We have ALL had dark circles under our eyes at one point or the other.
But have you ever wondered how to get rid of these dark circles apart from following the general advice of “sleep more”?
Today, we solve your problem.
We have compiled a detailed guide on the best manner to get rid of those annoying dark circles under your eyes. You will learn:
- What causes dark circles.
- Treatments and solutions
- And much more!
What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes?
The most common myth floating around this condition is that “dark circles occur because of fatigue”.
This is false.
Fatigue is NOT one of the biggest causes of dark circles. In fact, there are many reasons for the skin under your eyes to become dark.
But the most prominent reason for dark circles is hyperpigmentation. This can occur due to environmental factors such as sun exposure and poor sleep or due to genetics.
In general, individuals from Asian and African origins are predisposed to a greater chance of hyperpigmentation due to genetic traits of very thin eyelid skin. This allows for the veins to pop through, resulting in dark circles.
Another common cause for dark circles is season allergies or nasal congestion. Such allergies and congestions can cause poor blood circulation to the lower eyelids, resulting in the veins become dilated. As a result, these enlarged veins are darker.
Furthermore, as we age, we also start losing fat and collagen under our eyes. This is a BIG contributor to dark circles. A sunken look and thinner skin can magnify this appearance.
Another reason for dark circles under the eye that has been gaining a lot of popularity in the last decades is people spending a LOT of time on social media. The more hours that are clocked on the screen, the larger the blood vessels become.
Other reasons for this condition include:
- Anaemia due to iron deficiency.
- Frequent rubbing of the eyes.
- Thyroid problems.
- Genetics – If someone has dark circles under the eyes in your family, you are more likely to get it as well.
The best way to figure out why you have dark circles under your eyes is to perform a pinch test. To do this, pinch your skin and gently lift it off the surface.
- If the skin remains dark and brown, it means there is some problem with pigments.
- If the colour becomes better, you probably have dilated veins. It is best to stay off social media for a bit (however, do finish reading this article.)
Medical Remedies to Cure Dark Circles
Fixing the dark circles under your eyes is best done medically. It is safer and GUARANTEES better results. If you are unsure which method to choose, we have compiled all the medically available treatments for dark circles.
Always consult with your local skin specialist before attempting any treatment.
Specialist Recommendation: Tear Trough Filler with Cheek Filler
Dr Baldeep Farmah, the Medical Director and lead doctor of Dr Aesthetica, recommends combining tear trough filler treatment and cheek filler treatment to tackle dark circles under the eyes.
A tear trough filler is a process of adding volume under the eyelids via an injection. The most common product for volume addition is Hyaluronic acid.
While the acid may sound scary, it is entirely NATURAL and is found all across your body. The tear trough filler treatment is non-invasive and safe.
The only disadvantage of these fillers is that they are not a permanent solution. You will have to re-touch them about every 9-12 months.
If you are interested in the tear trough filler, we have written a detailed guide here. Below is a snippet from the guide on the procedure of this treatment and what to expect.
“At Dr Aesthetica we use the Cannula technique. This is where Dermal Filler is injected into the Tear Trough via a microcannula – an extremely thin tube. An insertion point is made around the cheekbone area so that the microcannula can be fed through. This means that dermal filler can be injected more precisely and carefully into the delicate area under the eye. The cannula technique allows for less chance of bruising and is generally pain-free. More importantly, the cannula technique is much safer especially around this highly sensitive area.”
Dr Farmah recommends complementing the tear trough filler treatment with cheek fillers for PERFECT results. A cheek filler can support the undereye and also comes with added benefits such as:
- Improvement of forehead lines, frown lines and brow positions.
- Smoother laxity of skin.
- Improvement in cheek position and fullness. However, this can diminish over time due to weight loss, illness or stress.
- You will see your pores and skin get a better texture.
Bonus: Using Botox for Brow Lift and Crow’s Feet
While the title may sound gibberish, the following treatment can create a wonderful change on your face.
Botox is a world-renowned injection that is safe and effective.
Applying Botox to the following locations can make your eye look VERY fresh.
- Brow: This will lift your eyebrows and create a slick arch.
- Corner of the eyes: As we age, wrinkles may develop near the corner of the eye. This is called “crow’s feet”. Botox can help get rid of this problem and give you a smooth and fresh look.
These treatments are painless and non-invasive and take very little time.
Your skin specialist may prescribe skin lightening creams such as:
- Kojic acid: This acid is found in species of fungi and has shown strong efficacy in treating the dark circles under your eyes. However, there are some side effects, such as dermatitis and reddening of the skin.
- Azelaic acid: This acid can treat hypopigmentation. However, it is considered a long term solution.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin has been proven to improve the dark circles under the eye.
At Dr Aesthetica, we prescribe our patients the “eye retinol cream”. This cream is from AlumierMD, a medical-grade skincare brand with a global team of PhD level biochemists, physicians and skincare specialists.
What distinguishes AlumierMD from other skincare brands is that the products can be tailored towards your unique skin, diminishing any chance of damage or side-effect.
If the dark circles occur due to hyperpigmentation, a chemical peel can be a PERFECT alternative.
We have written everything you need to know on Chemical Peels here. In short, this treatment works by exfoliation through the removal of the outer layer of your skin.
It is recommended to only medium or light peels for this treatment. Deep peels can worsen the dark circles under the eye.
Chemical peels also come with the added benefit of treating melasma, wrinkles and other skin conditions.
The treatment of microneedling is a non-invasive procedure that works by creating tiny punctures on the surface of your skin.
Your body then goes into repair mode to fix the punctures, resulting in the lightning of your dark circles.
You may experience some resulting redness and swelling from microneedling. However, this will go away in a few days.
Laser treatment works by targeting pigments of the dark circles under your eye with a laser beam.
An expert practitioner must ALWAYS perform this treatment, involving a laser near a sensitive area such as the eye.
Perhaps the least recommended and most extreme method to remove dark circles under your eyes is through a form of blepharoplasty surgery.
Blepharoplasty only works if there are substantial deposits of fat or extra skin under the eye area of the skin. This procedure is very delicate and comes with strong side effects.
Make sure to work with a certified practitioner for this treatment.
Home Remedies to Cure Dark Circles
If you would like to follow home remedies for helping solve dark circles under the eye, below are a few recommendations.
If you are getting dark circles under your eye, it is best to start by assessing your diet.
A healthy diet consisting of the following anti-inflammatory food will help remove any dark circles on the skin:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Eating some specific fruits and vegetables can further help with this condition. For example, tomatoes contain an antioxidant named Lycopene that will bolster blood circulation and protect the blood vessels. Other helpful foods include blueberries, watermelon, orange and beetroot.
- Whole grains.
- Lean protein.
- Healthy fats.
This will also positively affect other aspects of your life, such as mood and fitness.
We recommend decreasing caffeine and alcohol intake as well. For example, laying off the nightly glass of wine or espresso can significantly help the dark circles.
On the topic of drinks, try to stay hydrated by drinking TONS of water.
Using Ice Packs
If your blood vessels are dilated, it is best to use a pack of ice. The cold can work to decrease the dark circles under your eyes.
The Three S’s: Sleep, Sunscreen, Smoking
Sleep should be a top priority regardless of dark circles. Getting a good night’s sleep can improve productivity, mood and general skin.
7-9 hours of sleep every night can give you the extra edge in all aspects of life. If possible, try to sleep on your back to minimize any puffiness under your eyes.
To get ample quality sleep, make sure to reduce the exposure to blue light from your phone, computer and tablet. You can either opt not to use them for 30 minutes before going to bed or install a yellow light filter.
Sunscreen is essential to avoid hyperpigmentation of your skin. Make sure the strength of the sunscreen is enough to counter the sun and has UVA, UVB protection. If the sun is TOO much, make sure to wear sunglasses.
Smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke works to worsen the dark circles. Attempt to quit smoking if you want to improve the dark circles under your eye naturally.
The only instant way to remove dark circles is through using makeup. By applying careful colour correction, you can neutralize the darkness present in your eyes.
If your dark circles are edging towards a blue/black colour, counteract it with a peachy colour. On the other hand, a pinky/red colour under your eyes can be equalized with a yellow concealer.
Performing eye massages can promote blood flow to the whole eye region and help improve blood flow to the dilated veins.
There are multiple guides available on the internet that can run you through the procedures of gently messaging the skin and other regions around your eye. This encourages blood flow.
Alternatively, you can use an eye massaging machine. Always consult your doctor or skin specialist before commencing with any of these electronic apparatus.
If the above home remedies do not solve your condition, the following is an extensive list of MORE treatments that can be done to help remove the dark circles under your eyes:
- Cucumbers – Cucumbers come with skin lightening and mild astringent properties. This is why you will often see this treatment portrayed in movies and social media.
- Potatoes – Potatoes carry a lot of Vitamin C alongside other critical materials; therefore, they can help with giving you the skin you are proud of!
- Cucumber Juice + Lemon Juice - Make sure to mix the juices in a 50/50 ratio, and DO NOT GET IT IN YOUR EYES.
- Rose Water – Like the above, rose water is a mild astringent that helps remove dark circles and works as a skin toner.
- Cold Tea Bags: Place a tea bag in clean water and leave this in the fridge for 30 minutes. After this time, place the tea bag on your eyes and leave it for 10 minutes. Do this twice a day to see some pleasant results.
- Coconut oil: This method is a powerful but gentle way of lighting the dark patches under your skin.
- Turmeric: Turmeric has a mix of natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory materials. The combination allows for the effective removal of dark circles under your eyes.
Unsure of how to fix your dark circles?
Book a consultation at Dr Aesthetica today to find the PERFECT way to get rid of your dark circles.
We will take care of finding a treatment that suits your skin type, medical history and expectations!