There are various factors that can lead to the under eye area looking darker than the rest of your skin. First and foremost, it can be hereditary, so if either of your parents has a darker skin tone under their eyes, you are most likely to as well. But, lack of sleep, allergies and certain deficiencies can also worsen the problem. Here are my ways to help brighten up and lighten up your eyes…
Drinking, smoking and late nights can all have a detrimental effect on the colour of the skin under the eyes. Lack of sleep can cause the blood vessels to dilate, making the area darker.
Expert help: Limit alcohol, quit smoking and make sure you get around 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will flush out toxins and help to keep the area hydrated and healthy.
With the skin around the periorbital area being very thin, it’s easier to see the blood vessels underneath, so it’s important to avoid making it even thinner. Being over vigorous while cleansing or scratching the area because of an itchy allergic reaction can damage the delicate skin and cause discolouration and thinness.
Expert help: To remove eye makeup, soak a cotton pad in a gentle remover or use water and a couple of drops of MV Organic Pure Jojoba Oil and place it over your eye. Gently press it into the lashes for a few seconds and then sweep it from the outer eye inwards to prevent dragging the skin. Use a fresh cotton wool disc for the other eye to prevent infection from bacteria.
If the eye area is itchy and red, check your skincare products incase you have had an allergic reaction. If it isn’t your skincare then visit your GP, as it’s important to rule out dietary allergies too.
TIP: For immediate relief try dipping a cotton wool pad in cold organic milk and placing it on the area for 10 minutes. The fats from the milk will hydrate and relieve the itchy symptoms and calm the skin.
Insufficient UV protection from not wearing sunglasses or leaving off the SPF lotion can cause brown patches or discolouration under the eyes. However, darker skin tones may naturally be darker under the eyes due to a higher melanin production and these under eye circles could be hereditary.
Expert help: A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and SPF lotion of 30 or above can help avoid sun damage discolouration and, even if it is hereditary, this will still help to prevent further darkening.
A treatment designed especially for the eye area can make a big improvement. My Eye Revive Treatment addresses fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. It gently resurfaces the skin here by using a superficial alpha hydroxy acid peel followed by an application of a customised serum containing a host of skin brightening and protecting antioxidants and peptides. You can find out more here.
Dehydration and Ageing
As we age, our skin naturally gets thinner and so a healthy diet full of vitamin rich produce plus high quality skincare is essential to keep the skin around the eyes plump and hydrated.
Expert help: Invest in a good eyecream such as CosMedix Eye Genius Brilliant Eye Complex, £60. It contains superior firming and nourishing ingredients as well as light reflecting Mica, which brightens and helps conceal dark circles. You can find out more about it here.
TIP: Include iron rich foods such as spinach, red meat, broccoli and pumpkin seeds in your diet as they will help prevent Anaemia, which can also be an underlying cause of dark circles.
Dark circles caused by lack of sleep, age or genetics can benefit from an under eye massage to pep up the circulation and get stagnant lymph fluid flowing freely.
Expert help: Holding a compress, such as a muslin cloth or cotton wool moistened with cold water under the eyes, move fingertips in small circular motions from the outside corner of the eye to the inside, gently pressing down. Try this for a couple of minutes in the morning and at night before bed.
TIP: When sleeping, use two pillows to elevate the head so that the lymph can drain sufficiently.