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Under Eye Discoloration and Bags: 

Causes, Precautions and Corrections

Most of the Indian women are blessed with beautiful eyes but unfortunately are plagued with under-eye discoloration as well. Isn’t it an irony that we have attention worthy eyes but the under eye area just seems to kill the whole aesthetics of eyes.

Dark Circles: What lies beneath?

Under-eye discoloration or Dark Circles (DC) range from brownish to bluish-black color and result from two processes ongoing simultaneously or independently. One is the melanin deposition in epidermis or dermis resulting in brown/ blue-colored appearance, another is the blood pooling secondary to poor collagen support in the skin around eyes leading to bluish discoloration. The skin around eyes is five times thinner than the rest of facial skin, so the melanin and pooled blood (i.e. under eye darkness) show through very prominently.

What Exactly Causes Them?

  • Genetics has a big role to play which means a lot is beyond our control when it comes to Dark Circles. Ranging in severity from mild to severe among the family members, the genetic DC is the toughest to treat and most likely to present at a younger age. 
  • Lifestyle factorsunder-eye discoloration insert 1
  • Stress,
  • Poor Sleep,
  • Smoking,
  • Alcohol,
  • Blue light exposure from gadgets 

play a huge role in the development and aggravation of pre-existing dark circles by increasing the free radical damage in skin (resulting in pigmentation) along with blood stasis (bluish discoloration) around eyes.

  • Aging also leads to dark circle acceleration owing to loss of collagen in the skin & bone resorption, amounting to increased hollowing around eyes.
  • Medical conditions like allergies, low hemoglobin, water retention, uncorrected refractive errors of eyes also play a part in many individuals.
  • Deep tear troughs give an appearance of DC due to the shadow effect in many individuals. Most Indians suffer from deep-tear troughs commonly known as deep-set eyes.


Are Dark Circles Preventable or Avoidable? Do we have any preventative strategy in our hands?

Lifestyle modulation certainly prevents further damage and deterioration of dark circles, both genetic and non-genetic. Although genetic dark circles can not be controlled or prevented, lifestyle amendments certainly help in controlling its deterioration.

Here’s how:

  • Get adequate good quality sleep depending upon your needs. (7-8 hours is recommended)
  • Take a balanced diet rich in Proteins, good quality Fats (Nuts, Ghee, Seeds), Vitamins like Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Iron, Folic acid, etc.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes in case of allergies or irritation due to any cause.
  • Cut down or totally avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Limit exposure to blue light emitted from gadgets. Set a limited screen time or use in night mode.


Pro tip: Check for any cosmetic product causing allergy in the skin around eyes.

What are my options for Dark Circles? Will they ever go?

Dark Circles due to hyper-pigmentation and blood pooling need different treatment options. However a majority of people have both issues so a combination approach works best.

Treatment Strategies For Dark Circles

Below are 4 main ways to control & treat dark circles:

Lightening the hyper-pigmentation

Following molecules help in decreasing hyper pigmentation:

  • Vitamin C
  • Niacinamide
  • Kojic Acid,
  • Arbutin
  • Glycolic Acid & Chemical Peels
  • Ferulic Acid

Boosting collagen production

Following molecules help in boosting collagen production:

  • Retinol
  • Vitamin C
  • Peptides
  • Glycolic Acid & Chemical Peels
  • Radio-frequency Devices

Controlling free radical damage

Following molecules help in minimizing free radical damage:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Ferulic Acid

Minimizing blood pooling

Following molecules help in minimizing blood pooling:

  • Vitamin K
  • Peptides
  • Radio-frequency Devices


Barunii Recommends:



Under-eye editorial insert (4)Look for the above list of actives before purchasing the eye cream you think will work best for you. As you can see with this list of actives, there is no one size fits all guide. However, the below facts will help you find your safest bet:

  • Products with active ingredients like topical Vitamin C, Retinol, Glycolic acid & peptides are a wiser choice for initial treatment of dark circles (DC) owing to their multi-pronged actions.
  • Ingredients like Vitamin E, Ferulic acid, Niacinamide, Arbutin and Kojic acid work synergistically with the above mentioned molecules & enhance their results.
  • Chemical peels give quicker response in more severe dark circles.
  • People with shadow effect DC would ideally need fillers/corrective surgery.


Now that you know the active arsenals in your anti dark circle armamentarium well, go ahead and choose wisely your eye creams and serum & fight them well.


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