Dark circles under your eyes can make you look tired and stressed. There are a number of reasons that these dark circles appear but, perhaps surprisingly, tiredness isn’t one of the main causes.
What causes dark circles under your eyes?
Dark circles often result from hyperpigmentation, where patches of skin become darker in colour than the normal surrounding skin. This can be caused by sun exposure, smoking and poor sleep and simply down to your genetics.
Allergies, such as hay fever, and nasal congestion caused by an infection, can cause poor circulation to the lower eyelid, leading to dilated veins. These dilated veins under your eyes can look bigger and darker – the dark circle effect. If you suffer from allergies, try to avoid rubbing your eyes, no matter how they itch. Rubbing can break the fragile capillaries around your eyes worsening under eye circles.
As we age, we lose skin volume, and this can accentuate the hollow under the eye, known as the tear trough. This reduction in fat and collagen can magnify the appearance of dark circles.
Spending hours in front of a screen, as our always-on, digital lives often demand, can contribute to dark circles. Excessive screen time can put a strain on our eyes. In turn this can prompt blood vessels around the eyes to enlarge and create darker shadows.
So how do you reduce dark circles?
A diet based on healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruit can bring about visible skin improvements, including around your eyes.
Fresh air and exercise will help your overall health and your skin’s appearance.
Staying hydrated is important. Dry, dehydrated skin can look sallow and make dark circles appear more prominent. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much caffeine or alcohol.
Whilst a lack of sleep doesn’t cause dark circles, it can exaggerate their appearance. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep a night. Try sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated to minimise the chance of added puffiness. Sleep in a dark, cool room, free from blue light.
Sun protection is vital to avoiding hyperpigmentation. The skin around your eye area is very delicate and especially sensitive to sun damage. Too much sun exposure makes your body produce more melanin, which in turn gives you darker circles. I recommend Ultra Violette Screen Queen (SPF 50) and Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46.
Make sure your night-time routine includes removing your makeup thoroughly. A good cleansing and moisturising regime allows your pores to breathe and your skin to rejuvenate overnight, so you look fresh and flawless when you wake up. I like Avene Cleansing Foam and Hydrance Aqua Gel.
There are a variety of aesthetic treatment options you can consider if you want to do something more proactive to reduce dark circles.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an effective and natural skin rejuvenation therapy which harnesses the power of your own blood plasma to stimulate growth factors within the skin responsible for healing and collagen and elastin production. PRP can help minimise fine lines and dark under eye circles.
For the right candidate, tear trough treatment with hyaluronic acid filler or a booster such as Nucleofill can help minimise hollowing and reduce undereye circles.
Light Eyes Ultra is an innovative mesotherapy cocktail of hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and botanical extracts specifically formulated for the eye area. This treatment helps improve microcirculation, skin elasticity, puffiness and dark circles around the eyes.
Laser treatments can also be used to help soften pigmentation and vessels around the eyes to reduce under eye circles.
Don’t ignore your dark circles if they are affecting how you feel about yourself. Speak to a dermatologist about developing a treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.