How to get rid of dark circles
Dark circles are a frustrating problem to have. They make you look tired even when you’ve had
a good night’s sleep and comments from concerned friends and family can leave you feeling very self-conscious. To make things more complicated, there’s lots of conflicting advice out there on what you should do about them – mostly written by beauty bloggers without scientific or medical training.
Here’s some advice you can trust from London’s Eye Rejuviantion Expert Dr Shah-Desai. She has two decades of experience in banishing dark circles using both surgical and non-surgical techniques.
Treatment differs according to which issue, or combination of issues, is causing your dark circles. Check the guide below to see why your dark circles have appeared and how to banish them for good.
Skin under the eye is naturally more pigmented than the rest of your skin. Those with hyperpigmentation under their eyes have a much darker brown skin due to melanin deposits.
Do I have this? Gently pull the skin under your eyes towards your temples. If the discolouration improves then it’s likely that your problem is hyperpigmentation.
What caused it? The most common cause of hyperpigmentation is genetics. Those with Asian genetics are more likely to suffer from this problem. It can also be caused by sun damage, so make sure to wear high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen under your eyes.
- Preventative: high factor, broad-spectrum sunscreen. This will reduce the melanin production under your eyes
- Small effect: Vitamin C serum super-hydrates and improves skin quality, helping sun damaged skin to recover. Make sure to check our Vitamin C buying guide before purchasing
- Medium effect: Melanin inhibitors such as niacinamide cream and kojic acid reduced hyperpigmentation and lightened skin in studies. However, beware that niacinamide cream’s effects haven’t been studied in depth yet
- Large effect: Chemical peels can resurface the upper skin layer, allowing new skin to replace the pigmented skin. They are only done under practitioner supervision, so involve stronger chemicals and generally better results than over the counter creams
- Large effect: Fillers under the eye can add a white layer underneath the skin. This lightens the appearance of dark skin on top. It also will help to remove shadowing which may be increasing the dark look. Read more about this procedure with before and after pictures here
Visual blood vessels or capillaries
The skin under the eye is the thinnest in the body, meaning that blood vessels and capillaries can show through. Some people have thinner skin than others, which is why you may find that your eyes have a blue or purple tint.
Do I have this? Gently pull the skin under your eyes towards your temples. If the discolouration doesn’t improve and has a blue or purple tint, this is a sign that your dark circles are caused by thin skin.
Causes: Thin skin (due to genetics, poor quality skin or ageing), congestion due to allergies or thyroid complications.
- Preventative: it’s possible that your problem is nasal congestion, causing your blood to pool under the eyes. Try taking antihistamines to see whether this reduces the blue/purple appearance
- Small effect: retinol creams have been shown to increase skin thickness over time, but beware they also irritate the sensitive skin under the eye. You’ll need to combine them with rich moisturisers. Check our skincare guide for more information
- Small or unknown effect: vitamin k creams are often recommended to clear up small leakages of blood under the eyes. The scientific evidence is mixed on this, but it may be worth a try on an inexpensive cream.
Tear trough/volume deficiency
Tear troughs are a very common cause of dark circles. They results from a lack of fat underneath the eye causing shadowing. Tear troughs can be solved only by injecting volume back into these areas through dermal fillers.
Do I have this? Tear troughs are easy to spot. They are a lack of volume from the tear duct along in a semi-circle beneath your eye – resulting in an under-eye groove.
Causes: ageing, genetics and sleep problems can all cause the fat underneath your eye to drop.
- Preventative: managing your anxiety and getting a good night’s rest will help to fight off volume loss under the eyes
- Large effect: Although topical creams will do nothing for this issue, under eye fillers can make a dramatic difference. They’re affordable, safe and non-surgical. Read more about under eye fillers here
Dr Shah-Desai is an industry leading aesthetic surgeon, offering non-surgical and surgical treatments to reduce the appearance of dark circles.
As part of your treatment, she also provides a specialist skincare plan to reduce the signs of ageing.
Get in touch today to book an appointment.