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What Really Helps with Dark Circles?

By Su Lee

Tired of undereye dark circles? I am too. I don’t know about you, but in this collective experience of unrest, I have not been sleeping well these days. As a result, I am now plagued with dark circles where my under eye skin was once even-toned. So I want to know, what really helps with dark circles?

While scoping for remedies, I try my best not to get sucked into the void of gimmicky products that make wild claims because, in reality, there're a lot of factors at play in regard to what causes under eye dark circles. This includes lack of sleep, underlying health issues, severe allergies, melanin in the dermal layer of the skin due to sun exposure, the appearance of blood vessels, poor diet, and the age-old reason, “I got it from my momma,” also known as genetics. 

So when it comes to products, what should you be looking for exactly? It’s important to narrow it down to key ingredients when searching for an eye cream to combat dark circles. The most popular and common ingredient used in eye creams is caffeine, which is often used for its ability to constrict blood vessels, reducing the appearance of blood vessels that may be visible around our very thin and delicate under eye skin. Additionally, caffeine helps with reducing puffiness and fluid retention around the eyes by promoting circulation. 

Another hero ingredient to look out for is vitamin C. Vitamin C is like that cool, talented older sister that you admire so deeply, the ultimate ingredient for many amazing reasons. When used topically, it aids in boosting collagen production, which helps with not only fine lines and wrinkles but also, you guessed it, dark circles. Plus, vitamin C is known to reverse sun damage and even the complexion. 

Let’s have an honest moment though: eye creams containing these key ingredients are only effective if you are applying them consistentlyYou cannot expect to see results if you use it on and off, or only use it for a week.

Products aside, there is more we can do to see the results we want, and that includes minimizing sun exposure, especially around the eyes; wearing sunglasses with UV protection can protect that sensitive skin around your eyes and also prevent premature wrinkles. 

While you’re at it, get some rest, maintain a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water. I know it’s difficult right now, but getting some extra hours of sleep each night will significantly reduce dark circles, especially if the cause is related to sleep deprivation.

Whatever self-care means to you, do it. Unwind by taking a relaxing bath, listen to soothing music, do your nightly skincare routine with your favorite skincare tool, and try mindful breathing exercises. Limit screen time, all laptops, phones, tablets, at least one or two hours before your expected bedtime. Eat your greens, take your vitamins and supplements, and again, drink water to stay hydrated! For especially stubborn dark circles, consult your healthcare professional to rule out any underlying health issues. Remember, no amount of eye cream can reverse dark circles if you do not take care of your internal health first. 

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