Dark circles

The skin beneath our eyes is thinner than normal skin and it is also one of the first areas of the body to lose collagen as we age. It is therefore more prone to sagging and discolouration. 

Darker skin can develop underneath both eyes, which may be shades of brown, blue, black or purple. Dark circles are a relatively common condition, but can become very noticeable leading us to feel self-conscious. It is also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation (POH).  

What causes dark circles?

One of the most common causes of dark circles is aging, where the skin becomes thinner and collagen levels decrease. The already thin skin beneath the eyes may then allow blood vessels to become more visible, leading the skin to darken.  

The appearance of dark circles can also be a result of shadows cast by puffy eyelids or hollows under the eyes that become more pronounced as we age. 

Other common causes include fatigue, where the skill becomes paler and more dull, meaning the blood vessels are more likely to become noticeable. Drinking too much alcohol or smoking can have a similar effect. 

Allergies and hayfever, which cause inflammation and increase blood flow around the eyes, can make the blood vessels more visible and darken the skin. Some forms of dermatitis may also cause inflammation around the eyes and hence worsen dark circles.  

In some cases, dark circles are a form of hyperpigmentation. Instead of blood vessels or muscle showing through the skin, the skin itself produces melanin (a pigment which darkens to the skin). Overexposure to the sun causes the body to produce excess melanin which is sometimes deposited beneath the eyes, creating dark circles. 

Some studies suggest there is a genetic element to dark circles, meaning that some families are more likely to develop them than others.  

While it can be distressing, you do not usually need to see your GP for dark circles. However, if you experience swelling and discolouration under one eye only, this may be a sign of an underlying health issue and you should consult with a doctor. 

How to get rid of dark circles?

Because the skin under the eyes is thinner and more fragile than in other areas, at Hannah London we offer gentle treatments that are designed or prescribed for use specifically on this area of the body.  These aim to lighten and brighten the skin and may also smooth hollows that can cause shadows.  

Our qualified practitioners can advise on topical creams designed specifically for the under eye area that will lighten the skin in a natural way. Vitamin C and retinol based creams work to brighten the skin when applied regularly over a set period. 

At-home Self Care Treatments

There are also a number of natural, at-home treatments we advise for our patients, that complement our at-clinic treatments:

Regularly applying a cold compress (or frozen cucumber slices or frozen tea bags works well) to the under eye area
Avoid sun exposure, wear sunglasses and use suncream to protect your skin
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated to support your skin’s health
Reduce the amount of salt in your diet
Make sure you are getting enough sleep
Limit your screen time and take regular screen breaks
When using computer or phone screens, keep your eyes at least an arm’s length from the screen
Reduce overhead lighting to minimise screen glare
Wear blue-light blocking glasses (or filter glasses) when using screens
Avoid rubbing your eyes and always apply moisturiser gently to the delicate skin around the eyes

Clinic based treatments

Global Eyecon by mesoestetic is a specialised skin (or chemical) peel, combined with a trans-epidermal solution. It is designed to gently revitalise the skin around the eyes, without damaging it, and reduce dark circles.

 Find out more about skin peels for dark circles.

If a treatment doesn’t have a separate treatment page (ie if you don’t set up a specific page about skin peels) then the calls to action should be amended to a generic “get in touch” message 

Skin boosters (or mesotherapy) are injections of vitamins and skin enhancers like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. At Hannah London we offer Light Eyes Ultra, which is solely formulated for under eye treatments, to nourish and care for this delicate area. Polynucleotides and PRP may also be effective.

Find out more about skin boosters for dark circles.

Polynucleotides (also called biofillers or biostimulators) are a kind of food or medicine for your cells. They are injected and stimulate collagen and elastin production in skin cells. Treatments like Lumi Eyes, Nucleofill and Ameela Eyes are polynucleotides that have been specifically formulated to improve dark circles. 

Find out more about polynucleotides for dark circles.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is delivered by injection. It reduces hollowness in the under eye area by improving blood flow and harnessing our skin’s natural healing mechanisms. New generation platelet therapies like PRF (platelet rich fibrin) are also now available.

Find out more about platelet rich plasma (PRP) and platelet rich fibrin (PRF) for dark circles.

Dermal fillers may be used to plump up thinning skin and reduce the visibility of blood vessels under the skin, minimising the appearance of dark circles. They can also be used to smooth out hollows in the tear trough, which can cause shadows that make dark circles appear worse.

Find out more about dermal fillers for dark circles

Where dark circles are caused by hyperpigmentation, glutathione as an injection to the skin or an IV (intravenous) treatment can be given to lighten the skin colour.

Find out more about glutathione injections or IV for dark circles.

Meet one of our doctors for a consultation to discuss your treatment options

Welcome to
Hannah London

We’re a team of aesthetic and medical specialists lead by Dr Kaywaan Khan. We provide award-winning facial, body and hair treatments to clients across London.

Our ethos is to offer cutting-edge treatments in a luxurious setting, ensuring that you leave our clinic feeling pampered and looking fabulous.