Adios, zombie dark circles.

By Susan Brickell
December 21, 2018
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Credit: Susan Brickell

I don't know about you, but I feel like I was born tired. As if I popped out of the womb with purple crescent moons tattooed beneath my eyes. I really began to notice them after a few too many late nights in college and grad school. The delicate skin around my eyes started to bag, but I was in my 20s—and was more concerned with reading assignments and how I was going to live through a hangover than wrinkles. I mean, that's what a good concealer is for, right?

As an adult, with the little sleep I do get (because there's work to be done, dinner to be had with friends, and Netflix to be watched), my undereye circles began to feel out of control after I hit 30. One day I looked in the mirror and a zombie was staring back at me. Something had to be done.

Not only did I adjust my sleeping habits (hello, 11 p.m. bedtime) and exercise more to give my stress an outlet, but I also decided that it was time to adult and invest in a good eye cream. But finding one that gives you actual results can be a frustrating and expensive process. Working at Health has meant I'm lucky enough to test a lot of beauty products, so I've done the homework for you.


Enter: Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel ($54; Made from sustainable ingredients, the formula features peptides to reduce dark circles and puffiness, and Swiss apple stem cell extract to brighten the undereye area. The star ingredient is 100% plant-derived squalane to nourish skin and lock in moisture, preventing dryness and dehydration."It maintains skin's moisture barrier and hydration, and is also an antioxidant that has anti-aging properties for neutralizing environmental damage," dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, told Health previously.

The human body actually produces squalene (a part of our skin's own natural moisture), but the amount made and retained in skin starts to plummet in our 20s, which is why we turn to topical application. Unfortunately, squalene isn't stable enough to be an ingredient in skincare products, but squalane is.

Did you notice the slight spelling change? It's because they're two different things. Until recently, the only way to obtain squalane was to start with squalene, which is sourced from shark liver. Doesn't sound very humane, does it? Luckily, Biossance has been able to create squalane from sugarcane, making their products that much more environmentally-friendly, which we can get on board with.

Because I have sensitive skin, I always look for non-toxic, fragrance-free, and noncomedogenic (read: won't clog pores) formulas. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel meets all my requirements, and, as an added bonus, is dermatologist and ophthalmologist-tested, so I knew I'd be in good hands.

Credit: Susan Brickell

A little bit of this eye gel goes a long way. I apply a half pump of the creamy serum onto the back of my hand, and then use my fingertip to gently dab the product around my upper and lower eye. I make a backwards "C" with my finger, moving from my undereye to the brow bone. I consistently apply the gel morning and night (and did so for four weeks for that before-and-after photo), and although the dark circles under my eyes are not completely erased, they have noticeably lightened.

I love the formula; it's weightless, feels amazing, and absorbs quickly into my skin. Even when I'm in a rush in the morning, I'll let it sit for few minutes before swiping on makeup, and the eye gel doesn't annoyingly pill beneath my foundation and powder. It plumps my dry undereye skin and seemingly fills in the tiny, penciled-looking lines around my peepers. I'll then layer the Biossance Vitamin C Rose Oil on top for an extra punch of moisture. Dark circles, conquered.

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