How can dark circles be improved? As you may know, with all questions regarding skin concerns, the answer inevitably lands on it depends. There are multiple factors which can contribute to infraorbital dark circles, puffiness, or undereye “bags”. In order to determine how to improve the concern, we have to identify which factors are contributing and create a customized strategy to manage it.

What do they look like? 


  • Appearance of puffiness surrounding the eye area
  • Padded “bags” below the eye accentuated by a mild or deep line underneath often causing shadowing

Dark Circles:

  • Purple / blueish darkness in the inner corners of the eyes and within the tear trough region

What causes this?

Dark circles can be the result of a variety of factors including deep facial anatomy, excessive pigmentation, soft tissue changes, thin eyelid skin, and shadowing due to skin laxity. As we age, we experience a breakdown of fatty tissue and collagen around the eye area. Weakening muscular structure around the eyelids can also release its hold on the fatty tissues surrounding the eyes. This can be hereditary, from sun exposure, or a result of normal aging.

Puffiness / bags: 

  • UV damage
  • Intrinsic aging
  • Medications

Dark Circles:

  • Thinning skin (collagen loss)
  • Fatty tissue loss
  • Allergies
  • Medications
  • Lack of sleep/fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Smoking
  • Hyperpigmentation (most commonly seen in higher Fitzpatrick types)
  • Genetics
  • Dehydration
  • Sinus congestion
  • Inflammation   

What are the treatment options?

The first treatment option should be to strengthen and improve the integrity of the tissue surrounding the eyes, while preventing further degradation from occurring. You know what that means. SPF, baby. Other lifestyle and home care factors will also be reviewed between you and your esthetician in order to have a customized strategy.

Internal Factors

  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron supplements (anemia)
  • Allergy medication / antihistamines 
  • Improve sleep patterns
  • Eliminate allergens / smoking
  • Collagen supplements — primarily to support hydration retention
  • Reduce alcohol, sugar, and caffeine consumption
  • Stress reduction
  • Avoid excess salt
  • Sleep with head elevated (extra pillow)
  • Cold compresses 

Before making any adjustments to your vitamins or supplements Always consult with your physician.

Professional Treatment Options


  • Facial massage to increase circulation in the area (monthly)
  • Superficial peels
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • LED therapy
  • Collagen Induction Therapy


  • Fillers
  • Surgery (blepharoplasty)

Homecare strategies

  • Always use SPF and reapply, including the eye area
  • Apply ingredients gently with a tapping motion at the ocular orbit
  • Use Vitamin A / Retinoids at night
  • Use Vitamin C / Antioxidants during the day
  • Wear sunglasses and hats to protect the skin from UV rays
  • Practice at home orbital massage

Eye Treatment Products

ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Eye Serum

Powered by clinically proven ZO® Growth Factor technology, Growth Factor Eye Serum is designed to improve the appearance of expression lines, creasing + hollowness while plumping + encouraging healthy skin for a visibly revived look. The cooling applicator soothes the skin + re-invigorates the look of tired eyes.

ZO Skin Health Eye Brightening Créme

Specially designed for the delicate eye area. Helps minimize the multiple signs of aging, support skin’s elasticity, reduce puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.

Colorescience 3 in 1 Total Eye SPF Treatment

 Total Eye® 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 visibly improves the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles while protecting the delicate eye area against photoaging with 100% SPF 35 mineral sunscreen.

Skin Ceuticals AOX Eye Gel

AOX+ Eye Gel is a groundbreaking serum-in-a-gel that contains a synergistic combination of 5% pure vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid), 1% phloretin, and 0.5% ferulic acid along with powerful botanicals to protect the delicate eye area from atmospheric skin aging – environmental damage and premature signs of aging caused by free radicals from UVA/UVB, infrared radiation (IRA), and ozone pollution (O3). This refreshing eye serum targets visible signs of aging such as crow’s feet and fine lines, and improves the appearance of puffiness, fatigue, and under eye circles.

IS Clinical Youth Eye Complex

Youth Eye Complex is a breakthrough formula that utilizes advanced technologies to combat the visual signs of aging. This formula is clinically proven to target visual areas of concern and, as a result, skin looks firmer and more resilient. Powerful peptides, key growth factors, and potent antioxidants help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and visibly brighten the under-eye area to keep skin smooth, hydrated and protected all day long.

Because dark circles, under eye bags and puffiness are brought on by various factors, it’s essential to identify which factors are contributing before the right treatment plan and products can be implemented. Want to know how to start? Book a consultation or service by clicking here.




MI RYUNG ROH, & KEE YANG CHUNG. (n.d.). Infraorbital dark circles: Definition, causes … – wiley online library. Wiley Online Library. Retrieved 2022, from 

Education for the Modern Skin Care Professional. (n.d.). Retrieved 2022, from 

Park KY, Kwon HJ, Youn CS, Seo SJ, Kim MN. Treatments of Infra-Orbital Dark Circles by Various Etiologies. Ann Dermatol. 2018 Oct;30(5):522-528. doi: 10.5021/ad.2018.30.5.522. Epub 2018 Aug 28. PMID: 33911473; PMCID: PMC7992473.

Vrcek I, Ozgur O, Nakra T. Infraorbital Dark Circles: A Review of the Pathogenesis, Evaluation and Treatment. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2016 Apr-Jun;9(2):65-72. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.184046. PMID: 27398005; PMCID: PMC4924417.

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