Our Rating: 4 stars

Under-eye dark circles are quite annoying. In my case, I have found out long time ago that no matter how much sleep you get, how much water you drink or how perfect your diet is, they are difficult to get rid of. I am in my mid thirties and starting to see signs of crow's feet, but my under-eye area is what bothers me the most. There are two things I look for in an eye cream: plumping up the skin and minimizing the darkness under the eyes.

I have been very eager to test a Medik8 Dark Circles ($60 in the shop) eye treatment because my hunt for an effective and affordable eye-cream appears to be never-ending. I have been testing it for slightly over two months and, in a nutshell, I have mixed feelings about it.

See all Medik8 products in the Truth in Aging shop

Medik8 Dark Circles has a quick-absorbing gel texture. Key ingredients are Haloxyl (6.0%) for lightening and Regu-Age(r) (10.0%) for tackling puffiness and discoloration. Haloxyl reduces overall inflammation under the eyes. It contains n-hydroxysuccinimide and chrysin and is designed to lighten the skin by boosting blood circulation and not by skin lightening. N-hydroxysuccinimide stimulates circulation while chrysin is a flavonoid that works to reduce skin pigmentation.

Regu-Age(r) (10.0%) includes purified soy and rice peptides and biotechnologically produced yeast protein to improve microcirculation and protect the integrity of the collagen and elastin. Medik8 Dark Circles is also loaded with peptides--palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide--that support collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Finally, there are optically reflective particles included in the formulation that are supposed to brighten the under-eye area.

Here is what the Medik8 Dark Circles eye treatment claims it does:
• Strengthens connective tissues around the eyes
• Improves microcirculation and reduces inflammatory response
• Trials show a 32% reduction of eye puffiness after 8 weeks
• Trials show a 35% reduction in dark circles after 8 weeks
• Optically reflective particles gives immediate reduction in appearance of dark circles
• Glycerin hydrates the skin and reduces transepidermal moisture loss

You are instructed to apply the product twice daily on the under-eye area only, following cleansing. A little dollop is enough for each eye. I used it beneath liquid and cream concealers without any creasing or caking. When applied, it feels very quick-absorbing and non-greasy. It hydrates well, smoothes fine lines, and has a lovely tightening effect, especially in the morning.

While Medik8 Dark Circles formula did a decent job of keeping my under area moisturized, supple, and less puffy with all those good actives, I have seen almost no improvement with my dark circles. After two months of use, I can say that it has helped maintain the overall firmness of my skin but the improvement for the under-eye area is very negligible.

The light reflecting pigments do illuminate the area a bit when you have no makeup on, but I think this light illumination actually draws unwanted attention to the already problematic eye area. Perhaps, it will be of use to some people that are not "blessed" with prominent dark circles by creating a light luminous effect under the eyes. However, those who do have under-eye dark circles are probably going to use a concealer to camouflage them anyway, so these optically reflective particles won't be visible under makeup.

Finally, I am not particularly fond of the Phenoxyethanol, a toxic additive, in the formulation. Also included is ethylhexylglycerin, which is however generally viewed as a safe preservative.

In sum, Medik8 Dark Circles has performed wonderfully as a nourishing, de-puffing and tightening under-eye product but, unfortunately, its effectiveness has not been equally strong on the dark circles front for me. I am very pleased about some potent actives in the formulation but I remain on the fence in terms of the efficacy of the product to put an end to the under-eye darkness.

Ingredients in Medik8 Dark Circles:

Aqua Glycerin Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein Glycine Soja Protein Oxido Reductases N-Hydroxysuccinimide Chrysin Palmitoyl Oligopeptide Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide -7 Steareth-20 Biotin Chlorhexidine Digluconate Potassium Sorbate Citric Acid Sodium Citrate Mica CI77891 (Titanium Dioxide) Silica Sodium Hydroxide Phenoxyethanol Ethylhexylglycerin