How To Reduce The Appearance Of Dark Circles And Why Do They Appear?

Posted by in Skin Care

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The dreaded panda eyes, we’ve all experienced them. Whether you’re like me and sport sizeable dark circles every day, or are one of the fortunate ones who only spots the eye bags on particularly weary days (you lucky things), dark circles under the eyes are never a welcome sight. To help you banish the shadows and look bright and beautiful this year we’ve put together our top skin care tips to reduce dark circles under the eyes and we're busting the myths as to what causes these pesky pigmentations.

So first of all you might be wondering, what on earth are “bags” anyway? The deep blueish hue that appears under our eyes is the result of blood vessels showing through the particularly thin skin that sits under our eyes. It’s a very natural feature of the human face and sadly often the most common cause of dark circles under the eyes is genetics, meaning for many of us eye bags are a problem that is in our DNA and they’re not going anywhere.

However there are a huge number of environmental causes for puffy eyes, here are the most common culprits:

  • High salt intake

  • Dehydration

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Poor diet

  • Allergies

  • Crying

  • Lack of sleep

  • Rubbing eyes

  • Dirt/residual makeup irritating the eyes

Too much salt, alcohol, sugar and crying are all major causes of water retention, resulting in puffy eyes which accentuate the soft under-eye skin making your eyes look sunken. By making sure you keep yourself well rested and hydrated (lots of sleep and lots of water? sounds pretty good when you think about it) you can massively reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.

enter image description here Too much crying and no sleep makes Jacqueline a dull girl...

The good news is that whilst you can’t get rid of them forever, there are many effective online beauty buys that will help you to hide the hue. One of our favourite, and most refreshing (if not a little cliched) solutions is the old cucumber over the eyes trick. You might think that this is a ridiculous old wives tale but there is method to the madness of placing cucumber slices over your eyes. Firstly they’re perfect for popping in the fridge and cooling the skin around the eyes, combined with the fact that cucumber contains ascorbic and caffeic acids, both of which are known to reduce water retention in skin, means that any puffiness around the eyes from lack of sleep, high salt intake or even crying will be reduced. Furthermore cucumbers are also high in potassium and vitamin E, both of which help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and as they’re mostly water cucumbers won’t irritate those with sensitive skin - win-win!

Now cucumbers are all well and good, but when you’re on the go they’re not necessarily the most practical solution (nobody wants to become the crazy cucumber lady on the tube) but luckily there are other, more portable solutions. For cucumbers on the go the ultimate solution is this Perfect Eyes Recovery Cream from This Works £28. This portable beauty essential (packed with natural cucumber, aloe vera and arnica) soothes and smooths eyes, reducing puffiness, cooling sensitive skin and tightening and brightening dark circles. With this power-product in your handbag you’ll feel relaxed and refreshed whether you’re sitting at home or stuffed up in rush-hour on the tube.

Not sure which products are suitable for the sensitive skin around your eyes? Try taking our quick and free online questionnaire to gain access to your beauty matches.

If discolouration is your main issue and you don’t suffer from puffiness under your eyes then a simple home treatment you can try is using lemon juice. Lemon juice is a fantastic brightener for all skin tones, however this solution does come with a health warning: if you get lemon juice in your eyes it will hurt, so don’t do it. For the safest method simply soak cotton balls in chilled lemon juice and place beneath the eye for up to 10 minutes for an instant under-eye refresh.

enter image description here You've got to catch up on those Zzzs through any means possible...

If you’re a little low on lemons then one specialist product for brightening dark circles on the market, which is used by skin care specialists globally, is this Age Defying Eye-Firming Gel from Medik8 £36. This product is an all-in-one anti-ageing eye serum which combats the appearance of dark circles whilst also reducing signs of fine lines and puffiness. This award-winning professional strength treatment contains a peptide-rich formula which has been specifically designed for the delicate under-eye skin. This product works to reduce puffiness and discolouration under the eye using a complex of powerful antioxidants which improve circulation in the skin. It’s an under eye miracle worker which boasts some impressive results, so for chronic dark circle sufferers we think it’s a beauty must-have.

If you’re in need of a quick and effective solution often a good coverup can be the best fix which is exactly what you get with the Retoucher Concealer Treatment Stick from Charlotte Tilbury £25.00. This handy pocket-sized retoucher is makeup’s answer to photoshop as it conceals pigmentation imperfections and blemishes as if they were never there. So if you don’t want your boss to know how late you were out last night, this could just be your last minute saviour.

In an ideal world we would all get around 10 hours sleep each night, living alcohol-free, sugar-free, fun-free lives, but in reality sometimes life just gets in the way and dark circles under the eyes are often the result. If ever you find your dark circles are getting you down just remember, they’re a physical manifestation of your achievements! So what if you look a little fatigued, when you’re 90 you’ll be glad you stayed out too late too often, ate too many pizzas and drank too much champagne; life is for living! So don’t let a few bags get you down, with these tips and online beauty buys you’ll barely even know they’re there.

Looking for your next on-the-go eye treatment? Shop our soothing selection here.

Not sure which eye treatments are right for your skin? Try taking our quick and free online questionnaire to discover your beauty matches.