If you’ve stumbled across this article, you’re probably here because you have some dark circles you want to do something about. They’re a pain, aren’t they? 

While dark circles aren’t a medical condition, you may not like the look of them and want to do something about them. In this article, we’ll be exploring exactly what dark circles are, and what you can do about them.  

What actually are dark circles? 

Dark circles are when the skin under your eyes appears darker than the rest of your face. The skin around the eye area can appear all different shades of blue, purple, brown or black, depending on your skin tone.   

We think dark circles can be bloody charming, but we’re all about giving people a confidence boost. Many people don’t like the way dark circles look because they can make you seem tired and potentially older than you are. For some people, it can really knock their confidence. If doing something about your dark circles will help you to feel better, we’re all for it.  

Dark circles under the eyes can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender. However, they’re more likely to show more clearly on elderly people and people with darker skin or fair skin tones. There are lots of reasons dark circles can happen, but 99% of them aren’t anything to be worried about medically. 

They’re usually caused by the natural ageing process. As we get older our skin loses its elasticity and becomes thinner. This means that the veins and blood vessels under the skin are more easily seen. As our skin loses volume it can also create subtle shadows that make our dark under eyes appear to be darker.  

Tiredness, allergies, eczema, changes in pigmentation (the natural colour of your skin) are the typical culprits too. Lack of sleep, alcohol and smoking can also make them appear worse.  

You shouldn’t need to speak to your doctor or GP about dark circles unless you find it gets worse suddenly, or if you have swelling around your eyes.  

What can I do about dark circles? 

We’ve got to be frank here; it’s pretty difficult to completely get rid of dark circles. There isn’t one reason that people develop dark circles so it can be tricky to treat, and lifestyle can play a big factor. But there are lots of options to help treat dark circles. We’re going to explore different options through from easy and free home remedies to medical treatments.  

Home remedies for dark circles 

There are simple things you can do, for very little money, to help treat dark circles. Some things you can do from home will be more effective and long-lasting than others. 

  1. Get better sleep. Seems obvious, right? Lack of sleep can really impact our skin. Try to get a regular amount of sleep every night, usually around 7-9 hours depending on your personal needs. This will not only help you to function better generally, but it will help with your skin and dark under eyes. Sleeping with proper pillows that help to elevate your head can also help to prevent puffiness.  
  2. Use a cold compress. Applying something cold under your eyes for a few minutes can help to stimulate blood flow and reduce the look of dark circles. Many people swear by keeping a pair of teaspoons in the fridge for this exact reason. Some people also use cucumber slices, they’re full of water and vitamin C which is good for our skin. And they make a delicious snack.  
  3. Tea bags. Another home remedy to treat dark circles is to place cold tea bags under your eyes for 10 minutes. Tea contains antioxidants and caffeine, which are very good for our skin as they help to stimulate circulation.  
  4. Be more lifestyle conscious. Poor diet, smoking and drinking alcohol all contribute to how our skin looks. Take care of your body from the inside and you’ll notice a difference on the outside. 

Most of these home remedies will help with reducing dark circles short-term and be good for puffiness, but if you have hyperpigmentation or the bone structure in your face is what causes your dark circles then these options won’t make a huge difference. Let’s explore some more effective options.  

Makeup and skincare for dark circles  

A way to treat dark circles that is still accessible for most people is using skincare and makeup. Skincare will help to repair over time from the inside, while makeup will provide an instant fix on the outside. 

When looking for skincare to help treat circles under the eyes, we’d recommend investing in an eye cream rather than relying your normal moisturiser. Eye creams are formulated specifically to deal with common problems around the eye area like crow's feet, puffiness, bags and dark circles. While you can technically use any moisturiser around the eyes, it’s best to use something specific because the skin around the eyes is 4 times thinner than the rest of the face, so they require something more gentle. Eye creams are designed carefully with that in mind.  

Some ingredients to look out for in eye creams to help treat dark circles: 

  • Caffeine: Helps to stimulate the skin, helping it to appear tighter and smoother. 
  • Hyaluronic acid: Sounds scary, but it isn’t. Naturally found in our skin, a hyaluronic acid gel will hold onto water which helps skin to stay hydrated and look plumper.   
  • Vitamin C: Great for brightening, and will help to fight off further damage. 
  • Retinol or Bakuchiol: Both great for resurfacing skin and for their anti-ageing benefits. 
  • Peptides: The building blocks of collagen (which keeps our skin firm).  
  • SPF: Wearing SPF is great to help prevent dark areas from getting worse. Plus it’s key to protect yourself daily anyway.  

It’s worth bearing in mind that skincare won’t get rid of dark circles completely, but it can make a visible difference. A key element of seeing noticeable results is being consistent with the use of your products. Using them once a week won’t do much, just like going to the gym once a week won’t do much if you want killer abs. 

To help fix dark circles using makeup, we’d suggest using Foundation or Tinted Moisturiser as a base to help brighten and even out skin tone. Next, follow this up with a Concealer. We personally recommend our cream Concealer. It has a slightly thicker texture, so is better for coverage. Simply dot it on using your finger, a brush or a sponge, and then blend by gently tapping until the desired look is achieved. If you prefer light coverage, check out the Concealer Pen. This is a liquid concealer with sheer coverage. No one will know you’re wearing makeup unless you tell them. 

Medical treatments for men’s dark circles 

If you’re looking for something a little more hardcore, it’s worth visiting a board-certified dermatologist who will be able to provide you with the most effective and long-lasting treatment options for dark circles. 

A popular option for treating dark circles is chemical peels. These use different acids to help resurface skin and it will reduce the look of dark circles. This works particularly well if your dark circles are caused by hyperpigmentation, aka the colour of your skin is darker in that area. The recovery time from a chemical peel is anywhere from a week to two weeks. And it’s really important to protect and hydrate your skin diligently during that time so that the fresh skin is properly cared for.  

Laser therapy is also great for treating dark circles. They can help to resurface and tighten skin. And they aren’t as invasive as you might initially think.  

If your dark circles are caused by your facial structure or a loss of volume in your face, fillers could be a good option for you. Hyaluronic acid fillers for dark circles help increase volume in the eye area and can last for several months. But be careful to go to a reputable aesthetician to get this done, as it’s not suitable as a treatment for every type of dark under eye.  

There are other, more permanent, cosmetic surgeries available to help with dark circles too. An eyelid lift called blepharoplasty is very effective, but of course not everyone wants or needs this kind of surgery. If this is something you’d like to consider, it’s worth speaking to a certified plastic surgeon.  

A final word on dark circles 

Love them or hate them, there are some easy and relatively cheap ways to combat dark circles. You can try home remedies such as cold teaspoons or cold teabags as well as a proper regimen of effective skincare and makeup. We've put together a handy Dark Circle Defence Kit featuring our Eye Cream and Concealer Pen. A great duo to combat the appearance of dark circles.  

February 02, 2023 — Hannah Brill

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