Eye Care for Dark Circles and Fine Lines | Skinora
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Eye care for dark circles, puffiness and fine lines



Your eyes are one of the first things people see when they look at you, and they can make you appear older than you are if you don’t take proper care of them. They’re also a telltale sign of fatigue and dehydration.

Ageing eyes are a common complaint, and the thin layer of skin around them is prone to dryness, sun damage and wrinkles. Caring for them now is an excellent way to make you look youthful and healthy for many years to come.

Dark circles are also a popular topic of discussion when it comes to eye care and it’s important to know what’s causing them by getting to the root of the problem. The most common causes of this complaint are:

Excessive pigmentation (melanin) around the eyes: atopic dermatitis (linked with increased allergy activity from the your immune systems leading to sensitive, dry, itchy red skin), periorbital hyperpigmentation which tends to be genetic and more common in people with darker skin tones, a history of  sun exposure and rubbing the eyes.

Loss of fatty tissue and muscle in the eyelid or around the eye; due to ageing, genetic factors and smoking

Puffy eyelids; as the skin thins around the eyes, muscles supporting the eyelids weaken usually caused by an accumulation of fluid

Thin skin around the eyes due to loss of collagen: as a result of ageing and genetics

Poor sleep: such a common problem for a lot of people and shows around the eyes when we get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night.

Poor nutrition: iron deficiency anaemia can be a common cause of dark circles under the eyes so it is important to make sure you have a well balanced diet and include nutrient dense food.

Dehydration: poor fluid intake can exacerbate the appearance of dark circles under the eyes as the area begins to look dull and sunken.

However, many facial treatments and creams that work well can actually be damaging to your eyes. So, what can you do to make sure they’re properly cared for?

Combat eye concerns with specific ingredients

Puffy eyes

Products containing caffeine are optimal for improving circulation around the eye, which, in turn, reduces puffiness. Use daily for the best results.

Dark circles under the eyes

To combat this issue, look for ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and kojic acid.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and a much needed ingredient in most skincare regimes (some sensitive skin types find vitamin C too irritating but it is best to speak to your skin expert to see if there is a suitable vitamin C eye product for you to try). It protects your eyes from free radical damage, lightens dark circles under the eyes and  boosts collagen production  to increase the thickness of the skin around the else which reduces the appearance of ageing.

Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3, brightens the skin around the eyes and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Kojic acid provides antioxidant activity which slows down the formation of fines line and hyperpigmentation due to free radical damage.  In addition,  this popular skin lightener that inhibits the overproduction of melanin to prevent ongoing hyperpigmentation as well as improve discoloration around the eyes caused by sun damage.

If you are finding it challenging to manage increase pigmentation around the eyes from sun damage,  look at eye care products containing retinol and ultraviolet filtering ingredients. Retinol is a widely used vitamin A derivative in a lot of eye creams and serum as it stimulates collagen production making dark circles under the eyes less visible. It’s also important to use sunscreen around the eyes to prevent further damage. Key ingredients to look out for should be zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Ageing eyes with fine lines and wrinkles

To reduce fine lines and wrinkles, hyaluronic acids plump your skin and hydrates the area around your eyes to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, as well as giving you a youthful and radiant glow.

Retinol encourages collagen production and thickens the skin, which can reduce fine lines and the signs of sun damage. A cream containing retinol should be used at night to get the best results but it is best to use it every other night initially, then increase the frequency of use as the eye area is a delicate area.

Neuropeptides are great for stimulating collagen and elastin, which aid in firming your skin and smoothing out fine lines. Make sure you also look for vitamin E; it’s a potent antioxidant and is excellent for smoothing the area around your eyes and help to protect in the future from free radical damage.

How to avoid future issues

To eliminate lines and wrinkles, dark circles, and tired eyes in the future consider incorporating a healthy sleep routine and drinking more water. Eating a balanced diet can help, too. You’ll need to kick bad habits like smoking and spending too long in the sun.

Avoid touching your eyes and try out some eye care treatments, including cucumbers on your eyes, topical creams and ointments and exfoliating regularly.

Eye creams: how to apply and top products

When using eye cream, apply very gently with your ring finger from the outside in and then pat lightly until well-absorbed. You can apply your eye cream before moisturising in the mornings and the evenings.

Top eye products Skinora love and recommend are:


Exuviance Bionic Eye Cream Plus – Excellent for firming, brightening and reducing puffy eyes. Key ingredients include peptides and vitamins C and E.

Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

Skinceuticals AGE Eye Complex – Great at reducing signs of ageing due to ingredients like blueberry extract, proxylane, and flavonoids and synergistic peptides.

Obagi ELASTIderm

Obagi Elastiderm Eye Serum – Creates youthfulness with zinc, copper, blueberry extract and caffeine.


Medik 8 Eye Lift Peptides

Medik8 Eyelift Peptides-Anti-ageing hydrating and brightening eye cream containing lifting smoothing peptides, anti-ageing protein complex, glycerin, and hesperidin improves blood circulation and strengthens capillary walls for brighter under-eyes.

Check out our eye care range to address your eye concerns. Still not sure what would work for you? Take the skin quiz and connect with our Skinora doctors to give you up to date guidance on the best creams to reach your skin goals.

About the Author: Lucinda Appiah

Dr Lucinda Appiah studied Medicine and Haematology at Imperial College London from 2003-2009. She later went on to attain her postgraduate certification in Aesthetic Medicine at Queen Mary University in London with merit and trained with some of the top plastic surgeons and aesthetic medicine practitioners in the country. Dr Appiah also continues to practice as a GP and has extensive experience in treating a range of skin conditions. She has an empathetic approach to all skin concerns and has also had her own skin journey managing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. She is passionate about working with brands that deliver results backed by science, empowering clients to explore new ingredients and grow their self confidence.

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Last update: March 16th, 2021

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