First off, let me say how excited I am about this blog post because it all started with a question from one of you!
“Dear Hair & Body Works,
I was wondering if you had any advice in covering my dark circles
under my eye. Sometimes foundation in that area isn’t enough.
Great question! Before we talk about how to deal with dark under eye circles, we should first talk about some of the things that can cause this situation.
Unfortunately, you can’t escape genetics. Irregularities in pigmentation, loose under eye skin and larger than average fat pads beneath the eyes can all be predetermined by genetics.
2. Allergies / Nasal Congestion
An allergic reaction can cause irritation of the eyes and inflammation of the skin, sinuses and airways resulting in puffiness and discoloration beneath the eyes. Nasal congestion can dilate and darken the veins that drain from the eyes to the nose.
3. Lack of sleep (Poor sleeping habits) / Smoking & alcohol consumption / Going to bed with makeup on
Poor lifestyle habits can cause the skin to age prematurely. Sleeping in makeup can irritate the delicate skin of the eye, causing fluids to pool in the area. Excessive alcohol consumption causes dehydration, weakening the skin around the eye potentially causing the skin to sink in like a pouch.
4. Rubbing your eyes / Sleeping on your side
If you’re a side sleeper and are starting to notice bags underneath your eyes, gravity could be to blame. Gravity encourages fluids to pool, especially on the side you normally sleep on.
5. Sun exposure
Sun exposure causes the body to produce more melanin, exaggerating pigmentation irregularities
*6. Thinning skin and common changes to facial features due to aging
In the last couple of years, research has discovered that in addition to our skin losing its firmness and elasticity, our skulls continue to change shape as we age. A combination of the skin thinning and the ocular cavity continuing to enlarge can present itself as darkness under the eyes.
Before we talk about some of the possible solutions, I would like to address a cosmetic procedure that was once considered a solution but is quickly proving to be very dangerous. Usage of cosmetic fillers in the areas between the eyebrows, the smile lines and to correct under eye hollows can result in severe pain and permanent blindness due to a blockage of the retinal artery. Scary!
Happily there are safer solutions to try. The least expensive and easiest to try would be making lifestyle changes. If you have a habit of rubbing your eyes, try resisting the urge. Not getting enough sleep? Try to get to bed one hour earlier and aim to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night. Remember to take your makeup off every night and try to kick the nicotine habit. If you’re a heavy drinker try alternating one 8 ounce glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink. Hopefully the excess water will fill you up making you want that next drink less, but remember if drinking really is a problem seek help. All of you side sleepers can try sleeping on your back with an extra pillow.
Some products you can try for under eye darkness are vitamin K creams or caffeinated under eye rollers. Vitamin K works to strengthen blood vessels and helps the blood to clot which can reduce the appearance of leaking blood vessels or pooling fluids around the eye. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. Under eye roller ball treatments use caffeine to tighten and shrink the blood vessels to reduce the appearance of under eye discoloration. Another surprising vasoconstrictor remedy is hemorrhoid cream. Hemorrhoid creams use witch hazel, a naturally occurring vasoconstrictor. One contraindication to using hemorrhoid cream under the eye is if the cream has a petroleum base. The petroleum base will feel heavy on the skin and can leave the skin feeling oily and looking shiny. Worse, for oilier skin, the petroleum can clog the pores of the upper cheeks.
If it turns out that your under eye darkness is due to irregular pigmentation make sure to use a sunscreen with an spf of 30. Remember to reapply every 20 minutes if you’re perspiring or swimming and when possible try to wear a hat to shade your face from the sun to prevent the irregularity from becoming more prominent.
Hope that answers your question about under eye dark circles. Thank you to our guest for sending in her question and we’d love to hear from you too! Have a question about health or beauty? You can reach us by clicking this link to the Contact page or contact us through the Hair & Body Works Facebook page.