If you have dark circles—like really dark circles—you know the poignant disappointment that comes from an eye cream's failed attempt at lightening, brightening, and disguising those damned bluish half-moons. It's something that all the concealer in the world couldn't fix (at least not in the long-term anyway). Gleaning outside advice doesn't always help, either. I've heard people recommend applying potato slices—even raw milk—to the under-eye area. While those things may have worked for them, I don't have the time nor the patience for that kind of skincare commitment. I require something much more portable and much less perishable.
That's where almond oil comes in. It's the newest all-natural dark circle treatment I've heard of, and it requires no cutting of vegetables to acquire (thankfully). It's one of the most popular DIY dark circle treatments, with people across the internet claiming that it did what no other eye cream or holistic remedy had done before. They say it actually made a real and visible difference to their dark under-eye area. My interest was piqued. Almond oil is accessible, inexpensive, and natural. If it really did what some people claimed, I wanted in. But that didn't mean I was ready to buy into it just yet, because like I said, I've been duped by under-eye products many times before. That's why I went to the experts.
According to Heather Wilson, esthetician and director of brand development at InstaNatural, almond oil is rich in good-for-skin nutrients. "The primary constituents in almond oil that benefit the skin are the fatty acids linoleic and oleic acid. When you increase levels of these essential fatty acids in the skin, you are providing the skin with intense moisture as well as supporting natural activity that may support the body's response to inflammation—all of which is crucial to a healthy skin barrier and function. Almond oil is also rich in phytosterols, vitamin E, and B vitamins such as niacin, as well as minerals such as calcium and zinc, which help support the skin's barrier and contain antioxidant benefits for overall skin health."
As for its effect on dark circles, Wilson says it's not so cut-and-dried. "While there is decent evidence that almond oil can help decrease the appearance of dark circles, it may not be the be-all and end-all of dark circle treatments." That's because dark circles can form due to myriad factors, so all dark circle–banishing treatments aren't universal. "What treatment works for one may not work for another," Wilson says. "However, one cause of dark circles is dryness in the under-eye area, which can cause the skin to thin and allow the blood vessels to show through, resulting in darkness. Because almond oil is rich in linoleic and oleic fatty acids, it can help replenish and strengthen the skin under the eye to reduce dark circles."
Dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, co-founder of the skincare line Dr. Loretta, is on the same page regarding almond oil and dark circles. She says it may hydrate the skin, but beyond that, it becomes a little murky. "Almond oil is a hydrating oil that can increase skin moisture levels for hours after a single application. Since drier skin looks ashy and often has a darker appearance, there will be some benefit seen solely from the increased hydration," she says. "A recent study also showed that almond oil gives skin an SPF of about 4.5, so it is UV protective and can help prevent skin darkening from UVA. Many people can't tolerate sunscreen under their eyes, so almond oil can help lighten dark circles in part from its UV-protective benefits."
When picking out an almond oil, make sure there aren't any additives. "Just be sure to get a product that says it is fragrance-free since some almond oil products may contain artificial fragrance that can irritate delicate eye skin," Ciraldo cautions. Then, undertake a little side-by-side experiment. "If you're into natural oils and want to see if almond oil will help your own eye skin, use it twice a day around one eye only for two weeks. If the eye where you've applied it shows true improvement, use it around both eyes. I'd also suggest layering it with your favorite eye cream as well since many eye creams combine other beneficial ingredients like firming peptides specifically created for eye skin and high levels of antioxidants."
Speaking of other eye products full of beneficial ingredients, we have a few suggestions for you, whether almond oil–infused or not. Keep scrolling to see.
InstaNatural's Eye Serum is a potent combination of vitamin C, peptides, plant stem cells, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid. Vitamin C brightens and provides antioxidants while peptides and plant stem cells smooth and firm skin. Caffeine decreases dark circles and puffiness, and hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps. The brand promises it will work on all skin types to minimize the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, lines, and wrinkles.
Dr. Loretta's Eye Gel has antioxidants that protect from free radicals and environmental aggressors, along with a brightening complex that fades uneven pigment caused by UV and HEV light. The final star ingredient is marine algae peptides, which condition the skin, keeping it supple, soft, and firm (which also improves under-eye bags).
Ole Henriksen's Eye Cream is a fan-favorite product from the brand. It's ultra-brightening and collagen-boosting. The light yellow tint even helps color-correct the under-eye area while prepping it for smooth and long-lasting makeup application. It has over 60,000 "loves" on Sephora's website, with glowing reviews like this: "Amazing product, feels light on the skin, smells amazing and makes my dark under eye circles disappear! Definitely thought it was worth $38 and will be purchasing the product again when I run out."
RoC is a classic when it comes to budget-friendly eye creams. This retinol product targets crow's-feet, fine lines, and wrinkles while minimizing the appearance of dark circles. It even promises to reduce puffiness in four weeks. Take it from one reviewer, who writes, "This eye cream REALLY DOES WORK. I have (had actually) genetic/hereditary dark circles, and this eye cream made them fade and go away in just one month. They aren't completely gone. But I definitely look much more human now. This stuff is amazing. The fact that this stuff made my GENETIC DARK circles go away, makes me feel so thankful and happy!!!" It only makes sense considering retinol shows promising anti-dark-circle effects.
Saturday Skin is a super-cool millennial-minded skincare brand (that has the Glossier-esque light pink packaging to prove it). This silky soft eye cream contains date extract, avocado protein extract, and hyaluronic acid, along with a peptide complex. All of the ingredients work together to brighten, tighten, and plump the eye area. It's as simple as that.
If you prefer a moisturizing oil over a lightweight gel or cream, then this petite product is for you. It's from Miranda Kerr's organic beauty line, Kora Organics, and features a rose quartz rollerball that cools and de-puffs the under-eye area as it rolls over it and deposits the product. As for the actual formula, it's made with organic noni oil, tomato extract, avocado oil, and caffeine to treat dark circles, puffiness, dryness, and dullness.
This eye cream is infused with almond oil so you can reap the benefits in combination with those from rose seed oil, peach kernel, and more. Customers laud its moisturizing and plumping effect. Take it from one reviewer, who writes, "I'm 44 and have been looking for something that helps with my fine lines under my eyes. I've tried everything. This little tube doesn't look like much or promise you much on its label, but I've had the very best results with this and will continue to use it. You'll notice the difference within a week and think, 'hey, where'd my lines go?' Not kidding."
Now that you're up-to-date on that latest and greatest under-eye treatments, make sure you check out which eye products Kim Kardashian West swears by for disguising dark circles.