Got dark circles? Join the club, friend. They’re a very common thing that a good portion of us have to deal with – and they have many different causes.
And while totally normal, if dark circles are a thing that really bothers you, the good news is that there are some things you can do to get rid of them.
That’s why we’ve decided to ask Nina Gajic, skin expert and founder of Skin Virtue, about the causes of dark circles and the best way to light discoloured skin beneath your eyes.
What causes dark circles?
First things first – the basics. When it comes to the different causes of dark under-eye circles most experts will agree that there are many different underlying influences at play.
“Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by many factors, the most common are fatigue, allergies and iron deficiency,” explains Gajic.
“What these three have in common is that they all cause a reduced flow of oxygen that leads to the dilated blood vessels under the eye area which intern leads to dark circles.”
But that’s not all. For some people, dark circles are a genetic or lifestyle thing.
“Dark circles can also be hereditary, from rubbing the eye area (often related to allergies), from thinning or loss of volume under the eyes, dehydration or poor diet.”
What’s the best way to get rid of dark circles?
As we said before, dark circles are a completely normal thing, but if you’d prefer to get rid of them, there are a few different options.
It’s important to note, however, that the best kind of treatment will obviously depend on your specific cocktail of variables, and if these can be addressed.
“The best way to get rid of dark circles is to treat the underlying cause,” said Gajic.
Before we get into at-home treatment options, let’s start with some lifestyle shifts that can help to minimise the appearance of dark circles.
“Get enough sleep, treat your allergies (I’m not saying take an antihistamine, I’m saying TREAT your allergies - immunologists are great for this) and make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes plently of leafy greens,” suggests Gajic.
“To help with the oxygen flow make sure that you exercise daily, even if it's a half hour walk daily, the culminating benefits will be visible. You could also try Yoga or Pilates, as they are a great way to focus on your breathing.”
While you obviously can’t change your genes (thanks mum and dad!), when it comes to skincare, Gajic said there are a few specific active ingredients you should look out for – including caffeine.
Not only does this powerhouse ingredient give you a boost of energy in the morning, but it also does the same for your eyes, “It helps to constrict blood vessel dilation and helps to reduce redness,” said Gajic.
Along with caffeine, Gajic said hyaluronic acid is great for boosting hydration in the under-eye area (obviously the thin skin around your eyes looks better when it’s hydrated).
If you’re looking for other dark circle-fighting ingredients, Gajic said ingredients such as adipofill’in will “provide a lipofilling-like effect”, increasing the volume under the eye area, “which effectively plumps and lifts the skin of the darkened area.”
Other hardworking ingredients? Antioxidants and peptides, which “help with cellular function and strengthen the skin,” adds Gajic.
If you’re looking for a great at-home option, Skin Virtue has two great options: Future Advanced Eye Serum and Pure Eye Radiance Cream.
Packed full of next-generation ingredients, Future Advanced Eye Serum and Pure Eye Radiance Cream both provide a botulinum toxin-like effect to the skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles.
The difference between the two formulations? Firstly, the consistency.
“The Pure Eye Radiance Cream is a lipid-rich formulation and loved by drier skin types, while the Future Advanced Eye Serum has a lightweight and fast-absorbing serum texture (it’s great for sensitive, teary eyes!),” explains Gajic.
Secondly, the Pure Eye Radiance Cream addresses puffiness around the eye area, while the Future Advanced Eye Serum does all of the above, plus more.
“The Future Advanced Eye Serum provides that lipofilling-like effect to sunken eyes, helping to plump up hollowing under the eye area and maintain firmness.”
What professional treatments can help?
When it comes to in-clinic options, there are a number of treatments that can address the underlying causes of dark circles and improve their appearance - including laser, under-eye fillers and peels.
However, Gajic generally recommends sticking with a gentler approach before jumping into anything drastic.
“In my opinion I like a gentle approach for the under-eye area and consider these to be invasive,” said Gajic.
“If, however, all else fails I would recommend going to the best plastic surgeon to address these concerns (if that’s where you’re at). Someone that will look at the entire face and understands the anatomy and its underlying structure and will give the best possible explanation and options for treatment.”
Do you have dark under-eyes? What do you like to use? Share your views with us at email@example.com
By Gary Williams, Bio