Mask-wearing is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. What this means is that the focus on our eyes and the surrounding area, especially when masked up, has intensified.
It doesn’t help that our eye area is one of the first places to show signs of ageing and fatigue. This is because the skin around the eyes is three times thinner than that of the face. The eye area also has less sebaceous glands, which is why dryness, fine lines and dark circles show up easily. With age, our eye area naturally appears more tired, less radiant and less youthful.
When it comes to eye concerns, one of the trickiest problems to combat is dark circles. It’s easy to dismiss eye circles as simply a result of late nights and sleep deprivation, but do you really know how they come about? As it turns out, the causes of dark circles are far more complex and multi-faceted.
Common causes of dark eye circles
According to medical aesthetics doctor, Dr Kwan Yuan Dong: “Dark circles are a result of mainly two factors – blood vessel congestion and engorgement, which give a dark bluish, greenish or purplish hue on the inner corner of the under eyes; and hyperpigmentation, which is increased pigment formation or deposition under the eye.”
Blood vessel congestion and engorgement usually happens due to lack of sleep (including poor sleeping habits), allergies or sinus, which lead to a congestion or swelling of the small vessels under the eye. When blood pools under the eyes, dark circles become more apparent.
Moreover, as we age, skin becomes thinner and starts to lose fat and collagen, creating hollows in the inner corner under the eyes. This lack of firmness and elasticity can also lead to a drooping of the lower eyelids. All these volume irregularities create a shadowing effect that makes dark circles – you guessed it – even more pronounced.
At the same time, thinning skin makes the blood vessels and capillaries in our skin more visible, explains Dr Kwan. As the area is one of the most sun-exposed areas on our faces, he adds that it also results in a higher risk of development pigmentation like brown spots and patches.
Fortunately, there are medical treatments to help get you looking bright-eyed.
Medical treatments for tired eyes and dark circles
· Pigment lasers – Targets the melanin pigments located at the under-eye area, these are often used in conjunction with bleaching creams to reduce the dark-coloured melanin.
· Vascular lasers – Addresses dark circles by shrinking the fine vessels at the under-eye area.
· Fillers – Used to correct volume deficiency especially in the tear trough and mask the appearance of blood vessels.
· Botox – Relaxes the muscles and soften expression lines around the eyes, while at the same time, helping to make the eye area look less tired.
· Skinboosters – These injectables not only help improve hydration but also stimulate collagen production, which plumps the skin and makes the eye contour look more youthful.
· Energy-based treatments like Thermage – Tightens the lax skin around the eyes, including the upper and lower lids, while stimulating collagen at the same time to reverse the signs of ageing.
Not keen on heading to the doctor’s office? Check out these Her World-approved eye creams that will help you get brighter, more youthful-looking eyes. Besides using eye products, remember to practise good sleep habits, adopt a balanced, nutritious diet and stay well-hydrated for best results!