Dark circles involve the darkening or discolouration of the skin under or around the eyes, causing the affected area to appear blue, black, or dark brown. This condition, known as Periorbital Hyperpigmentation (POH), Infraorbital Discoloration, or Periorbital dark circles, is marked by changes in the skin's pigmentation.
The skin beneath the eyes is the thinnest and most pigmented facial area. As we age, this region's pigmentation can intensify and darken. Ageing also brings about fine lines and wrinkles, which can be worsened by sun exposure and smoking. The presence of dark circles under the eyes is further influenced by the widening of the hollow space that develops below the eyes over time.This process eventually results in the formation of tear troughs. In addition, the face contains a sophisticated arrangement of fat pockets located just beneath the skin, which give the skin a youthful appearance, especially around the cheeks and eyes. However, as we age, these fat pockets lose volume, deflate, and shift downward due to gravity and the loosening of the ligaments that keep them in place. These combined factors contribute to the development of dark circles under the eyes
Hyperpigmentation: Increased production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour, makes the skin darker. Some individuals, due to genetics, have naturally higher melanin production, making them more susceptible to dark circles regardless of external factors. External factors like UV exposure and hormonal changes (e.g., during pregnancy or from birth control medications) can lead to increased pigmentation around the eyes.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, such as from atopic eczema or perfumed cosmetics, can also contribute.
Age-Related Volume Loss: Volume loss in the cheeks and under-eye area can form the "tear trough" – a depression that creates a shadow or dark circle. While most people develop tear troughs with age, some individuals have them naturally from a young age.
Thinning Under-Eye Skin: The thinnest skin on the body is found on the eyelids, and it thins even more with age.
Skin Laxity: As the ability to produce collagen and elastin decreases, the skin's support structure weakens, making the darker underlying structures more visible. Age also accelerates bone reabsorption, causing the eye orbit to enlarge, and the fat around the eyeball shifts downward and outward.
Lifestyle Factors Certain lifestyle choices can contribute to dark circles:
Smoking: Smoking constricts blood vessels, leading to poor circulation and making blood vessels appear darker and more prominent.
Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption: Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake can cause dehydration and swollen blood vessels, negatively impacting sleep quality.
Dietary Deficiencies: Dark circles may indicate nutritional deficiencies like iron-deficiency anaemia.
Peels are a non-invasive treatment designed to address the issue of dark circles under the eyes. These peels utilise a combination of gentle acids and natural ingredients to exfoliate the delicate under-eye area, promoting the renewal of skin cells and the reduction of hyperpigmentation.
In addition, by targeting the skin's surface layers, peels can help diminish the appearance of dark circles and rejuvenate the under-eye area, resulting in a brighter, more youthful appearance. This treatment is suitable for various skin types and can be customised to address individual concerns related to dark circles and overall skin quality.
Dark circle reduction peels are generally considered safe when performed by a qualified professional. The ingredients used in these peels are usually mild and specifically formulated for the delicate under-eye area.
Results can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the dark circles. Some people may notice an improvement in the appearance of their dark circles after just a few treatments, while others may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Generally, it's recommended to undergo a series of treatments for optimal outcomes.
The frequency of dark circle reduction peels will depend on your skin type, the severity of your dark circles, and the specific treatment plan recommended by your skincare professional.
Dark circle reduction peels can be combined with other treatments, such as dermal fillers, to address multiple concerns related to the under-eye area. However, it's essential to consult with a dermatologist to understand the optimal treatment plan for your specific needs.
Adopting a holistic approach that includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your skin is essential to prevent dark circles.
Sunscreen use: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen even on overcast days to shield the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes from damaging UV rays. Additionally, wearing sunglasses can provide further protection.
Proper sleep: Ensure you get sufficient sleep, typically 7-9 hours per night for adults, to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate itself. Adequate rest can help prevent the appearance of dark circles.
Reduce screen time: Prolonged exposure to digital screens can cause eye strain and exacerbate dark circles. Take regular breaks when using screens.
Reduce smoking and alcohol: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect your skin's health and contribute to dark circles. Cutting back on these habits will benefit not only your under-eye area but also your overall well-being.