Dark circles are one of those tricky skin irks that don’t have a straightforward remedy. I know this, as I’ve been investigating a solution since I noticed my own ‘under-eye hollowing’ worsening. Like most complexion issues, a poor diet can make the problem appear worse, and it would be disingenuous of me to pretend I haven’t been indulging in a glass (or three) of Pinot a few times a week. Though lately I have taken a turn in the opposite direction and have been throwing everything at it, from eating leafy greens to reducing coffee and alcohol, which, if nothing else, will aid sleep and improve hydration – two things our skin thrives on.
Dark circles are caused by varying factors, from poor lifestyle to skin tone, genetics and lack of sleep. Plus, as we age, we gradually lose the deep fat underneath the skin, making shadowing appear worse. For those who want immediate results, tear-trough filler – a procedure that involves injecting the under-eye area with hyaluronic acid to plump up the skin there – is an option. Yet due to the delicate nature of the eyes and the fragility of the skin that surrounds them, I’ll be steering clear of the syringe.
Microneedling, a technique that works by creating a controlled injury that encourages cells to produce a fresh batch of cushiony collagen, is on my radar; but, for now at least, I’m after less invasive methods, as are most of you, I suspect.
As far as topical ingredients go, creams that contain caffeine are good for reducing redness by restricting the blood vessels in the area. Hyaluronic acid serums will plump and moisturise thin skin, and retinol can improve and even out skin texture and colour, though it can be irritating. Peptides are a safe bet to strengthen and firm thin under-eye skin, while vitamin C will reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals – it’s also been known to have a brightening effect. Any, or all, of the above are worth incorporating into your skincare routine.
However, I have found no better fix for diffusing the intensity of dark circles than a colour-correcting under-eye brightener. Nars Radiant Creamy Color Corrector has been a godsend ever since it landed on my desk, as if sent from heaven. Available in four shades, from Light to Deep, the peachy-toned primer knocks back darkness, not only under eyes but on areas of pigmentation or dark spots. You will need a concealer on top to fully reap the benefits, followed by a dusting of translucent powder to set, if you wish to extend its staying power.
Of course, make-up isn’t permanent, but until such time as you wash it off, you will appear well rested and a good few years younger – whether your diet is puritancal, or not. Now that’s what I call bang for your buck. Check out my five other under-eye heroes.