“How can I get rid of these dark circles?” This question is high up on the list of most asked questions and it’s not surprising given that it’s one of the top skin complaints from women of colour who are more prone to hyperpigmentation of the eye area.
Skin discolouration is bothersome at the best of times, but when it envelopes the eye area, I find that we instantly become more self conscious and start treading the hamster wheel looking for solutions. The skin around the eye is already much thinner and delicate than any other area of the body, which makes it particularly vulnerable.
I’ll put my hands up and say under eye circles can be a pain to treat and there is no instant magic solution. You’ll find a lot of skin health experts echoing these words. This is simply because there are just so many reasons that could be contributing to the shadows under your eyes. Sometimes, it’s a mixture of reasons that need unpicking and unpacking before a resolution can be found.
Lifestyle plays a big role in the development of dark circles – late nights, screen time, stress, smoking, poor quality sleep and bad diets, especially those high in salt, can eventually leave our skin look worse for wear, with the eye area being the most revealing. I’ve found that making changes in the you live can dramatically improve the health of your eye area. Salt, wheat and alcohol can be triggering so for brighter eyes try cutting them back or out completely!
With pollen levels being quite high, irritable eyes will cause you to rub and and scratch, which only then fuels inflammatory pigmentation of the skin around the eyes. I know that it’s easier said than done, but stop rubbing is the answer. If you’re out and about, don a pair of oversized sunnies to avoid exposing your eyes to the elements.
With the skin around the eyes being naturally thinner, its quick to suffer from dryness which also makes the eyes look tired and lacklustre. The easiest hack is simply to keep the the skin supported and moisturised. Well hydrated skin always looks healthier than dry crepey skin. This is where a good eye serum is a worthy investment and if you have mega bucks you won’t go wrong with at Skin Better Science Interfuse Eye Treatment Cream (£92) formulated with Niacinamide, Vitamin C, caffeine and hyaluronic acid to support and brighten the eyes in as little as four weeks.
Budgetnistas can check out La Roche Posay Pigmentclar Eye Cream (£26) which has caffeine that constricts the blood vessels to make the eyes appear brighter as well as light reflecting pigments to illuminate the eye. If your eyes are particularly prone to sensitivities, then Cerave Eye Repair Cream (£12) is full of the brands signature ceramides to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier whilst keeping the eye area smooth and hydrated. This is only a good option for oily skin types – it doesn’t clog the pores so you can use safe in the knowledge it won’t fuel breakouts.
Sometimes fluid retention under the eyes can cause it to become puffy and discoloured. And on these occasions incorporating a gentle ring finger eye lymphatic massage will encourage fluid to drain. Just pat and press gently across from the inner corner of your eye down to you ear. For more targeted action, Clinique’s Even Better Dark Circles Corrector (£32) comes with a cooling metal tip to tighten and de-puff the skin, whilst brightening.
There is also such a thing called tear trough depression. You’d know if you have this because the under eye area will be sunken and it causes a dark shadow, making you look perma -tired. I know that this can be particular irksome; the fastest way to a resolution is to call in expert needlers like Dr Ejikeme at Adonia Medical or Dr Ewoma at SKnDoctor, who within a matter of minutes and two pin pricks later will have you looking bright eyed, well rested and alert.
If you’d rather not have injectables, then I rate Radara (£150 – box of 30) rejuvenating eye patches which starts giving results in as little as two weeks. It uses clever micro needling technology to stimulate collagen and drive hyaluronic acid deeper into the skin to smooth, boost and plump from within. With continuous daily use, you can expect perky peepers with no downtime whatsoever!
If you’ve tried it all and dark circles aren’t budging, take a look around your family and if you can see relatives with dark circles too, genes are the culprit and there may little you can do if it is a family trait. However, all is not lost – Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Duo (£40) – does exactly what it says blurring imperfections and brightening the eyes in a lightweight two step liquid and powder system. With thirty-six shades in the range, there’s a colour for every skin tone.