I Thought Under-Eye Patches Were a Scam—This Product Made Me Eat My Words


Welcome to Deep Reviewsyour one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.

The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. This time around, I'm highlighting the Topicals Faded Under Eye Masks ($22).


I'm big on self-care in all its forms: shopping, sleeping, sunbathing, and everything in between. My Friday nights call for a full-body shower, a fancy robe, and a rom-com, but the one thing I always skip is the eye mask. I know it hurts the self-care aesthetic born on social media, but it seems like every eye mask I've tried is made just for that—the aesthetic. I struggle with stubborn dark circles and hyperpigmentation, and after years of trial and error, nothing has given my under-eyes the TLC they deserve. Recently, I saw the pink eye masks from Topicals all over my feed, and word on the street was they're more than just pretty packaging. So I decided to put the Faded Under Eye Masks ($22) to the test for two weeks to see if they would fade my dark circles.

Transparently, I'm a huge Topicals advocate. I was first introduced to the brand in 2020 when Black-owned businesses were being heavily highlighted in the media. As a Black woman, I find it difficult to find products that are made with our skin concerns in mind, but Topicals is science-backed, effective, and made to fight dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and flare-ups. The Faded Serum ($38) has been the final step in my nighttime routine for the last two years, which is the longest a product has ever stayed in my rotation. (Shocking, I know.) So when the Faded Under Eye Masks launched, I knew I had to try them. As much as I love Topicals, I'm going to give my raw and unbiased opinion on the product with photographic evidence, of course.


When I wake up in the morning, my eyes usually look puffy and dark. I decided to use these under-eye masks in the morning shortly after waking up so I could hop on my virtual meetings looking more awake and refreshed. One of the key things that I noticed upon application was that these don't slip and slide like most of the masks I've tried. Once they're locked in place, they don't budge. I left them on for the recommended 15 minutes and found that I looked a little bit more alive and less puffy immediately after. However, the darkness didn't fade after one application (I didn't expect it to), so I continued testing these masks twice a week for two weeks.

Every time I used them, I appreciated the nice cooling sensation that helped wake me up during my peak morning grogginess. After week one, I started to see a bit of brightening, which was impressive since I've been trying to erase my dark under-eyes for years. Not only did my under-eyes look a bit brighter, but they felt more hydrated than ever. By week two, I was definitely starting to see a more evened skin tone. For maximum effect, the brand recommends applying the Faded Serum after application, which I've be doing at night. I have pretty hollow under-eyes, so the difference in darkness isn't super obvious, but with continued use, I think this stubborn discoloration will be fixed.


Topicals is known for its effective, science-backed ingredients, but I'm more impressed by how easy they are to understand as a consumer. When looking for products that have fading properties, I've always been wary of hidden bleaching or skin-lightening ingredients. I can use Topicals with full confidence that my skin tone is not being altered by some chemical that I've never heard of. These key, safe ingredients not only impact darkness, but they help with fine lines, wrinkles, and firmness, which definitely doesn't hurt. They prioritize melanated skin, and that's all that I could ever ask for in a skincare product.


What contributes to darkness or discoloration under the eyes?

Although dark circles under our eyes may look unsightly, they usually are not caused by a medical condition. The most common cause of dark under-eye circles is lack of sleep. If we don't get adequate sleep, our eyelids can become puffy and cast a shadow under our eyes. The darkness is also from the stronger appearance of blood vessels under our eyes. These appear more prominent when the skin under our eyes thins and becomes more transparent (with lack of sleep). However, there have been a couple of potential vitamin deficiencies that may play a part in dark circles. Vitamins E, D, K and B12 have been thought to cause dark under-eye circles when levels are low.

How can you maximize the effect of these eye masks?

Topicals's Faded Under Eye Masks contain a couple of key ingredients to combat dark under-eye circles. These include niacinamide and caffeine. These masks are cool as well, which also helps take down inflammation and dark circles. They should be used at least two to three times a week for max results. I also like refrigerating them to increase the cooling effect.

What are the key ingredients that you should avoid when searching for brightening products?

When looking for an under-eye mask or cream, I recommend avoiding retinol as it can be irritating and drying to our delicate under-eye skin. I do really like vitamin C for brightening, and it is gentle enough for the under-eye area. There are a few other DIY tricks to help fade dark under-eye circles: cucumber slices, tea bags, cool compresses, and elevating the head of your bed while sleeping. I do recommend my patients drink plenty of water and refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking as these can be lifestyle factors that contribute to dark under-eye circles.

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Next: I've Been Bleaching My Hair for a Decade—These 3 Products Reversed the Damage


Aniyah Morinia
Associate Branded Content Editor
Aniyah Morinia is an NYC-based associate beauty and fashion editor at Who What Wear. She has worked in fashion media since 2018 and joined WWW's branded content team, where she not only writes for some of her favorite brands but also creates content for them. Aniyah will find any excuse to get a photo of her outfit and absolutely loves taking photos. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 with a bachlor's degree in public relations and started post-grad life freelancing for EveryStylishGirl, Riot Swim, and Baby Tress. Since starting at Who What Wear, Aniyah has developed a passion for hosting livestreams, working red carpets, and creating TikToks in addition to writing fashion and beauty stories. When Aniyah's not writing or creating content, you can find her exploring Brooklyn and eating her way through the city. She'll never pass up the opportunity to uncover an NYC hidden gem or mix and mingle with her friends (all while swapping holy-grail products, of course).