As you guys can probably imagine, my life is pretty hectic: I’m always on-the-go; rushing between the office, photo shoots, and trying to spend every minute I can with my family and my daughter, Nour. So basically, my beauty sleep takes a serious hit. Admittedly, I’ve never been a great sleeper, and dark circles have always been a beauty issue of mine, which means I’ve learned almost every trick in the book: from how to prevent them with natural remedies to how to conceal them with makeup. So I thought I’d pass on all of my tips and tricks; so even if you’ve been up all night – working, studying, babysitting, partying – no one will be able to tell you missed a minute of beauty sleep. Here’s everything you need to know:
What Causes Dark Circles
Dark circles can be caused by three things: genetics, poor circulation, and lifestyle choices. In the case of genetics, it can be caused by a type of hyperpigmentation in your skin (aka an overproduction of melanin, which is what gives your skin its color). Genetically, some people typically have thinner skin here (it’s usually 0.5mm, whereas the rest of your body is 2mm), which makes blood pooling in this area more obvious. This can also be down to poor circulation.
Lifestyle choices can also contribute, so because of thin skin, when your veins become dilated, they expand, and this makes them look darker. There are a number of reasons why your veins may become dilated – not enough sleep, stress, dehydration, dietary factors, alcohol, even allergies. To work out the main culprit behind your dark circles, gently pinch the skin and lift it off the surface. If the skin remains brown, it is hyperpigmentation, if not, it’s poor circulation or down to lifestyle. A retinol eye cream like the Kiehl’s Youth Dose Eye Cream, $39, can work wonders for improving the appearance of pigmentation in this area. It could be to do with lifestyle choices, in which case, I have plenty of tips on how you can easily get rid of dark circles.
How to Prevent Dark Circles from Forming
1. Sleep well
I know this may sound super simple, but this sleeping hack can make a huge difference. When your pillows are too flat, all of the blood will collect around your eye area, so to help drain the blood and to make sure it doesn’t pool overnight, sleep on your back with an extra pillow. I also like to take a digital detox two hours before I go to sleep (although I admit, this doesn’t happen often enough), to limit my blue light exposure, and if I do have to be on my phone, I set it to nighttime mode. It’ll make such a difference to your sleep quality, I swear.
2. Cut back on salt
As you guys probably know, sodium, aka salt, causes your body to retain water, but it can actually cause puffiness in your eyes as well. Cutting back on sodium will help combat puffy eyes, so you appear less tired.
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3. Stay hydrated
If your body is dehydrated, it tries to compensate for the lack of hydration by retaining as much water as possible, resulting in puffiness and under-eye bags. This is why making sure you drink the recommended amount of water is super important, as it not only keeps your skin looking good, but it’ll keep dark under eyes at bay. I keep a liter bottle of water on my desk at all times, as you’re supposed to drink 2 liters of water a day.
How to Get Rid of Dark Circles
Sweet almond oil: There are so many amazing natural remedies for dark circles, but I’ve got to admit I think sweet almond oil is my fave. It’s rich in Vitamin E and K, both of which will brighten the undereye, while it will also help improve circulation, and it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce any morning swelling. All you need to do is gently pat in a drop of sweet almond oil under your eye using your fourth finger. If you do this every night, you should be able to notice a difference in a few weeks.
Potato: Not only do potatoes contain both vitamin A and C, which brighten and hydrate, but they also contain starch and other enzymes that help brighten and get rid of dark circles. For a quick and easy DIY, I like to combine potato juice (grate half a potato and strain the juice) with a teaspon of honey, which will make the application easier, while the honey will also work to hydrate the under-eye area. Once applied, leave on for 30 minutes, before wiping it away with a damp cloth. You’ll notice results within a couple of weeks if you do this every day.
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Green tea: Green tea is packed with caffeine, which can help to shrink the blood vessels in your under eyes, reducing inflammation in the veins and skin. The caffeine and EGCG in the tea will also restrict the blood capillaries, improving the appearance of dark circles and reducing swelling in puffy eyes. You can simply place green tea bags (brewed and then chilled in the fridge) under your eyes, but I find the method of mixing brewed green tea leaves with a little Vaseline (or honey) to be really effective and easy.
Ice: To reduce swelling and to efficiently drain the blood from your under eyes, apply something cool. By cooling this area, the blood vessels will constrict – we use anything we have in our fridge, from cucumber slices to a cold spoon. Jade rollers are also amazing at depuffing, and you can store yours in the fridge for a quick de-puff in the mornings. You can also freeze coffee ice cubes, which will help depuff and awaken the under eyes.
I’m obsessed with the Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Eye Cubes, $64, which are packed with botanicals to immediately lift, brighten, and depuff the under eye area. They’re quite pricey, so they’re great before a big event or a special occasion.
How to Conceal Dark Circles:
Color correct: When it comes to concealing dark circles, you can balance them out by using opposite shades that will ‘cancel’ the color. It’s all about finding the right tone to color correct the particular shade of your dark circles. If your under eyes have a red or pink undertone, you should neutralize the area with a concealer with a yellow undertone, whereas if your dark circles have a blue or grey tint, you should use a peachy concealer to counteract the undertones.
Conceal: Naturally, concealer is the easiest way to say bye Felicia to dark circles. I prefer a full coverage formula, and then I like to bake the area (letting a thick layer of powder sit under the eye for 5 minutes) to add extra brightening and ensure the concealer stays in place all day and doesn’t settle into fine lines. Check out my baking technique here, and you can see all my concealer tips in the video below.
Let us know if there are any other beauty topics you’d like us to write about in the comments below.