As we age, our skin does too. Unfortunately, with skin aging, we get wrinkles where the skin was previously smooth, bags under our eyes and sometimes every discoloration in spots we don’t want.
Thankfully, as women, we have become pretty familiar with makeup over the course of our lifetime and we can use this to our advantage for covering up the spots we don’t want everyone to see.
If you’ve noticed recently that the area under your eyes is looking a little more dark than it used to, don’t panic. It’s not a perfect situation but with a little patience and a little bit of makeup, you can be confident in knowing you’re looking great and you will love what you see in the mirror.
What Causes the Dark Circles Under Our Eyes?
It’s important to consider exactly why we get those dark circles under our eyes, and if there’s anything we can potentially do to reverse them. There are a number of reasons you may experience dark circles under your eyes as you age (or maybe you’ve always had them), including
Many people think a lack of sleep is what causes the dark circles under our eyes, but that isn’t the only thing. If you are not consuming enough water on a regular basis, your skin cells can shrink and that can cause dryness and a lack of elasticity.
To begin with, the skin under our eyes is thinner than skin almost anywhere else on our body so when you are not consuming enough water with skin that’s already pretty thin it can become transparent, which makes your eyes underneath visible and there showing dark circles.
It makes sense that the more we age, the more cumulative sun exposure we have had. While the sun can give a beautiful glow, it can also cause dark circles under your eyes.
Why? Well, sun exposure prompts your body to produce more melanin – which is what gives your skin its pigment and colour. Unfortunately, it can also give color where we don’t want it: under our eyes.
On top of that, too much sun over the course of our life can damage the DNA in our skin, and even kill it in some cases. As a result of this damage, the dark circles can become more pronounced.
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As part of aging, as you may have already experienced, our skin will become much more thin that it used to be. This is because the skin will lose some of the collagen and fat that supports the skin in our younger years. This thinner skin can make any discolouration to begin with more obvious.
On top of that, the elasticity of our skin will start to go as well. This leads to more sagging of the skin and that will make any kind of dark circles or bags under the eyes more pronounced.
Whether it’s from oversleeping, not getting quality sleep or not getting enough sleep, being tired can lead to dark circles under your eyes.
This happens because sleep deprivation causes your skin to become pale or even dull, meaning that blood vessels or even darker tissues will be more visible over the skin.
If the under area of your eyes is puffy, this could be from a lack of sleep causing a build-up of fluid beneath your eyes. In this case, you may also experience puffy eyelids.
There are a number of other reasons you may be experiencing darkness or bags under your eyes (including genetic or hereditary causes), however, these causes are the most likely for aging skin.
So now that we know what the causes might be for the dark circles under our eyes, what can we do about them?
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In our younger years, there’s a very good chance we used a heavy liquid or cream concealer under our eyes to give a very rested and youthful look. We would spend hours in front of the mirror dabbing and blending, to get that perfect look.
Now, though, do we have time for that or even want to do that? Probably not. On top of that, as we mentioned, our skin is starting to thin out, and the skin under our eyes is already the thinnest on our body. Those heavy cream concealers are likely going to just weigh down our skin and not blend in very well anymore.
These heavy concealers can actually drag your eyes down, giving you the opposite look of what you were going for. This isn’t to say don’t use concealer at all – it’s actually a fantastic product – but you need to make sure you’re using the right one for your skin (both age and type).
There are a few additional products you might want to consider (aside from concealer) that can actually make concealer work better when you need it to.
Now, the undereye area gets really dry (largely due to the fact that we don’t have any oil glands there) so it’s best to start using a really good quality eye cream in conjunction with a concealer.
Wait – eye cream? Yes. You may not have previously used it (and that’s ok) however it’s recommended that once we pass our 40s we start using one as part of our regular skincare routine. Typically it’s recommended to use as night so it has the time you’re sleeping for your skin to absorb it and be effective.
You will want to make sure you invest in a really good quality eye cream as well. Some of the lower end ones are full of filler products, which can actually make under your eyes more oily than they should be and that will not be conducive to using a concealer and blending well.
Any firming cream will help to firm up the skin you apply it to, and this will make your eyes look younger and more refreshed almost instantly. It helps by deeply hydrating your skin, reducing puffiness and any discoloration you may be experiencing.
The best part about this kind of product is you can use it under your makeup because it’s not oily and it won’t cause your makeup to slide around or crease during the day.
Choosing the Right Concealer
As mentioned, if you try to use one of those cakey concealers you used to when you were in your 20s it probably won’t look nearly as nice as it used to and it will take a long time to blend it in properly.
When purchasing a concealer to help with the dark circles under your eyes (and for mature skin) you will likely want to purchase a liquid one – this way it can be easily dabbed onto your skin and you can use your finger (or a makeup sponge) to blend it in.
Aside from that, picking the right shade for your concealer can be difficult too. For aging skin, and to conceal those especially dark circles, you will want to pick a shade that is one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. By doing this, you will make the area under your eyes appear lighter and draw light to the area. This will not only conceal the dark circles but give you a very refreshed and young look.
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Foundation and Concealer
In the bottle, foundation and concealer can look remarkably similar but they actually do very different things. The good news here though is that they can very easily be used together and frequently are.
If you are wearing foundation with concealer, you will want to make sure you apply them in the appropriate order so they stay in place and look perfect all day long.
You will want to apply your foundation first, if it’s liquid, and then use your finger to dab the concealer under your eyes (and the other places you need to use it). Then comes time to blend it. It’s important to start in the corner of your eye and work your way out.
You’ll want to start with just a little bit of concealer and then add more if you need it (as it’s easier to add more if you don’t have enough than it is to try and take away some if you’ve put too much on). Alternatively, you can use a makeup brush or sponge to blend your concealer into the rest of your makeup.
You don’t have to use concealer with foundation, but you can. For some of us, our skin is glowing on its own and just needs a little extra help. For others, we have imperfections we’d prefer to cover up and want to use foundation for that.
You may also choose to use a highlighter (either pen or powder). This product is much lighter than a concealer and so it may not cover up your dark circles, as you’re looking to do, but it can make certain areas of your skin look glowing and refreshed. You should, though, use a finishing or setting powder when you’re done blending. This helps everything settle as it looks now and prevents it from moving or creasing on your skin.
As much as we hate seeing dark circles under our eyes, it’s definitely something that can be fixed with a little concealer. Your eyes will look young and refreshed in no time!