If you're worried a few too many wine nights with the girls are causing your under-eye circles, we've got some good and bad news. On the plus side, your late-night drinks probably aren't contributing to those pesky dark circles as much as you think; on the minus side, they're genetic, and therefore out of your control. Fortunately, there's a silver lining: A test exists that will tell you what kind of under-eye circles you have — and how to fix them.
Dennis Gross, MD, who founded his own eponymous skincare line, and journalist Sally Hughes talked recently about the tricky topic of under-eye circles, what's causing them, and how to fix them. "There's a real conflation that people have between dark circles and eye bags. Lots of women will say, 'How can I get rid of the bags under my eyes?' And I'm like, 'You don't have bags, you have dark circles.'" Hughes clarified that the main difference between the two is that "only [dark circles] have a difference in color, not in the texture of the skin."
Dr. Gross then stepped in to share his own genius medical knowledge: the under-eye circle test. "What you want to do is take your skin [under the eye] and gently lift it up. When you lift it up, look at what happens to the color of the skin at the dark circle. If when you lift it up, off the skin's structures... If the pigmentation does not change and it stays brown, it's telling you that pigmentation is the primary problem. If when you lift it up, it all of sudden comes back to a normal color, you know it's because the skin is too thin and more transparent."
So now that you know whether the issue is pigmentation or thin skin, how do you get rid of your dark circles? If it's a question of pigmentation, Gross recommends retinol or vitamin C. "If you have pigment, you have to look to bleach it and bring down the melanin," he explained. Alternatively, for those who find thin skin is the issue, adding collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C to your skincare regimen will plump up the under-eye area.
The only under-eye circles that we don't mind are the ones on pandas — but we're not bears and under-eye circles aren't cute. Thankfully, you now have the knowledge to reverse your dark circles!
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