What Can I Use For Hyperpigmentation Around My Eyes?

It’s a tale as old as time: the horror at discovering those shadows that seem to have settled down for good right around your eyes, the battle waged against them with every home remedy known to mankind, the internet rabbithole that consumes all those who seek the secret to get rid of dark circles, and the final resignation and acceptance when nothing seems to work

I wondered if something was wrong with me. 

After all, the internet was overflowing with tips, tricks and miracle products that were supposed to cure this “condition,”  but none of it was working for me. At this point, I couldn’t blame the skincare companies and gurus either. All of them couldn’t possibly be in on a common, blatant lie, right? They shared their finds, like the best dark circle corrector that gets rid of hyperpigmentation or the best illuminating serum that will make you glow. Judging by the audience response, at least some of them seemed to work.

But alas, not for me.

After some time, I went on with my life, having made peace with looking tired for the rest of my life and not realising I had forgotten one place I could have (and definitely should have) gone for help—my dermatologist! I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I discovered the difference between “dark circles” and “hyperpigmentation” at the ripe age of 31. I say, better late than never! This new piece of information was enlightening: while hyperpigmentation can cause dark circles, not all dark circles are due to hyperpigmentation.

Um, does that mean that something else might be to blame for my dark circles? 

The answer is yes. A quick look into my lifestyle habits revealed that I needed to make some changes, stat. I had recently moved to a humid city without increasing my water intake to make up for all the sweat. That meant dehydration, and that meant dark circles—who would have thought?  Besides the well-known beauty sleep tip, I learned that even genetics play a role in giving you higher chances of getting dark circles (thanks, Mum!). Sun damage was another major villain in the story of my life, overcast with dark circle shadows.

Basically, my life had been a lie up until that point. 

I wasn’t looking in the right places on the internet, and blindly (pun intended) throwing random skincare products wasn’t helping either. All it took was the right combination of anti-dark-circle tactics to see results: plain old water, skincare with the right ingredients, and a sturdy sunscreen. Other “of course!” moments included avoiding rubbing my eyes and using a cool compress. 

The arsenal of skincare ingredients is star-studded, to say the least. I’m talking A-listers like:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: The benefits of hyaluronic acid are common knowledge; anything dehydration-related can benefit from using a product with hyaluronic acid.
  • Vitamin C: Gives you that brightness from within AND protects against sun damage—what a warrior!
  • Caffeine: I thought all caffeine did was make me jittery, but turns out they can also lighten dark circles (something to do with constricting blood vessels but I am not a doctor)

There are more, but to reiterate, I am not the person to explain science-y things. If you take away anything from the story of my 31-year-old self discovering that hyperpigmentation isn’t the only reason for dark circles, it’s this: 

Get professional advice!

Even though the internet is vast and can make you feel like you are not so unique, trust me when I say you are! Every person has solutions that work for them but not for others, and vice versa, whether it’s dark circles or panic attacks. Find yours and see the results for yourself!

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