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4 Dark-Circle Cures (That Actually Work)
New York City dermatologist Amy Wechsler reveals the four main issues behind undereye shadows and the most effective treatments for each one.
dark undereye circles
The Cause: Puffiness

The Cure: Undereye bags cast shadows that make you look exhausted no matter how well-rested you are. First, cut out salt and alcohol, which lead to water retention and exacerbate swelling. Sleep on an extra pillow to drain the fluid that can accumulate around the eyes when you’re lying down, and if you still notice puffiness in the morning, try a cold compress. Many of Wechsler's model patients—as in, the frequently photographed (not necessarily perfectly compliant) women who fill her waiting room—chill a teaspoon in ice water, then use it to firmly massage the fluid down and away from their undereye area before their fashion shoots. If the puffiness is present all the time, no matter what you do to reduce it, you are probably dealing with fat pads that protrude with age; unfortunately, they can only be removed by a plastic surgeon through a procedure called a lower blepharoplasty.

The Quick Fix: Trace an illuminating concealer pen (like Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, $8; drugstores) over the shadowy space just beneath the bags. This makes that area look less deep, so puffiness is less prominent. (Never put concealer on the bags themselves; this will only accentuate them.)