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Dark Circles

hi i have really bad dark circles under my eyes im wondering if there is a cream to reduce the red and purple im looking for a fixing product not a covering product like conceler let me know thanks

Re: Dark Circles

Take a shot glass or a small glass container and lightly press the flat base onto your under eye area. Do this delicately, no need to use hard pressure and damage the sensitive area, and hold it for about 5 or 7 seconds, when you release the glass from the area does the majority of the darkness fade and rush back quickly or does it stay relatively unchanged?


If the color changes rapidly and your skin goes from looking quite normal to darkened again, an underlying cause of the issue can be damaged or weak capillaries and skin on the under eye area. When the capillaries are damaged, they can leech excess blood, causing an increase in darker color. When the skin is lacking elastin and collagen, it's not as supple and resilient, leading to having issues be more visible. 


To address this, vitamin K is an ingredient to use that will help repair leaky capillaries. It's commonly used in terms to treat bruising, so it follows the same lines and will help combat and repair.


For quicker fixes, caffeine and fruit extracts are also used. Caffeine is a diuretic, which helps to contrict blood vessels so they're not releasing or heavily passing blood flow, thus decreasing the darkness made visible while helping to promote drainage of fluid retention (which aids in combating puffiness). Caffeine will be a temporary fix and is more commonly found in AM/day treatments for the eyes. Fruit extracts that are rich in vitamin C are also used. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that combats against free radicals which are found in the atmosphere and degrade healthy cells, causing them to darken in color and breaks down collagen and elastin. The fruit extracts used (also referred to as glycolic acids or alpha hydroxy acids) promote healthier cell regeneration while brightening and evening skin tone. Vitamin C, glycolic acids, and AHAs are also great if darkness is brought on by lack of sun/UV protection, to which oxidative and environmental damage has affected skin and the under eye area.


If your dark circles didn't flush and rise back with blood with the shot glass test and remained dark, it could be a pigmentation issue as opposed to blood flow related. In which case, using an eye treatment with vitamin C and AHAs could help slough off dead, damaged cells and fade dark circles over time. AHAs are short alpha hydroxy acids, these enzymes help break down excess cells at the surface which can be weathered, damaged, or in poor condition (further emphasizing and making matters worse) but they also promote healthier cellular regeneration to replace what is lost with cells in better condition. 


Many eye creams also contain light reflective pigments or light diffusing particles to give a bit of a "glow" or slight "shimmer" to brighten the under eye area, making them good for day time as it lends itself into more "instant" results.


Retinol, or it's many forms (vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, etc.) is also another ingredient to look for when wanting to address any eye issue. Retinol not just improves the appearance of issues (be it lines, wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles, loss of elasticity) but it also repairs damage. Retinol can be quite potent, so it's important to find out what form is being utilized as well as introducing it slowly into your skin care routine. It kick starts cellular production and is often accompanied by mild inflammation, this is why easing into its use is important. Try formulas that containing buffering/conditioning agents like jojoba esters, squalane, or encapsulated retinol. You can even ease into the use of a retinol eye product just every second or third night before making it a daily product, but there's no rule that says you have to make it that way. You can most certainly use retinol eye cream in conjunction with a less potent formula and just alternate uses.


It's important to keep in mind that over the counter products/treatments can do only so much. While things like stress, lack of sleep, and allergies can be easily treated as it reflects along the undereye area, if you're genetically predisposed to dark circles, there may not be any way to drastically and permanently reverse signs, but you can at least address them to prevent them from worsening. 

Re: Dark Circles

I second the retinol. And as for cover up- i swear by benefit boi-ing. I have 2 kids, and work full time so I ALWAYS have dark circles lol

Re: Dark Circles


Hi jessiec1212,

I have battled dark circles of increasing severity since my teens. Contrary to what the beauty industry would like us to believe, there is not a cream, serum, or mask which can "fix" them. Most products that make this claim contain luminescent pigments, and any improvement you see will vanish once they are washed off or no longer in use.

Dark circles are caused by the veins under the eye being too close to the surface of the skin, hyper-pigmentation, or a combination of both. Hyper-pigmentation can be lessened by using a high SPF moisturizer daily, wearing sun glasses with a UV rating of 400 or more at all times (even when it's cloudy) while outdoors, retinol, and vitamin c products. 

The only long term impact to dark circles caused by veins too close to the surface is to help the skin retain thickness. Retinol can help with that to some degree as well. These are the type of dark circles that cosmetic surgery can lessen. I haven't looked into the inject-able fillers yet myself. 

I have finally seen some success in reducing my own dark circles (which are in the combo category) by using an SPF 50 moisturizer daily, coupled with an OTC retinol cream at night. I also wear my sunglasses every day.  It has taken 2 months for me to see this improvement. I'm debating adding vitamin c to the mix.

For coverage (which is the only real solution) try a salmon or peach color corrector. I am often able to just go with that, and not use concealer at all. Benefit erase paste and NYX work for me.

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