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Author: Sophia Man
21 Mar 2024

Tired of looking... well, tired? Those dark circles under your eyes have met their match. We’re diving deep into what causes them and how you can kick them to the curb, according to dermatologists. Let's explore everything from simple fixes to the big guns in treatments for dark circles, all aimed at getting your under-eye area bright and right.


What Actually Are Dark Circles?

Those shadowy nuisances under your eyes? Yeah, they’re like the uninvited guests of the skincare world. Under-eye hyperpigmentation pops up thanks to a bunch of reasons—lack of sleep, aging, your phone addiction, and even just your genes playing bingo with your skin. What to treat dark circles effectively? You must figure out the "why" behind your dark circles!


What Causes Dark Circles?

After seeing tons of patients with dark circles concerns, most dermatologists will tell you that dark circles typically arise from the following 7 causes, many of which are bad habits you might be committing now!

Nutritional Deficiencies

Living in fast-paced Hong Kong often means we grab what’s quick and easy to eat, not always thinking about the good stuff our bodies really need. Missing out on key nutrients like vitamin K, C, E, and iron can lead to dark circles under your eyes. Without these nutrients, our blood vessels under the skin get weaker. The solution? Incorporate meal planning and supplements to ensure you're getting those crucial nutrients.

Hormonal Changes

The non-stop buzz of city life can mess with your hormone levels, a common cause of dark under-eye circles. Fluctuations might puff up your under-eyes, shadowing those areas further. Activities like yoga, meditation, or regular exercise can help get those hormones—and your under-eyes—back in harmony.

Digital Devices and Blue Light

Staring at your phone or laptop strains your eyes and can make the blood vessels under your eyes swell up, casting a shadow below. Plus, the blue light from these gadgets can interfere with your sleep, exacerbating dark circles. The easiest fix? Cut down on screen time and try some blue light filters.

Environmental Pollutants

City living means you're always facing traffic and industrial hustle, leading to skin stress and dark circles under their eyes. Skincare loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and E can fight off these effects. Also, consider using a moisturizer that strengthens your skin's barrier and maybe even an air purifier for cleaner indoor air.

Circadian Rhythms

In Hong Kong, it's normal to burn the midnight oil, but this can throw off your body's clock and worsen the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Establishing a regular sleep routine can dial down the darkness, so try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

Water Retention

The convenience of quick eats, often high in salt, can cause puffy eyes and dark circles in your eye area. Reducing salt intake and adopting a regular workout routine can alleviate this. Additionally, propping your head up while sleeping can prevent fluid from pooling beneath your eyes.

Seasonal Variations

Seasons affect our skin around the eyes, with dry winter air or spring allergens exacerbating dark circles. Adapting your skincare routine with the seasons, including switching between heavy and light eye creams, can help maintain skin health and reduce the appearance of dark circles.


Eye Cream Ingredients for Dark Circles Under Eyes

Whether you have mild dark circles or simply want to up your prevention game, eye creams are must-haves. Here are the 6 dermatologist-approved skincare ingredients your anti-dark-circle regimen must include:

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is the hydration superhero for your skin under your eyes. It is able to soak up to 1000 times its weight in water. This means it grabs moisture from the air right onto your skin, plumping up the under-eye area, leaving you looking fresh and glowy, making those dark circles less noticeable. Hyaluronic acid is really gentle and works with just about every skin type. You can mix it with most of your other skincare products without any fuss, making it a perfect addition to your daily routine.


Retinol is a powerhouse when it comes to refreshing your skin. It accelerates skin cell turnover and stimulates collagen production, making the skin under your eyes thicker and smoother. This means fewer wrinkles and less visible veins, giving you less shadowy under-eye circles. But, retinol has its downsides too. It can irritate your skin, causing redness, itching, and peeling, and it makes your skin more sensitive to UV damage. Also, you've got to be careful mixing retinol with other strong ingredients like vitamin C or AHAs/BHAs, as it could really worsen the side effects.


Caffeine is a quick pick-me-up not just for your brain but also for your under-eyes. It tightens up blood vessels and gets the blood moving faster, which means less fluid hangs around under your eyes. This helps reduce puffiness and making those shadowy dark circles less noticeable. Caffeine gets along with most other skincare ingredients. However, it can dry out your skin a bit, so make sure you're keeping your skin hydrated.


Peptides are the building blocks for keeping your skin firm and plump. They boost collagen and elastin, rejuvenating your under-eyes for a younger, brighter look. Peptides are super gentle for even sensitive skin types, and they play well with most skincare ingredients. Just keep in mind that, while they are helpful, they might not pack the same punch as heavy hitters like vitamin C and retinol, so the changes might be more subtle.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the go-to antioxidant for a brighter complexion and firmer skin, thanks to its knack for amping up collagen production – which is the secret behind vibrant, tight under-eyes! Despite its strengths, it's worth noting that vitamin C can be a bit much for sensitive skin types, especially when used in high doses. Also, a heads-up: mixing vitamin C with retinol or chemical exfoliants isn't the best idea, as it can lead to irritation. Stick to using them at different times (one in daytime and another at night) to keep your skincare routine smooth and your skin happy.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an ideal ingredient for hydrating the tissues and fighting off damage with its antioxidant superpowers. It helps heal and protect the skin from micro damages. Plus, it's great at calming puffiness and keeping those dark circles at bay by strengthening your skin's natural defenses. Most people get along just fine with vitamin E, and it can be mixed with vitamin C to boost your skin's protection against the elements. However, if you're someone with oily or breakout-prone skin, you'll want to keep an eye out for lighter, non-comedogenic options that won't block your pores.


Professional Beauty Treatments

While eye creams are much-needed for daily dark circle prevention, advanced beauty treatments conducted by dermatologists and beauty professionals are the most effective and efficient ways to brighten dark circles in no time! Here are the 3 most useful dark circle procedures, science-proven!


Dermal fillers, packed with hyaluronic acid, are a quick fix for those under-eye hollows that give you that shadowed look. Hyaluronic acid is a favorite for this job because it gets along well with your body and can be reversed (mostly) if needed. The whole process is speedy, usually done in about 30 minutes, and you'll see the difference right away. You might need a touch-up after 6 to 12 months, though. Just keep in mind that fillers are best for dark circles caused by shadows cast by puffy eye bags, not so much for circles that come from skin pigmentation. Like with anything, there can be some side effects, including bruising, swelling, or unevenness. On rare occasions, it might lead to more serious issues like vascular occlusion.

Chemical Peel

Chemical peels work by putting a chemical solution, like AHAs or BHAs, onto your skin, dissolving and thus shedding the old, dead layers on top. This process unveils smoother, brighter skin underneath, making those dark circles less noticeable while improving your skin's overall look. Typically, you'll need several sessions to get the best results, along with some upkeep treatments. Although these peels can do wonders for your skin's texture and tone, they're not without their downsides. You might experience redness, irritation, or increased sensitivity to the sun. In more serious cases, there could be pain, scarring, or even infections. And when it comes to the super sensitive under-eye area, there's a risk of harm if the solution gets into your eyes. That's why it's very important to have a beauty professional handling your chemical peel, ensuring it's done safely and effectively.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is the best way to remove dark circles without going under the needle or harsh chemicals. Gentle laser beams target and break up the melanin under your skin, brightening the dark circles as well as stimulating collagen growth, resulting in bright and firm under-eyes! You'll need to have a few sessions to get the full effect, but compared to just using eye creams, the results are very impressive. While you might see some redness or swelling after each session, these side effects subside within a day or two. If you're looking for a safe, painless, efficient way to tackle dark circles, and you don't have a lot of time to spare for recovery, laser treatment could be the perfect fit.


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Your Science-Proven Way to Get Rid of Dark Circles Fast: R6 Miracle Eye Rescue Treatment

Perfect Medical's Miracle Eye Rescue Treatment helps you banish dark circles and embrace a luminous gaze! This treatment employs state-of-the-art technologies: medical-grade radio frequency (RF) and red-and-blue light target your under-eyes’ innermost skin tissues gently. The energy enhances blood circulation and promotes collagen growth. The results? More collagen and better cell metabolism around the eyes, meaning tight, bright, and healthy undereyes! The Miracle Eye Rescue Treatment is your non-surgical, pain-free approach to diminishing dark circles dramatically, effectively restoring youthful and gleaming eyes. Each session gives lasting results with zero downtime. With just a few sessions, you will witness years-long transformative results! Don't let dark circles define your beauty, regain your eyes’ natural sparkle with Perfect Medical.


R6 Miracle Eye Rescue Treatment
1 Minute Self-Registration

Date should not be before minimal date

I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.


What role does genetics play in dark under-eye circles?

Genetics can play a significant role in dark under-eye circles, influencing skin pigmentation and the tendency for skin thinning around the eyes. If dark circles are common in your family, genetics may be a contributing factor.

Can makeup worsen dark circles under the eyes?

While makeup can temporarily cover dark circles, rubbing your eyes to remove makeup can cause inflammation and worsen the appearance of dark circles. Opt for gentle, hypoallergenic products and remove makeup carefully.

Why do dark circles under my eyes get worse with age?

As you get older, your skin loses collagen and becomes thinner, especially around the eyes. This thinning makes the blood vessels beneath your eyes more visible, worsening the appearance of dark circles.

Can changing my diet help reduce dark circles?

Absolutely. A diet rich in vitamins K, C, E, and iron can help reduce dark circles by strengthening blood vessels beneath your eyes and improving overall skin health. Hydration and reducing salt intake can also lessen puffiness.

What causes dark circles under my eyes?

Common causes of dark circles under your eyes include genetics, aging, lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep, and even allergies. These factors can lead to thinning skin under your eyes, revealing the blood vessels beneath and causing darkness.