Approx 8 minute read |
I Tried 5 TikTok Hacks For Reducing Dark Circles & There’s A Clear Winner.
Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
What causes dark under-eye circles and what can you do to minimise them?
There are many things that can result in or exacerbate dark under-eye circles. "Genetics are the main cause of dark circles under the eyes," says Dr Mahsa, "but there are many other factors that can contribute, including lack of sleep and tiredness, physical stress, hormones, the natural ageing process, allergies and excessive alcohol consumption." Dr Mariam Adegoke, skin expert and founder of Adegoke Wellness Clinic, adds that puffiness and hollowing (both natural results of ageing) can cast shadows, causing dark circles. However, eye bags and dark circles are two different things.
Can turmeric reduce dark under-eye circles?
It's impossible to scroll through TikTok without spotting a natural DIY remedy for skin gripes. One popular concoction for supposedly minimising the appearance of dark circles is a honey and turmeric mask, as demonstrated by TikToker Sonali. Some TikTokers swap turmeric for buttermilk or yoghurt, as both contain lactic acid (typically an exfoliating ingredient). The bright yellow turmeric contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant which protects skin against environmental aggressors such as pollution. It is said to brighten the skin but Dr Adegoke says that the evidence is limited and more robust research is needed. As for honey? There is a low chance that it could penetrate the skin to make a real difference to under-eye circles in the long term, says Claire, as it's just too thick.
Still, I was intrigued by the thousands of views and likes and promises of an instant 'fix' so I decided to whip up my own version: a teaspoon of honey to one teaspoon of ground turmeric. I let it work its magic for 15 minutes but it only stained my skin bright yellow (it wouldn't budge, not even with oil cleanser!) and didn't do anything to minimise my circles. The only plus is that the honey felt really moisturising. I know it's a popular remedy but I wouldn't recommend this one.
Can facial massage reduce dark under-eye circles?
Can vitamin C reduce dark under-eye circles?
Do eye creams, serums or gels that target the under-eye area really do anything? It's all in the ingredients, with vitamin C being one to try. Vitamin C regulates pigmentation and makes skin appear brighter to a limited degree. It also has another benefit. "Vitamin C eye serum helps, as it can stimulate collagen and elastin, which adds more density to the skin in this area and may reduce fine lines and wrinkles that cause shadowing," says Claire. This could potentially make the circles appear less dark. Claire adds that not all vitamin C products are created equal, though. "Some are more irritating than others and would not be suitable for around the eye area," she says, so gentle formulations are best.
Dr Adegoke suggests retinol eye creams if vitamin C or caffeine doesn't sway you. "Retinol increases cell turnover, is anti-inflammatory, stimulates collagen and elastin, improves the elasticity and texture of the skin and fades hyperpigmentation, creating healthier skin all round," she says. However, retinol can be very irritating, especially on delicate under-eye skin. If you want to give it a go, I'd recommend the Lacura Avocado Bright Eyes Overnight Sleeping Retinol Eye Mask, £4.49, available in Aldi stores or the bareMinerals Ageless Retinol Eye Cream, £40, which uses a gentle, plant-based version of retinol.
What is the best concealer for hiding dark under-eye circles?
What are the alternative treatments for reducing dark under-eye circles?
Aside from skincare or makeup, Dr Mahsa mentions that there are a handful of alternative ways you can treat dark circles under the eyes, should you want to. "One of the most popular in-clinic treatments is tear trough filler, which is a a hyaluronic-based filler that is injected to treat the hollowed out area under the eyes," she explains. This area can often appear dark in colour thanks to the shadow the hollow creates. "Results are immediate and last up to 12 months," says Dr Mahsa. Prescribed creams can also help brighten the area, says Dr Mahsa, and some skin peels can also be beneficial.