If too many late nights, poor food choices or one too many cocktails have taken their toll, you may be noticing puffy eyes and dark circles creeping in. When baggy eyes or dark shadows linger, the cause is often less than temporary. Dark circles can be due to a multitude of different reasons ranging from genetics to food intolerances. Health and beauty expert Fiona Tuck, MD of Skinstitut Australia and author of The Myth Minx, investigates…
Dark circles can be a pigment issue which causes under-eye discoloration and is particularly common among people of Asian or African descent. These types of dark circles tend to be genetic which means no amount of eye cream will be able to fix this. Good concealers and sneaky make up tricks are the secret to camouflaging away the underlying pigment.
Age also contributes to dark circles. With age, the skin around the eye thins, exposing the tiny blood vessels that lie just below, resulting in dark shadows. Most often, dark circles aren’t about changes in the colour of the skin at all. Instead, they are created by a loss of volume in the area around the eye. This exposes the orbital bone, creating a hollow trough that shows up as a dark circle. With the delicate eye area one of the first spots to reveal signs of aging, hollowing can happen as early as 30s or 40s.
What can be done?
Makeup can help conceal dark circles. Hiding dark circles with concealer is easier than you may think. Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone, rather than a lighter tone which only accentuates the issue. If your shadows are more prominent, go for more coverage with a light reflecting cream concealer. Lightly pat the concealer on from the inner corner of your eye to just past the outer corner. Skin lightening serums that contain ingredients such as daisy flower extract, licorice, niacinamide, glycolic acid may also diminish the darkness.
If the darkness is due to stagnant blood around the eye area, eye creams that contain caffeine or green coffee extract have also proven beneficial by increasing the micro circulation.
Dermal fillers such as hylauronic acid can be injected into hollows around the orbital rim to plump up they eye area. This is a fantastic way to not only diminish these dark circles but also restore youthful contours.
Here are five things you can do – without needles or knives – to help keep your eyes looking youthful:
- Always apply a sunscreen and wear sunglasses when exposed to UV rays. UV rays weaken collagen and cause premature wrinkling and sagging. Wearing sunglasses will prevent squinting and the wrinkle formation that is associated with it.
- Keep the eye area hydrated and look for nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and collagen boosting peptides.
- Calm puffy eyes and dark circles, place chilled green tea bags or slices of cucumbers under your eyes. The cool temperature and anti-inflammatory ingredients reduce swelling.
- Sleep well. Getting at least 8hrs of good quality sleep every evening does wonders for brightening the eyes. If you are prone to puffy eyes try sleeping with an extra pillow to elevate the head and assist with the prevention of fluid accumulation around the eye area.
- Eat well. Avoid highly processed foods, excessive consumption of inflammatory foods such as sugar foods, fizzy drinks, fatty foods and alcohol. Certain food intolerances can also aggravate dark circles so if you notice the darkness worsening after consumption of certain foods e.g. wheat, dairy it may be time to reduce these in your diet. A good intake of Omega 3 fatty acids commonly found in oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocados is essential for healthy cell membrane function and may even help to reduce puffy eyes by strengthening the cell membrane integrity.