How to diagnose and treat dark under-eye circles

shutterstock_128763254We’ve all been there. You wake up, take a look in the mirror and all you can see is those dark circles (technically called periorbital dark circles) looming out at you from underneath your eyes. Maybe you’re exhausted, or maybe this is more of a regular occurrence for you. Either way, one thing is certain: the mere sight of them makes you reach for your concealer to cover them up!

If you’re into skincare then you may be wondering if an eye cream can be the saviour to your dark under-eye circles. The answer might be yes, but the truth is it depends largely on the cause of your dark circles. Before you can find the right way to treat and minimise dark eye circles, you’ll need to identify the cause.

Here are the most common causes of dark circles and the best ways to treat them:


Genetics and Pigmentation Irregularities

If you’ve had dark circles underneath your eyes for your entire life, chances are it’s genetic. It could be that the skin around the eye area is thin and therefore reveals the veins beneath it. Or, it could be a pigmentation irregularity that makes that area of the skin darker. The latter is common in people from African American or Asian descent. Either way, if you think that you’re genetically prone, your best bet is to use an eye cream or concealer that brightens and lightens. Most treatments that will fade hyperpigmentation are too strong to be used in the sensitive skin area around the eyes.

HybridsEyeIlluminatorTip-HRRecommended Product: Eye Lift Illuminator

The neutralising violet formula instantly brightens the under-eye area while Murad’s unique Re-Luminate Complex lightens and minimises dark circles. It also features Murad’s Innovative 5x Firming Technology which is clinically proven to increase skin firmness by 50% in just 15 minutes! Murad’s Smart Moisture System de-puffs and keeps skin healthy.

Customer Review

“Great product, I don’t use anything else on my eyes now. The violet colour is quite unusual but it really brightens my eyes and makes me look awake, especially on the mornings when the last thing you want to do is get out of bed! 🙂 I used to use all sorts of concealers but now I just use this, so much better!” – Suzzy123


Sun Exposure

Sun damage is one of the fastest ways to age your skin, which is why wearing broad spectrum protection is vital. And when it comes to your eye area, protection is even more important than it is for the rest of your face. This is because the skin around your eyes is thinner and more sensitive and therefore more prone to damage.

Sun damage around the eye area will not only result in the potential long-term darkening of pigment, but also in the breakdown of collagen. This makes the skin even thinner and the veins beneath them even more visible. While there’s a limited amount that you can do about sun damage near the eyes after it happens, a simple SPF eye cream can prevent it from happening.

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Essential-C Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 | PA ++

This eye cream not only hydrates and provides antioxidants to build healthier skin; it also has broad spectrum SPF protection to prevent premature ageing around your eyes.

Customer Review

“I cannot say enough good things about this eye cream. Without a doubt, this is the only eye cream I have ever found that has completely eliminated the seemingly perpetual bags I have had under my eyes my entire life. Not only that, the product takes only minutes to start noticing results. I put it under my eyes right after waking up and it does the trick. Penny pincher that I am, I still recommend this purchase. The very little you need per use (a .5 oz bottle lasted me one year) coupled with its potency ensures that this is the best possible buy on the market for baggy eyes.” – SEPJ



Wrinkles aren’t the only signs of ageing around your eyes. When the collagen and elastin begins to break down as a natural result of ageing, the thinner skin reveals the veins beneath it and eyes appear to have dark circles beneath them. One of the most effective ways to look younger is with an anti-wrinkle eye cream. Anti-wrinkle eye creams are designed to strengthen the collagen, and the end result is not only fewer wrinkles but also stronger skin that doesn’t reveal dark circles as much.


SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Renewing Eye Cream

A triple-threat eye cream that hydrates, firms and improves brightness around the eyes. Your eyes will look younger and fresher.

Customer Review

“This is really the first eye product that truly delivers on its promises. I have only been using this for 3 weeks, and already my eyes are brighter (dark circles almost gone), and the fine lines around my eyes have smoothed out. The skin around my eyes feels plump and moist, not puffy and greasy, believe me there is a huge difference between the two. Very nice texture also. Thanks for this stuff, it’s great.” – Nicereflection


Allergies or Nasal Congestion

Allergies or nasal congestion can dilate and darken the veins that drain from your eyes to your nose. Because the skin around the eyes is thinner than elsewhere on your face, these dilated and darkened veins can result in the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Not to worry, the condition is temporary and when you clear up your allergies or get rid of the cold that’s causing your nasal congestion, your eyes will go back to their normal, bright selves.

Eczema and Dry Skin

Anything that makes you scratch and rub your eyes can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. The rubbing of the thin, weaker skin around your eyes can result in broken blood vessels beneath the surface that then appear as dark circles. Treat your dry skin by gently applying a hydrating eye cream and be sure to train yourself to avoid rubbing your eyes.

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Hydro-Dynamic® Ultimate Moisture for Eyes

Gentle enough for sensitive skin, this is the most hydrating eye cream Murad makes. You’ll experience hydrated skin and long term relief from dryness.

Customer Review

“I have tried many different eye creams over the years but none of them have been as amazing as this one. The minute you apply it, your eyes feel instantly refreshed and moisturised. I’ve also noticed that the few lines I have around my eyes have become less noticeable to me over the weeks since I started using it. This might sound like a massive exaggeration but I have finally found the dream eye cream! I’ve already bought a second one…” – Gorgeous Girl 1

Lifestyle Choices and Exhaustion

Late nights, physical or emotional stress, smoking (which damages the skin in many ways) and alcohol (which dehydrates the skin) can all lead to dark under-eye circles. Basically, anything that you do that you know isn’t healthy for you can result in an impact on your skin! Live healthy. Your skin will thank you for it.

Liver Damage Can Cause Under-Eye Circles

Under-eye circles can also be a sign of liver damage. If you’ve ruled out all of the other possible causes of under-eye dark circles, you should consult a doctor to ensure that your liver is healthy and properly functioning.


Dr. Murad’s Top 10 Skincare Tips

Cleanse Your Skin Before Bed
Without proper cleansing, bacteria can survive (and thrive) on your skin, leading to breakouts. Also, the free radicals your skin encounters during the day, from pollution, sun and environmental exposure, can build up, causing tissue damage which leads to accelerated ageing.

Toners Are Important
They help your treatment product be absorbed deeper and faster. Plus, they’re refreshing and refining pores.

Oily Skin Needs Moisture
Everyone should use a moisturiser regardless of their skin type. Moisturisers add water to the skin, not oil.

Embrace Anti-ageing Products
You’re never too young or too old to start taking care of your skin.

Eat Your Water
We challenge you to replace one glass of water a day with raw fruit/veg to hydrate your skin from within.

Exfoliate Right
One of the most common mistakes people make with their skincare is too much or too little exfoliation! If in doubt, stick to the twice a week rule.

Relax – Stress Ages You
Take care of yourself emotionally – get the rest you need, have fun, get massages, facials or other activities that help you to relax and take your stress down a notch. Did you know stress is a close second to UV for damaging your skin and making you appear prematurely old?!

Be Imperfect; Live Longer!
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Trying to be perfect everyday causes stress that speeds up the ageing process.

You Are What You Eat
Skin health is 80% internal care, so consuming the right foods and supplements is most important. Topical care reaches the remaining 20% of skin.

When you feel your best you will look your best!

Eye Care: What do your eyes say about you?

The eyes are the windows to the soul; they tell your story and can say everything even when you say nothing at all. They are the first thing people notice about you and display all the expressions and emotions you are feeling inside. It can be easy to tell whether someone is happy, upset or overtired just by looking at their eyes.

The skin around the eyes is much thinner than skin on other areas of the body. It has minimal fat padding which makes it prone to puffiness; it has hardly any glands, which make it prone to dryness and it gets stressed due to constant eye movements. These are just some of the reasons the eye area is so delicate and requires a bit of extra TLC.

Sun Care

One of the most important steps when it comes to eye care, and overall skincare, is sun protection. UV rays are responsible for premature ageing including winkles, creases, age spots, hyperpigmentation, dehydration and skin cancer.  It is incredibly important to protect the skin around your eyes with a broad spectrum SPF, much like the Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15 I PA++. Packed full of anti-oxidants to defend your skin from free radical damage, it smoothes out lines and wrinkles while deeply hydrating this delicate area and provides powerful SPF 15. You should always wear sunglasses with UV filters when spending time in the sun and make sure to wear a wide brimmed hat to shade your face as the eyelid is a common spot for a melanoma to develop.


Getting sufficient amount of sleep every night can really make a difference to your eyes. As soon as you look at someone you can immediately tell whether they are well rested and ready to take on the day, or if they could have done with an extra hours sleep. Aim to get 6 – 8 hours sleep every night.

Reduce Puffiness and Dark Circles

The skin around the eyes has minimal fat padding which can lead to puffiness and dark circles. This can be caused by many factors including fluid retention, stress, allergies and hormone changes. Use an eye cream like the Renewing Eye Cream which contains lots of antioxidants, vitamins and Essential Fatty Acids to soothe, hydrate and protect the eyes.

Tip: Keep your eye cream in the fridge to reduce puffiness and refresh the delicate eye area!

Internal Health

Eat a diet rich in colourful raw fruit and vegetables to ensure your skin is hydrated at a cellular level. When skin is properly hydrated, especially around the delicate eye area, it looks healthy, refreshed and more-youthful. In addition to a healthy and varied diet, take the appropriate supplement for your skin type to ensure you are getting all the essential nutrients you need to look and feel your best.

Reduce Deep Wrinkles and Crows Feet

Using a product with powerful anti-ageing ingredients such as the Intensive Wrinkle Reducer® for eyes is a must if you want to combat deep wrinkles and crow’s feet. It gently resurfaces the delicate skin around the eyes while plumping to fill out wrinkles with unique ingredients such as Glycolic Acid and the super fruit Durian. These two ingredients combined create the powerhouse Durian Cell Reform, a unique ingredient which hydrates, fights free radical damage and inflammation, making skin look youthful, healthy and illuminated.

Stop smoking

Smoking reduces the blood flow to the eyes and can increase the amount of toxic substances that your eyes absorb. It also makes your complexion look grey and increases deep wrinkles and creases. Not to mention the increased likelihood of developing cancer, and all the other negative health effects that come along with smoking.

How to apply eye cream: 

You should apply eye cream around the eye along the edge of the bone that outlines the eye socket. When you apply product like this then the right amount will be absorbed in all the right areas. Do not slather it all over your eyelids as this will aggravate the thin sensitive skin around the eyes and product will absorb into your eyes! 

It is important to incorporate a step into your skincare routine especially for the delicate eye area and with these great tips you can make sure your eyes sparkle and tell the story you want them to!