Q: Is there a way to treat permanent, hereditary dark undereye circles besides concealer and creams with caffeine? —Patricia
A: Dear Patricia, As I made my way past the gorgeous canvases by Marilyn Minter and Richard Prince lining the office hallways of Miami/New York dermatologist Fredric Brandt, I crossed my fingers that he would be full of news that, at last, the undereye problem had been solved. He smiled when I used the word “solved.” “You can make them less noticeable,” he said. “You can’t get rid of them.” He explained that board-certified dermatologists can inject filler like Juvéderm deep into the undereye area, to fill in the hereditary depression. If injections are not your thing—a Juvéderm treatment typically lasts around eight or nine months and costs $1,000 and up per injection—retinol creams thicken the collagen in your skin over time. “Thicker skin in that area makes the blood vessels not as visible,” he said. Dr. Brandt makes a retinol-based eye cream called Glow by Dr. Brandt Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream ($55, drbrandtskincare.com); Roc makes one called Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream ($23, walgreens.com), and Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Miraculous Retinoid Eye Repair Cream ($66, philosophy.com) is also made with retinol.
The revelation that retinoids actually thicken your skin cheered me greatly. (They also get rid of wrinkles, smooth out your skin tone and generally make your skin just infinitely better, so much so that I’d have kept using them, no matter what.) It’s the skincare ingredient I recommend most highly; it takes six weeks to see a difference, but there’s a real difference. God knows what my undereye circles would look like without it!