For dark circles caused by thinning skin, “retinoids, either over the counter or prescription, can build collagen and thicken skin,” says Los Angeles–based dermatologist Jessica Wu. Start by taking a teardrop-size amount of a product such as Glow by Dr. Brandt Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream ($55; sephora.com) and apply every other day to avoid irritation.
Eye creams that contain hyaluronic acid (the gel-like liquid that keeps skin firm) can also plump under-eye skin and make it seem less translucent, while creams that contain caffeine constrict blood vessels, says Hale. You can get both hyaluronic acid and caffeine in Hydroxatone Hydrolyze Intensive Under Eye Treatment ($80; hydroxatone.com).
If you have hyperpigmentation, your best bets are lightening products that contain kojic acid, mushroom extract or hydroquinone, says dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, codirector of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C. One with kojic acid: Peter Thomas Roth Power K Eye Rescue ($100; sephora.com).
For allergy-related circles, an over-the-counter antihistamine is an obvious antidote, or “for use directly in the eye, an over-the-counter ocular decongestant may reduce symptoms but is not recommended for long-term use,” says Cristina Schnider, OD, senior director of professional communications at Vistakon, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. One to try: Visine A Eye Allergy Relief ($7; drugstore.com).