Liz’s Lament : What are the best ingredients to look for in a product that is for depuffing and lightening dark under eye circles?
The Right Brain’s reply:
We’ve blogged about under eye circles before, but we get a lot of questions on this topic so it’s worthwhile revisiting.
Medically speaking, under eye circles are defined as bilateral, round, homogeneous pigment macules on the infraorbital regions. Practically speaking, they’re just a pain in the butt.
The best treatment depends on what’s causing the problem in the first place, Liz. And it so happens that there are MANY causes. Here’s a quick list of the major ones. In some cases there are products that can help.
This is just a fancy way of saying you’ve got blood pooled below your skin, think of it as a bruise.
Treatment: At least one study has shown that phytonadione (aka Vitamin K) can reduce this kind of dark circle. There’s not much proof that it works, but yuou might give a product called VitaK a try.
Over-production of melanin, the same pigment that gives your skin a tan, can also create dark rings below your eyes. Sometimes this is caused by an inflammatory condition.
Treatment: The best approach is to have a doctor use a laser treatment to break up the melanin molecules and get rid of the color. But if you can’t afford that you may also see some minor improvement using skin lightening creams like Meladerm or Hylexin. Meladerm works through an active ingredient called Kojic acid. You could even try the Lusidina 18K Gold Nurse Whitener Nose Mask.
Conditions like allergic contact dermatitis and hay fever can increase the appearance of dark circles.
Treatment: Treating the allergies with over the counter medications should help. You might want to check with your doctor on this one.
This could be regular puffiness or a condition known as periorbital edema. In either case this occurs when fluid fills the tissue beneath the eyes.
Treatment: Swelling can have many causes. If you have other symptoms you should check with your doctor on this one too.
5. Visible blood vessels
For some people, the blood vessels below the eyes are more easily visible either because their skin is very pale or because the vessels are not deep beneath the skin.
Treatment: Either way, unless you want to have major cosmetic surgery, you’d better stick to covering up this problem with make up.
6. Lack of skin tightness
Saggy skin can cast shadows that exaggerate the appearance of dark circles.
Treatment: Make-up is probably your best bet here as well. You may see some slight benefit with skin tightening lotions but the effect will be minor and very temporary.
7. Lack of sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep your eyes tend to look sunken which accentuates that raccoon look.
Treatment: Get to bed early and catch up on your sleep.
This is another cause of sunken eyes. Rehydrating the tissue may help reverse the problem.
Treatment: Drink up!
9. Persistent eye rubbing
You may not even realize you’re doing it, but continually rubbing your eyes can make dark circles look worse.
Treatment: Stop rubbing your eyes. Duh.
10. Black eye
A punch or other blunt trauma is the classic cause of very dark under eye circles. If this is what causing your problem you should spend less time on the beauty websites and more time on the boxing blogs!
Treatment: Apply cold compresses and work on your right hook.
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Volume 6, Number 3, September 2007 , pp. 211-215(5)