I was first made aware of my dark circles at the age of 19. It was 2004, and Touche Éclat were the hot words on every beauty enthusiast’s lips. It seems as though very few of us are immune from the dark clouds that take up real estate under our eyes. It didn’t take long to realize that my under eye circles, clinically known as periorbital hyperpigmentation, needed a lot more than a few strokes of a lightweight light diffusing concealer to be hidden. Over the years, I’ve amassed a huge collection of heavy duty under eye correctors, intensive eye creams, serums and treatments, all promising to hide and de-puff. Spoiler alert – it’s been a frustrating, expensive process and I’m yet to find my holy grail.
We commonly attribute the appearance of under eye bags to aging and lack of sleep. These are both important factors, as we naturally produce less collagen and elastin as we age, which can cause fat to shift from the under eye area. This results in a hollow under eye appearance. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can cause the blood vessels under the eye to dilate which, in turn will make dark shadows and puffiness more pronounced. However, it’s worth noting that even having a solid 7-9 hours doesn’t always cut it. Other factors like genetics, iron deficiency, excess salt in your diet, dehydration, allergies, bone structure and even certain anti-inflammatory medications can all contribute to the issue. And while under-sleeping can exacerbate things, so can oversleeping. Yes, you read that right! A hard pill to swallow, I know.
The great eye cream debate is one I’ve been following with great interest. Do they actually work for dark circles, or are they another genius marketing ploy? Turns out, the answer to this much divisive subject is a lot more complicated than meets the eye (no pun intended), with strong arguments weighing in at each side. Our thoughts? The under eye area is probably the most vulnerable, delicate area on the face that is among the first places to show aging – thus, should be treated with TLC.
Not all eye creams are created equal, as there are a multitude of different eye concerns. For lightening dark circles, try a cream that features a formula rich in vitamin C and retinol such as Kiehl’s Youth Dose Eye Fix. For some instant shadow busting, an illuminating formula is a great choice to use in tandem with your favourite concealer. We rate Tatcha’s Pearl Tinted Illuminating Treatment high on our list. Ultimately, it’s important to keep your expectations realistic. If your bags are fuller than a 80% off Neiman Marcus stock clearance sale, then a topical cream probably won’t cut it, no matter what the five-star reviews say.
This is where fillers enter the chat. Under eye filler (known as a tear-trough filler) is a popular injectable treatment designed to correct volume loss in that area. Hyaluronic acid is injected in the area beneath the eye, which fills in any deep indentations. Not only are those hollows diminished, the volume added by the filler makes dark circles and inflamed blood vessels much less visible. Win win! This treatment has minimal downtime and results can last up to 12 months. If you want a more awake and more youthful appearance instantly, we highly recommend this treatment. Talk to a provider to see if it’s right for you.