Tricks of the Trade: How to treat dark circles


I’ve had serious dark circles around my eyes for years, and have tried natural solutions (cucumber, potatoes) and different brands, but still no satisfactory results until now. I’m scared of laser treatments or anything of that kind. Could you suggest other ways that may be more effective? Thank you so much! —Michelle Fano

Dark circles around the eyes may as well be one of the most difficult beauty problems to resolve, only because they have many causes, some of which are related to health, age or genetics. I understand you’ve already tried natural solutions like applying cut-up cucumber or potatoes on your eyes, as well as a slew of branded eye creams. Since these have not worked for you, I thought it would be best to take these out of the equation and focus on your other options. Let’s consider the following causes for dark circles.

AGE. The skin around our eyes is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of our face. And as we age, it loses its collagen and becomes even thinner, causing the area to be more prone to discoloration. Constant sun exposure and no sunscreen can speed up this process even more, and cause collagen to break down. SOLUTION: Use an eye cream with retinol. This will help build collagen around the eye area to prevent dark circles from forming. Also, consistently using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 will protect your skin from hyperpigmentation and aging.

ALLERGIES. What most of us don’t realize is that constant sneezing or coughing due to a bad allergy can cause dark circles around the eyes. Allergies release histamines, which in turn cause blood vessels to expand or swell. A sinus problem or an asthma attack may also cause the area to darken. SOLUTION: See your doctor about this so he/she can prescribe antihistamine for your allergy. Or if it’s a sinus problem or asthma, you can get the right meds to treat it.

LIFESTYLE. Bad lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and consuming too much caffeine have been known to cause raccoon eyes. Poor circulation due to lack of exercise can also worsen your problem. And, of course, not getting enough sleep. SOLUTION: Improve your lifestyle by making healthier choices. This means eating a balanced, nutritious diet, drinking enough water, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep everyday.

GENETICS. Your bone structure may have something to do with it. If you have deep-set eyes, shadows may appear in the hollows underneath your eyes. Pigmentation around the eye area is also hereditary, so if one of your parents have it, there’s also a chance that you might have it. SOLUTION: There are some things about our features that we just have to accept as part of who we are. In this case, you can use the power of makeup to your advantage. Using an eye-brightening concealer will help camouflage the dark circles.


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