Dark Circles 101: The Different Types of Under-Eye Discoloration
If you’ve ever dealt with dark circles beneath your eyes, you know that it’s near impossible to master a fresh-faced, bright-eyed look with them around. You also know that making the sunken shadows disappear—sans concealer, of course—is no walk in the park. So we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dendy Engelman to share tricks on how to alleviate the bags—which are anything but designer—below. Step one: Consider their source. Step two: Devise a plan of attack. It’s time to bid good riddance to dark circles once and for all.
WHAT CAUSES DARK CIRCLES?
“Dark circles are the result of pooled blood underneath the skin. Because skin around the eye is very thin, almost transparent, blood pooled below this area can be visible and very noticeable. Dark circles can also be the result of fatigue or a side effect of aging. As we age, we lose subcutaneous fat, which can mask blueness below the surface of the skin; additionally, the shadows caused by the hollowness where there was once more fat can also appear as dark circles. Some people get dark circles as a result of hyperpigmentation triggered by chronic eye-rubbing, sun exposure, or simply genetics.”
Dark circles are not all created equally. Blue-toned dark circles often are a result of fatigue or allergies while brown-toned dark circles are caused by genetics—thanks mom and dad!—and/or sun damage.
HOW CAN YOU GET RID OF THEM?
“While there isn’t a way to get rid of dark circles caused by thinning skin or aging, you can temporarily reduce the appearance of dark circles with the application of products formulated with ingredients that are vasoconstrictors (think: caffeine or green tea) or hydrators (think: hyaluronic acid or ceramides) to plump the appearance of skin. You can also try thickening the surface of skin with prescription retinoid. If you have puffy eyes, cut out salt and alcohol, which can lead to water retention and exacerbate swelling. Sleep on an extra pillow to drain the fluid that can accumulate around the eyes when you’re lying down, and if you still notice puffiness in the morning, try a cold compress.”
Helpful tip: Refrigerated cucumber slices work well as a cold compress over your eyes to help temporarily improve the appearance of the eye contour area.
PRODUCTS TO USE
GARNIER CLEARLY BRIGHTER ANTI-PUFF EYE ROLLER
To help with morning puffiness, “try a product with a metal roller ball that gently distributes lymphatic build-up from underneath the eyes, alleviating the appearance of dark circles,” Engelman says. Looking for an anti-puff eye roller to use? Look no further. This gel formula—infused with antioxidant vitamin C, mint, and caffeine—instantly cools and refreshes skin. The micro-stimulating roll-on applicator helps de-puff and reduce the look of under-eye bags for a well-rested look.
LA ROCHE-POSAY PIGMENTCLAR EYES
This eye cream formulated with a magic combination of phe-resorcinol (an agent known for its targeted action on melanin), infused with caffeine (an antioxidant that helps decongest), and light reflective pigments to visibly reduce the appearance of both types of dark circles and brighten the eye contour area. The unique metal applicator offers a cooling effect that pairs perfectly with the gentle melt-in texture of the formula.
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes, $42.99