Your shiners, your raccoon eyes, your blue luggage… whatever you call your dark under-eye circles, here’s what they really are: oxidising hemoglobin.
Most people think that dark under-eye circles are caused by staying up late watching monster movies, or having that last drink the night before, or sitting up with your laptop trying to finish the quarterly report. Most people think that their behavior is somehow linked to dark under-eye circles.
Well, most people are dead wrong.
If nothing else, I want you to know that dark under-eye circles are not your fault. They don’t mysteriously appear when you misbehave or are stressed out, only to vanish when you get 8 straight hours of sleep. Dark under-eye circles are a by-product of the very same mechanism that produces bruises (and you don’t blame yourself for bruising, do you?). Changing your behavior will, in almost every case, NOT get rid of your dark under-eye circles.
Dark under-eye circles begin in the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that web the delicate skin around the eyes. Now, your capillaries are so small that red blood cells sometimes have to line up, single file, to get through. Frequently, red blood cells get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This isn’t a problem – it happens all the time – and your body has a mechanism to mop up these escapees. Enzymes in your body break down the red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color).
No problem, right? Except for one thing: when hemoglobin is broken down, its remaining components have a dark blue-black color. Just like a bruise. So your dark under-eye circles are actually caused by leaky capillaries.
It’s quite possible that capillaries all over your body are leaking small amounts of blood all the time (I don’t know if this is true or not). But the reason dark under-eye circles are so apparent is this: the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest, most delicate skin of your entire body. The capillaries are much closer to the surface of the skin there. Many people’s skin is not only thinner around the eyes, but also more translucent. The combination of capillaries near the skin’s surface and translucent skin makes this discoloration much more apparent. And that’s why you have those dark under-eye circles staring back at you in the mirror.
The most effective remedy for dark circles is also the most cliche. Thin slices of cucumber applied to your eyes not only helps to lighten the skin, but also soothes and cools the eyes. This can be especially comforting if you’ve been up late the night before or your eyes are red and tired from allergies or staring at a laptop screen.
The caffeine in tea bags acts as a remedy for dark circles by diminishing puffiness. Caffeine in tea helps to diminish water in the tissues around the eyes (you’ll notice that many early eye circle creams contain caffeine for this very reason). In addition, tea contains antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin. Take a used tea bag (green, black or white) that’s been squeezed out. Make sure it’s cool! Leave it over your eyes for about 10 minutes. You’ll see a noticeable improvement in puffiness and under-eye circles. Be careful not to get tea in your eyes.
Lazy to raid your fridge? Look for eye creams or lotions that contain cucumber extracts or caffeine. Alternatively, you can try this aesthetic treatment – Undereye fillers, to lessen your dark eye circles:
Aesthetics & Beauty Guide (ABG) is the first aesthetics magazine from Singapore to bridge the information gap between medical professionals and the layman. In every issue, you will find detailed treatment reviews , the lowdown on the latest aesthetic treatments available and profiles of qualified medical professionals – basically, your go-to guide for all things aesthetics.
I started ReviewAntiAging.com last year in my personal pursuit to look for the best aesthetic treatments for myself. My partnership with ABG has allowed me to share my vast experience with a wider pool of women (and men!). In the name of “work”, I’ve reviewed almost 20 treatments and looking at my skin now – smooth, radiant and taut, I’m definitely a big believer that aesthetic treatments can help you get better skin and maintain your complexion for many years to come.
In this inaugural issue of ABG, you’ll get a crash course in Aesthetics 101, reviews of the latest and most effective aesthetic treatments, hear from Dr Georgia Lee as she talks about her new skincare range, get all your acne questions answered by renown dermatologist, Dr Joyce Lim, get the skinny on the newest slimming treatments to get rid of your wobbly bits, and many more health and beauty tips.
ABG is available at all major newstands and bookstores, get your copy before it’s sold out (I hear that Kino and Borders have had to replenish and copies are being stolen from doctors’ clinics)!
I often hear from my readers that they think that aesthetic treatments are too expensive or only relegated to tai-tais. That is just a myth as prices are really competitive now (check out this amazing promotion and my review!) and people from all walks of life are discovering the benefits of aesthetic treatments (look out for my interview next Friday in IS magazine!).
One example is Shirleen Ho, a digital traffic manager and beauty blogger at Womenlovebeauty.com who has been doing aesthetic treatments for the last eight years. Shirleen is also 42 years old! Doesn’t she look much younger? Aesthetic treatments must really be working well for her! Here, she shares her experiences with her aesthetic treatments:
1. When did you start doing aesthetic treatments?
- Eight years ago, in my 30s.
2. What did you do and were you happy with the results?
- I started with microdermabrasion and IPL and were happy with both. This combination treatment made my skin glow.
3. What treatments have you done so far?
- Other than the two above, I have done Titan, Thermage, Fraxel (only eye areas), Pixel, Pigment laser (on cheeks), CO2 laser (only nasolabial fold), Radio Frequency, Botox (on my chin, forehead & brows) and Fillers.
4. Favourite treatment? Least favourite treatment? Why?
- Favourite treatment is probably IPL as I had great results. Least favourite – Pixel laser as I didn’t see any results and Botox on the chin area for face slimming. There was no different before and after the treatment.
5. Advice for women who are thinking of trying aesthetic treatments?
- Do your homework. First, identify what is your skin concern, find out what the various treatments available are, do research on reviews of these treatments then select the ideal doctor to perform the treatment.
The Aesthetics Clinic is conducting a talk this Friday at 530-730pm at The Aesthetics Clinic, Shaw Centre Penthouse at 27th floor.
Title of talk: Solutions for Skin Laxity vs Skin Texture – Any Difference?
Free movie passes to the movie “Letters To Juliet” will be given for the same evening at 8pm. Only attendees of the talk will be entitled, one pass for each attendee. Here’s a review of this romantic movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0892318/
Limited to 10 of readers only. To reserve their place, call 62358770 and say the password “reviewantiaging”.