Dark under eye circles can make you feel dragged down and ugly. You wake up, look in the mirror, and see yourself looking tired and upset, rather than energized and happy. It’s normal to try to hide ‘racoon eyes’ with makeup and concealer. But what is the best way to get rid of dark under eye circles altogether?

It turns out that in most cases, dark eye circles are hereditary. They may not go away completely. But, they can be treated.

In this article we’ll explain some of the best ways to get rid of dark under eye circles.

1) The right skin care routine

Dehydrated, dry and unreplenished skin void of nutrients can make eye circles appear dark and tired. Since the skin around the eyes is exceptionally thin, it is especially important to focus a part of your skin care routine to treat this area. Eye skin needs more support than the rest of your face.

Start with a hyaluronic acid or humectant serum that can give your eye skin a boost of water. Follow with a vitamin-rich serum to help fight cell damage. If you have a pigment problem, use gentle skin lighteners such as niacinamide or tranexamic acid. Then, be sure to top it off with a rich cream to lock in moisture. 

Always avoid fragrance, oil-stripping soaps or harsh exfoliants in this area.

The eye area should appear plump. When squeezing a piece of its skin, it should bounce back right away. If it does not, it needs more hydration. So, be sure to always ‘feed’ your skin with what it needs to function properly.

If skin is healthy, it will produce more collagen and elastin on its own. This is what makes it look youthful and ‘dewy.’ Keep that in mind when creating a skin care routine to get rid of dark under eye circles.

2) Radio frequency microneedling

Radio frequency microneedling is not the same as ‘regular’ microneedling. This medical-grade device is used in doctors’ offices to stimulate collagen production at a deeper level. It uses the heat energy from radio frequency waves to do this.

Radio frequency microneedling can be used to stimulate collagen around the eye area. If more collagen is produced, the eye skin area can appear firmer and thicker. This can help reduce the look of darkness around the eyes by hiding the blood vessels in that area, which appear reddish-brown through the skin.

3) Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

Platelet-rich plasma is a method whereby your own blood is drawn from your body, then separated to extract only the platelets in its plasma liquid. This is known as platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, because it does not contain red or white blood cells.

When PRP is injected into your eye area, it signals growth factors to start producing collagen and elastin. Put another way, it triggers the body’s own mechanism of healing. This can thicken the skin in the area, and thus reduce dark under eye circles.

This process is known as PRP therapy.

4) Dermal fillers

When the bone structure around the eyes causes the eye sockets to be deeply inset, this can cast a shadow around the eyes. This dark shadow is what causes the appearance of dark under eye circles.

In cases like these, the best solution to get rid of eye circles is to use dermal filler. Dermal fillers are made of thick gels, like hyaluronic acid. They help add volume under the skin. When dermal filler is injected near the top of the cheekbones, it can lift the skin under the eyes. This helps light to hit the area, which then brightens it.

Some people call this method “tear trough filler.” However, most advanced practitioners would not actually fill the tear trough itself. This can result in too many complications.

Most dermal fillers are temporary and need to be replenished about once a year.

Some dermal fillers should not be used in the under-eye area. For example, Bellafill, which is made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres. In fact, even versions of hyaluronic acid dermal filler may not be suitable for under eye circles. Juvederm, for example, is a series of products designed for use around different parts of the face. Make sure you are using a qualified, trained medical practitioner when seeking dermal fillers for under eye circles.

5) Vascular laser treatments

If your dark under eye circles are caused by skin that is so thin, it is revealing blood vessels underneath it, then a vascular laser may do the trick. Vascular lasers like the V Beam or excel® V can destroy blood vessels. They are commonly used to target red pigments in the skin (which are caused by visible blood vessels). However, they can also be used to lighten the eyes.

The excel® V also has an Nd:YAG laser in it, which can help to stimulate collagen production. This can help with skin tightening and skin strength. Strengthening the face skin, especially on the cheeks and around the eyes, is important to battle dark under eye circles.

6) Skin rejuvenation laser treatments

Skin rejuvenation lasers, such as the Fraxel® DUAL laser, or a fractional CO2 laser, can be used to improve a variety of conditions in the skin. This includes dark under eye circles. They are typically used to eliminate pigmentation and uneven skin tone. While doing their job to get rid of issues like sun damage, brown spots or hyperpigmentation, they also address fine lines - an added bonus.

The mechanism by which these lasers work is to create many small controlled injuries in the skin. These micro injuries then force the body to start producing collagen. As this happens, old, dead skin is removed to make way for new, fresh skin. Skin appears thicker, brighter and more refreshed. This, and their pigment destruction, is how they manage to reduce dark eye circles.

Skin rejuvenation lasers are used for a variety of reasons, including to battle redness or uneven skin tone. These can, in turn, also help with dark under eye circles.

7) Fat transfers

With a goal similar to using dermal fillers, fat transfers help to lift the skin under the eyes, so that they appear thicker. This hides the blood vessels that cause dark red and brown hues in the area.

Fat transfers are a surgical procedure whereby fat from one part of the body is relocated to another part. In this case, fat is transferred to the under eye area.

Unlike dermal fillers, fat transfers are more or less permanent. This can be good if you’re looking for a long-term solution. However, if you don’t like the results, you will have to live with them. There will also be an incision, which can create the risk of infection. More downtime is also necessary with this procedure.

Dark under eye circles can be treated - but make sure they are treated safely

As a concluding word, we will say that while solutions for dark under eye circles do exist, it is important to secure your safety when seeking these treatments. The eyes are a very delicate, and much needed body part. Always choose a reputable, licensed provider with plenty of experience to perform these procedures.

Priti Shah, operations manager at Beautiful Canadian Laser and Skincare Clinic in Vancouver: 13805 104th Avenue, Suite #101, Surrey B.C. V3T 1W7 Canada, Tel: (604) 580 2464

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