Article by BR Amelia
"Late night?", "You look tired", "What were you doing last night?" Three sentences guaranteed to make you curse your dark circles. or under eye bags. or periorbital dark circles. Whatever you call them chances are you hate them.
What are dark circles?
Simply put, dark circles are the blood vessels under your skin. Blood pools there for a number of reasons (commonly due to slower circulation, especially when you're tired) and the blood accumulation will eventually cause the capillaries to stretch and leak.
What causes dark circles?
Genetics. If you've inherited fair or thin skin under the eyes, it’s more obvious when blood pools there. So thin skin + tired girl = major dark circles.
Age. Aging causes skin to lose collagen and thin, so veins show through more prominently. Exposure to sun speeds up this process by breaking down collagen and mottling skin color. (In case you needed another reason to slap on the sunscreen!)
Seasonal allergies. Allergies trigger the release of histamines in the body, which in turn inflame blood vessels and cause swelling.
How do I know the cause?
Look at your relations (discretely), it should be easy to tell if they're inherited. A simple test is to gently stretch the skin under your eyes. If that area becomes darker, the circles are probably due to genetics or aging. If the color doesn’t change, UV rays or allergies are probably the cause.
How can I get rid of them?
Diet. If you've got excessive puffiness under your eyes an a moon shaped shadow under your bottom lash line, it's time to look at your diet. Salty foods and alcohol cause extreme bloat, so when you cut these out, your skin will be able to rest easy without puffing up. A hydrated body doesn't retain water, so get drinking lots of water to ease the bloating.
Sleep. Get a good nights sleep as often as you can. Resist "one more episode", "one more page" or "one more level of Candy Crush". When you sleep, prop yourself up so excess fluid can't build up underneath your eyes.
Don't Rub. Friction is bad for your eyes. Rubbing your eyes will cause the skin pigmentation to darken of time. When you're applying makeup around the eye area use your ring fingers. Why? They're the weakest finger, so will cause less forceful friction.
Creams. Sunscreen should be used every day, rain or shine. As we mentioned earlier the sun will darken your eye area. Retinoid creams are great for around your eyes as they boost collagen (reducing fine lines and plumping thin skin).
Cool. Cooled tea bags on the eyes have two purposes - they will reduce swelling and soothe the eye area, and they'll make you put your feet up for 15 minutes. Stick a couple of metal spoons in the freezer at night and hold the rounded end to your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning. You'll relieve puffiness.
Clean. Here's a fact - if you leave makeup on while you sleep fluids in the body will rush to the area to soothe irritation. So another reason to take your face off before you go to bed!
How can I cover them? (While I work on the steps above!)
Concealer. What did we do before concealer?! For your under eyes you need a creamy and moisturising concealer. The area is prone to dryness and the last thing we want is flakey, dark circles! Use a concealer that has more of a yellow base, in a tone that's a bit lighter than your skin color to counteract the blues and purples in the bags. Apply the concealer after your makeup but before your blusher. And apply it to the dark circle only.
Foundation. If you don't own concealer you can concentrate the pigmentation in your foundation. How? Simply pop a little foundation on to your finger and let it be exposed to the air. The product will oxidise and the darken.
Highlighter. Highlighter pens are fantastic for brightening the under eye area. Apply with a light touch and pat with your fingers to blend.
So there you have it, the Beauty Review guide to dark circles. Over to you - do you suffer from dark circles? What have you found works in the quest to brightening our under eyes?