Weeks-deep into being locked down at home, you’ve definitely logged into many Zoom meetings, virtual game nights and happy hours through the days. In all those hours of staring at yourself on camera, it can be clear that dark circles can show up that much more evidently on-screen than when you’re looking in the mirror—the fluorescent lightening can make the pigmentation even darker.
The skin is thinnest under the eye area, so dark circles show up as dilated blood vessels showing through. “Dark circles could be a hereditary condition. Sleep deprivation causes blood vessels to dilate, which results in dark circles. Unhealthy eating habits, inadequate consumption of water, staring at computer or TV screens for hours, not wearing your spectacles or low haemoglobin levels can make this worse,” says cosmetic physician and skincare expert Dr Jamuna Pai. Want to cover it up and make yourself look brighter and more awake for an important video call date or meeting? We spoke to the pros to find out how.
Everything you can do to prevent dark circles
Improving your eye health is essential in preventing dark circles. “As refractory errors can also add to the stress on the eyes, get your eyes checked on a regular basis and use an anti-glare screen protector for your desktop/laptop. Do eye exercises on a regular basis. Every one to two hours, shift your gaze away from the screen and close your eyes tight to squeeze your eye muscles to help improve the blood circulation,” says Dr Pai.
Another important tip? Sleep. Getting a full seven-eight hours of shut-eye is essential, but the sleeping position matters just as much. Sleeping on your side or stomach can cause fluid to collect under the eyes, worsening puffiness in the area. Since iron deficiency also leads to the darkening of the area around the eyes, including iron-rich food items or iron supplements in your regimen can also help. Cutting down on smoking and nicotine intake is key, as they increase free radical damage, making the area around the eyes look puffy, dull and dark.
All the skincare tips that can help improve the look of dark circles
A quick DIY that Dr Pai suggests is to grate a couple of chilled potatoes to extract the juice. Dip a cotton pad in this and place it on the eyes, such that it covers the entire area. Allow the juice to sit for about 15 minutes and rinse your eyelids well with cool water. Repeat once daily for three weeks to see the results. “Potatoes contain vital natural bleaching agents and when used raw, they help lighten dark circles and reduce excess puffiness around your eyes,” she says.
Adding Vitamin C to your diet and beauty routine is also great for the wellness of your skin as Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis and it fights free radicals. So look for under eye products with both vitamin c and other moisturising ingredients that can work together on the sensitive area. This can also be done with under-eye targeted eye masks.
“Alternatively, you could use a formula that contains tranexamic acid, Vitamin K, kojic acid and Vitamin C and dab a little under the eyes at bedtime. These creams work well to combat dark circles. Also, keep the area well hydrated. Remember, a well-moisturised skin appears lighter and brighter,” says Dr Pai.
The makeup tricks to cover up dark circles
Makeup artist Arti Nayar swears by using a corrector and concealer together to brighten the eye area. This gives more coverage than just using a single product. Correctors come in different tints and help neutralise discolouration of different types and provide a good base for the concealer, making it more effective. “And if you don’t have a corrector, then dab a little concealer and then a little foundation to even it out. Pick a concealer in a lighter colour [as the area is darker than the rest of your face] or a foundation and put just a little product in the inner corner of the under eyes, this helps magically brighten the area,” she says.
Nayar also likes to use an eye primer to get a good, hydrated base for her eye make-up. “The key is to have a seamless finish and an eye primer provides the perfect base. Use the right tools and blend the eyeshadow better well in a circular motion for a seamless finish, especially when you have discolouration,” says Nayar.
Nayar says that people with dark circles are often sceptical of using certain eyeshadow shades. “However, once you have concealed your under eyes properly you shouldn’t be worried about the colour,” says Nayar. “You should be careful about the shade you use under the eye,” she says. “You want to pick something that has a little shimmer, or a darker shade like brown,” which helps to open up the eye.