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The Truth About Dark, Under-Eye Circles

Dark, under-eye circles – is there anything worse? Well, yes, but still, aren’t they frustrating? And can you really get rid of them with eye gel and a better night’s sleep? We investigate…

As annoying skin issues go, dark circles around your eyes (or periorbital hyperpigmentation if you will) are up there with wrinkles, sun spots and saggy jowls. But they are, in fact, a whole different kind of beast. How so? Because ageing isn’t the main guilty party here. 

Interested to learn more? Here, we take a look at dark, under-eye circles to help you understand exactly what’s causing them. Plus, what you can do to keep them under control – without the need for lasers or dermal fillers, of course.

The Facts About The Skin Around Your Eyes

First, it’s important to understand how the skin around your eyes differs from elsewhere on your face. The main thing to know is that it is extremely thin, which means it’s super fragile and more susceptible to environmental and lifestyle damage. Furthermore, it contains fewer sebaceous (oil-producing) glands, making it feel drier than the rest of your face.

The area under your eyes, in particular, also lacks fat and muscle which is a vital combination for stability, suppleness and support. Couple this with the fact that this delicate skin sits over an essentially hollow structure (your orbital bone) and it’s no wonder it caves in and becomes dark, dry, swollen or irritated. 

Why You Get Dark Circles Under Your Eyes 

Not only does the anatomy of the skin around your eyes work against you, but there are many other factors battling away to intensify dark circles. Most experts agree, however, that the main reason you either do or don’t get them is genetics. The simple fact is that if your parents suffer (or suffered) with baggage under their eyes, chances are, you will, too.

You may have inherited their darker blood vessels or their thin, translucent skin – or more likely, you’ve got a combination of both. And there’s very little you can do to change that. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we figured you’d rather know, right?

Of course, the natural depletion of collagen as you get older, along with damage from the sun, lack of sleep, stress, sinus congestion, allergies, dehydration and irritated skin will do nothing but intensify under-eye circles. And don’t even get us started on smoking…

While you can’t change your genes, therefore, what you can do is make better lifestyle choices to increase your chances of keeping the skin under your eyes clearer and brighter. Think about what could be perpetuating your dark circles and make changes where appropriate – it’s amazing what a little self-care can accomplish.

How To Keep Dark, Under-Eye Circles Under Control

As well as making smart diet and lifestyle alterations, there are plenty of other ways to help treat dark circles. Here are five we truly believe in…   

1. Wear Sunglasses

As you know, UV radiation is a major problem for your skin in general, but it’s even more damaging for the skin around your eyes due to its thin, delicate nature. Sun exposure causes an increase in melanin which can create blotchiness in your skin and hyperpigmentation around your peepers. The answer? Always protect your eyes with sunglasses whenever you’re driving or outside in the daytime.

2. Apply A Cold Compress

From used tea bags to good old potato or cucumber slices, lying back with cool stuff over your eyes may sound like an old wives’ tale, but it actually works. This is because cold temperatures help constrict the blood vessels under the skin around your eyes which makes them less visible at the surface. It’s that simple.

Potatoes, cucumbers and used tea bags also contain water which helps boost moisture under your eyes while soothing redness and irritation at the same time. Oh, and not forgetting the anti-puffing benefits caffeine offers if you happen to go down the cold, used tea bag route. Caffeine contains anti-inflammatory properties and further constricts the blood vessels to help reduce redness, swelling and fluid build-up. 

3. Add Eye Gel To Your Daily Regime

Don’t dismiss the powers of an effective eye gel for dealing with concerns under your eyes. Your regular moisturiser may help deal with dryness or dehydration but it could be too rich for this sensitive, delicate area and it certainly won’t cut the mustard when it comes to dark circles and puffiness. Instead, you need Imperial Eye Gel to get the job done effectively. 

Formulated with brightening, hydrating and strengthening ingredients like vitamin E, cucumber, green tea and hyaluronic acid, Imperial Eye Gel helps smooth, tone and wake up tired-looking eyes. Apply a small, pea-sized amount gently around your eyes twice daily for the best results. 

And here’s a little HIGHBORN hack we often hear about... Keep your Imperial Eye Gel in the fridge to boost its soothing, anti-puffing properties! You’re welcome.

4. Sleep With Your Head Elevated

If your dark circles look worse first thing in the morning, you may need to reassess not just how many hours of sleep you’re getting (or more likely not getting) but the way in which you sleep. The best type of beauty sleep is on your back with your head slightly elevated with a couple of pillows. This stops blood and other fluids from pooling under your eyes which, in turn, helps lessen the appearance of darkness and puffiness under your eyes. 

5. Be Gentle With Your Make-up Remover

Finally, if you wear mascara or eye make-up on a regular basis, make sure you’re extremely gentle when you remove it at the end of the day. Scrubbing away at your eyes with chemical-laced eye make-up remover or wipes causes trauma to your skin, damage to the capillaries and may worsen inflammation and dark circles. 

Instead, dab your eyes with a gentle, fragrance-free remover, then apply light pressure and work it all over each eye using soft circular motions to lift off any make-up without stressing out your skin. After removing your make-up, cleanse all over with Crystal Cleanser to get rid of any preservatives your make-up remover might have left behind. 

So there you have it. There’s so much more to dark circles than meets the eye. And there’s so much you can do for your precious peepers to help keep pesky dark circles at bay.



Alison on June 11 2021 at 11:11AM

That was a very helpful article, thankyou. I will try the cold tea bags. As a sufferer of dark circles for quite a few years I now have more understanding.

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