Dark circles: What causes them and how to treat them
Sick of looking like you need a good night's sleep? Often the first place to show ageing is our eyes, and dark circles can leave us looking more fatigued and run down than we actually are.
In some cases, no matter how much sleep you get you’ll find that you’re still left with dark circles that just won’t go away. That’s because fatigue isn’t the only reason behind them.
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Possible causes of dark circles:
- Dark shadows cast by puffy eyelids.
- Genetics: you may have inherited fair skin or thin skin under the eyes, which means fragile capillaries can leak and appear darker. If you gently stretch the skin under your eye and the colour becomes darker it is likely genetics are to blame.
- Ageing: over time skin loses collagen and thins, which means veins under the skin appear more obvious.
- Excessive sun exposure: the sun speeds up the ageing process as it breaks down collagen. It also prompts your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour, which means you may also end up with dark spots under your eyes and on other parts of the face.
- Rubbing or scratching your eyes.
- Lack of iron and poor nutrition.
- Lifestyle factors such as emotional stress, smoking and alcohol.
- Kidney or liver problems.
How to get treat and cover dark circles:
1. Concealers and correctors
Although only temporary, the easiest, quick fix to hide dark circles is to cover them. After applying primer and foundation, follow with a concealer or corrector. Dark circles have a purple undertone, so look for products with a yellow base that can balance them out successfully. Look for a rich, creamy concealer that won't seep into fine lines around the eyes. Apply the concealer on the circles only, starting from the inner corner of the eye outwards. beautyheaven product picks: Designer Brands Take Cover Mineral Concealer and Rimmel London Wake Me Up Anti-Fatigue Concealer. You may also want to consider a corrector. While concealer provides coverage and evens our skin tone, correctors help to hide discolourations. beautyheaven product pick: Bobbi Brown Corrector.
2. Eye creams
Use an eye cream twice a day, morning and night. Look for products containing vitamin K and retinol, which help to reduce discolouration and puffiness, and vitamin C, which encourages collagen production and can help brighten skin tone.
3. Home remedies
There’s an abundance of home remedies that seek to treat dark circles. Try gently massaging almond oil or vitamin E oil into the circles at night to help improve blood circulation. You could also try applying cotton pads soaked in rose water on your eyes for 10 minutes to soothe, reduce puffiness and brighten.
Vitamin K helps to heal the damaged capillaries and arteries in the skin. Look for vitamin K-enriched foods, found in most leafy green vegetables. Vitamin A aids the repair of skin tissue around eyes, as well as containing many anti-ageing properties, and vitamin C increases collagen, removes free radicals from the skin and helps protect the skin against sun damage.
Be sure to wear sunglasses to protect the delicate eye area from harmful rays if you’re outdoors throughout the day. If you know your dark circles are associated with lifestyle factors, then try to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which will only exacerbate the issue. If the issue persists and you fear your dark circles may be the result of a medical problem, always consult your doctor.
6. Face tan
If you have a cool-toned and pale complexion, your dark circles can appear more prominent in contrast to the rest of your skin. By applying a face tan, it will help to even out the tone between the two, softening your circles and bringing warmth and brightness to your face.
*This article has been updated since its original publication date.
Main image credit: @shaninamshaik
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