Pandas are cute, aren’t they? But not if you are starting to look like one. And these days it’s almost hard to meet a person who isn’t experiencing this hurdle to achieving beautiful and healthy skin. Made worse by stress, these tenacious dark circles are only worsening with almost little to no sleep schedules. But did you know that while we all have this one big problem to deal with there’s another? Not all dark circles are the same, and hence there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that will work to make your skin look healthy.
The skin around the eyes is not only extremely sensitive but quite thin and delicate as compared to other parts of the body. So many changes happening within the deeper layers of the skin will start showing like a mirror on the outer surface.
With all that said, it’s not all that impossible to treat them. Here is all that we decoded about dark circles to help you out of our collective misery.
Tips From The Expert To Remove Under-eye Dark Circles
Causes Of Dark Circles
DIY Home Remedies
Healthy Habit At a Time
Invest In These Treatments
Frequently Asked Questions:
Causes Of Dark Circles
Here are some causes of dark patches under the eyes:
- We all know we aren’t getting any younger. So if you haven’t had one, there’s a very good chance you might be joining the widely spreading team.
- With ageing, we start losing collagen and fat underneath the eyes, as a result, the skin gets thinner and our skin, the worst possible mirror at its job, starts to show everything lying below your skin, namely the dark blood cells.
- Do you see this commonly occurring in your family? It’s quite possible that you are doing everything you can but to no effect because genetics have quite a part in those. Thin skin prompts and amplifies the visibility of blue and purple hues from the veins that lie underneath your skin. Moreover, melanin-rich skin which is quite susceptible to hyperpigmentation can cause dark circles.
- Do you feel like you have a cold that’s ever-persistent? It could be another reason for dark circles. Nasal congestion or allergies that result in lower blood circulation to the area under your eyes may lead to your veins dilating and becoming darker.
- SCREEN TIME, is one thing we can’t escape especially now that the physical environment is a story of the past. Naturally, that causes our eyes to strain and the momentary relief we get from rubbing our eyes doesn’t help either.
- Allergens in products that we use, sun exposure, unfulfilled sleep needs of our body, piling stress, underlying health problems like iron deficiency, and lifestyle habits like smoking exacerbates the dark circles.
- Dark circles are a pervasive skin pigmentation problem in which the skin directly under your eyes darkens. However, some common causes include sun overexposure and anemia. Besides this, thinning of the under-eye skin, hay fever, aging, smoking habits, and fatigue are also some sources of this problem. There is also a chance that your dark circles can be ensured by some genetic factors.
6 Foods To Prevent Dark Spots
DIY Home Remedies
Who doesn’t like a good remedy lying around their house? But are you getting it right is the question?
- Be the “cold never bothered me anyway” girl from Frozen because cold compress is your new buddy! Applying it for 10 minutes twice a day may help reduce dark circles.
- Cucumber-laden aunties with face packs on might be doing it right! How? Cucumber has mild astringent and skin-lightening properties. Slice up that juicy vegetable, refrigerate it for 30 minutes and then place them over your eyes. Want results? Don’t forget to use it daily.
- Is cold compress not available? Use cold tea bags! Soak them in water, refrigerate and leave it on your skin for 10 minutes twice a day. Green tea is an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties which help in soothing the strained capillaries under the eye area.
- Mint leaves will leave you feeling minty fresh. They contain menthol that improves blood circulation, soothes and rejuvenates the skin. Being astringent it contracts the blood vessels around the eyes, reducing the blue tint. Plus, vitamin C in mint only makes the skin around the eyes appear brighter. Blend mint leaves and apply and leave them for 10 minutes in the affected area.
- The vitamins A and B6 in milk help build new skin cells while vitamin B12 naturally lightens dark skin and selenium protects the skin from harmful free radicals and sun damage. Just soak two cotton pads in cold milk and squeeze out excess. Place the cotton pads on the eyes covering the dark circles. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with cold water. Repeat thrice a week.
- Include dark chocolate in your routine as it’s flavonol-rich which protects you from UV rays and slows down the ageing process caused by way too much time out in the sun.
- Aloe vera is an effective moisturizer and has anti-inflammatory properties. Clean the under-eye area with moist cotton and apply massage aloe vera pulp under the eyes for 10 minutes. You don’t need to rinse it unless you find it sticky.
- Rosewater and whole milk are your best bet if you have sensitive skin. Take two teaspoons of milk and mix it with 1 teaspoon of whole milk. Soak two cotton pads in the mixture and cover your eye area with them for 20 minutes. Wash with normal water.
- Containing natural bleaching properties that can help lighten the skin under your eyes and prevent puffiness around it, potatoes might be quite helpful. Take chilled potatoes and grate them. Extract the juice into a bowl and soak cotton pads for a minute. Place them on your eyes for 20 minutes and wash them off with normal water.
- Mix and match and find the best you can! Turmeric and mint leaves are one possible concoction. Turmeric is known to rejuvenate tired and sagging skin. In a blender, puree mint leaves and strain to extract the juice. Add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to the juice. Apply the mixture to the affected area and leave it on for 20 minutes. Allow it to dry and wash with cold water.
- The oil for all your needs-coconut oil! An extremely moisturising ingredient, it contains vitamin E and antioxidants that help repair damaged skin cells and dryness. It also is rich in lactic acid that tightens skin. Before going to bed, apply extra virgin oil on clean under-eye skin. Massage gently in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for a few minutes. Leave it overnight.
- One teaspoon of almond oil with a few drops of lemon juice is a magic potion. Retinol, vitamin E, and vitamin K are all these things in almonds the delicate skin under your eyes is smooth without irritating it. Massage the mixture around your eyes for 2 minutes. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse.
- Argan oil which contains vitamin E and tocopherols replenish moisture in skin cells and reduces wrinkles by repairing the skin’s hydro-lipid layer. It also reduces fine lines and reduces the damage caused by the sun. Gently massage a few drops under the eyes for a few minutes before sleeping. Leave it overnight and rinse in the morning.
- Tomatoes are natural bleaching agents. They contain antioxidants that reduce discoloration around the eyes. Try this potent home remedy to banish dark circles: Extract tomato juice and mix ½ tsp of lemon juice and 2 tsp of gram flour into it. Apply the paste under the eyes and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with cold water.
- Orange juice, vitamin E oil, eating salmon, curbing salt and alcohol consumption, hydrating yourself, getting 8 hours of sleep, sleeping on your back, exercising, meditating, allergy medicines if required and moisturizing, moisturizing and moisturizing, are the many many ways you can treat your dark circles and reduce pigmentation around your eyes.
- Ingredients like tea bags, rose water, turmeric, tomatoes, lemon, and ice cubes, which are easily found in any kitchen, can help you greatly in removing discolorations. Even doing practices like elevating the head and drinking more water can do wonders for your under-eye discoloration.
- Applying vitamin K is also known to be great for removing dark circles. The vitamin can be used to lighten the shade of dark circles in the orbital area of the eye. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates blood clotting, because of which studies show that beauty products with vitamin K brighten the under-eye area.
- Almond oil can help to lighten dark circles under your eyes and reduce puffiness under your eyes. This is due to the fact that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Along with Vitamin E, these naturally occurring ingredients may also aid in the contraction of the dilated blood vessels that are causing the discoloration. Combining equal parts almond oil and vitamin E, gently massaging the mixture into the dark circles just before bedtime, and washing the area with cold water first thing in the morning, will help reduce the dark circles.
Pro Tip: Do a patch test before you apply anything directly. Remember to rinse anything that you apply because lingering residual ingredients may cause other skin problems or make the dark circles worse.
Look for these ingredients in your eye creams because using the right cream can make all the difference.
- Moisturise: Ingredients like glycerine and panthenol are good for soothing skin and locking moisture. You can also pump and lift the area around your eyes with the help of creams that have ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
- Brighten: You can brighten the area under your eyes and depuff the skin with the help of yeast extracts. Golden root, sugar beet and yeast combination can also soothe and depuffs the skin. Other ingredients like Vitamin C and kojic acid can also brighten the skin and help in under-eye pigmentation.
- Prevent thinning: Retinol increases cell turnover and collagen plumps and lifts the skin which helps in making it appear much healthier and nourishes the under-eye area.
Pro Tip: For better results make it a part of your daily skincare routine.
Healthy Habit At a Time
Smaller changes in your lifestyle can help you in the longer run. Follow these habits that every skin expert swears by:
- Sleep better with at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep to avoid exaggerating the appearance of dark circles. Sleep on your back with your head moderately elevated to minimize puffiness.
- Put your health under a microscope. Smoking, passive smoke inhaling, being overweight, having triglyceride or high cholesterol only worsens things. Exercise, meditate and make some dietary changes to help this.
- Wearing sunscreen can help you avoid hyperpigmentation. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that does both UVB and UVA protection to the lashline and wear sunglasses.
- Ice balls and cryo balls when kept in the freezer overnight and run over the skin can help with the puffiness, oxygenating and lightening it. It is also quite rejuvenating and a great way to relax.
- Use the right ingredient combination for skincare that suits your skin. Research and use the above-mentioned ingredients as a guide to starting.
- Fake it till you make it. Use color-correction. If you see dark grey/blue undertones use a counteractive peachy concealer. If you see more red/ pink undertones, use a yellow base to neutralize.
- If that’s not working for you, go for subtle but light-reflective products that will do the trick by helping the light to bounce out from under and even on the inner corner of the eyes. But use a lightweight powder above it to not draw too much attention to the under-eye area.
- Facial yoga exercises and meditation are a great way to minimize or even completely get rid of your dark circles. Yoga combined with meditation can work wonders for your skin. It soothes your mind and body, effectively revitalising all of your body's processes. Regular yoga and meditation practise can also help you focus better and manage stressful circumstances more efficiently.
- Salmon is an omega-3 fatty acid-rich oily seafood. It not only lessens the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, but it also lowers the risk of heart disease. It nourishes your skin by lowering inflammatory chemicals and congested pores. The skin surrounding your eyes is extremely fragile and susceptible to dryness and Omega-3 fatty acids keep your skin from becoming dry.
Pro Tip: When applying makeup, remember to not go heavy on the application and just use a thin veil.
Invest In These Treatments
A good skincare routine and a healthy lifestyle are all good but can still go for these treatments that improve the health of your under-eye area.
- Chemical peels not only treat dark circles but other pigmentation problems like age spots and melasma. This is especially good if you suffer from hyperpigmentation. Light peels can be used and they can help over a period of time. Some common peels that are used are mandelic lactic and glycolic acid. There can be some shedding of skin post-treatment, so it’s nothing to worry about if it happens with you.
- Laser Treatments such as QS-Alexandrite, QS-Ruby, 1550nm Fraxel, and 1064 Nd: YAG can be used near the eye since it’s quite vulnerable to injury. It may require a few courses to make it better.
- Microneedling prompts the skin cells to get into repair mode which in turn prompts the lightening of the dark pigments. If combined with chemical peels, this can increase the penetration and activity of the peel. Redness and swelling are common after the procedure.
- Tear trough filler can be used to better the appearance of lower eyelid dark circles. Hyaluronic acid filler injections (like Restylane or Juvederm) will help by re-plumping the area and pushing the skin up and away from the blood vessels.
- Lipostructure is a surgery that aims to fill the under-eye circles by directly injecting the patient's fat into the deep circles for amazing results. The space between the cheek and the eyelid is filled, and the appearance is more harmonic and less fatigued.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Are dark circles under the eyes hereditary?
A. The appearance of dark circles could be due to a variety of reasons – nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, or allergies. But the most common cause is that they are hereditary. Often, the genes passed down from parents are the leading cause for many.
Q. Is aloe vera gel good for eye bags and wrinkles?
A. If there's one product that works effectively for both eye bags and wrinkles, it’s aloe vera gel. A storehouse of essential vitamins, namely vitamin E, C, B12 and A, aloe vera gel is also known for its anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties, which help you combat pesky under-eye bags and wrinkles.
Q. Are there any medications or treatments for this?
A. Vitamin C supplements are effective in dealing with wrinkles and eye bags. The vitamin aids in the making of collagen, which improves skin elasticity, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Treatment for this condition should be based on the factor causing it. If it is due to an allergic reaction to something, anti-allergy medicines should be consumed. If the factor causing it is linked to genes, then treatments like under-eye fillers can be considered, which add volume to the under-eye bag, helping it transition better to the cheek. A doctor should be consulted before any medication or treatment is considered.
Q. How long does it take to remove dark circles?
A. The nature of the dark circles determines how long it will take to reduce them. If they are caused due to fatigue or lack of sleep, adequate sleep will help solve the problem in a couple of weeks. For more stubborn dark circles, continuous treatment and changes in diet and lifestyle should show a change.
Q. What is a good eye care routine?
A. A good, hydrating moisturizer goes a long way in keeping the skin around your eyes well-nourished and healthy, and should always be part of your eye care routine. Despite moisturizers advocating the inclusion of SPF in their formula, it is better to opt for a separate sunscreen, especially because the skin around your eyes is doubly sensitive compared to the rest of your face. There’s no denying the beauty of eye makeup, but if not removed properly, it causes more harm than good.
Does vitamin C help dark circles?
A. It is said that vitamin C helps in alleviating the discoloration caused by dark circles. Vitamin C basically helps in smoothing out the fine lines by hydrating the under-eye area. It is also effective in reducing overall redness.
Do screens cause dark circles?
A. Just like headaches, eye irritation, and blurred vision, excessive usage of screens and its strain can also cause dark circles as our muscles are composed of tiny red blood cells, when we strain them, these cells deviate and pool in areas of stress.