When it comes to skin concerns, dark circles under the eyes rank pretty high among women. And, we get it. Despite applying copious amounts of concealer or trying to detract with a bright-coloured lippy, sometimes when it comes to dark circles under the eyes it can feel like nothing works. And we obviously want the world to believe we managed to get our eight hours of shut-eye (even if this couldn’t be further from the truth).
Like most things, we often seek a quick fix and a one size fits all answer to our dark-circle woes. However, unfortunately, they are a complicated mix of genetics, skincare and sleep. And we are sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but unfortunately for some of us seeking dark eye circle solutions, your genetics will overrule even the best under-eye treatments on the market.
Since there are a lot of myths surrounding ‘quick fixes’, we wanted to weigh in on our top tips for reducing their appearance or getting rid of them altogether.
What causes dark under-eye circles?
Even though sleep often gets a bad wrap when it comes to causing dark circles, it’s really only one of a long list of factors. Here are some of the others you might not be aware of.
As we age, we will naturally lose fat and collagen in the skin, especially in the under-eye area. This can lead to a thinning of the skin, which can make the appearance of dark under eyes more prominent and appear ‘sunken’.
The darkness that is left behind either as a result of inflammation or from pigmentation can also be exacerbating your dark under-eye circles. People who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema can also be at greater risk, as these conditions are often itchy and lead to excessive rubbing of the eye area.
Lack of sleep, exposure to the sun, excessive alcohol, smoking and caffeine can also contribute. Lifestyle factors such as sun exposure without adequate SPF can break down collagen and increase broken blood vessels in the skin - which can cause dark circles. Things like lack of sleep can cause strain on the under-eye vessels, which, you guessed it, can also contribute to the appearance of dark circles.
Just like all skin conditions, genetics will absolutely play a part. Just like genetics have a huge impact on your skin's texture, type and tone, it will also often determine whether you will have noticeable dark circles. This is largely because if you have fairer skin, for example, dark circles can be more noticeable because the skin in this area is thin, and you can easily see the blood vessels that lie beneath.
How to prevent dark circles
Make sure you have good sunscreen on hand that is SPF 30 or higher and broad-spectrum for starters. You can also choose concealer and foundation that has built-in SPF for extra protection. We also recommend wearing sunglasses when you’re in the sun to prevent the worsening of dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation.
The Daily Antioxidant Defence SPF 30 is the answer to all your SPF prayers, being moisturising and sheer, it's perfect for everyday use, while also providing broad-spectrum and antioxidant protection. Tick tick tick!
Actual sleep - and enough of it
This one probably goes without saying, but if you are getting adequate sleep each night this may prevent dark circles from appearing in the first place (for some of us).
Just like sleep, drinking enough water will basically solve all your problems. Ok, it won’t, but it will help significantly. If we are hydrated inside, our body will look hydrated outside and the skin will appear more glowy.
Try to limit your alcohol intake
Fluid retention under the eye can lead to that ‘baggy’ dark look and it is often caused by excess alcohol consumption. If you suffer from this, definitely try to cut back on how much alcohol you’re drinking - this will also improve your sleep!
How to get rid of dark circles
Buy a good eye cream
Who doesn’t love a good skincare product to whip your skin into shape? The skin under your eyes is a little bit different from the rest of the face, which means it requires specific attention and products. But when it comes to new-fangled ingredients that claim perfect skin in a bottle, choosing the right one can be daunting.
When it comes to dark circles, we suggest buying products that include retinol as this will stimulate collagen and strengthen the skin's foundation. Vitamin C is also a must-have when it comes to under-eye skincare ingredients. Being a potent antioxidant, Vitamin C will reduce the appearance of pigmentation and will brighten the under-eye area.
Before you throw your hands up in exasperation, we have found what can only be described as your under-eye area's new best friend, Skinsmiths PRO Collagen Eye Complex. This little bottle of ceramide-enriched magic is scientifically designed to target eye treatment. It’s packed with active ingredients such as retinol, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid while also being delicate enough for the gentle skin surrounding the eyes.
While skincare is always the first port of call regarding skin concerns, if your dark circles persist despite doing all the right things makeup can come in handy. Try opting for a foundation colour that has a peach undertone as this can correct the ‘greyness’. When it comes to concealer, choose a colour that is one shade lighter than your foundation - this will give a more highlighted look and brighten up the under-eye area.
We also recommend always using makeup products that are both hydrating and have SPF in them. This will work alongside your skincare for even better results as well as preventing irritation and creasing. And of course, ALWAYS wash it off thoroughly at the end of the day with a cleanser and a toner.
How to apply under-eye cream properly
- Use your ring finger (it’s your weakest finger) so this will ensure you’re not pushing too hard on the delicate area.
- Pump a pea-sized amount of product onto your ring finger.
- Gently tap small dots under and above the eye area, starting in the innermost corner and moving outward. Avoid applying the cream too close to your lower lashes as this may lead to irritation.
- Pat the product gently into your skin. Try not to drag or rub.
- Wait 2 minutes until the product is completely absorbed into the skin.
- Apply the rest of your skincare products.
Generally, eye cream should be applied in the morning before you apply your sunscreen. In the evenings, try using it before the heavier formulas such as moisturisers go on.