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Skin life blog

those dark circles!


Philippe DeshayesPhilippe DeshayesDermatologist

Nathalie BroussardPascale GuéganMake up artist

Dark circles and under-eye bags are never a welcome sight. But what actually causes them, and more importantly, what can we do to get rid of them? Two experts give us their views: dermatologist Philippe Deshayes explains the science behind this common problem, and make-up artist Pascale Guégan gives us some tips on how to send that unsightly under-eye baggage packing for good!

Pinpointing the problem

“There are basically two main types of dark circle: the first, which tend to be bluish-purple, are caused by what’s known as ‘vascular pooling’. The second are a result of pigmentation and are more beige or brown in colour, depending on your complexion. The two types can overlap, but as a rule, vascular pooling is more visible on paler skin, while dark circles due to pigmentation are more common on darker skin.” 

What’s the cause?

“There is always an ethnic, genetic factor that is beyond our control. But when it comes to vascular dark circles, fatigue can play a major role. In the mornings, vasodilation in the blood vessels around your eyes can also result in under-eye puffiness.”

Does age come into it?

“It’s true that as you get older, this tendency can become more marked.” Microcirculation becomes less effective with age, and the stresses and strains of daily life can build up, making dark circles all the more visible. “Beneath each eye there is a little pocket of fat that is held back by a thin screen of fibrous tissue. This can gradually weaken over time, resulting in permanent under-eye shadows.”

What can I do about it?

Dr Deshayes recommends using products specially designed for the sensitive area around your eyes. Once you have identified the cause of your dark circles, choose a product that will work for you, with active ingredients that will either stimulate microcirculation (such as horse chestnut extracts) or reduce pigmentation. Always be gentle when applying and removing make-up – be careful not to rub.

Make-up – a simple but effective solution!

Make-up artist Pascale Guégan gives us her tips on how to brighten your complexion by getting rid of dark circles.  “It’s actually pretty easy! You simply need to use a concealer or a high-coverage product that’s rich in pigments. One common error is to apply the product all around the eye. Dark circles generally only appear at the inner corner of the eye, so you just need to apply a lighter tint to this area (two shades lighter than your foundation). But if your problem is puffy bags under your lower eyelids, the best technique is  to stick with your usual foundation, as your skin is lighter in this area anyway.”

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