Do you wake up to dark circles even after a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone.
Dark circles under the eyes are super common, and there are a few reasons why you may be dealing with them, including genetics and lifestyle.
Unfortunately, you can’t reverse dark circles, but you can definitely reduce them with the right products and tips on your side.
What causes Dark Circles?
The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, so it’s common for the veins underneath to give the area a purple or bluish hue. Dark circles aren’t always caused by a lack of sleep — they’re usually linked to genetics, skin tone and age.
People with fair or dark skin tones are more prone to dark circles. With fair skin, the blood vessels under the eyes look more prominent, while those with darker skin tones produce extra pigment around the eye area. You may also end up with hyperpigmentation due to chronic rubbing (thanks to allergies or contact lenses), a diet high in salty foods and sun damage.
You may notice dark circles if you have a “tear trough,” which is a groove that stretches from the inner corner of the eye and down to the cheekbone.
How to reduce Dark Circles
While many of the causes of dark circles are out of your control — like genetics and age — there are a few ways to minimise their appearance.
#1 Wear Sunscreen daily
As always, caring for your skin starts with SPF. It's important to protect your skin before you expose it to the sun, and that’s where a broad-spectrum sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide comes in.
Apply sunscreen daily as the last step of your morning skincare routine, and aim to do that 20 minutes before stepping outside. You could even multitask and choose a mineral foundation with SPF, such as the Mineral Veil Powder Foundation SPF25.
It’s also a good idea to wear sunglasses and a hat whenever you’re in the sun. This will help you to avoid squinting, and prevent crow’s feet and fine lines from forming.
#2 Reach for hardworking Skincare Products
Along with sunscreen, add an eye cream to your skincare routine. Eye creams are specially formulated for the thin, translucent skin around the eyes, and it’s worth investing in one when you start to notice the first signs of ageing.
As for the rest of your skincare routine, look for products with brightening ingredients, like vitamins A, C and E. They work to decrease pigmentation caused by sun damage and allergies, leaving your dark circles looking lighter. Those are just some of the vitamin C benefits for skin.
Hydration heavy-hitters such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and niacinamide can also help with dark circles. These ingredients help to plump up the skin and push away the pooled blood from the undereye area.
Lastly, consider applying a gentle retinol every 2-3 days. It will thicken the skin and boost cell turnover so the veins under your eyes are less visible.
#3 Choose the right Concealer
You may not be able to get rid of your dark circles, but you can disguise them with the help of makeup and concealer tips.
The first step is using a colour corrector to counteract the pigments in your dark circles. A pink- or peach-toned concealer like the Cover Up Under Eye Corrector will neutralise the blueish colour of your dark circles, prepping it for makeup. The Vegan Colour Corrector Palette also has the perfect colour corrector for dark circles.
Next, reach for a creamy concealer like the Skin Renew Ceramide Concealer. The best concealer for dark circles, it’s packed with ceramide to deeply hydrate the skin and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, and vitamin C to brighten. Plus, the lightweight formula won’t settle into fine lines. For the best results, gently pat the concealer in using your ring finger until it melts into your skin. Try not to drag the full-coverage hydrating concealer across your skin — this may exacerbate your pigmentation.
If your skin is on the oily side, set your concealer with a light dusting of the Hydra Set Translucent Setting Powder. It will prevent your concealer from caking and creasing, and help it to last longer.
Top tip: Make your eyes appear even brighter by dabbing a shimmery highlighter in the inner corners, and opting for brown mascara over black. A nude eyeliner can also work wonders in “waking up” the eye area.
#4 Avoid irritants
If your dark circles are looking darker than usual, inflammation could be the culprit. Try these tips to help calm any inflammation:
- Be extra gentle when removing eye makeup. Pulling at the delicate skin around the eyes can irritate and inflame the area. Use a fragrance-free wipe or a cotton pad, and gently stroke the skin in the same direction until all traces of makeup are gone (rather than rubbing back and forth).
- Take an antihistamine. If allergies are behind your dark circles, an antihistamine can work quickly to clear up any irritation.
- Reach for products formulated for sensitive skin. You may not think of the undereye area as sensitive, but it is. Using soothing, fragrance-free products can go a long way in brightening dark circles.
#5 Adjust your lifestyle
Good sleep and eating habits can help keep your skin healthy and hydrated — and your dark circles at bay.
- Drink plenty of water! When your skin is hydrated, it regenerates faster.
- Aim to sleep for at least 7 hours a night.
- Sleep on your back and prop your head up on an extra pillow to prevent fluid from pooling under your eyes.
- Invest in hypoallergenic bedding, especially pillow protectors.
- Place chilled potato slices over your eyes for 10-20 minutes once a week. The humble vegetable contains catecholase, a skin-lightening enzyme.
- Cut down on sodium and salt, and avoid alcohol a few hours before bedtime. They can dehydrate the skin and make dark circles worse.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods like vitamin C for skin to stimulate collagen production and improve the appearance of dark circles.
Shop Concealers to cover Dark Circles
Dark circles can be caused by a range of factors, including genetics, skin tone and a lack of sleep. But luckily, a good concealer can disguise the darkness and brighten up the undereye area.