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The Cause: The skin below eyes is naturally thinner and more delicate than anywhere else on the face. That's why it's prone to dark discoloration (blood vessels just below the skin's surface become more visible) and puffiness (inflammation and fluid retention).
Help It: First off, avoid rubbing eyes—it stimulates melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells below the skin, says Howard Murad, MD, a Los Angeles dermatologist and founder of Murad, Inc. Choose products with caffeine, which helps minimize the appearance of blood vessels, and with anti-inflammatory vitamin C. Try Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller, $13; it has a cooling flexible ball applicator and tinted pigments that downplay discoloration. Grassroots Research Labs Vitamin C Power Brightening Eye Cream, $27.50, lessens dullness under the eyes, making the area appear more radiant.
Hide It: Wake up your face—and reduce puffiness—with a few splashes of cool water as part of your morning routine, suggests Petra Strand, a makeup artist in Santa Barbara, California, and founder of Pixi Beauty. Then pat on a brightening eye cream while your face is still damp—it helps the moisture sink in. Apply concealer from the inner corners of eyes (where darkness is more pronounced), blending outward with the "ring" finger in order to use the right amount of pressure. Dr. Murad's Hybrid Eye Lift Perfector, $35, does it all: It's a full-coverage formula that diminishes swelling and dark circles.