Erika Stalder April 2, 2019
Spring marks the return of rosé and festival season — and allergies, which means you’ll probably be packing your eye bags along with those cutoffs as you gear up to see Ariana Grande at Coachella this year. That's because puffy eyes are often provoked by allergens — which includes both seasonal factors, like pollen, and irritants found in makeup or skin care — along with other causes of water retention. Add a couple of sleepless nights to the mix, and the amount of eye baggage can mount in the form of dark circles.
An exception to the rule? When puffiness and darkness don't come and go with lifestyle changes. “Permanent puffy eye bags are generally genetic,” says dermatologist Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D. “As a temporary fix, they can be softened with dermal fillers, which last six months to a year. These procedures have a very high patient satisfaction rate, and should be done by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.” Those looking for a more permanent solution can opt for surgical correction to remove puffy fat pads from beneath the skin.
Like puffiness, permanent dark circles are also typically caused by genetics, Dr. Mudgil says — though poor sleep, dehydration, and straining your eyes for prolonged periods can also exacerbate darkness. Dermatologist Ashley Magovern, M.D., says there are several options for addressing dark circles that never seem to budge. “In some people, darkness under the eyes has a shadow component due to volume loss. If we improve the volume loss, the shadow improves," she explains. "The placement of hyaluronic acid fillers, like Restylane, can improve the shadow and make a big difference." Dr. Magovern also cites lasers like IPL, chemical peels (which help exfoliate dead cell layers), lights like BBL, and radiofrequency treatments combined with microneedling as other ways to help bust through undereye shadows.
If your brand of eye bags come and go, less invasive and significantly more affordable options abound in the form of eye creams, gels, serums, and masks. Ahead, see which ingredients make actual headway to lift shadowy circles and deflate puffiness, so you can roll into spring as bright-eyed as Ari herself — no matter how little sleep you get in that tent in the desert.