Skip to main content

How to Deal With Dark Circles

How to Deal With Dark Circles
SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert7 years ago
View SkinStore Editors's profile

Why are we plagued with dark circles that tell a sorry tale? Genetics, mostly. Aging can also cause volume depletion under the eyes, resulting in the stuff of bad skincare dreams: hollowed-out shadows.

Others, particularly those with thin, pale skin, have superficial blood vessels which reveal a reddish-purple hue. Allergies are also to blame, because irritation leads to frequent eye rubbing which may thicken and darken the area.

Prevention is better than a cure

While you can't press ctrl, alt + Z on dark, under-eye circles, you can minimize them.

Get enough shut eye and put down the Olivia Pope-sized wine glass. Too much alcohol and salt leads to water retention, swelling the under eye area and magnifying your circles. Sleep on an extra pillow to drain the fluid that can build up around the eyes while you're lying down. If you still see puffiness in the morning, try a cold compress or something like skyn ICELAND's Hydra Cool Firming Eye Gels.

Choose hydrating, gentle cleansers - not skin-drying ones that can irritate the delicate skin around the eyes. And always wear a sunscreen because we know how harmful the sun's UV rays are - no seriously, take your sun protection right up to the lower lash line with a physical sunscreen like SkinMedica's Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF50+ - this one is less likely to irritate your eyes. Also, avoid rubbing your eyes because friction causes a darkening of the skin.

Some topical ingredients, such as hydroquinone, licorice and kojic acid can help with pigmentation that isn't hereditary.

Wear large sunglasses for further protection - in fact just keep them in your bag or on your head at all times, all airport chic like Victoria Beckham. If you suffer from allergies, be sure to get a prescription for eye drops or antihistamines.

Determining the cause

Press on your dark circles. If the darkness lessens then you're likely dealing with blood vessels showing through your skin.

The thicker your skin, the less visible the vessels will be, so apply a retinoid cream underneath your eyes every night to build collagen and plump your skin. Top this up with a rich, hydrating eye cream that will reduce the likelihood of irritation and strengthen the skin.

If the darkness remains when you press on your dark circles, then you're dealing with inherent pigmentation, or sun exposure, or both. Reach for the retinoids by all means, but proceed with caution if you have extra-sensitive skin around the eye area.

Dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD, told that she usually starts with a bionic acid product, like NeoStrata Bionic Eye Cream. "You can also use a gentler retinoid, like La Roche-Posay Redermic Eyes, which contains a time-release retinol to reduce irritation," she said, and Glow by Dr. Brandt Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream also contains time-released retinols.

Explore our range of eye care now.

SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert
View SkinStore Editors's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from skincare to makeup, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the SkinStore blog, and find all your essentials in one place.