Plus, two recipes and three tools to help
Walk into any beauty store on the hunt for a brand new eye cream and you’ll walk into a dizzying array of options. Between brands, ingredients, purported benefits — and potential drawbacks like cost — it can be a lot to consider.
It might seem like the eye creams marked a few hundred dollars are a sure bet, but if there’s anything we know about eye cream, a holy grail answer has yet arrive.
Plus, the science behind fading circles and wrinkles isn’t all there yet.
But it may not be necessary to choose between beauty and your bank account. That’s because some skin care experts and savvy DIYers have nailed down recipes to homemade eye creams — and in some cases, the science stacks up.
“Experimenting with homemade products can sound intimidating, but if you’re someone who likes to know exactly what you’re putting on your skin, making your own can be an awesome solution,” says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Allie Renee.
“Additionally, doing it yourself means it’s highly customizable. And as an added benefit, you’re lowering the amount of waste you are producing!”
Find these natural ingredients at home, in your cupboard or fridge
1. Freeze coffee ice cubes
Research has shownTrusted Source that caffeine does more than rev up your brain when a deadline looms — it also stimulates circulation when applied to the eye area and has antioxidant properties that may help reduce the risk of wrinkles and even protect against further damage from free radicals.
By freezing java into ice cubes, you can conveniently cool your lids while constricting blood vessels, reducing swelling, and brightening up tired skin.
2. Use green tea bags
Coffee isn’t the only antioxidant-rich beverage that doubles as an under-eye treatment. Green tea is another caffeine-rich kitchen staple that may help calm inflammationTrusted Source when applied to puffy lids.
“It helps protect skin from environmental stressors and can aid in firming and tightening the skin due to the caffeine present,” Renee says. Try soaking cotton pads in a cooled brew or apply cold tea bags directly to your eye area.
3. Take vitamin E capsules
This important nutrient found in foods like nuts and sweet potatoes isn’t just essential for eye health when absorbed through food — it’s also a powerful under-eye protector when applied topically.
“It’s especially amazing and universal!” Renee says. “It’s a strong antioxidant that has hydrating and anti-aging properties as well as promotes healing by aiding in cell regeneration.”
Research has shownTrusted Source topical application of the antioxidant (found in oil or capsule form) can protect against photo aging and minimize inflammation.
4. Mix in some vitamin K
One of the most widely hailed natural dark circle fighters known to researchers is this fat soluble vitamin that’s been shown to be an effective hyperpigmentation fighter when used in conjunction with retinol (vitamin A).
“It’s amazing when added to an under-eye cream or serum because it has blood clotting and healing properties [and can] help reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time,” Renee says. “Dark circle warrior!”
While the ingredient is now widely found in over-the-counter beauty products, it’s naturally derived from foods like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
In addition to incorporating more of those power greens into your diet, you may want to try mixing a store-bought formulation with coffee — a 2015 studyTrusted Source found that applying caffeine pads containing vitamin K showed significant improvements in dark circles.
5. Soothe with coconut oil
Though it won’t combat circles, coconut oil has been touted as a solution for fine lines and dry under-eye skin.
This common kitchen staple has been called a “superfood” for its nutritional properties, but its high concentration of small-chain fatty acids also makes it an inflammation-reducing beauty salve that can be carefully applied to your under eyes for extra moisture.
6. Lock moisture in with olive oil
Because this common cooking ingredient is rich in fat-soluble vitamins (including E and K, described above), it may be good for at-home under-eye hydration.
There’s no solid research to back up its effectiveness on dark circles and wrinkles, but dabbing a bit on damp skin may help lock in moisture.
7. Depuff with aloe vera
If you happen to have an aloe vera plant at home, you might try applying some of the juicy leaves’ contents to dry skin (including the delicate parts underneath your eyes).
Research has shownTrusted Source the plant is full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids, and has anti-inflammatory properties that could help with puffiness.
8. Massage with arnica oil
If the bluish tint under your eyes is due to dilated blood vessels, a dab of arnica may help. The topical oil formulation of the herb has been shown to improve the appearance of bruises and other skin maladies.