The Best Skincare Ingredients to Treat Those Dark Undereye Circles

Dark undereye circles are very common and many of us want treatment. This skin concern is a bit more complicated, however, as there are many different causes, so what works for one person might not work for another.

person with light reflecting on face
Undereye circles can be treated – source

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this skin concern, including causes, treatment, prevention, and much more today!

What are Dark Undereye Circles

Dark undereye circles are a skin concern in which the area underneath the eye appears darker than the surrounding skin. Many believe this is caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in the skin that causes pigment. However, this is not always the case.

Not all dark undereye circles are created equally. Since there are many different causes, it’s important to pinpoint why this skin concern is occurring to best treat it. There are three main causes of dark undereye circles, as listed below.

What Causes Dark Undereye Circles

Here are the different types of dark undereye circles and the causes of each.’

1. Thin Skin and Muscle Structure

The area of the eye has very thin, specific skin. This is why someone with sensitive skin may need an eye cream, as these formulations are designed for this very thin skin. Thin skin may just be revealing the small blood vessels. Some ingredients target the appearance of these vessels. Sometimes the thin skin may even cause the muscles, which are tinted red, to peek through.

Excess thinning of the eye skin may happen with age. This skin concern may also be caused by a low amount of fat around the tear duct area, which can cause a dip. 

2. Shadowing From Surrounding Structures

Shadowing can be due to lighting and the way shadows are cast from the orbital bone at the brow downward. Any lighting that comes from above may cause the illusion of dark undereye circles. Remember, that for this cause, no amount of skincare will get rid of it. There are some little bonus tips, found in the ingredient section at the bottom though that may help.

Morning eyebags may also cause odd lighting that creates a shadow effect. This is a type of swelling that can be treated.

3. Hyperpigmentation

This is what many believe their dark undereye circles are caused by. This is when the body increases skin pigment, causing a dark area. Hyperpigmentation may be genetic, inflammation, sun exposure, or an allergic reaction. People with eczema are also prone to dark eyes due to inflammation.

Best Skincare Ingredients to Treat Dark Circles

Here are some treatment options depending on the type of dark undereye circle.

From Thin Skin and Eyebags

A great skincare ingredient for thin skin is caffeine. Caffeine causes vasoconstriction and vasodilation, which can help reduce the appearance of small vessels underneath the skin. This will also help depuff the area greatly, reducing eye bags due to fluid. Know this is only a temporary fix while the cream or serum is on the skin.

You can also use retinoids to help thicken up the skin underneath the eye. This will boost collagen and elastin to boost skin health and appearance, increasing cell production and turnover. Remember that retinoids may be a bit irritating, so start on low doses or low strengths, use once a week, and slowly increase frequency.

From Hyperpigmentation

Use SPF to protect the thin skin under the eye. If you use tinted sunscreen, you can help give yourself a color tint that will hide the darker coloring. Retinoids, vitamin C, niacinamide, tranexamic acid, alpha arbutin, azelaic acid, and kojic acid are all great options that will also help reduce hyperpigmentation

From Eczema

Use non-comedogenic ingredients that are fragrance-free. Try out skincare products designed for the eyes and safe for individuals with eczema. Also try to avoid harsh ingredients on hand creams and nails, as these can get into the eye when we rub our eyes. 

Good ingredients for eczema are ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and other hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. 

Bonus Tip for Shadowing

If you have an issue with shadowing or even a deep area naturally under the eye, you can use a couple of tricks to hide it. Use a lighter concealer than the rest of the face to brighten the undereye. Try to set the eye with a brightening powder to reduce light bouncing off the undereye as well. This tip isn’t a fix, but it will reduce the appearance of dark areas.

When to Seek a Dermatologist

Remember that many people deal with dark circles. In some areas of the world, undereye circles and bags are trending and wanted. Some go as far as to draw them in. So try to appreciate your appearance and send yourself some self-love.

However, if shadowing or thin skin isn’t helped by the bonus tips, and it is something affecting your self-esteem, the only real option is a dermal filler in the area. This will reduce shadows and plump the appearance. There is also a specific laser that reduces veins in the undereye area.

The Takeaway

Many of us deal with dark undereye circles, though all of the causes may not be the same. Maybe you have a prominent bone structure, perhaps the shadows cast a harsh light, or it just might be a case of hyperpigmentation. 

Remember that health comes from within, so eat nutritious food, exercise when you can, and take care of your mental health. Daily habits become building blocks for emotional, mental, and physical health. Don’t forget to take care of your gut microbiome health as well! Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here.

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