Perhaps it’s a case of “I-indulged-too-much, morning-after-the-party blues.” Or maybe it’s allergies, age or hereditary-related thin skin. No matter the cause, dark under-eye circles can be hard to treat. But there is hope! Here are solutions to get you one step closer to your beautiful and bright-eyed future.
The skin under the eyes is more delicate and thin than other areas of the face. The thinner the skin, the more pronounced the blood vessels under the eyes appear, resulting in unflattering shadows.
Ask your dermatologist or plastic surgeon about topical treatments. According to a 2016 study, retinoids and other over-the-counter and prescription medications can stimulate collagen to thicken the skin. Microneedling and peptides can also increase collagen.
Topical caffeine can restrict blood vessels, making dark circles look less noticeable—hence the generations-old practice of applying cold, black or green tea bags on your eyes as a mini-spa treatment. Products with niacin and vitamin K can also restrict blood vessels.
The Big Cover-Up
In the old days, concealers were so thick and unflattering that they looked like spackle and accentuated fine under-eye lines. Today many brands have improved their brightening technologies: reflective optical diffusers add a fresh and rested look to your complexion, and wider color ranges make it easier for consumers to find a perfect match. A few good concealers to try include Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer, Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer; IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer; Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer, Too Faced Born This Way Concealer, and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.
Practice Good Diet and Wellness Habits
Nutritional deficiencies and plain old bad habits can be the root causes of dark under-eye circles, and dehydration can accentuate them. Stress and a poor diet may weaken blood vessels. A good mix of foods rich in A, C, E and K can help fortify and/or repair blood vessels and surrounding tissue. Stay hydrated, avoid smoking, drinking excessive alcohol and caffeine, and be sure to get enough sleep. In addition to wearing sunglasses, protect your eye area from UV rays by wearing sunscreen made for the delicate under-eye area.
Check Underlying Health Issues
Note that certain medications and health issues can exacerbate dark circles. This includes anemia and liver damage. Hum Nutrition touts milk thistle (also called silymarin) as a solution. Research indicates that the supplement can indeed help. Ask your doctor about medical conditions, medication side effects, and remedies.
For more extreme cases of dark under-eye circles that aren’t helped by the remedies above, lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery can have a positive effect on reducing shadows in the area. Chemical peels and laser resurfacing may help pigmentation issues, and filling the area via a fat transfer or hyaluronic acid filler may soften the appearance as well. This is such a delicate area of the body, so it’s not the time for bargain shopping—safety is paramount. Only go to a place with oversight and/or treatment by an American Board of Medical Specialties doctor for these treatments. Build a trustworthy team who clearly sees the best beauty and health options for a fresh-eyed you.