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Did you know that it takes someone just seven seconds to form a solid first impression of a stranger and even less time to start judging their perceived traits? Unfortunately, over time, we all tend to have a habit of gathering information that supports that first impression. It’s no wonder then that so many of us seek out easy treatments or quick fixes to ensure we’re looking our best day in and day out, particularly when it comes to our eyes. Eye contact occurs with every first meeting, and oftentimes it’s the area around our eyes that give us away, revealing a lack of sleep with dull skin, dark circles, or an aged and fatigued appearance—all of which may not form the best first impression.

If you’re one of the 72% of Australians concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, and aging eyes, get ready to say so long to those dark under-eye circles with these tips for dealing with them, revealing a younger, more rejuvenated appearance that encourages trust, confidence, and a positive first impression.

How to Treat Dark Circles Under the Eyes

There are a few reasons you might see some dark shadows under your eyes. Determining the cause can help to better narrow in on the treatment that’s right for you, which leads us into the first step to brighter eyes.

Step 1: Determine the Cause

While we could launch into dozens of reasons why you may be seeing those pesky dark under eye circles, it typically boils down to five potential causes:

  1. Loss of skin elasticity
  2. Dull, dehydrated skin
  3. Thinning skin
  4. Pigmentation
  5. A combination of some or all of the above, oftentimes as a result of poor sleep habits and/or genetics

How can you determine which might be the cause that applies to you? Start by gently stretching the skin under your eye with your pointer and middle fingers, lightly pulling the skin downward and outward toward the outer corner of the eye. As you pull and the skin tightens, observe how the color of the skin changes, if at all. If the dark circles appear to fade, they’re likely shadows caused by a loss of volume or dull, dehydrated skin. If they deepen in color when stretched, thinning skin is the likely cause, as the darkness showing through is the appearance of blood vessels under the skin’s surface. Finally, if the dark circles don’t change in color, they are likely a result of pigmentation in the skin, which generally refers to a heavier concentration of melanin or more pronounced blood vessels, both of which may be a result of prolonged sun exposure in this sensitive skin area.

Step 2: Find a Quick Fix

For some, a quick fix may be all that is needed or it might just be the next step to reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes prior to finding the right aesthetic treatment for you. Depending on the cause, you may consider one of the following four quick fixes:

  • Start with a Little Makeup: For dark circles as a result of pigmentation, try applying concealer in an upside-down triangle under the eye. Blend in with a beauty blender sponge or small brush, gently dabbing the concealer into the skin and blending both inward, toward the tear duct and water line, and outward to ensure there’s no visible line between the concealer and your skin tone. Finish off with a light touch of bright beige, ivory, or gold shimmery eye shadow in the inner corner of the eyes for a brightening boost.
  • Get Your Zzzs: Beauty sleep is the real deal. While you rest, your skin recuperates from the day’s aggressors—think pollution, sun exposure, free radicals, makeup, dry air, and more. Without rest, skin can struggle to rejuvenate itself, appearing dull and dehydrated when you get up and making it easier for blood vessels to show through the thinner skin under the eyes. To improve the appearance of under-eye circles, take care of your sleep hygiene. Get adequate amounts of rest each night, set a bedtime, and minimize your use of caffeine, electronics, or other stimulants before hitting the sack.
  • Introduce a Retinol Routine: For dark circles resulting from thinning skin, try adding a retinol-based eye serum to your nighttime beauty routine (avoid it in the morning, as retinol makes skin much more sensitive to UV light.) Retinol, otherwise known as vitamin A, is often added to skin care products for its collagen-boosting benefits. By helping to stimulate increased collagen production over time, retinol helps to thicken skin, minimizing the appearance of dark circles in the process.
  • Go for a Facial: Dull, dehydrated skin can lack volume and color, making blood vessels below the skin much more visible, particularly in areas where the skin is naturally thinner, like under the eyes. While sleep, retinol, and regular moisturizers may help boost skin hydration, facial rejuvenation treatments utilize a rotating tip and ultra-fine jets to deliver saline deep within skin’s pores, offering deep-cleansing power to remove all the pollutants dulling your skin’s complexion while providing a powerful skin hydration boost. The outcome is instantly brighter, moisturized, and glowing skin after just one facial treatment—and a reduction in the appearance of dark under eye circles as a result!

Step 3: Explore Further Treatment Options

For those looking for a longer-term fix that doesn’t require regular makeup applications or a schedule overhaul, there are a couple long-term aesthetic treatments for dark circles that you may consider.

For those experiencing darker circles under the eyes from skin laxity, customized radio frequency-based wrinkle reduction treatments may be the best bet for longer-term results. These wrinkle reduction treatments work by delivering RF energy deep below the skin’s surface, where it helps to stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen and elastin fibers, the two main building blocks of firm, smooth, healthy skin. Following your custom wrinkle reduction treatment plan, skin under the eyes will appear smoother and firmer, reducing the appearance of dark circles in the process for brighter, younger-looking eyes.

Finally, depending on the location of pigmentation in relation to the eye, photofacial treatments utilizing Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology may be an option for dark circles resulting from pigmentation or visible blood vessels. These treatments utilize targeted IPL energy to target melanin pigmentation and visible blood vessels for a brighter, refreshed, and more even-toned appearance. Of course, safety comes first when treating concerns so close to the eyes,  so it’s best to ask our Expert Therapists to find out which treatment will be best for you.