Dark circles are a cause of distress for many, as this common skin issue can be difficult to treat and make one look tired or overworked. Dark Circles are the second most common skincare complaint following acne being the no.1 skin complaint. In this day and age you would think with all the latest innovations we would have come up with a solution to lighten the skin under the eye area to have a synergistic blend into the rest of the face. 

Around the ages of 15-25, one can first start to notice an increase in periorbital pigmentation. When I was in high school I discovered what dark circles were all about and had no idea why someone was asking me if I had a black eye. It was then that I realised that, oh yes, my eyes are darker underneath than the rest of the surrounding skin around my eye; and so the quest to brighten and lighten started.

Those with an olive or darker skin tone have a greater chance of having dark under-eye circles, and it has also been noted that there is a hereditary link that increases one’s chances.

Dark circles can be broken down into 2 categories:

1) Primary Dark Circles: which are of unknown cause. They are a bilateral darkening of the orbital skin and eyelid. The pigmentation is brownish-black in colour and extends to the lower rim of the under-eye (orbital rim). The upper eyelid can also be affected. This is the most common type of dark circles encompassing 50-60% of cases.
2) Secondary Dark Circles: can be more greyish or brown in colour and can reside on top of a primary dark circle. The greyish brown circle colour can result from genetics, sun exposure and eye rubbing. Blue colour under the eye results from the skin thinning and therefore being able to see the vascular network underneath. Puffiness can cause shadowing, which can also be due to the eyes hollowing as we lose fat and collagen as we age.

Dr Ben Johnson from Osmosis Skin Care believes that dark circles are the result of poor circulation which can be from stress, poor sleep, and kidney stress. This is caused by caffeine, soft drink, ibuprofen, amongst other things. Performing a gentle pressure point massage or soft massage flowing from the inside of the eye area (near the nose) to the outside up to the temples is advised to gently increase circulation.


Melanie Sachs a certified Ayurvedic lifestyle counselor recommends applying cucumber and/or potato juice on cotton pads over the whole eye area for 15 minutes while resting in a calm environment; then rinse gently with tepid water.
Using an eye product twice daily is recommended. Look for ones that contain niacinamide, peptides, beta-glucan and retinol to encourage collagen renewal. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and skin brighteners such as licorice and mulberry will brighten any residual pigmentation. Don Quai helps to balance and normalize circulation. Ginger root is also wonderful for reducing puffiness.


Our Top 11 Tips to reduce dark circles

1) Get 8 hours sleep if you can
2) Establish a daily skincare routine the improves lackluster skin
3) Establish stress-reducing activities such as walking, meditation and yoga
4) Perform soft pressure point massage from inner corners of eyes moving to the other corners finishing at the temples to encourage blood flow
5) Use eye products that encourage blood circulation
6) Use a treatment concealer to cover
7) Increase water intake
8) Reduce caffeine intake
9) Detox the kidneys
10) Adopt a diet high in whole food fiber and rich in minerals
11) Apply cucumber or potato juice on cotton pads for 15 minutes in a calm environment, then rinse with tepid water.


The Science Of Beauty Magazine Vol 9 No.1


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