Shake up your skincare
The skincare world is full of different lotions and potions to help tackle dark circles. “Look for ingredients like caffeine, hyaluronic acid, tri-peptides, and moisture-locking ceramides,” says Dr Zamani. Meanwhile, Dr Gross is a big fan of potent vitamin C combined with hyaluronic acid: “Vitamin C helps build collagen so there’s separation between the vein and skin, and hyaluronic acid plumps the skin to decrease transparency.” Both Dr Dennis Gross’s C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm eye cream and MZ Skin’s Soothe & Smooth Collagen Activating Eye Complex work brilliantly for this.
Fake it with make-up
To remove dark circles in an instant, consider a little make-up trickery. The key? “It’s all about colour correction,” says Claire Mulleady, global senior make-up artist for MAC Cosmetics. “Firstly, take a look at the colours that you are trying to conceal. It’s common to see dark, blue/grey colours, which means you need the warmth of a peachy concealer to counteract the undertones. If you see more pinky/red tones you need to neutralise them with a concealer that has more of a yellow base,” she advises. And when it comes to application, it pays to go lightly. “Using just a thin veil of the right tone has much more of an impact than trying to eradicate dark circles completely with lots of coverage,” says Mulleady.
Conceal, don’t reveal
If a neutralising concealer isn’t quite doing the job, you can try this clever trick of the light. “Subtle light-reflective products, such as the MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter Pen, can help to bounce the light out from under the eye and are especially good on the inner corner of the eye,” says Mulleady. “Just be sure to use a lightweight powder on top, so as not overemphasise the under-eye area.”
What treatments tackle dark circles?
For those whose eye bags are a result of hyperpigmentation, a chemical peel could help. “Chemical peels are often used to treat a variety of facial pigmentation problems, including melasma and age spots,” explains Dr Anjali Mahto, dermatologist at Skin 55. “Deep peels should be avoided in the eye area due to the risk of scarring and worsening of pigmentation, but a course of light peels can help to some degree over time.” Common peels used are lactic, mandelic and glycolic acid, and you can expect some mild skin shedding post-treatment.
“Lasers which target pigment, such as the QS-Ruby, QS-Alexandrite and 1064 Nd:YAG, and the 1550nm Fraxel, can be used in the eye area, but since the eye is vulnerable to laser injury it’s crucial that treatments are carried out by an experienced practitioner,” says Mahto. A few courses of treatment are required to treat the area.
A minimally-invasive skin procedure, microneedling involves small needles making tiny punctures in the skin. These tiny punctures prompt skin cells to kick into repair mode, prompting a lightening of dark circles. “This can often be combined with chemical peels, as microneedling will increase the penetration and therefore activity of the peel,” says Mahto. “There will be redness and swelling after the procedure which can take a few days to settle, as the skin around the eye area is thin.” It’s not as painful as it sounds, and numbing cream can help to minimise any discomfort.
Tear trough filler
When skincare and make-up won’t do the trick, there are injectables and other innovative treatments available to help minimise the appearance of dark circles. They’re often caused by loss of volume, with the eye socket’s orbital bone becoming more prominent and creating a shallow tear trough. For that, you can get filler. “Tear trough filler is a well-established and popular non-surgical treatment to help improve the appearance of lower eyelid dark circles,” says Dr Zamani. “Tear troughs are treated with an injection of hyaluronic acid fillers (like Restylane or Juvederm), to re-plump the area and push the skin up and away from the blood vessels.” Zamani also recommends Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), another type of injectable that helps diminish the appearance of dark circles.
What are the best products for dark circles?
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Eye Insurance SPF30 Serum