#1 Using concealer that’s too light or too dark
It’s common to want to lighten the area under your eyes, and sometimes we go a little too far in trying to achieve that. I’ve found that concealers that are too light can end up looking ashy on your skin and go so far as to emphasise the dark eye circles instead of covering them up. Too dark a concealer is obviously not going to work either. You really want to find the closest match to your foundation possible – give yourself an allowance of one shade lighter for a natural everyday look. If you want your concealer to look natural, it should also match your skin’s undertone, whether that be warm or cool.
#2 A lack of sleep
This is a tale as old as time, but the scientific reason behind a lack of sleep making your dark eye circles worse is that fatigue can cause the veins under your eyes to dilate, making the entire area appear darker. You also get extra puffiness from fluids that settle under your eyes. This is why the home remedy of a cold tea bag under your eyes can help – the coolness of the tea bags help shrink the swelling and tannins in the tea help rid your eyes of the fluid that makes them look puffier. You should also of course be getting more sleep every night. It’s not called beauty sleep for no good reason!
#3 An unhealthy diet and dehydration
What we eat and drink affects the appearance of everything from our skin, hair, nails, and our under eye area. Food rich in vitamin C can help with pigmentation, while vitamin K can help with blood clotting, which in turn strengthens the capillaries beneath our skin. Between monthly periods and stringent diets, iron deficiencies tend to be more common in women, and one of the side effects of that is dark eye circles. It’s important to make sure you get enough iron in your system as it helps your body better carry oxygen to your cells to give your skin an overall healthier look.
#4 Forgetting sunscreen
Hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage is a problem we’re well aware of, and while most of us might finally be getting around to wearing sunscreen, how many actually apply it around the eye area? With our eyes having the thinnest layer of skin on our face, the area is even more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, making sunscreen all the more important. What I like to do is apply an eye cream with SPF beforehand, and then make sure my regular sunscreen gets close enough to my eyes without actually irritating them. This is easiest to pull off with a more creamy or less watery sunscreen that’s not likely to drip into your eyes.
#5 Rubbing your eyes too hard
Whether you’re trying to relieve the itchiness of irritated eyes or you’re in the process of removing eyeliner and mascara, you need to remember to be as gentle as possible. Rubbing your eyes too hard can damage the capillaries under the skin, which can make your under eyes look puffier and darker. If you’re wearing waterproof mascara or liner, consider going in with an oil-based makeup remover first and leaving one layer of it on your eyes for about a minute to melt the makeup away. You can do this by either pressing a cotton pad soaked in an oil-based remover onto your eyelids, or by massaging in an oil cleanser and gently working away the makeup.
Text: Alyssa Dhaliwal / Her World Plus Additional reporting: Arissa Ha