While very innocently scrolling through Instagram on my phone the other day – I'm obsessed with reels, don't judge me – I came across a video of a makeup artist, smudging dark eyeshadow underneath her eyes. I was intrigued – a new colour-correction technique? A Halloween makeup tutorial in July? A very daring smoky eye?
Nope. Just a makeup artist giving herself under-eye bags.
I was shook. Want mine? I wanted to ask her. I'd spent years trying out creams and ice patches and jade stones – whatever promised to alleviate the dark bags that hang under my eyes – and no, they're not designer, contrary to popular belief.
Anyway, here was this girl drawing on bags under her eyes and I had a disbelieving but hopeful moment where I wondered were the bane of my life suddenly about to become fashionable, and I realised it was the side part vs middle part debate all over again. The Gen Zs can get away with looking gloriously dishevelled and sleepless, but I, on the other hand, need all the help I can get with my under-eye bags.
There are hundreds of reasons why you might have dark circles under your eyes, but there's a few common ones that a lot of people will experience from time to time, and a few things you can do to help with them.
If, like everyone else, your sleeping pattern has gone totally haywire the last while, then getting back into a sleeping routine might be a good call. Our bodies will show it when we’re not getting enough of what we need and one of the tell-tale signs of being overrun and lacking in sleep is dark circles.
Try a sleep spray, like the This Works Sleep Spray. The calming lavender is super relaxing and lets your mind know that it’s time for sleep and relaxation now. Try a meditation, avoiding caffeine in the evenings and not eating too late to help get your sleep pattern back on track.
Yep, I’m on about it again, but it’s so so important to protect that thin and delicate skin underneath our eyes. The skin is so thin that is actually gets a lot of sun damage that cannot be reversed. Hyperpigmentation is a big problem in this area so doing all you can to protect it is key.
I know wearing suncream around your eyes can feel oily, and even sore if it drips, but with a cream like Heliocare’s oil-free factor 50 gel, you get a matte finish with all the protection of a regular factor 50 suncream. These are my go-to to face suncream as it doesn’t make your skin break out like regular suncream can.
Not just for facials in the spa! Cucumbers are anti-inflammatory so are perfect for counteracting your dark circles! Try chilling them in the fridge first, so that the cold can take down any swelling or puffiness around the eyes too.
Gentle makeup remover
If you’re still using makeup wipes or harsh chemicals to remove the makeup from your eye area, then that’s a big no-no. The skin around the eyes is so thin that it needs gentle removers to take your makeup off, or else it can become easily irritated.
Easier said than done, right? Between waterproof mascaras and eyeliners, our eyes wear some of the makeup that is most difficult to remove. Gentler formulas and products designed to break down makeup are best for this job, so products like Avène Intense Eye Make Up Remover for Sensitive Skin or Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover are perfect for protecting the delicate skin while ensuring that not a trace of makeup is leftover.
Incorporate vitamin c
Known as the brightening ingredient, vitamin C is all about the melanin production. Gentle, but effective, it is highly recommended for discolouration, and hyperpigmentation problems. It’s been a god-send for me in my products for the last year as I’ve been bringing my skin out of a major breakout.
One product I’ve heard people raving about is the No7 Youthful Eye Serum. Packed full of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, it is all about radiance and firmness, and is a long-term prevention product, rather than just a quick fix.