that very differently.

What Causes It?

Well usually it’s a buildup of fluid in the under-eye area and this can also be triggered by bad dietary choices or by allergies. Also if you’re the kind of person that sleeps on your face you might wake up with these puffy under-eye bags.

This is because our body has lymph fluid it’s part of our immune system which keeps us healthy but that lymph fluid seeps out into our tissues and gets reabsorbed, but guess what not all of it gets reabsorbed, and especially for eight hours if you’re sleeping face down some of that can start to pull up in that area, and then when you wake up gravity starts to do its magic and do the work it all starts to pool right there and you notice these big puffy areas again allergies as well if your body is having an inflammatory response can do this.

How To Treat It?

So to treat that we need to use something that’s going to work on that fluid. There are also other conditions such as fatty little pockets that can develop under the eye.

This normally happens in more mature skin but unlike a lot of the beauty companies out there we are not going to sit here and lie to you and if you do have that fatty build-up underneath the skin of the eyes the best way to get rid of that is talking to your doctor or talking to a physician working with a medical aesthetician and a medical care team to get that removed.

Thermo talks about temperature and therapy meaning working on the skin so using cold or heat strategically some of the most recommended methods to apply are chill eye patches.

You can put them in a skincare fridge so you can have them right next to your bed or you could put them in a regular refrigerator but just having that coolness in an eye patch underneath this area can help to decrease that inflammation and help that fluid drain out of this orbital area much faster.

If you want a DIY it, you could do the cold spoon trick where you put a cold spoon into your skincare fridge or the regular fridge and then you just press that against your eyes in the morning. Or if you do have an under-eye cream that isn’t crap that you like you could also chill that in a skincare fridge or regular fridge and then apply that cold cream.

That just helps to decrease the inflammation and stimulate the area a little bit so that your body can start draining that fluid that may have accumulated overnight.


We hate that these brands are going to sit there and sell you a moisturizer in a tube call it an eye cream and charge you three times the amount. Do you see how tiny those little bottles are?

There are very few eye creams that we recommend because of what ingredients are actually in there that will make a difference so that you’re not just wasting your money rubbing dollar bills underneath your eyes and hoping that it absorbs when the formula isn’t even made to treat the issue that you might have.

Skincare can be confusing we know it can be complex but we can talk about skin science and the biochemistry of beauty to help you be empowered to understand your skin and avoid being ripped off by these big companies and be able to call out the myths when you see them so that your skincare becomes a self-care and does what it’s supposed to do.

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