Derm-Approved Tips to Reduce Dark Eye Bags


The common adage goes: “Eyes are the windows to the soul.” It is pretty true both emotionally and scientifically that the eyes can reveal a lot about your current mental and physical state. This is partly due to the almost immediate effects our lifestyle habits can have on the skin around our eyes. The skin around our eyes is very delicate, and puffiness, dark circles, and eye bags can develop very easily if we are not careful with how we are taking care of our skin. If you are stressed out or not sleeping enough, your eyes will show just how exhausted you are.

And that’s not all! Sun exposure, aging, and hereditary factors can all play a part in how your eyes look. So before you even think about things like eyeshadow colors for blue eyes, maybe you ought to focus on that discoloration under your eyes. Under eye bags are often misunderstood as being solely caused by a lack of sleep, but that’s not true. In this article, we will go through what dark circles are, what causes them, and some dermatologist-approved ways to reduce the look of them.

What causes under eye puffiness?

The dark color of the area under the eyes is a combination of the blood vessels, melanin pigment, and thinness of the skin in this area. Fluids can very easily build up in this thin part of the skin. Furthermore, the skin around and under the eyes are some of the most delicate parts of the skin. In the skin around the eye area, there are no oil glands unlike the other parts of the skin. Oil glands are what produce sebum, which is the oil that helps to keep our skin smooth and moisturized. The skin under the eyes is hence a lot more prone to wrinkling and becoming dry since there is no oil to moisturize it. This thinness of the skin is what makes the under-eye area so susceptible and prone to dark circles.

A lack of collagen and elastin in this area also contributes to the thinness. Collagen and elastin are what give our skin structure and support. The darkness of the area is likely due to excessive melanin deposits that cause the area under the eyes to appear darker than others. The thin skin and lack of fats in this area also make the color of blood vessels more pronounced. The bluish-red blood capillaries present underneath the eyes will be more visible if the skin is thinner. The lack of collagen, fats, and oil glands will cause the skin to look more translucent and hence make the subdermal parts of the skin like blood vessels more obvious. Dark circles often occur due to the melanin darkening the area and dilated blood vessels exacerbating the color.

Genetics and race can also play a big role in determining your dark circles. The amount of melanin you naturally have in your skin will also be a factor in whether or not you develop dark circles. Ethnicities with darker skin tones such as Africans and South Asians will probably have darker under-eyes naturally. Aging is another cause of dark under-eyes. As you age, the skin tissue begins to weaken and collagen starts to break down. This causes the fats in the skin to move into the lower eyelids, which results in darker shadows and puffiness under the eyes. The loss of deep fat is the main cause for the hollowing out of the under eyes.

What are the best ways to treat dark under eye bags?

Most dermatologists agree that the most effective way to treat dark under eyes and even out skin tone is through a combination of cosmetic treatments, targeted skincare products, and healthy lifestyle habits. Dark eye treatments include cosmetic procedures such as chemicals, peels, lasers, and fillers.

Fillers are one good way of combating dark under-eye circles if you are someone who suffers from dark, hollow circles genetically and has found no way of reducing the look of them. Fillers are injectables made of hyaluronic acid which can fill out and restore the padded, full look of the under-eye area. Chemical peels can help in reducing and lightening the darkness of the skin.

Chemical peels work by peeling off the topmost layer of the skin by applying acid to dissolve it. It will remove the melanin deposits that have accumulated under the eyes and hence lighten the dark eye circles. If you’re also wondering how to get rid of deep wrinkles, chemical peel is one of the many ways. Microneedling can also help with under eyes by stimulating collagen production. It is a solution that involves targeted injury to the skin so that the skin will produce more collagen, and it will also improve the absorption of skincare products into the skin.

Non-invasive skin-tightening procedures like Thermage and Ultheraoy are also good for lifting the area that is hollowed out and sallow. Resurfacing through Fraxel lasers can also improve the appearance of the skin.

Products to Treat Dark Undereye Circles

If you aren’t looking to go for a cosmetic procedure, or your dark eye circles aren’t too severe and you just want some products that can help counteract a bad night’s sleep there are certain ingredients that will be very beneficial for you to incorporate! These ingredients are similar to anti-aging and will add moisture and improve skin texture.

Hyaluronic acid

One of the best skin-savers, this super-potent hydrator can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent choice for plumping up the skin cells. An eye serum with a mix of hyaluronic acid and glycerin will be extra powerful in drawing moisture from the surrounding areas into the skin layers. And don’t worry – it is safe for everyone, even for those who are still trying to learn how to treat sensitive skin.


Just like coffee perks you up, caffeine as a topical product can constrict the blood vessels, preventing excessive dilation and hence reducing the color under the eyes. This also happens to be one of the home remedies for puffy under eyes.


This gold-star skin product is excellent for just about every skin concern. Retinol helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles by speeding up the rate of cell turnover. You can get specially formulated retinol products that are gentle enough to be used around the eye area. You will see improved skin texture and color.

Vitamin C

This is a great anti-aging product that aids in combating sun damage which causes hyperpigmentation and possibly exacerbated darkness under the eyes. It fights free radicals in the sun which causes oxidative damage.


Peptides are essential for collagen production, and are one of the compounds that make up collagen. To firm up and plump up the skin, use an eye cream with peptides as a core ingredient.


Treating dark under-eye circles is not impossible, and knowing your options of treatments will make it much easier to decide which will yield the best results.

If you’re looking to treat under eye bags with natural, at-home methods, you can also try placing tea bags or a cold compress on them to prevent fluid retention. Also, always remember to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night to reduce under eye puffiness.

Sometimes, puffy eye bags could also be allergy symptoms, so you might want to keep help from a medical professional if your puffy eye lids and eye bags persist.

Lastly, remember that pronounced eye bags and a few inches of saggy skin is all part of the natural aging process. If you have matured skin, you can check out cosmetic surgery and wrinkle treatments to tighten skin, reduce swelling and reduce the signs of aging.

Stay tuned for more of our skincare and beauty articles where we discuss topics like, “the best eyeshadow brush set for your daily needs,” “how to conceal pimples,” and more!

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