Dark under-eye circles and how to get rid of them

As I mentioned in my other post about under-eye bags,dark under-eye circles is the bane of my life! They make me look constantly tired, even when I sleep 12 hours straight, it doesn’t matter, I will still look like I’m a party girl with a narcotics habit.

These pains in the butt (s) are extremely hard to treat, especially topically. There’s a lot of creams and serums out there that promise to fade them away, brighten your skin, and everything else that sounds too good to be true. The case is, it most often is.

I remember I bought an extremely expensive (£52 as a teenager is a hell-of a lot of allowance) under-eye cream at 14. I maybe didn’t use it as long as I should have; I just remember the burning disappointment I was left with when my circles didn’t budge.

I’ve kind of found something that works a little now, and I’m saving for the day when I can start injecting hyaluroic acid into them MFs, but I’ll get to that later.

According to dermatologist Dr. Neil Schults, dark circles are caused by any number of 3 main causes:

1) There are two types of brown pigment that could cause bags, at two layers in the skin

2) There are 3 types of blood vessels that could cause discolouration, ranging in colors from pink to purple to blue.

3) Shadows. One from the loss of fat underneath the eye, which manifests in a more pronounced under-eye groove, and another from fine wrinkling underneath the eye.

The fine-wrinkling and skin sagging element was covered in this post, and so I’ll focus on the pigmented and the venous dark-circles this time.


You can check witch type you belong to by pressing your finger on the circle in front of a mirror, and releasing. If the colour disappears shortly and comes back after the release, the darkness is rooted in an accumulation of blood underneath the skin (leaked there by leaky or dilated veins). If the color does not disappear after pressing, and if you find that your circles have gotten worse with age, they are of a melanin (brown skin- pigment) origin. Based on that differentiation, treatment will vary.

Dark circles under the eyes are exacerbated by lack of sleep, aging or even an underlying health condition. The Mayo Clinic reports that causes range from thinning skin, eczema, too much sun exposure, smoking, drinking and irregularities in skin pigmentation. Hay fever is another common cause of dark circles under the eyes. According to Medline Plus, pollen from grasses, trees and weeds can cause this and other allergy symptoms.

As with everything that has to do with our bodies and health, there’s a strong genetic factor in the background of the development of dark circles.  When they do appear though, there’s a few things you can try.

So lets get down to business here, and look at what to do about them, I have at least 12 years experience in how to deal with this crap now.

1. Blood pooling-type dark circles:

1.) Opt for ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, as there is a strong inflammatory component to this type ofcircles.

A 2009 study investigated the effects of Pfaffia paniculata/Ptychopetalum olacoides B./Lilium candidum L.-associated compound (PPLAC) (a brazilian plant) on dark circles, which resulted in significant improvement in skin luminance and tone in the periorbital area.

This wonder ingredient is found in Dr Brandt Dark Circles Away Collagen Eye Serum 0.5oz,

Other good options to have a look out for is vitamin E, C, reservatrol, and grape-seed extract, which all have positive effects on under-eye circles.

2) Opt for ingredients that decrease dilation and appareance of the vessels underneath the skin. I’ve been using my Sesderma K-Vit Face Cream 30 Ml. 1 Fl.Oz for 3 years now perhaps, and it’s the absolute best under-eye product I’ve ever used! . Unfortunately their out of stock on amazon (both UK and US), but the facial cream is available.

Alternatively you could try Exuviance Brightening Bionic Eye Creme 0.5oz, the highest rated vit. K cream on skinstore.com Vitamin K removes dark circles under eyes and the puffiness that comes along with it by healing the damaged capillaries and arteries in the skin and helping the blood circulating around the eyes to clot. As the skin under the eye is very thin, when blood passes through the veins next to the skin's surface it becomes important that the blood clots properly. The thinner the skin near the eye the more visible the dark circles will appear if this is not done. Vitamin K, therefore, helps the blood flowing through the veins of the skin to clot and prevent seepage, which is how dark circles under eyes are formed.

In addition to vit. K, it contains vit. A  which is another dark circle corrector (retinol) that helps strengthen and thicken the skin around the eyes.

There’s a third hero of in this little tube, namely Horse Chestnut extract, According to Holistic Online, it helps to increase circulation, which will promote a healthy blood flow throughout your body and cut down on pooling. This extract also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and can reduce the swelling often associated with dark circles.

3) Get injections: Injectable fillers containing hyaluronic acid are often used to correct dark circles created by thinning under eye skin or fat and tissue loss in the under eyes or upper cheeks. Restylane is a commonly recommended hyaluronic acid filler for restoring volume to the tear trough or upper cheek area.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are absorbed by the body within a few months to one year, so results are temporary. The only permanent filler typically recommended for the under eye area is a patient's own fat.

4) IPL laser treatment: When blood vessels are visible as dark purple or blue under eye circles, intense pulsed light therapy (IPL or Photofacial) may be suggested to reduce these dark circles.

Not all doctors agree that it is safe to use IPL near the eyes, however some do recommend it for vascular pigmentation issues, such as dark circles under the eyes.e

2.Pigment caused dark-circles:

These suckers are extra hard to treat, but I’ll give you a few examples of what to have a look out for.

1) Retinol. Rejuvenates skin and has a brightening effect on lesions caused by increased pigmentation.

2) Vit C. Also a skin brightener, antioxidant and collagen stimulator.

3) Kojic acid. This is a natural bleaching agent that is better suited for the sensitive under-eye skin than hydroquinone, which is also sometimes recommended. Try Menscience Eye Rescue Formula 0.75oz4.) Sunscreen: avoid adding any pigment by staying out of the sun! or alternatively protecting your skin with a high SPF during the daytime.

If you suffer from pigmentation caused dark-circles, this one containing Retinol is a good choice Dermalogica Age Smart age reversal eye complex.


Effects of a Brazilian herbal compound as a cosmetic eyecare for periorbital hyperchromia ("dark circles").

Eberlin S, Del Carmen Velazquez Pereda M, de Campos Dieamant G, Nogueira C, Werka RM, de Souza Queiroz ML.

Department of Pharmacology/Hemocenter, State University of Campinas, Campinas 13083-970, Brazil.

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Jun;8(2):127-35.

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2004 Apr;3(2):73-5.

The effects of topical application of phytonadione, retinol and vitamins C and E on infraorbital dark circles and wrinkles of the lower eyelids.

Mitsuishi T, Shimoda T, Mitsui Y, Kuriyama Y, Kawana S.