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6 ways to address dark under eye circles

Looking for ways to brighten those under eye shadows? Read on for some top tips for an altogether fresher under eye area

Dark under eye shadows or circles is one of the main reasons for our obsession with concealer – this common beauty complaint which crosses all ages and races and has many of us reaching for brightening products in our quest to lighten and visibly improve the area, can be tricky to successfully treat.

Causes include thinning skin, hollowness, hyperpigmentation, sun exposure or genetics. Even rubbing your eyes excessively can cause problems, while lifestyle issues such as smoking or lack of sleep can also play a part.

The good news is there are products, ingredients and aesthetic treatments that can help dark circles. Our ingredient suggestions are vitamin C which has a brightening effect; retinol, which can help fade pigmentation; hyaluronic acid to plump up the skin, and caffeine to take down any puffiness. Sunscreen is also essential to prevent sun damage which could in time worsen dark circles.

Derived from mushrooms, kojic acid helps inhibit pigment production, and is a good alternative to the prescription skin lightener hydroquinone, especially for those with a darker skin tone or sensitive skins.

When formulating Intuisse Active NAD+ Eye Serum ( which contains four variations of hyaluronic acid, plus a powerful blend of white flowers to reduce dark circles and brighten the area, Anne Abriat-Hemmendinger, Head of Product Development said:

“Our goal was to create a breakthrough product that would absorb quickly into the eye area, have an immediate firming and brightening effect, provide long-term skin hydration and brightening as well as reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Our clinical trials proved that the combination of Active NAD+ and four hyaluronic acids, alongside other clean actives achieves these results.”

If you’d like to get serious on dark circles and take them to the aesthetic clinic, it’s essential to consult a good practitioner for advice. Depending on their diagnosis and the reason for your dark circles, expect to be offered tear trough filler, a chemical peel, microneedling, skin boosters or PRP–or a combination.

Products to try at home

Croma Farewell Puffy Eyes;
If stress and lack of sleep are making your undereye area look lacklustre, hit refresh with this serum designed for the eye contour to fight the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and crow's feet. The hard-working formulation contains all the good stuff: hyaluronic acid, D-panthenol and vitamin B3.

Institut Esthederm Intensive Hyaluronic Eye Serum;
This anti-ageing eye serum features a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin retain moisture and plumps up sagging skin. It also helps smooth out fine lines, and the addition of caffeine tightens the skin, helping to eradicate puffiness for younger-looking and renewed undereyes.

MZ Skin Depuff & Define;
Instantly smoothing, lifting, and tightening for a more youthful appearance, this potent caffeine and peptide complex works on fluid and fatty deposits that can lead to puffiness and eye bags. Pigmentation correcting actives help diminish the signs of shadowing and dark circles; skin tone is also improved by strengthening the cellular matrix beneath the skin’s surface.

La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Eye Serum; 
A daily concentrate that instantly hydrates and re-plumps the eye area. This dermatologically-tested formula includes two forms of hyaluronic acid to hydrate, re-plump and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Added vitamin B5 helps to repair the skin barrier within one hour, while 4% niacinamide improves the appearance of dark circles, and caffeine leaves skin looking brighter, radiant and revitalised.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Gel-Creme;
This double action formula corrects dark circles and targets ageing to reveal a brighter appearance. Hyaluronic acid provides 100 hours of hydration for refreshed, renewed and recharged eyes; the product also targets key signs of ageing including puffiness, crow’s feet and fine lines thanks to a blend of caffeine and Estee Lauder-exclusive Tripeptide-32, both of which promote skin renewal.

An in-clinic treatment to try

Tear trough fillers are a type of hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler treatment suitable for patients with dark under eye circles, as well as a loss of volume and signs of ageing. When injected just beneath the eyes, tear trough fillers give the skin a revitalised, plumped, firmer and more hydrated look, which can make all the difference to dark shadows. To find a practitioner specialising in tear trough filler, consult our directory.

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