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GOOD SKIN Blog

Can You Actually Get Rid of Dark Circles and Undereye Bags?

When attempting to perk up a tired complexion, the first thing we tend to gravitate towards is our trusty undereye concealer. Maybe we stayed out a bit too late the night before, are battling a hangover, or simply always seem to have bags and dark circles no matter how much sleep we get. Whatever the case, eye-specific skincare concerns can be a nuisance—especially since their cause isn’t always so crystal clear. Read on for expert tips about how to treat pesky dark circles and bags (no cover up needed).


What’s the Difference Between Circles and Bags?

We tend to use the terms dark circles and undereye bags interchangeably, but these eye concerns aren’t quite the same. Dark circles specifically refer to the shadowy hue that appears beneath the eye area as a result of thin tissue that allows blood vessels to become more prominent. “The capillaries and veins’ deoxygenated blood are close to the skin’s surface” esthetician Stephanie Ivonne explains. “Because the skin that is around and under your eyes is very thin, it makes it easier to see the poor circulation causing dark circles under your eyes”. 

While bags can occur in conjunction with dark circles, these are more specifically related to swelling and puffiness. When there’s excess fluid buildup or fatty tissue stored beneath the eye area, skin droops.  

Can You Actually Get Rid of Bags and Circles For Good?

While we can make some lifestyle adjustments (like getting more zzz's) to decrease dark circles and bags, we have less control over factors like genetics and aging. Start by ensuring skin is hydrated and that you are getting plenty of sleep. Always apply products with a light touch—avoid tugging or pulling the skin, particularly in the eye area which is incredibly thin and delicate. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen daily, all year round. Those that are more prone to sun damage and hyperpigmentation may experience more dark circles than usual. 

 

If you don’t see the improvement you’re seeking, remember that individual makeup of each body is unique and some may require more intense treatments than others. Another possibility is to try an in-office treatment, says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mona Foad, like a hyaluronic acid filler or laser. 

What Causes Them in the First Place?

There are a plethora of reasons you may experience both dark circles and undereye bags. Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as getting better rest. Here are some of the reasons you may experience either or both: 

Genetics
Both bags and circles can be hereditary. “One of the most common causes is genetics, as we may see more dark circles in people with darker or more olive skin tones”, Dr. Foad explains.

Aging Skin 
“As we age, the skin under our eyes thins and we lose some of the fatty tissue”, Foad adds. The muscles around the eyelid area begin to weaken, causing dark circles to appear and the fatty tissue to sag. Look for peptides in your skincare to firm the skin (it also can help smooth away another common eye concern: crow’s feet). Zero-G uses a blend of peptides and brightening mica to give eyes an overall illuminating, well-rested effect.

Dehydration
If you notice more dark circles and bags after a night of drinking (or—no judgment—eating that plate of fries afterwards), it may be because you're dehydrated. Dehydration causes the body to hold onto fluids, while also creating a dull complexion in which dark circles become more prominent. To brighten up the undereye area, try (gently) tapping a teeny tiny dot of Vacation Eyes from the inner corner all the way to the temples to facilitate drainage and flush away the excess fluid. Its source of vitamin C "brightens and evens out skin as well as helps as a collagen booster, thickening around the under eye area and concealing the dark discoloration”, explains Stephanie.

Lack of Sleep
When the body is fatigued, it kicks its cortisol production into overdrive to compensate for the loss in energy. This causes blood vessels to become dilated (causing dark circles) and the body to retain more water (leading to puffy eyes). Caffeine (and we don’t just mean doubling down on espresso) constricts the blood vessels, reducing inflammation and redness. That’s why we formulated it in our Emergency Eye Mask, which cools, depuffs, and nourishes the eye area.  

Inflammation
Maybe you have sensitive eyes, seasonal allergies, or an inflammatory skin condition such as eczema. All can cause your eye area to become congested and circles and puffiness to appear. One trick is to pop skincare or tools, such as our Frozen Cooling Wand, in the fridge or freezer or apply a cold compress to the skin. Cold temperatures improve blood circulation and relieve inflammation, offering instant relief for both bags and circles.

Shop some of our favorite eye treatments below.