Whether laughing or crying, squinting in bright light or spending hours a day focusing on a computer screen, our eyes and the skin around them goes through a lot.
The skin around and under the eye is thinner and more delicate than elsewhere. It’s for this reason that if your eyes are under strain or you’ve gotten run down as a whole, the blood vessels under the skin expand and become more visible through this thin skin, causing dark circles or puffy eye bags. External stressors such as the weather or pollution and lifestyle aspects such as sleep, diet and exercise can all play a part in changing the appearance of your under eye skin.
On top of this, the under eye skin lacks oil glands, which are the skin’s natural moisturiser. Without this, eye skin is more prone to drying out and showing early signs of aging, such as fine lines or crow’s feet. If the eye skin is also not properly protected with sun cream or sunglasses, dark circles can appear as a result of UV damage changing the pigmentation in the skin.
But don’t worry! Below we have summarised the 8 best ways to get rid of dark circles, prevent wrinkles and care for your eye skin. As well as this, we suggest an easy-to-follow eye skin care routine and, finally, some quick fixes to get rid of dark circles or puffy eyes fast.
1. Diet and Exercise
Toxins in your diet will reveal themselves in your skin. So, if you want to improve the skin around your eyes, make sure to have a healthy diet with lots of antioxidant fruits and veggies. Exercise can also help the body to get rid of toxins and improves circulation, which is important for good skin. And, of course, make sure you drink enough water! We can’t expect our skin to be bright and hydrated without doing this.
Yes, it’s an obvious one, but people underestimate the importance of sleep in caring for your skin, and especially the skin around your eyes. During sleep, blood flow increases to your skin, allowing it to repair and rebuild collagen. When you’re tired, blood vessels dilate due to increased cortisol, making them more visible under your thin eye skin and thus giving the appearance of dark circles.
If you often struggle to get a good night’s sleep, think of actionable ways you can improve this. Perhaps it’s forcing yourself to go to bed earlier and leaving your phone in another room. Or perhaps you have a computer-based job and could benefit from blue-light filtering glasses, which have been shown to improve sleep and reduce eye-strain. Either way, it’s a win-win situation – better sleep, better mood, brighter under-eyes and better skin!
3. Sun cream
Sun cream is important for protecting your skin against the effects of UV rays, but you should consider carefully if you want to use a chemical or mineral sun cream. Your under-eye skin is much more delicate than elsewhere and could potentially get irritated from a chemical sun cream, as this works by absorbing into the skin. Mineral sun creams, on the other hand, sit on top of the skin. Tip: don’t forget to put the cream on the upper eyelid too!
If you are going outside on any mildly sunny day, sunglasses are a must to both protect your eyes and the skin around them from harmful UV radiation. Firstly, the dark tinting on the lenses prevents you from squinting in bright light, thereby reducing eye wrinkles or “crow’s feet”. More importantly, the UVA protection prevents deep damage to cells, which otherwise reveals itself over time as more wrinkles around the eyes and even as eyesight problems. So, if you’re planning on going on holiday or spending any time in the sunshine, make sure you have a good pair of sunnies with guaranteed UV protection.
5. Moisturiser or Eye Cream
There are many different types of moisturising creams and serums, all with different purposes depending on your skin type. Either way, moisturiser should be an essential part of your eye skin care routine, both for anti-aging and skin health. Whether you wish to reduce wrinkles or dark circles or simply give your eye skin all-round care, learn about the different types of moisturiser suited to each purpose here:
Moisturiser for Hyperpigmentation – Related to Dark Circles
Dark circles under the eyes can appear when hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin is caused by UV damage from the sun. Having darker pigmentation around the eyes can also be genetic, thereby adding natural definition to the eyes, so it’s entirely your choice if you want to reduce genetically-caused pigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is something we can combat with eye creams. To reduce dark circles related to hyperpigmentation, look for creams with the following ingredients in:
- Arbutin (evens out skin pigmentation and reduces dark spots, extracted from bearberry)
- Kojic acid (lightens darkened skin due to sun damage, scars or age spots, extracted from fungi)
- Vitamin C a.k.a ascorbic acid (anti-oxidant and decreases hyperpigmentation)
- Soy (brightens skin, decreases redness and boosts collagen)
- Niacinamide a.k.a Vitamin B3 (decreases hyperpigmentation, helps cells to build)
- Azelaic acid (reduces redness and inflammation, derived from grains)
Using a gentle chemical peel, such as glycolic acid, can also help renew skin and give a brighter appearance, but make sure to choose a product designed for use around the eyes, as the skin is usually more sensitive here than elsewhere.
Moisturiser for Dry Skin – Related to Wrinkles and Dark Circles
To reduce and prevent wrinkles around the eyes, use a good moisturiser! Moisturisers contain humectants, which are substances that reduce moisture loss and keep your skin hydrated and plump, thereby helping to prevent under eye wrinkles from forming. Dry and thinning skin can also be more see-through and increase the appearance of dark circles, as you begin to actually see the capillaries beneath the skin.
So, which moisturiser is good for under the eyes? Unless you have very sensitive eye skin, normal face moisturiser is fine. Otherwise, choose a specific eye cream, which is sensitive to the delicate under eye skin and yet still has enough active ingredients to have an effect. You can also look for the following “plump up” ingredients in your moisturiser to stimulate collagen production:
- Retinol (vitamin A derivative, increases collagen production, softens fine lines. Synthetic or animal-derived)
- Peptides (amino acids, helps to build collagen and elastin for more youthful skin)
- Hyaluronic acid (deeply hydrating, holds in moisture. Tip: look for hyaluronic acid eye patches for an extra boost!)
NB: These ingredients can be quite powerful so before using them at the same time, always check it’s safe to do so. For example, it is generally advised against using retinol or peptides at the same time as vitamin C serum, AHA/BHA acids or benzoyl peroxide.
Moisturiser for Puffiness / Eye Bags
If you find you often wake up with puffy eyes or eye bags, then look for a moisturiser with any of the following ingredients:
- Caffeine (restricts blood vessels under skin and reduces puffiness/appearance of dark circles)
- Green tea (antioxidant, many beneficial nutrients)
- Coffeeberry (high in antioxidants)
- Willow herb (reduces inflammation and promotes healing)
For puffy eye bags, a gentle massage, tapping lightly with the fingertips or using a jade roller, can also help blood flow away and swelling to reduce.
Moisturiser for General Healthy Eye Skin
If you just want to maintain healthy skin around the eyes, you can use a normal moisturising cream and/or a serum with any of the following antioxidant ingredients to combat free radicals:
- Vitamin C (antioxidant, improves skin’s radiance and brightness)
- Vitamin E a.k.a tocopherol (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, can be combined with vitamin C)
- Green tea (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and many more benefits)
- Niacinamide a.k.a Vitamin B3
6. Applying Eye Cream
When applying cream to the skin around the eyes, be gentle! This is delicate skin and you don’t want to treat it harshly. A suggested technique for applying eye cream is to use a gentle tapping action, which both stimulates circulation and avoids tugging at the skin.
7. Quick fixes
- A cold compress, such as an ice cube wrapped in cotton or cold spoons from the fridge, can work wonders to freshen up your under-eyes.
- The classic cucumber slices have been shown to reduce swelling under the eyes and moisturise the skin. Rich in vitamin C, cucumber is also an antioxidant for the skin.
- Tea bags (green or black) can also have a good effect and be soothing: simply soak the teabag in warm water before allowing it to cool in the fridge. When cold, place under eyes and relax!
8. Eye Skin Care Routine
After you have chosen your eye skin care products, apply them in the following order for the daytime, skipping out sun cream for the nighttime:
- Cleanse away any makeup
- Eye cream
- Sun cream (if mineral based, otherwise put chemical suncreams on first)
- Weekly eye mask
We hoped you enjoyed reading this blog post and now feel confident about your next steps to healthier under-eye skin! There are two ways you can immediately start your journey to healthier under-eye skin. For improved sleep, learn more about blue-light filtering glasses here or shop glasses online here. We offer blue-light filtering lenses for all of our glasses frames – simply customise your order by clicking on the prescription frames option. Otherwise, check out our wide range of sunglasses in our online shop and start protecting your eyes against UV radiation on sunny summer days.
Please note: the content of this blog is intended for enjoyment only and you should always consult your doctor/professional if you have health concerns.