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.
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.
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!