Tested on animals:Yes
Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is an eye-area treatment designed for dark circles—and it stands a good chance of improving how yours look. Instantly, you'll appreciate how this sheer formula brightens and offers a bit of coverage to undereye darkness. It's not enough to forgo concealer (especially if you have very dark circles) but this fragrance-free formula gets things going in the right direction!
Gentle, broad spectrum sun protection is provided by pure titanium dioxide, an ingredient which doubles as a cosmetic pigment to help hide and temporarily lighten the appearance of dark circles. As unprotected sun exposure can worsen undereye discoloration, protecting skin around the eyes from UV light is a great way to help improve dark circles—that's what we were getting at with our statement that Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF 30 stands a good chance of improving their appearance.
Dispensed from an opaque squeeze tube, this slightly fluid cream glides over skin, setting after several seconds to a powder-like soft matte finish that has just a touch of luminosity. It feels matte but doesn't look drab or dull; instead, you get a subtle brightening effect—and this wears well whether applied over or under your usual undereye concealer and/or foundation.
Kiehl's mentions the vitamin C this contains (listed as 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid), and it appears to contain a potentially helpful amount. Most forms of vitamin C improve discoloration from sun damage, often a factor as dark circles darken with increased UV damage. The brand also mentions licorice root extract and although that can also help improve skin discolorations, the amount this formula contains is negligible and, in all likelihood, ineffective. See More Info to learn more about how even the best eye products have limitations when it comes to dark circles.
Despite that slight letdown, Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector is worth checking out. The formula is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, with one caveat: If the skin around your eyes is dry, you'll absolutely want to apply your regular eye cream or facial moisturizer beneath this, as the formula provides minimal moisture. That's not a deal breaker, as Kiehl's isn't claiming this doubles as an eye cream, but we thought it was worth mentioning to help you make the most informed decision.
- Provides gentle broad spectrum sun protection in a fragrance-free formula.
- Brightens the undereye area without being overtly shiny.
- The vitamin C it contains may help improve dark circles due to sun damage.
- Light, silky texture + soft-focus powder finish is unlikely to crease into lines around eyes.
- Unless you have "darker" dark circles, you may find this can double as your concealer.
- Minimally moisturizing, so this won't replace your eye cream if eye area skin is dry.
Dark Circles: There are several factors that can cause dark circles, and unfortunately, there aren't any skincare products in the world that can tackle all or even most of the causes of them. While there are definitely things you can do to improve dark circles as well as keep them from getting worse, your solution won't be found in a specialty product labeled with miraculous claims or a miracle ingredient.
The most common causes of dark circles include sun damage, irritation, allergies, genetics, and veins/capillaries showing through the surface layer of skin. For genetic causes, dark circles aren't going to respond to topical treatment, but those caused by sun damage can be treated, as can those stemming from irritation or allergies.
If you find that your dark circles are truly bothersome, consider speaking to a cosmetic dermatologist about options, such as dermal fillers (like Radiesse), lasers, light treatments, radiofrequency treatments, and chemical peels (Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2014 & Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2012 & Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2013). Just remember to keep your expectations realistic.
A dermatologist experienced with the various skin lasers will be able to tell you which option is the best for dark circles as well as for your skin color. The Q-switched ruby laser is the most common choice for treating dark circles, but even then, don't expect a dramatic improvement (Dermatologic Surgery, 2011).
See The Paula's Choice Research Team's Expert Advice article, "Shed Some Light on Dark Circles", for the hype-free facts about this concern, and even more solutions for some forms of undereye discolorations.