๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ‘‰The ultimate survival kit to combatting dark circles

Jun. 23, 2020
Have your colleagues and your spouse recently been commenting on your โ€œpanda eyesโ€? Read on to find out how to send panda eyes out of your bathroom reflection and back to the zoo.
What are dark circles?
Dark circles are themselves a bit of a misnomer. For one, theyโ€™re not always a circle, and the โ€œdarkโ€ isnโ€™t always what first meets the eye. The color of the skin under your eyes can be affected by a combination of blood vessels, skin pigment, thickness of the skin, and fluid that can accumulate. Itโ€™s usually paling of the surface of the skin, darkening of skin pigments and redness from dilated blood vessels that conspire to create the nefarious condition we refer to as dark circles.
What causes dark circles?
What makes combatting dark circles challenging is that itโ€™s a multifactorial condition, meaning thereโ€™s a range of reasons, both lifestyle and genetic, that can cause dark circles: lack of sleep, dehydration, too much alcohol, an unbalanced diet and more. The color of your skin and the shape of your eye socket could make dark circles more or less obvious. Even if you donโ€™t have fair skin due to genetics, lack of good sleep, pregnancy and menstruation are factors that could cause you to have a minor iron deficiency, leading to your skin becoming paler and the blood vessels underneath your skin to appear darker than usual. Allergies you may have could cause irritation and redness when you rub your eyes, leading to darker pigmentation. Hay fever sufferers will be familiar with the smudges that can appear under their eye during peak allergy season. 
And finally, thereโ€™s age. As you get older, the tissue around your eyes deteriorate and cause a breakdown in collagen, causing fat to move to the lower eyelids. This can give you a puffy under eyelid and cause dark shadows to form. This under-eye hollowing caused by the loss of deep fat, coupled with the skin becoming thinner and more translucent, is one of the commonest reasons for the formation of dark circles.
How to treat dark circles
Iโ€™m an advocate of natural remedies for dark circles. Sure, thereโ€™s a lot of surgical procedures out there that seem to work, but in this article Iโ€™m going to steer clear of invasive ways of treating dark circles, and instead focus on the ingredients you should look out for in your eye cream and night time products that can help even out the skin tone under your eyes over time. 
AHAs: No, Iโ€™m not making an exclamation because I discovered new America. AHA stands for โ€œalpha hydroxy acidโ€, and it refers to a type of face acid thatโ€™s commonly used in cosmetic products to help exfoliate and brighten the skin.
Caffeine: This constricts blood vessels under the eyes to reduce the appearance of redness. Drinking it probably wonโ€™t cut it unfortunately, so youโ€™re going to have to look for an eye cream with some caffeine to get it right under those eye bags!
Dimethicone (and cyclomethicone): These are both silicone-type emollients that help lock in moisture and can give the appearance of a bit more padding between your skin cells, giving your skin a fuller and more radiant look. Great ingredient to use if youโ€™re noticing hollowing under your eyes. 
Hyaluronic acid: Along with glycerin, its partner in crime, hyaluronic acid will hydrate your skin by drawing water into the epidermis, leaving it looking youthful and glowing. It helps combat signs of hyperpigmentation to reduce darkness under the eyes. 
Peptides: Theyโ€™re good for collagen growth, and if youโ€™ll recall you need this stuff so your eyes donโ€™t look saggy and hollow. Especially as you age, itโ€™s a good idea to give your falling collagen  production an external boost.
Retinol: Youโ€™ll find retinol and other retinoids (a.k.a. vitamin A derivatives) under a range of different names. Theyโ€™re essential for promoting cell regeneration in the skin. When used properly, they can help improve the texture and color of the skin. Make sure you follow all labels and patch test though โ€“ theyโ€™re known to cause irritations on certain skin types.
Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C and other polyphenols can combat environmental aggressors like oxidative damage from free radicals. When using this ingredient to treat dark circles, make sure you go for formulas specially designated for use under the eye โ€“ they contain lower concentrations than what youโ€™ll find in products for the face.
I wrote about ingredients this time round because I felt like itโ€™s important to understand the fundamentals in order to form your own, effective skincare routines. I have heard of friends whoโ€™ve tried anything from putting cold tea bags under their eyes (anti-oxidants are found in green tea) to concocting their own paste using turmeric and pineapple juice and painting that over their dark circles. Whatever floats your boat, I guess! Let me know what the most effective remedies youโ€™ve ever used are to ward off dark circles in the comments section below. From the esoteric to the outlandish, Iโ€™d love to find out!
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