Like the notorious office gossip with the tendency to reveal one too many of his/her co-workers’ personal secrets, those dark circles under your eyes are often the first to divulge some fairly sensitive information about what’s going on inside of your body.
From lifestyle choices (lack of sleep, diet) to allergies, illness and even your genetics, nothing escapes the attention of your under-eye area.
The skin under your eyes is at its thinnest, with the lowest elasticity, firmness and oil production. That translates to it being the most susceptible to wrinkling and often the first area on your face to reveal signs of aging.
Your under-eye area also has the weakest barrier function and doesn’t hold water in as well. That means skin dehydration due to an overindulgence in alcohol or a lack of sleep tends to wreak the most havoc on the skin under your eyes.
Genetics also have a role to play in your predisposition to under-eye discolouration. If your parents both have hyperpigmentation in the under-eye area, chances are your love of reading or the colour of your hair isn’t the only thing you might have inherited.
But before you play the blame game with your parents, here’s a list of our top five tips for avoiding a chronic case of the ‘panda eyes’.
As the skin beneath your eyes is so thin, it’s extremely susceptible to sun-induced hyperpigmentation (and skin cancer). At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s essential you apply sunscreen, right up until the bony ridge beneath your eyes.
Use a non-drip or stick formula that won’t migrate north of the border into your eyes and cause irritation.
This vitamin A derivative fades pigments and boosts collagen production, making skin less transparent so dark circles are less noticeable.
Don’t overdo it though. Applying retinoids too frequently can irritate the skin around your eyes, leaving you with red, flaky rings on top of your dark circles.
We recommend using formulas with an optimal retinoid concentration like Allies of Skin 1A™ Overnight Mask. This formula contains 0.5% Ally-R™, a stabilised form of retinol that’s potent yet gentle enough to be used around the eye area daily without causing any of the traditional redness or irritation.
Tugging at your skin to get rid of those last traces of mascara only causes inflammation and capillary damage, both of which can contribute to dark circles.
Instead, try soaking a cotton pad with an oil-based eye makeup remover (cleansing oil), and gently press the pad onto your closed lid for 5 to 10 seconds.
The oil helps to dissolve your makeup, lifting it off your skin and eyelashes, while also conditioning your lashes at the same time.
Eye serums that contain brightening ingredients like arbutin, vitamin C and kojic acid help to inhibit the formation of melanin, lightening dark under-eye circles without irritating the sensitive skin under your eyes.
The trick to instantly vanishing dark circles is all about choosing the right colour concealer. Opposite colours on the colour wheel cancel one another out. That means the blueish hue in most dark circles can be neutralised by concealers with peachy undertones.
Choose a cream-based solid concealer. These provide better coverage and don’t wear off as easily.
TIPS FOR APPLICATION:
1. Lightly tap your concealer in thin layers around the under-eye area to avoid caking.
2. Start applying concealer from where the skin is darkest, then blend out for a more natural finish.
3. Watch out for your lower lash line. Fine lines and crow’s feet tend to appear in this area and concealer will only settle into those lines, exaggerating their appearance.