Dark circles under your eyes is a common concern. Almost every woman, at some point in their lives, has looked in the mirror and felt the need to reach for the concealer.
The reason? The skin under the eyes is up to eight times thinner than skin on other parts of the body. That means the eyes will be the first to show any changes with the skin itself (such as hyper-pigmentation) or the blood vessels underneath.
The problem is that there are many reasons you might be getting dark circles under your eyes. These can include:
- Sun Damage
- Lack of Sleep
The test you can do to see what’s causing your dark circles
There’s a very simple test you can do to narrow down what’s causing your dark circles. Very gently stretch the skin under your eyes outwards towards your temples. If the skin becomes darker, it usually means the cause is ageing or genetics. If it stays the same, it’s often a temporary issue such as lack of sleep or allergies.
Why does ageing cause dark circles?
As we age the rate that we produce collagen and elastin decreases. The less collagen we produce, the thinner and more translucent our skin becomes. The thinner the skin, the more you’re able to see the blood vessels sitting just under the skin.
There are many ways to stimulate collagen production.
1. Take a collagen shot once a day to kick-start collagen production and thicken the skin.
2. Use an eye cream with collagen stimulating ingredients. The two most respected and well researched ingredients to look for are Retinol and Vitamin C. Be careful when using Retinol if you have sensitive skin as it can sometimes be irritating.
If hyper-pigmentation is the cause
Hyper-pigmentation is caused by UV sun damage, often from up to six years previously. If you want to counteract the effects of sun damage under the eyes, the best ingredients to use will have a brightening effect on the skin. These may include Kojic Acid, Liquorice, Alpha Arbutin and Mulberry. Combining these with a light reflecting concealer such as Touche Eclat can make a real difference to hyper-pigmented skin around the eyes.
When allergies cause dark circles
There are two ways you can attack the problem if allergies are causing dark circles. Both work by reducing the inflammation of blood vessels
1. Take an anti-histamine which helps prevent blood cells from expanding and swelling which makes them more noticeable
2. Look for an eye cream that has anti-inflammatory ingredients. Caffeine is fantastic for constricting blood vessels as is Arnica. An eye cream which uses a metal applicator will also help as the cold of the metal can temporarily shrink the blood vessels.
Using concealer correctly
If you’re looking for a quick fix, concealer can really help. Apply your eye cream, wait a few minutes and then pat a liquid or cream concealer under the eyes making sure to cover the inner corner of the eye as well.
If your dark circles are a reddish hue, choose a concealer that is mint green to cancel out any redness. If your dark circles lean towards a blueish hue, you should use an orange or peach coloured concealer. Start with a small amount and build up.
And if you’re still conscious of your dark circles?
There’s always the distraction technique