Whether you call them 'eye bags', 'dark under-eye circles', or 'raccoon eyes', the effect is the same. Puffiness and discolouration under your eyes make you look tired, older, and maybe even unhappy.
Remarkably resistant to even the thickest concealers, bags under your eyes demand a multipronged approach. Our Ultimate Guide to Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes helps you fight the war on multiple fronts. We'll teach you how to prevent dark circles and puffiness, and how to fight them when they rear their ugly head.
Most people struggle with dark circles and puffiness at some point during their life. Though the effect is the same, a range of factors can contribute to the development of eye bags. These factors include:
Age: As you grow older, the thin skin under your eyes becomes thinner and less elastic, making blood vessels more visible.
Complexion: People with olive skin tend to be more vulnerable to dark circles under the eyes. Very fair complexions may also develop circles, since pale skin is often thinner, and dark circles are more visible against the light skin colour.
Health: Allergies and some inflammatory conditions can irritate your skin and the blood vessels that lie underneath, triggering dark circles or puffiness.
Lifestyle factors: Inadequate sleep can cause circles and puffiness, or exacerbate those that are already present. Smoking, a poor diet, and generally poor health may also trigger dark circles.
Pregnancy and other hormonal changes: Hormonal changes can alter your skin as well as what lies beneath. Some pregnant women develop a condition called 'melasma' that triggers dark patches on the face. These spots are usually brown, not the blue-black hue of traditional under-eye circles. Some pregnant women also retain water, causing swelling and under-eye puffiness. Circulatory changes during pregnancy may cause more blood to pool under the eyes, creating or worsening under-eye circles.
Because dark under-eye circles are the result of blood vessels under the skin, and not really changes to the skin itself, most creams are ineffective at fighting the circles. Our Ultimate Guide covers the handful of products that really do work.