Dark Circles 101: The Different Types of Under-Eye Discoloration
If you’ve ever dealt with dark under-eye circles, you know that it’s near impossible to master a fresh-faced, bright-eyed look with them. You also know that making the sunken shadows disappear — sans concealer, of course — is no walk in the park.
Ahead, we tapped board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dendy Engelman, to share tricks on how to alleviate under-eye circles and bags.
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,” explains Dr. Engelman. “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. Some people get dark circles as a result of hyperpigmentation triggered by chronic eye-rubbing, sun exposure or simply genetics.”
How Can You Get Rid of Dark Circles?
“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 them with the application of products formulated with ingredients that are vasoconstrictors or hydrators,” says Dr. Engelman.
Examples of vasoconstrictors are caffeine or green tea, while hydrators are ceramides or hyaluronic acid.
“You can also try thickening the surface of skin with a 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,” continues Dr. Engelman.
The Best Products for Dark Circles
To help with morning puffiness, using a product with a cooling roller, such as a jade roller or the Garnier Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller. “A product with a metal roller ball gently distributes lymphatic build-up from underneath the eyes, alleviating the appearance of dark circles,” Dr. Engelman says. This gel formula — infused with antioxidant vitamin C, mint and caffeine — instantly cools and refreshes skin while the micro-stimulating roll-on applicator helps de-puff and reduce the look of under-eye bags.
This eye cream is formulated with a magic combination of phe-resorcinol (an agent known for its targeted action on melanin), caffeine and light-reflective pigments to visibly reduce the appearance of dark circles and brighten the eye contour area. The unique metal applicator also offers a cooling effect that pairs perfectly with the gentle melt-in texture of the formula.