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Top Korean eye creams for getting rid of dark circles
Why do we have dark circles?
Surprisingly, it’s not always due to lack of sleep.
What actually causes dark circles under the eyes?
Dark circles can be caused by a number of factors:
One of the most common causes of dark circles under the eyes that you are probably already familiar with. When you don’t get enough sleep, the blood inside the blood vessels don’t circulate as well and may become stagnant (blood stasis), so you can see the blood pooling right underneath the surface of your skin. If you have thin, translucent skin under the eyes, the dark circles are even more prominent.
As we age, the skin under our eyes begin to sag due to decreased collagen production, much like the rest of our faces and bodies. This goes for both men and women alike. The sagging under the eyes create hollows, which cast shadows underneath the eyes, making them look like dark circles.
Though not as common as the two reasons listed above, dermatologists have documented excessive pigmentation as a valid condition for a number of individuals. The cause for this condition may vary from contact dermatitis (due to skin allergy), hyper-pigmentation due to sun damage, or genetics.
How to tell if your dark circles are caused by excessive pigmentation (age spots)
You can do a quick check at home by manually (and GENTLY) stretch out the skin below your lower eyelids. If your dark circles are due to the pigmentation, the dark circles will not lighten even when the skin is being stretched out. As a comparison, if your dark circles were due to blood stasis or sagging skin, stretching out the skin will disperse the blood and you can see the dark circles being lightened. When in doubt, check with a dermatologist.
Protect your eyes by applying sunscreens and wearing polarized sunglasses during the day when you’re outside (check out these chic pairs). Doing this protects your skin from damage due to sun exposure (which leads to dark brown spots/age spots and fine lines). In addition, the polarized sunglasses protect your vision from UV rays, which can cause cataracts and macular degeneration (a leading cause of blindness in the US).
If your dark circles are due to fatigue and/or stagnant blood, try holding a chilled teaspoon underneath your lower eyelid. This home remedy can work in a pinch because the cold temperature helps constrict the blood vessels under your eyes, which reduces the appearance of the dark circles.
However, if you find yourself experiencing dark circles regularly, you would benefit by using an eye cream to target the problem directly. Here are the best Korean eye creams for dark circles and wrinkles that’s suitable for all skin types.
For brightening age spots: SecretKey Starting Treatment Skin Care (Rose edition)
- 80% fermented galactomyces filtrate** to brighten skin
- Also contains niacinamide and adenosine for skin brightening
- Formulated with argan oil, macadamia oil, jojoba oil for intense moisturization
- Free from harmful ingredients such as triclosan, propylene glycol, dye, sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde, talc, TEA, PEG, coal tar, formaldehyde-releasers, MIT, parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, alcohol
- Recommended for sensitive skin
Hands down one of our favorite eye creams for erasing age spots caused by sun damage. This cream is loaded with effective skin-brightening ingredients that have been proven to work like fermented galactomyces filtrate (a whopping 80%), niacinamide, and adenosine. In case you’re not familiar with fermented galactomyces filtrate, it is a filtrate derived from a type of fungus that grows during the sake brewing process that’s known for skin brightening/whitening (the natural way, of course), moisturizing, controlling sebum production (yay, less acne!) and increasing skin elasticity. If you have sensitive skin and/or suffer from redness, you should give this cream a try, since it’s formulated with centella asiatica extract and rose water, both of which are known for their skin-calming properties.
(**Please note that some individuals may be allergic to fermented ingredients, so as with all skincare, be sure to patch test first.)
Click to see the full list of ingredients
Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Water, Vegetable Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Centella Asiatica Extract, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ceramide NP, Bifida Ferment Lysate, rh-Oligopeptide-1, PEG-100 Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Polyacrylate-13, Sorbitan Stearate, Polyisobutene, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Adenosine, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Rose
For aging skin and/or wrinkle prevention: MISSHA Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream
- Contains ginseng extracts, which are anti-aging and brighten the skin
- No colorants, parabens, triclosan, mineral oil, and GMOs
- Contains panthenol and hyaluronic acid for a boost of moisture
- Rich, creamy texture but absorbs quickly
Pamper your eyes with this fabulous anti-aging eye cream. Formulated with time-tested traditional Korean herbal medicinal ingredients like ginseng extract, deer antler*, and reishi mushrooms, this eye cream treats fine lines and wrinkles by brightening the skin tone and improving skin’s elasticity to create firmer, and brighter skin. We also liked that it contains well-known, effective moisturizing ingredients like panthenol and hyaluronic acid.
*Note that stags grow antlers and shed them annually to grow a completely new set, so there is no cruelty involved in the process of obtaining the deer antler extract.Click to see the full list of ingredients
Panax Ginseng Root Water, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Glycerin, Velvet Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Propanediol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Stearic Acid, Glycol Stearate SE, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Phellinus Baumii Mycelium/Panax Ginseng Root Ferment Extract, Panthenol, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Honey Extract, Poria Cocos Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Extract, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Oil Soluble Licorice(Glycyrrhiza) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cold Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Palmitic Acid, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Sorbitan Isostearate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Beeswax, Tocopheryl Acetate, Arginine, Iron Oxides, Mica, sh-Octapeptide-4, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance
For all skin types/early prevention: Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream
- Free of harmful ingredients such as parabens, animal products, mineral oil, imidazolidinyl urea, and synthetic fragrance
- Jeju orchid extracts contains antioxidants which defend the skin against wrinkles and other signs of aging
- Packed with caffeine to energize the look of tired eyes
- Formulated arbutin and adenosine, which are brightening ingredients that reduce pigmentation that may cause dark circles
A versatile eye cream that targets wrinkles and excessive pigmentation at the same time. We love that it’s free of parabens, mineral oil, and other ingredients that may trigger irritation for sensitive skin types. We all know that sleep is one of the best medicine for glowing skin, but just in case you’ve been pulling a couple of all-nighters, the inclusion of caffeine can really perk up your panda eyes in the morning.Click to see the full list of ingredients
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Squalane, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Arbutin, Copernicia Cerif.Era (Carnauba) Wax, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Orchid Extract, Caffeine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellif.Era Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Adenosine, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, C14-22 Alcohols, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Arachidyl Glucoside, Arachidyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Palmitic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Polysorbate 20, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Propanediol, Peg-100 Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disodium Edta, Fragrance
For aging skin and/or wrinkle prevention: Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream
- Concentrated red ginseng roots extracts provide intensive care for fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin
- Licorice root extract for brightening effect
- Honey and shea butter extract for intense hydration
Treat yourself to this luxurious eye cream packed with red ginseng extracts from Sulwhasoo, a premium brand known for decades of expertise in incorporating hanbang (traditional Korean herbal medicine) into their skincare products. The benefits of ginseng are numerous and range from boosting your body’s energy and improving cognitive function to acting as an antioxidant and anti-wrinkle agent for the skin. Among the many ginseng types, red ginseng is one of the best (fun fact, it can even treat erectile dysfunction, according to this systematic review from PubMed). We love this cream because in addition to its powerful anti-aging and anti-wrinkle properties, it also has brightening effects from the licorice root extract, which can diminish age spots, dark circles, and pigmentation around the eye area.
Click to see the full list of ingredients
Water / Aqua / Eau, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Glycerin, Propanediol, Behenyl Alcohol, Diisostearyl Malate, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil Isostearate, Phytosteryl Isostearyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phytosteryl/Behenyl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Methoxy Peg-114/Polyepsilon Caprolactone, Polyacrylate-13, Phenoxyethanol, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Polyisobutene, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins (Enzyme-Treated Red Ginseng Saponins), Caffeine, Honey / Mel / Miel, Alcohol, Fragrance / Parfum, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Root Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Disodium Edta, Sodium Polyacrylate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Dextrin, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Linalool, Panax Ginseng Flower Extract, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hexyl Cinnamal, Phytosphingosine, Sodium Polyaspartate, Tocopherol, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate
For treating wrinkles and age spots: MIZON Snail Repair Eye Cream
- Contains 80% snail secretion filtrate**, which promotes cell regeneration for firmer, healthier skin
- Formulated with niacinamide to lighten dark spots caused by sun damage for a brighter complexion
- No fragrance, artificial color, and parabens
- Recommended for sensitive skin
A fantastic multi-tasking anti-aging eye cream that tackles fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from the same brand that brought you the popular Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream and Mizon Multi-function Formula Snail Wrinkle Care Sleeping Pack (which we had written about in this post). Along with the 80% snail secretion filtrate, this eye cream also contains effective anti-aging ingredients like adenosine and EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor, often used to stimulate cell renewal and collagen production.) Formulated with meadowfoam seed oil, which is packed with antioxidants, this eye cream can prevent further damage to the delicate area around your eyes.
(**Please note that some individuals may be allergic to snail ingredients, so as with all skincare, be sure to patch test first.)Click to see the full list of ingredients