If hot summer nights keep you awake, or if you’ve been partying hard since lockdown rules eased, you might want to know how to get rid of telltale dark circles under your eyes.
Stress, late nights and even spending too long staring at digital screens can all make dark circles worse. You can cover them up with concealer, but in some cases you can tackle the causes.
As we age, our skin loses volume, leading to dark circles or bags under the eyes. Hyperpigmentation can also cause dark circles and this can be passed down in your genes. Sometimes, dark circles are temporary when we’re run down.
In this article, we’re going to give you seven different suggestions that may help you get rid of dark circles.
1. Get more sleep
There’s a reason your granny used to tell you to get your ‘beauty sleep’. If we don’t give our skin (and the rest of us) a proper chance to rest and recover regularly we’re storing up trouble for the future – and not JUST dark circles.
Everyone needs a MINIMUM of eight hours’ sleep a night – consistently. Don’t include the time you spend watching Netflix on your laptop in bed. That’s not sleeping. The ‘blue’ light from laptop screens, tablets and phones can also keep you awake – so switch them off a good hour before bedtime.
Routine is the best way to get into good sleep patterns. Start with the time you need to get up in the morning and work backwards at least eight hours (and a bit more to allow time to drop off) and get to what your ideal bedtime should be.
If you usually only get about six hours sleep, there’s no point going to bed two hours earlier. Work it back in 15-minute blocks. So, if you usually go to bed at midnight, then aim to go to bed at 11.45pm and try that for a week or two and then keep working back until you get to a bedtime that gives you at least eight hours sleep.
Try not to eat a BIG meal within two or three hours of going to bed. Your body needs time to digest it and while it’s doing that it may be hard to sleep.
2. Drink more water
After sleep, the most under-rated natural beauty treatment is probably hydration through drinking water.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps the tissues in your body well-hydrated. Once you start to FEEL thirsty you are already dehydrated. Your skin will start to look more dull and fragile – so the aim is to not feel thirsty!
Some toxins, such as salt, have been linked to causing bags under our eyes. Skin that is well-hydrated will mean any dark circles are less noticeable.
3. Caffeine – don’t drink it, apply it.
We probably all know that drinking a few double espressos at bedtime is not the best idea if you want a restful nights’ sleep. But did you know that caffeine can also be a useful ingredient in skincare products? It can reduce the size of blood vessels, tackling any puffiness particularly on the face and under the eyes. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, helping to remove free radicals that contribute to wrinkles.
4. Check your diet
Dark circles under the eyes have been linked to a lack of Vitamin B12 in the diet. Oily fish, eggs and milk all contain good amounts of B12. If you are a vegan, some plant-based milks have added B12. There are also B12 supplements you can buy if you are lacking in the vitamin.
5. Look at your eye cream ingredients
A retinol eye serum can help prevent hyperpigmentation. It can improve the texture of skin and hide darker skin tones.
Another option is an eye serum that’s rich in Vitamin C. This is another powerful antioxidant that fights those pesky free radicals that cause damage.
6. Think about fillers
Speak to a fully-qualified and knowledgable aesthetic professional if you think your dark circles are caused by the natural fullness of the face shrinking. This can create a hollow area that casts a shadow under the eye. The careful application of a little filler can lift the skin and improve the appearance of the eye area. It can also disguise any purple tone in the skin.
7. Make-up magic
If you want to rely on good old concealer, apply it with your fingertips rather than a brush. The warmth from your fingers will help the product blend more easily and naturally into the skin.
A few dots of highlighter applied from the inner eye, next to the tear duct, to approximately half way out along the lower eyelid, can brighten subtle dark circles.
Applying an ultra-fine setting powder will help to keep your concealer and brightener in place for longer.
Colour correction is another skill to master. Peach tones will counteract the blue and purple-tinged circles on pale skin; orange will work best on darker skin tones while yellow and bisque tones will work best on medium skin.