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We want to help you understand your skin, so that you know what’s going on with it, what to put on it, and how to care for it. Sciency stuff that answers so many of your skin questions, written in a clear and simple way. Penned by our founder, Ee Ting Ng.

Focus & Fixes - Dark circles

21 January, 2018

Focus & Fixes - Dark circles

Matters of the under-eye are complicated. Dark circles is one of them.

Causes of dark circles

Dark circles are caused by a mix of hereditary and external factors. The thinnest of skin around the eyes makes pigmentation from melanin or blood by-product, very obvious. It gets more apparent with age due to skin laxity from the gradual degradation of collagen/elastin.

Daily routine focus

For melanin-related darkness, brightening actives against hyperpigmentation will help. Vitamin C and AHAs have the bonus benefit of promoting collagen synthesis, thickening/strengthening skin around the area.

  • hydroquinione, arbutin - not recommended prolonged usage
  • kojic acid, phytic acid, azelaic acid
  • vitamin C and derivatives
  • vitamin A and derivatives
  • niacinamide (vitamin B3)
  • AHAs - glycolic acid, lactic acid

For blood (or more accurately, bilirubin)-related darkness, certain speciality peptides and plant/marine extracts can help reduce severity.

Sun protection

UV exposure encourages melanin production and skin structure breakdown. Due to the delicate nature of the under-eye, physical sunscreens are recommended over chemical ones. Zinc oxide is particularly great as it protects against both UVA and UVB.

Other tips

Some pigment-related darkness can be greatly improved using Q-switched laser treatments. Although habits alone do not eliminate the circles, it always helps to get enough sleep and keep a healthy diet.

Dark circles are tricky to resolve, but between good eye care, good lifestyle and a kickass concealer, you're covered!