Q. Are there any ingredients that can help to lighten under-eye circles?
A . In the past few years, several ingredients have been developed to lighten dark under-eye circles. Two of the most promising are Haloxyl, a peptide blend created by Sederma, a French ingredient vendor, and REGU-AGE, a peptide and enzyme blend produced by Pentapharm in Switzerland.
To understand the function of each ingredient, it is first important to know the underlying cause of darkness around the eyes. Under-eye circles are created when red blood cells leak from capillaries in the eye area, releasing hemoglobin when they explode in nearby skin tissue. The iron-rich hemoglobin degrades into the yellow pigment—bilirubin—as well as other various colored pigments, resulting in a bruised appearance to the skin under the eyes and sometimes on the eyelids. It still isn’t clear why the capillaries leak, although inflammation—due to stress, genetics, allergies and lack of sleep—is believed to be a key trigger.