Dark circles under the eyes are common as we age, but experts say there are ways to manoeuvre around them — without the use of cucumbers and concealer.
Kristen Ma, co-owner of Pure + Simple Beauty and author of Beauty, Pure and Simple, said there are a few reasons people get dark circles or bags under their eyes.
“One of the most common causes has to do with vasculature under the eyes,” she told Global News. “There can be dilation or blood stagnation. Some factors can accentuate the vessels in the eye area such as pale skin tone or lack of sleep leading to skin dullness.”
Dark circles can also be a result of skin inflammation in the delicate eye area.
“This may be prompted by allergies, eczema or irritation to your topical products.”
Ma said you may also have genetic pigmentation in the area or puffiness leading to darker shadows in the under eye area.
And yes, age does have something to do with how these dark circles appear.
“Dark circles may worsen with age as the skin tissue thins and loses moisture, making the vessels more visible.”
But if it’s from genetic pigmentation or puffiness, she said it could stay the same as you age.
“Those influences are exacerbated by other variables (not necessarily aging) such as salt intake, water metabolism and hormonal factors.”
What about sleep?
One of the most common narratives around dark circles is that you’re tired, stressed and not getting enough sleep.
According to experts speaking to The Telegraph, “beauty sleep” is essential for healthy skin.
“Sleep is a time for regeneration, repair and renewal, and is essential to anyone’s beauty routine,” said Noella Gabriel, co-founder and creator of ELEMIS Therapies.
“Modern day living takes its toll on the eye area. Anyone who spends a long time in front of a computer, in the sun, in air-conditioned environments or is a smoker, will notice lines appearing prematurely.”
She told the site these factors can strain our eyes and the skin around them.
“This is not necessarily determined by age anymore, as the demand for eye products is higher than ever.”
Ma agreed, and added fatigue and stress often lead to dark circles.
“This is because the skin often is paler and more dull, showing these vessels more prominently. Also, fatigue and stress can cause puffiness and congestion in the area.”
How to get rid of dark circles
Vitamin K Cream: Ma said eye cream with vitamin K is one of the few topical products that work in practice.
“Vitamin K works on the vasculature, which is why it’s used as a topical treatment for rosacea and bruising. It’s also good for soothing the inflammation of irritation that is at the heart of your dark circles.”
Facial cupping: For dark circles with puffiness or exacerbated by swollen under-eye bags, Ma recommended facial cupping. “This uses gentle suctioning to move and stimulate fluid in the area.”
Limit screen time: “Looking at screens too long can lead to stagnation of the eye area,” Ma said. Extended periods of screen time strains the muscles and may cause stagnation. “Also, you blink less and dry eyes can cause overall irritation to the area.”
Hydrate internally: Drinking ample water daily is important, but it also keeps skin tissue healthy. “This help keep skin tissue moist and healthy, supports healthy blood volume and helps keeps puffiness away. If you are experiencing chronic puffiness, I would limit salt in your diet to stave off water-retention.”
Do a product audit: Pay special attention to what you’re using on your face, especially in the eye area, Ma explained.
“Is anything causing sensitivity? Are there fragrances promoting watery eyes or puffiness? If you’re unsure, you can remove one product at a time and monitor if your eye area is looking better, more soothed or brighter.”
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