How to Get Rid of Dark Eye Circles: Bye Bye ‘Panda’ Eyes!

Got what they call, “Panda Eyes”? You’re not alone. Find out what causes dark eye circles, how you can get rid of them and eye care recommendations.

What are 'Panda' Eyes?
What are ‘Panda’ Eyes?

Most of us tend to gush over cute pandas and laugh at photoshopped photos of them without black eye patches (still cute, btw). But unlike pandas, “black eye patches” – or otherwise better known as “dark eye circles – certainly are not a great look on humans. 

In this article, we cover the causes of dark eye circles, ways to reduce them, and recommendations for dark circle eye creams.

Causes of Dark Eye Circles

Dark eye circles are the darkened parts of the skin just below our eyes. Their occurrence can be explained medically as (1) the thinning of the skin under the eyes, thus causing blood vessels to appear more visible, and (2) puffy eyes which result in the appearance of dark shadows under our eyes.

Dark eye circles are caused by a combination of natural, health-related, and self-induced factors. Here are the most common causes of dark eye circles:

1. Genetics

Our genes affect the amount of collagen and melanin in our bodies, which in turn affect the severity of our dark eye circles. Collagen is responsible for keeping our skin looking plump and youthful, and preventing it from sagging. Melanin, on the other hand, is the dark-colored pigments that occur naturally in our skins. 

People with lower collagen levels and higher melanin production tend to experience darker under eyes. This is particularly applicable to those with skin of colour!

Darker skin tones have higher chances of developing dark eye circles due to their genetics
Darker skin tones have higher chances of developing dark eye circles due to their genetics

2. Aging

Remember how as our skin gets thinner, the blood vessels beneath our skin get more visible? As we age, the skins around our eyes get thinner and saggier. This creates a hollowness around our eyes and further emphasizes the appearance of dark under eyes.  

3. Anemia

Anemia is a health condition in which a person lacks sufficient red blood cells. People diagnosed with anemia tend to have darker eye circles because their body fails to supply enough oxygen to the tissues in their under eyes.

4. Amount of sleep

When we sleep too much or too little, blood and fluids accumulate in different areas of our face, such as our under eyes, causing dark circles and eye bags to become more prominent.                                  

5. Overexposure to the sun

The amount of melanin becomes excessive when our skin gets overexposed to the sun. Besides skin issues like sunburn and wrinkles, overexposure to the sun causes a skin condition known as hyperpigmentation. 

Specifically to our under eyes, hyperpigmentation causes the skin under our eyes to appear darker. 

6. Allergies

Allergies cause our bodies to release histamine, a substance that can cause itchiness and redness around our eyes. With the allergy, we tend to rub and aggravate the skin near our eyes, thus causing the skin to swell and appear darker.  

7. Smoking and alcohol

Carbon monoxide that is inhaled upon smoking deprives your skin of oxygen. Without enough oxygen in your skin, they appear darker. Moreover, smoking breaks down collagen levels in your body which causes the skin to thin and blood vessels to look more prominent. 

Consumption of alcohol not only causes your blood vessels to dilate and dark circles to look more noticeable, but it also affects the amount of rest you get. As mentioned, the lack of sleep will exacerbate your dark eye circles. 

 

How to Reduce Dark Eye Circles

It’s never too late to treat the skin around your eyes with TLC (tender-loving-care) and reduce dark eye circles
It’s never too late to treat the skin around your eyes with TLC (tender-loving-care) and reduce dark eye circles

Dark eye circles can be reduced naturally and chemically. You may choose a combination of chemical and natural solutions and see which solutions work best for you.

Let’s start off with a few natural solutions:

  • Get sufficient sleep: Ensure that you’re getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night
  • Soak your under eyes with tea bags: Soak two caffeinated tea bags in warm water and place them in the freezer to cool for a few minutes. Place each tea bag under your eyes for five minutes, before rinsing it off with cold water (tried and tested by our very own founder, Krish!).
  • Massage the areas around your eyes: Head here for a step-by-step eye massage guide! 
  • Avoid rubbing and scratching your eyes: Your under eye skin is one of the softest parts of your face. Aggravating the skin under your eyes will cause them to sink and droop, worsening the look of eye bags and dark circles.
  • Apply a cold compress: Reduce swollen and dilated blood vessels with a cold compress. Simply place a few ice cubes in a clean cloth/tissue and place them under your eyes. Remove once the ice melts or the cloth turns warm.

 

Next are the derm-tested and approved solutions: 

  • Apply eye creams: Eye creams contain ingredients such as peptides, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, E and K, caffeine, and retinoids, that help reduce thinning of the skin around the eyes, keep them firm and plump, and brighten pigmented areas
  • Apply sunscreen: Sunscreens contain powerful ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that protect your under eyes from the sun, reduce the skin’s chances of hyperpigmentation and darkening

 

Best Dark Circle Eye Creams for ‘Panda’ Eyes

To prevent or reduce dark eye circles, it is a good habit to incorporate eye creams into your daily skincare routine.

Here are a couple of eye cream options that not only help to reduce dark eye circles but are also ethically made and sold:

1. Upcircle Eye Cream With Caffeine & Hyaluronic Acid – $28

Upcircle Eye Cream with Caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid for Dark Eye Circles
Upcircle Eye Cream with Caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid for Dark Eye Circles

UpCircle’s Maple and Coffee Eye Cream brightens, refreshes, and renews, and reduces the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. Formulated with maple bark and repurposed coffee extracts , this eye cream is rich in antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory to decrease swelling under the eyes. It is also packed with coffee extract to reduce eye puffiness and dark circles. Most importantly, it is vegan, cruelty-free, made from upcycled ingredients, and uses sustainable packaging!

 

2. Nourish Organic Eye Treatment Cream – $22

Nourish Organic Eye Treatment Cream
Nourish Organic Eye Treatment Cream

This eye treatment cream from Nourish Organic is GMO free, organic, cruelty-free and 100% vegan. Formulated with avocado and argan oils, this eye cream boosts skin hydration and helps to visibly smoothen and decrease the appearance of undereye puffiness. While its packaging may not be sustainably sourced and 100% recyclable, Nourish Organic is a member of 1% for the Planet where it contributes 1% of all profits towards key environmental initiatives.

*Does not ship to Singapore

 

3. 100% PURE Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream – $29

100% PURE Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream for Dark Eye Circles
100% PURE Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream for Dark Eye Circles

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, de-puffs, boosts circulation, and brightens dark circles with caffeine from coffee and green tea. It contains anti-aging vitamins and rosehip helps you achieve a youthful eye area. This eye cream is cruelty-free, gluten-free, natural and organic. 100% not only helps people with their skins, they also give back to the globe through donations to shelter dogs and tree charities. For every order, 100% pure donates 1 bowl of vegan-produced dog food to animal shelters, and for every order, they also donate the cost of 1 tree to Trees for the Future to help revitalize degraded lands, foster local economies, and feed impoverished families. 

 

4. Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate – $48

Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate
Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate

Formulated with carrots, cucumber and Vitamin P, this eye cream by Juice Beauty reduces appearances of dark circles. It also provides nutrient-rich hydration with organic jojoba, sunflower, avocado and plant-derived glycerin. Advocating against harmful ingredients, this eye cream does not contain parabens, propylene or butylene glycols, silicones, and other commonly known toxic ingredients. This eye cream is cruelty-free, produced with organic ingredients and packed with sustainable packaging such as recyclable glass and FSC certified paper

 

5. Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream – $54

Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream

This eye cream by Biossance contains squalene (derived from renewable sugarcane) and marine algae to deliver long-lasting hydration and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is suitable for those who want to visibly reduce puffiness and dark circles. The formulation of this eye cream is vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, paraben-free, and PEG-free. Moreover, Biossance uses FSC certified boxes for its packaging – all inner and outer cartons are ready to recycle. They are still working towards more sustainable alternatives for their airless bottle components and pumps.

*Does not ship to Singapore 

 

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