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Dark circles? Try this 10-second trick to pinpoint their cause and erase them effectively

Julia Pugachevsky   

Dark circles? Try this 10-second trick to pinpoint their cause and erase them effectively
  • On Instagram, Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky shared a trick for figuring out the cause of your dark circles.
  • Pinching your under-eye skin for 10 seconds reveals if the issue is thin skin or pigmentation.
Eye creams are among the most hotly debated skincare products, with some people believing they're so ineffective as to render them a scam.

Part of the issue has to do with people misidentifying which kinds of dark circles they have. According to Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky, a board-certified dermatologist in Pennsylvania, there's a simple way to find out which ones you have: a 10-second pinch test.






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A post shared by Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, FAAD (@dermguru)
In an Instagram video, Zubritsky instructs viewers to "lightly pinch the skin underneath the eyes" for about 10 seconds.

How your skin reacts tells you whether the dark circles are caused by thinner under-eye skin or pigmentation.

Dr. Lauren Penzi, a board-certified dermatologist in New York, confirmed that this is a valid way to "determine the cause, and therefore the best treatment, for your under-eye circles," she told BI.

I asked thedermatologists to sharethe best skincare products for either kind of dark circles. They also recommendedproducts that tackle multiple issues at once, for people who have both thin skin and pigmentation.

If the darkness briefly fades, the issue is thin skin

If the darkness under your eye fades away and slowly returns after you release your skin, "then your issue is likely due to thin under-eye skin," Penzi said.

For thin skin, Zubritsky told BI that products with hyaluronic acid should help hydrate and plump the skin.

Both she and Penzi suggested Neutrogena Hydroboost Eye Gel Cream, and Penzi also recommended First Aid Beauty Hydrating Eye Cream with Hyaluronic Acid.

If the color stays the same, pigmentation is the problem

If, however, your under-eye skin remains exactly the same color after you've let go, then the dark circles are "likely due to an overproduction of true melanin pigment in the skin," Penzi said.

"For pigmentation problems, I recommend using ingredients that target pigmentation like retinol or vitamin C," Zubritsky said.

Both dermatologists recommended RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. For products that use vitamin C, Zubritsky likes Bliss Rest Assured Complete Eye + Vitamin C Cream, and Penzi suggested Paula's Choice C5 Super Boost Eye Cream.

There are products to address other issues

So, what if you do the test and feel like you have both thin skin and pigmentation issues, or aren't sure which one you have?

Zubritsky said there are products that cover both concerns, like L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer, which has hyaluronic acid, retinol, and vitamin C. She said this product also helps with under-eye wrinkles, as it both hydrates the skin and stimulates collagen.

If you deal with puffiness, "it's important to look for under-eye creams with ingredients like caffeine," Zubritsky said, because caffeine constricts blood vessels and improves circulation. Penzi recommended The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream, SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Advanced Eye, Neutrogena Hydro Boost+ Caffeine Eye Gel Cream, and CeraVe Skin Renewing Eye Cream as all options with caffeine in them.

There is a point, however, where under-eye creams stop working, Zubritsky said. If you have excessive skin under the eyes, significantly crepey skin, volume loss, or fat pad protrusion, those are best addressed with your dermatologist and "may be improved with hyaluronic acid filler, laser, or surgical treatment."

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