Here's a dose from Dr. Jessica Wu of the Daily Glow =):Whether you want to look relaxed and in control at work or be fresh-faced for a new date, there are ways to minimize dark under-eye circles. Here are some common causes of dark circles, along with ways to treat them:
Excess skin pigmentation on the upper part of the cheekbone and under the eyes can lead to dark circles. This can be hereditary or caused by freckles and sun damage. One way to tell if you have excess pigment is to gently pull down on the lower eyelid. Do the spots move with the skin? If so, skin-brightening creams may help. One study showed that a cream containing licorice extract and hyaluronic acid reduced dark circles after six weeks. Both of these ingredients are found in C. Booth Black Licorice Eye Cream ($12.99 at drugstore.com).
Thin lower-eyelid skin can also produce dark circles when the dark eyelid muscles are visible beneath the skin (the same way that black panties are visible through thin white pants). Another study showed that a gel containing retinol helped reduce dark circles after four weeks, possibly by thickening the skin of the lower eyelid. Try Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Eye Cream (about $19 at drugstores).
Under-eye bags can produce shadows and hollows underneath them that accentuate dark circles. If you wake up with puffy lids, try soaking cotton balls in cold soy milk and holding them on your closed lids for a few minutes in the morning. The cold temperature and anti-inflammatory properties of soy can help shrink swollen tissues and reduce puffiness. However, if you have under-eye bags caused by fat deposits, topical treatments won't be enough to shrink them and reduce the circles. These types of circles may require injectable fillers to fill in the hollows or surgical removal of the bags.