Vitamin C has earned itself a reputation as a skin-routine non-negotiable, and it’s for good reason. As one of the most potent antioxidants on the market, it helps protect your skin from free radical damage — which is the leading cause of visible signs of aging like discoloration and wrinkles. While the ingredient may already be a staple in your regimen in face serums, you might be missing out if you’re not using it under your eyes, too.
The skin under your eyes is the most delicate on your face, which means it’s also one of the first spots to show a loss of sleep and even signs of aging (think: crows feet and fine lines). Because of this, the area requires its own sort of special TLC, which is where vitamin C comes in.
While you certainly can repurpose your facial serum under your eyes, your best bet for maximum impact is to invest in an eye cream that both offers star ingredients and is ophthalmologist-tested for safety. Plus, eye creams tend to formulate with higher concentrations of actives than, say, your average moisturizer, which is why it’s worth having a dedicated formula in that respect, too. Here, all the ways the bright stuff can benefit your eyes.
It prevents the formation of fine lines and wrinkles
As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C’s most important job is protecting your skin from environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV damage. These stressors cause free radical damage, which can wreak havoc on skin. In counteracting them, “vitamin C helps to prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
While vitamin C can be helpful for preventing future wrinkles, if you’re dealing with lines that have already set in, a retinol eye cream may be a better option. “Both can be used to help boost collagen production overall, but retinol eye creams are particularly helpful for someone dealing with fine lines and wrinkles,” says Dr. Garshick. In this case, consider trying our Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream, which combines a gentle, encapsulated retinoid with avocado (an ingredient that’s also rich in vitamin C, by the way) to gently firm, plump, and hydrate the skin under your eyes.
To get the best of both worlds, try using the vitamin C-rich Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream in the morning, and Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream in the evening.
It evens out hyperpigmentation
“While vitamin C can be a good option for any under-eye concern, given it helps to protect against free radical damage, it is especially good for those dealing with dark circles as a result of hyperpigmentation and discoloration,” says Dr. Garshick. Hyperpigmentation is caused by overactive melanocytes (aka the cells that give your skin its pigment), and according to studies, vitamin C works by inhibiting melanin synthesis. Not only does this help to even out current hyperpigmentation, but thanks to vitamin C’s protective properties, it also prevents future discoloration from occurring., too. That can be a game-changer among people with dark skin, who are more prone to this type of dark circle.
It can visibly brighten skin
Vitamin C is known for its brightening abilities, which can be particularly helpful for those stubborn dark circles that show up after a bad night’s sleep. The ingredient will add radiance to your complexion and make skin look less dull over time — giving you a fighting chance to trick people into believing you’re well-rested.
With these powerful perks, it was a no-brainer to build an eye cream around vitamin C. And Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream delivers a power-packed dose that offers both short and long-term benefits. Not only does it help to brighten the appearance of dark circles, but it also helps to protect the skin from those environmental stressors that contribute to wrinkles and discoloration. It also pairs the ingredient with niacinamide, another antioxidant that’s known for its brightening and skin-tone-evening abilities.
While Dr. Garshick warns that vitamin C can be irritating to certain skin types, this formula uses an encapsulated version of the ingredient (which means it’s released into the skin slowly over time instead of all at once) to minimize sensitivity and ensure max potency. And, of course, the formula — which has a lightweight, gel texture — has been ophthalmologist tested to confirm that it’s safe to use both under your eyes and on your eyelids.
Whether you’re looking to brighten dark circles, reduce discoloration, or prevent wrinkles from setting in, one thing’s for sure: Vitamin C deserves a starring role in your under-eye routine.
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