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How to prevent dark eye circles

Say hello to vibrant and luminous eyes.

Yumi Narasaki

Renowned Beauty Writer

Dark circles under the eyes is a common beauty concern, regardless of your age. The eyes have always been the focal point of one’s face. It is even more so now that the mandatory face mask covers the rest of our facial features. With this in mind, caring for the eye area becomes all the more important.

When comparing the facial impressions created by two sets of appearances – the first with dark circles and fine lines around the eyes, the second without such problems – the SK-II research team revealed that the latter received greater admiration and a better overall impression. So, if your appearance presents clarity, liveliness, cheerfulness and youth, you will leave a positive impression on others.


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  • Bluish dark circles are caused by poor blood circulation

  • Brownish dark circles are caused by hyperpigmentation

  • Darkish brown/black eye circles are caused by shadows cast due to saggy skin

Reasons for the various types of dark eye circles

The first type – bluish dark circles – is caused by poor blood circulation. Since the blood flow rate is 30% higher in the under-eye than the cheek area, oxygen-depleted blood circulating in this area becomes more obvious, especially since under-eye skin is thinner compared to other parts of the body.

The second type, brownish dark circles, result from inflammation. This could be due to frictional damage while applying makeup or during cleansing and skincare. Rubbing the eyes to alleviate itchiness such as those caused by hay fever, allergies and general irritation can also damage the delicate skin, leading to periorbital hyperpigmentation.

The last type of dark circles arises more as a perceived darkish brown shadow created by fine lines and saggy skin. Even though this is more common with age, you should start paying attention to your eye area in your 20s and 30s. This can be done by simple lifestyle habits such as (1) avoid straining the eyes with excessive usage of electronic devices, and (2) invest in a dark eye circles cream.

The factors that cause dark circles may differ from person to person so it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why we experience this under-eye woe. For a start, increased workload means more hours spent online and/or on our computers, mobile and other electronic devices. Blue light emission from these devices not only cause eye fatigue, but also skin dryness which could lead to wrinkles around the eyes. Since digitization is part of our evolving lifestyles, we should do more to take better care of our eyes and the delicate area around it by tweaking our lifestyle habits and investing in eye creams that help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

Non-smudge eyeliners and mascaras are popular for its staying power, but its removal could lead to harsher cleaning and damage to the eye area. Over time, this causes periorbital hyperpigmentation.

When removing eye makeup, apply eye makeup-remover to a cotton pad and leave the soaked pad on the eyelid for a few minutes before removal. The makeup would have been absorbed by the cotton pad and should come off easily when you use a top-to-bottom motion to clean the eye. Be gentle and avoid any rubbing motion that might stress the delicate skin.

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It is important to refrain from rubbing your skin and the eye area throughout your skincare regime, from washing to applying lotions. Always treat your skin gently and be mindful of times when you might rub your eyes unconsciously. Those with allergies like hay fever and persistent itchiness should seek medical treatment. Remember that dry eyes could cause itchiness too, so regular moisturisation will alleviate this problem.

Poor blood circulation and lack of sleep are common causes of dark eye circles or under eye circles among the younger generation. Poor blood circulation can be attributed to temperature sensitivity since cold air (like in air-conditioned environments) hinders proper circulation, as does insufficient rest and quality sleep.

Choosing positive lifestyle habits will go a long way in preventing dark eye circles. One effective prevention tip is to cover your eyelids with a hot towel to keep them warm. You’ll see an improvement by doing this regularly.

With a highly digitized lifestyle and work commitments, the necessity to stare into the computer screen, smartphone or tablet for extended hours will take a toll on your eyes. The blue light emission from these devices also deprive its users of proper quality sleep at night. Remember to take intermittent breaks to rest your eyes in the day. At night, refrain from using these electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Care for your eyes with products specially designed for the delicate and sensitive eye area. Don’t forget to moisturise the under-eye area as it helps to smoothen the skin texture, reduce dryness and hence prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Always apply under eye cream with your ring (4th) finger as it is most gentle on your skin. Tap the cream lightly for it to be absorbed into the skin while allowing the gentle massaging effect to boost blood circulation around the eye area.

Both SK-II ambassadors deliver attractive impressions with captivating eyes to match. We quiz each of them for their personal tip on how they maintain a luminous and beautiful eye area.

Naomi Watanabe

“I use makeup constantly and so I’m naturally concerned about its drying effects on my skin. I take proactive care by keeping to a strict moisturisation regime. By applying brightening eye cream regularly, the makeup not only lasts longer, but touch ups tend to be minimal as well!”

Kasumi Arimura

“Long hours of photoshoots mean that I am wearing makeup for extended periods of time. When this happens, my main concern is the under-eye skin becomes drier. So, I will take the time between shoots to remove my eye makeup and moisturise the area around my eyes. My brightening eye cream is an absolute essential with on-going photoshoots! I will even massage around my eye area to enhance the blood circulation and maintain skin brightness.”

Many of you view eye care as requiring special attention. When you consider that your eyes are the key facial features that deliver the impression you give others, it then makes sense to put in extra effort to make eye care part of your daily skincare regime. Check out the eye care tips from our SK-II ambassadors – start investing in brightening eye creams and you’ll see the difference when you next look in the mirror!

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