How to Get Rid of Dark Circles 6 Different Ways

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Forever 21

Dark-circle treatments make up a hefty portion of the skincare market—and for good reason. The hope of getting rid of those shadowy under-eye circles means potentially looking healthier, better rested, and years younger.

But let’s back up a second and remind ourselves where exactly these dark circles come from. “The most common reason for darkness under the eye area is because the skin there may be extra thin,” says celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. This can happen because of genetics, aging, or long-term overuse of prescription retinoids. When the skin thins out, the blood vessels underneath become more visible. That blood beneath the skin is what creates the appearance of dark circles.

“Additionally, not getting enough sleep can lead to dark circles,” says Rouleau. “When you lack sleep, your body’s circulatory system is compromised, and you get stagnant blood in the vessels under the eyes because they haven’t properly drained.” In other words, sleep is the first key to getting rid of dark circles.

But what about products? Marketing tells us that eye creams and serums will “cure” our under-eye circles, and when we drop $100 on a new product, we’re motivated to believe it. But objectively, do these treatments actually work? We wanted to take a bias-free look at how to get rid of dark circles with different treatments, so we put six of them to the test. Did they work as well as they promised? Here are our honest reviews.

This story was originally published on August 12, 2016, and has since been updated.