Periorbital Hyperpigmentation

Dark Circles Under Eyes

Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by various factors, including genetics, aging, allergies, and fatigue. They can make you look tired and aged. Learn how to effectively reduce and conceal them with Direct Aesthetics’ specialized treatments and skincare solutions.

Under Eyes

Dark circles under the eyes, also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation, are a common cosmetic concern affecting many individuals. These dark patches or discoloration beneath the eyes can give the appearance of tiredness or fatigue, even when one is well-rested. While dark circles can have various causes, including genetics, aging, allergies, or lifestyle factors, they often pose a challenge in achieving a refreshed and vibrant look. In this guide, we’ll explore the causes, treatments, and preventive measures for dark circles under the eyes, offering insights to help you address this common aesthetic issue effectively.

What causes dark circles under the eyes?

Dark circles under the eyes can stem from various factors beyond just sleep deprivation. Typically, they arise due to the unique optical properties of the delicate skin surrounding the eyes. Beneath this thin skin lies the orbicularis oculi, a fine red muscle that absorbs light penetrating the skin, resulting in a darker appearance. Moreover, the eyelid skin, measuring only half a millimeter thick, can reveal underlying blood vessels, contributing to the prominence of dark circles.

Understanding the diverse causes of dark under-eye circles sheds light on their multifaceted nature. Here are some contributing factors to consider:

  • Genetic Influence: Some individuals may inherit deep tear troughs or hollows under the eyes due to genetic factors.
  • Pigmentation Variation: Excessive pigmentation is more common in individuals with olive or brown skin tones, which may worsen with sun exposure.
  • Aging Effects: The natural aging process can exacerbate hollowing around the eyes due to fat loss or sagging.
  • Allergic Inflammation: Allergies can cause inflammation, leading to the expansion of blood vessels under the eyes and a purplish appearance.
  • Puffiness Contribution: Excess fat accumulation can result in puffiness, casting shadows and intensifying the appearance of dark circles.

In numerous instances, dark circles stem from a blend of these influences, prompting us at Direct Aesthetics to suggest various treatments beyond mere sleep enhancement. While there isn’t a singular remedy to entirely eliminate dark circles, a holistic strategy encompassing a high-caliber skincare routine and tackling underlying anatomical issues can yield the best outcomes.

How to prevent dark circles under eyes?

Preventing dark circles under the eyes involves a combination of lifestyle habits and skincare practices aimed at addressing the underlying causes of this concern. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Get Sufficient Sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for overall skin health and can help prevent the appearance of dark circles. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate the skin.
  2. Manage Allergies: Allergies can contribute to inflammation and swelling around the eyes, making dark circles more noticeable. Manage your allergies with medication or allergy-proofing your home to reduce exposure to allergens.
  3. Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage: Excessive sun exposure can lead to pigmentation irregularities and collagen breakdown, making dark circles more prominent. Wear a mineral sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, wear sunglasses, and avoid prolonged sun exposure, especially during peak hours.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can cause the skin to appear dull and exacerbate the appearance of dark circles. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated and plump.
  5. Maintain a Healthy Diet: A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats provides essential nutrients and antioxidants that promote skin health. Incorporate foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, which support collagen production and skin repair.
  6. Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to collagen degradation and skin aging, leading to the development of dark circles. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake to maintain skin health.
  7. Practice Gentle Skincare: Be gentle when cleansing and moisturizing the delicate skin around the eyes to avoid irritation and inflammation. Use a lightweight, hydrating eye cream containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and caffeine to help brighten and depuff the under-eye area.
  8. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can contribute to poor sleep quality, dehydration, and skin inflammation, all of which can worsen the appearance of dark circles. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your daily routine, you can help reduce the likelihood of developing dark circles under your eyes.

Treatments for dark circles under eyes

Although specific treatments can greatly diminish dark circles under the eyes, it’s crucial to understand that even with various methods, complete elimination may not be achievable. At Direct Aesthetics, we meticulously evaluate the root causes of your dark circles and suggest the most suitable eye treatment option from the list provided below. (Looking for the best treatments for under-eye bags? Find them here.)

Injectable fillers

  • Injectable fillers offer a temporary solution to smooth under-eye depressions and diminish shadows caused by hollowness. They can also help conceal the appearance of under-eye bags for suitable candidates, although in cases of pronounced puffiness, filler may worsen the appearance of bags.
  • For individuals experiencing true hollowing, the use of fillers beneath the eyes can effectively plump the area, reducing the appearance of being ‘scooped out’. Among the commonly used plumping fillers is Restylane Silk, which contains hyaluronic acid (HA). In the event of dissatisfaction or complications, these fillers can be dissolved using the enzyme hyaluronidase. While minor bruising and swelling may occur, these side effects typically subside within 48 hours. Results achieved with HA fillers typically last between six months to a year, or even longer.
  • It’s important to note that if dark circles are caused by excessive pigmentation, the use of fillers may potentially exacerbate this effect.

Chemical Peels

VI Peel is made of an acid solution to accelerate cell turnover, eliminate damaged surface layers, and stimulate collagen production, resulting in a more radiant and evenly toned complexion. Individuals with olive or brown skin tones are at a higher risk of discoloration, making a series of lighter, less aggressive peels the safest choice for them. These peels can also enhance brightness and firmness in the under-eye area. The extent of downtime following a VI peel depends on its type, and multiple sessions may be necessary for achieving optimal results.


Microneedling treatments utilizing SkinPen involve the creation of controlled micro-injuries with tiny needles, stimulating the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin. This process gradually thickens the skin, concealing the appearance of underlying blood vessels and musculature that may cause discoloration. SkinPen microneedling is known for its quick procedure, minimal downtime, and suitability for all skin types. To sustain results, follow-up treatments once or twice a year are recommended.

Can topical eye creams and eye serums help get rid of dark circles?

Topical eye creams and eye serums can be beneficial in reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, although they may not completely eliminate them. These products typically contain ingredients that help to hydrate the delicate skin around the eyes, reduce inflammation, and improve blood circulation, which can help diminish the appearance of dark circles over time.

SkinBetter Science offers some excellent options for topical eye creams and serums that specifically target dark circles:

InterFuse Treatment Cream EYE 15ML

SkinBetter InterFuse® Treatment Cream EYE

This advanced eye cream is formulated with a potent blend of peptides, hyaluronic acid, and caffeine to help reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines around the eyes. It works by hydrating the skin, boosting collagen production, and improving circulation to brighten and rejuvenate the under-eye area.

isolated close-up of InterFuse® Intensive Treatment Lines from SkinBetter Science

SkinBetter InterFuse® Intensive Treatment LINES

While not specifically marketed for dark circles, this serum is designed to target multiple signs of aging around the eyes, including wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of firmness. By improving overall skin texture and elasticity, this serum can help diminish the appearance of dark circles and promote a more youthful-looking eye area.

In addition to these products, it’s essential to maintain a consistent skincare routine and incorporate other lifestyle habits that can help reduce the appearance of dark circles, such as getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and protecting the delicate eye area from sun damage. Combining these strategies with the use of targeted topical treatments can help you achieve brighter, more refreshed-looking eyes.

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