Dark circles and puffiness under your eyes can make you look under-slept and older than you are. Avoiding things like late-nights, stress, smoking and drinking can go a long way in preventing dark circles, but we know every guy has his vices. Luckily, there are ways to improve or conceal dark circles under your eyes. We talked to the experts so you don’t have to look tired all the time.
What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eye?
First off, what causes dark circles? Dr. Joel Schlessinger, board certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor explains, "dark circles form under the eye as the skin thins making the blood vessels and muscle beneath more apparent. This is what gives dark circles their characteristic blue or gray color. For some, dark circles may simply be an inherited trait, which means the skin surrounding their eye area is naturally thin. However, a number of other factors can contribute to the development of dark circles. A lack of sleep and dehydration are two of the most common causes for under eye circles. Darker skin tones may experience periorbital hyperpigmentation caused by an overproduction of melanin that can lead to a noticeably darker under eye area.
When dark circles are a result of poor sleeping patterns and insufficient water intake, they should dissipate with a little extra rest and regular hydration. If you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night and drinking enough water but your dark circles persist, it may be a sign of something more serious, and you should visit a physician. While not as common, dark circles can be a symptom of a Thyroid condition or anemia, and it’s best to rule out these possibilities as soon as you can."
What Should You Do About Dark Circles?
Joanna Vargas, Celebrity Facialist and Founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skincare Collection says, "Dark circles can be addressed better by giving up coffee than by applying any topical eye cream. For a quick fix, try cooled chamomile tea bags for ten minutes to de-puff, cool and refresh the under eye area quickly!"
15 Hours of Sleep in 15 Minutes
Peace Out Skincare recently launched a nifty new bio-cellulose under-eye patches which promise to de-puff and brighten the area under your eyes, giving the illusion of 15 hours of sleep in a mere 15 minutes. As someone who is chronically about 15 sleep-deprived, it's certainly an appealing concept.
Ingredients include passion fruit extract and ice plant, however the real innovation is the pads themselves. The bio-cellulose fibers are 1000x finer than a hair which means they can cover your skin more deeply and throughly than the traditional eye pads. For extra soothing, pop them in the fridge ahead of time.
Protect Your Under Eye
Using an eye cream won’t banish dark circles completely, but thanks to today’s high-tech ingredients that target a ton of issues, using one can leave you looking younger and more awake, says Vargas. “My Revitalizing Eye Cream is formulated with galactoarabinan and shea and cocoa butter to melt into the delicate eye area gently. It contains resveratrol, a powerful anti-aging ingredient from red wine that protects against free radical damage and pre-mature aging. The best, most exciting ingredient in my eye cream is sweet potato. Oddly enough, the sweet potato as an ingredient is really amazing. It has Vitamin A for cell renewal, Vitamin B to tone and soothe the skin, Vitamin C for collagen production, Beta-Carotene for healing and anthocyanin for puffiness. It's amazing!”
If It’s Good Enough for Armie...
Professional groomer KC Fee who helped Armie Hammer prep for awards season swears by eye masks, "Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Soothing Eye Mask. They are AMAZING!"
The 28-Day Plan
Another product that targets the under eye area is Port Products Marine Layer Under Eye Recovery Gel. The gel uses red algae, kelp and other micro-algaes that reduce the appearance of dark circles and under eye bags. It's not an instant solution but if used twice a day for 28 days, it has been shown to decrease the intensity of dark circles. If you're in for the long-haul, give it a try.
Dark Circle Care + Anti-Aging
For those who also have under eye anti-aging concerns, Neocutis Lumiere Eye Cream addresses multiple issues at once. It soothes dark circles and puffiness with caffeine, a popular and effective ingredient found in many eye creams. For improving crow’s feet and other eye aging concerns, this cream contains PSP, a growth factor formula exclusive to Neocutis. Great for guys looking to streamline their skincare routines.
The Quick Fix
Maybe your big presentation, wedding or interview is tomorrow and you don't have time to carefully nurture your dark circles? The quickest fix for brightening up the under-eye area in general is using a concealer, says Professional Make-up Artist Kasey Spickard. “Choose a shade with warm undertones to neutralize the cool in the dark blue circles, but make sure it isn’t too light for your skin tone.” Kasey suggests using the tip of your ring finger to dab a little concealer over the dark area, and blend outward, so the concealer spreads evenly.
A Permanent Solution for Chronic Dark Circles
If chronic dark circles are your issue, under-eye fillers can help. Dr. Joel Schlessinger, board certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor, says patients with persistent dark circles often benefit from Restylane or Juvederm injections. “These hyaluronic acid facial fillers provide a plumping effect that lessens the intensity of dark circles and gives eyes an overall more youthful appearance. The challenge with this, however, is making sure that the fillers will actually improve the area. It is a tricky area to treat and, in my experience, one where the most complications and dissatisfaction occur. Therefore, it is essential to see an expert for this area. Generally, I will turn away more than half of the patients who come to see me for this for fillers. They may be more suitable for creams, allergy treatment or just a good nap! When fillers are used, though, the results can be magical, so it is worthwhile checking into it with a dermatologist you know does this quite a bit.”
Don’t let dark circles and under eye puffiness make you look older and more tired than you feel. Work on improving your sleep, add an eye cream to your grooming routine, use concealer for special occasions or see a specialist.