Tired of dark circles that make you look like you've pulled an all-nighter, even when you've had a full eight hours sleep?
You're not the only one.
Despite being a common concern, dark under-eye circles can be triggered by a multitude of lifestyle and genetic factors, which makes them difficult to treat, especially when we’re not entirely sure what’s causing us to look perpetually exhausted.
But brighter days are here – literally! With the right products and healthy habits thrown into the mix, you can 100-per-cent brighten up the look of tired eyes, while also targeting puffiness and fine lines.
Read on for all the intel.
What Causes Dark Under-Eye Circles?
The skin around our eyes is thinner than the rest of our face, so it tends to reveal the underlying blood vessels, giving rise to that bluish or purplish tint.
Under-eye circles can be triggered by lifestyle choices like excessive alcohol or salt intake, as well as a lack of sleep, because burning the midnight oil can lead to puffiness and blood vessel dilation alongside that ‘tired eye’ look. Irritation from certain skincare ingredients, excessive rubbing, allergies and dehydration can all contribute, too.
However, the main cause of chronic under-eye circles is genetics – some of us are simply prone to darkened or pigmented skin beneath the eye area. Unique facial features, such as deeply set or hooded eyes, can also result in natural shadows.
Can You Actually Get Rid Of Under Eye Circles?
We’ll be honest right off the bat and say that it’s not always possible to eliminate dark circles. And that’s OK! A little darkness is completely normal – plus, it’s the reason concealer was invented.
What is possible, however, is reduced puffiness, improved hydration and constricted blood flow, which will brighten up the overall area.
First up: lifestyle habits. Here’s what we suggest to help you look well-rested with a defined eye contour:
- Get plenty of sleep
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid excessive salt consumption
- If you wake up constantly puffy, try slightly elevating your head overnight
- Eliminate allergens and irritants from your routine (this will differ from person to person, but if you notice frequent redness or scaly skin, book in with a dermatologist or dermal therapist)
- Be diligent with sunscreen and sunglasses as UV exposure can lead to collagen breakdown and pigmentation, exacerbating the look of dark circles
The Best Products And Ingredients To Brighten Dark Circles
Fortunately, there are a handful of proven ingredients that target darkness, puffiness, and lack of radiance around the eyes.
These are our favourites:
A potent antioxidant, Vitamin C works to stimulate collagen and elastin production, strengthening the skin while improving the look of wrinkles. Vitamin C is also known to brighten and unify tone, making it a perfect ingredient to use around the eye contour.
This formula contains Australian Kakadu Plum – a natural form of Vitamin C that’s gentle enough to use around the eyes – which dials up radiance and softens the look of darkness. It’s also packed with botanical oils to smooth and nourish, plus humectants like Panthenol to eliminate dehydration lines.
Peptides stimulate skin repair, assisting with loss of firmness and sagging. They’re also great to strengthen the skin, preventing the thin, crepey look that can contribute to dark shadows.
This multitasking formula is jam-packed with Peptides to firm and smooth the skin around the eyes and the neck. It targets loss of elasticity in the long term, while instantly plumping dry or tired skin.
Coffee extracts (including caffeine) constrict blood flow, which can reduce the appearance of dilated blood vessels beneath the eyes.
This nifty product also contains Green Coffee Extract to target puffiness while delivering a much-needed antioxidant boost.
A build-up of expired skin cells can cause dullness and prevent moisture uptake. Because the eye area is more sensitive, it requires special care to remove this build up, and Enzymes are a gentle way to do this without any negative implications.
Try: Enzymatic Micro Peel
Formulated with Papaya extract, this exfoliator dissolves the bonds holding surface cells together, allowing them to be easily removed. It also infuses moisture back into the skin for a plump finish. Apply to your eye contour and leave on for a few minutes.
Treatments for dark circles? Tick. Want expert advice on targeting blackheads? Read on