Anyone plagued with “raccoon eyes” can testify that all the sleep in the world can’t diminish their dark circles. Knowing the cause of your dark circles is the key to minimizing them. Raccoon eyes may be due to thin skin under the eyes, circulatory problems or allergies. Therefore, the solution may vary from taking an antihistamine to wearing sunscreen to applying a concealer, depending on what you have identified as the cause of your dark peepers.

Thin Skinned

Thin under-eye skin is inherited or brought on by the aging process. When blood pools under the eyes, either from poor circulation or exhaustion, dark circles appear. The best way to minimize this type of darkness is to work to thicken the skin. Retinol and Vitamin C eye creams help stimulate collagen production, thereby bolstering the skin. Try Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter™ Eye Treatment or RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream for firmer skin and minimizing raccoon eyes.

Living on the Dark Side

Some under-eye circles are the result of pigmented skin under the eyes. This is darkness that never goes away and is likely inherited. Apply a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide under the eyes up to the lash line to minimize dark pigment under the eyes. Add extra protection by shielding your eyes and surrounding skin with sunglasses whenever you are outdoors.

Get Moving

Poor circulation can cause fluid to pool under the eyes. To minimize buildup in the under-eye area, sleep with your head elevated. Opt for cold compresses in the morning to constrict blood vessels. Eye creams that improve circulation — ones with caffeine or arnica — help minimize dark circles by virtue of the fact that they constrict blood vessels or have anti-inflammatory properties. Whether seasonal or ongoing, allergies and raccoon eyes go hand-in-hand. Both constant rubbing and inflamed blood vessels cause discoloration. Try an antihistamine to reduce allergic reactions and avoid rubbing your eyes to minimize dark circles.

Your Best Friend

A good concealer is your best friend if you’re plagued with raccoon eyes. Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Concealer is a full-coverage option that conceals the darkest shadows and reduces redness. CC Creams (color-correcting creams) are all the rage and can both cover darkness and brighten the under-eye area. When applying concealer, be sure to start at the inner corner of the eye near the bridge of the nose. Feather out toward the outer corner of the eye and down to the top of your cheek and pat to blend; resist the urge to rub your concealer. Be sure to pick a color that matches your complexion or is only one shade lighter for the most natural finish.