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The Ultimate Guide to Aging Skin

3 Rock-Star Ingredients That Will Send Your Eye Bags Packing

Gary Goldfaden, M.D.
Writer and expert8 years ago
View Gary Goldfaden, M.D.'s profile

There are various causes of dark circles and bags around your eyes. More than just a lack of sleep from the night before, age-related thinning of the skin increases the visibility of the tiny blood vessels under the eyes, creating a darker color and uneven tone. Another leading factor is sinus congestion, which constricts the natural flow of fluids around the eye area and causes the blood vessels surrounding it to dilate. Other little-known causes include allergic reactions, a high-sodium diet, hormonal changes and underlying medical concerns like hypothyroidism, dysfunction of tear glands and eye infection.

Fortunately, today’s new breed of eye treatments are equipped with potent ingredients designed to help remedy these issues. Below are my top three recommendations.


What it is: A fat-soluble vitamin also known as phytonadione.

 What it does: The main job of vitamin K-1 is to activate blood-clotting proteins that help prevent unchecked bleeding or hemorrhaging throughout the body. Because of its fat-soluble nature and ability to promote coagulation, vitamin K-1 is ideal as a topical treatment for all disorders arising from vascular injury. When applied topically, vitamin K-1 readily penetrates the pores of the skin and is transported deep into the dermis where it effectively targets damaged capillaries. Vitamin K-1 functions naturally to support the blood-clotting process and end seepage, eventually permitting the skin to heal itself. The impressive recuperative benefits of vitamin K-1 have long been recognized by plastic surgeons who have used vitamin K creams for many years to minimize post-operative bruising and scarring.

What else you need to know: Aside from its remarkable ability to heal bruising and swelling, vitamin K-1 is also valuable for improving the softness and suppleness of your skin. The reason your skin loses much of its elasticity is due to high concentrations of calcium and phosphate that deposit hard crystals on the soft connective tissues of your skin, making them rigid. One of the key proteins involved in slowing down this damaging calcium buildup is activated by an enzyme that depends on vitamin K for its manufacture. Studies have confirmed the essential importance of vitamin K-1 in preventing this extracellular matrix calcification and maintaining skin suppleness. The best natural sources for obtaining this nutrient are green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, asparagus and Brussels sprouts. You can also find it in several skin care products.



 What it is: Found in virtually all your body’s tissues, peptides are one of the chief building blocks of life.

What it does: Peptides are essentially made up of a string of amino acids held together by tough bonds of nitrogen and carbon. The long amino acid chains known as proteins cannot penetrate your epidermis because of their molecular size, but peptides can, due to their shorter chain length. Once inside your epidermis, peptides act as messengers that send out signals that tell the receptors on your skin cells how they should perform. This ability to influence how your dermal matrix responds has made peptides a high-demand ingredient in modern skin care products.



What it is: Derived from the petals of the arnica montana plant, arnica features another active ingredient—a beneficial oil called thymol.

What it does: Thymol, concentrated in the plant’s roots, has been clinically shown to cause the smooth muscles in your blood vessel walls to contract, thereby dilating them and increasing blood flow. By enhancing circulation, thymol helps break up and encourage the transport of trapped blood and fluid accumulations, making it highly effective at relieving bruise discoloration and swelling.

What else you need to know: Thymol also helps to maximize the absorption of vitamin K-1 across your skin barrier.

5 common causes of eye bags

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Gary Goldfaden, M.D.
Writer and expert
View Gary Goldfaden, M.D.'s profile
Gary Goldfaden, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist, lifetime member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the creator of GOLDFADEN MD products. As a member of the Life Extension Foundation Medical Advisory board, Dr. Goldfaden has published hundreds of articles on innovative ingredients. In 2012, Dr. Goldfaden released the much-anticipated book, Your Guide to Healthy Skin the Natural Way in which he writes about his belief in the synergy between living healthy inside and out and encompassing effective ways to deal with skin issues.