Can You Get Rid of Dark Circles?

June 08, 2017
By: Jackie Burns Brisman | by L'Oréal
Can You Get Rid of Dark Circles?

When you have dark circles—whether they’re caused by fatigue, allergies, or genetics—learning if you can get rid of them can become an obsession. While there may be some eye creams and serums on the market promising to help you get rid of dark circles, can you really buy into these promises? Below we share a few recommended eye creams that can help visibly diminish the appearance of dark circles as well as all the info you need to know about the appearance of your under-eye shadows.

What Can Cause Noticeable 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 board-certified dermatologist and consultant Dr. Dendy Engelman. It can be helpful to know why you may be experiencing dark circles to see if you can make lifestyle changes to help in addition to incorporating products formulated to address dark circles. Visible dark circles—like many other skin care complaints and concerns—can be caused by a number of reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Genetics: Do mom or dad have noticeable dark circles? It’s very possible the cause of your concern lies in your very own DNA. Most-often these type of dark circles are brown-toned.
  • Allergies: Ever notice how your dark circles look even worse during the same time of year you experience seasonal allergies? Fact is, dark circles—especially blue-toned dark circles—can often be caused by the same factors that give you the sniffles and itchy, watery eyes. 
  • Sun Damage: Like many other forms of skin discoloration, the appearance of darkness and shadows under the eyes can be due to prolonged and unprotected sun exposure. The sun’s UV rays can cause our skin to produce excess melanin, the pigment that gives it its color. Like dark circles caused by genetics, this type is often brown in tone.
  • Fatigue: This may seem like a no-brainer, but lack of sleep can be a cause of visible under-eye shadows. Lack of sleep can make you appear paler and more hollow-eyed, according to the Mayo Clinic. Too many all-nighters in a row? Chances are you’re reaching for the concealer to cover up those bluish-tinted circles.  
  • Age: As we age our skin can become thin and naturally loses fat and collagen. When this happens, the blood vessels under our eyes—an area where skin is already so thin—becomes more apparent causing the appearance of dark circles to be more obvious.

How to Help Reduce the Appearance of Dark Circles

Regardless of the reason you may have dark circles, there are lifestyle changes you can make and products you can incorporate into your skincare routine that are formulated to help reduce their appearance over time.

  1. Wear broad-spectrum SPF…everywhere: If you don’t already, it’s time to be more diligent about sun protection around your peepers. Since UV rays can cause skin to produce excess melanin it’s key to wear a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 or more around your eye contour daily—and don’t forget to reapply regularly. For added protection, reach for large sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors to further shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

  2. Make concealer your new BFF: While only a temporary fix for visible dark circles, using a color corrector under your favorite creamy concealer is a great way to help hide all visible evidence of shadows.

  3. Get your beauty sleep: According to consultant board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali getting enough sleep can help the appearance of dark circles look less pronounced. When you rest, be sure to elevate your head on two pillows to help reduce the blood from pooling under your eyes. He recommends pairing your beauty sleep with product use for the best results—which brings us to our final tip.

  4. Reach for an eye cream: Morning and night, try to reach for an eye cream that’s been formulated to help diminish the appearance of dark circles. We’ve found a few that help to improve the look of shadows in the eye contour area over time. Look for products formulated with ingredients that are vasoconstrictors like caffeine and green tea or hydrators like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. We share a few of our favorites below:

5 Recommended Products for Dark Circles

La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes

Formulated with phe-resorcinol, caffeine, and light reflective pigments, this eye cream helps to visibly reduce the appearance of two types of dark circles and brighten the eye contour area.

Decleor Anti-Dark Circle Multi-Brightening Eye Care

This multi-brightening eye care can help brighten the eye contour and diminish the appearance of dark circles.

Lancôme’s Bienfait Multi-Vital Eye SPF 30

Since UV rays can make dark circles look even darker, help to filter out signs of sun damage with a broad-spectrum-SPF formulated eye cream. This one from Lancome is formulated with SPF 30 to help protect the eye area from signs of sun damage. It can also help to visibly reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, and dehydration lines around the eye area.

L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream

Formulated with antioxidants, this eye cream can help target five signs of visible skin aging. It helps to visibly diminish the look of dark circles and reduce the appearance of puffiness, under-eye bags, crow’s feet, and visible crepiness. Morning and night, gently dot a small amount of the eye cream around your eye area, using your pinky or ring finger, until it’s absorbed. 

Kiehl’s Eye Alert

Formulated with extracts of cucumber and alfalfa, vitamin E, and caffeine, this eye product helps to hydrate and energize the feel of delicate skin around the eye area. Pat it around and under your eyes morning, night, and as needed throughout the day.

By following the tips above you may be well on your way to saying sayonara to those visible dark circles! 

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