What Causes Dark Circles + How to Prevent Them

“You look tired” is near-universal code for, “You have dark circles under your eyes.” Aside from teaching our co-workers and family members to be more tactful, we all know that is an unpleasant thing to hear. Dark circles don’t necessarily mean that we’re tired, or that anything is wrong with our skin. This week, COSMEDIX is providing a quick primer on causes of under-eye darkness and how to prevent it, plus a few of our favorite, intensely hydrating COSMEDIX eye serums.

Causes & Prevention

  1. Aging

Once again, the headline is that some darkness beneath the eyes is to be expected. Skin sometimes gets thinner as we age, which can cause blood vessels to be a bit more visible beneath the already-thin under-eye skin. This can also exacerbate other causes of under eye darkness, like eyestrain or fatigue. We can’t always stop the aging process, but a hydrating under eye treatment can help smooth fine lines and wrinkles in the area and decrease the appearance of under eye darkness.

  1. Fatigue

Lack of sleep is the dark circles culprit that everyone is already familiar with. Depending on your skin tone and other predispositions, burning the candle at both ends really can affect your under-eye darkness. Since our skin can become dull or pale with a loss of sleep, blood vessels and other dark tissue can become more visible when we’re overtired. Getting a bit of extra sleep can help your skin recover.

  1. Sun Exposure

Because the skin is often thinner and more delicate, our under eye area can be prone to hyperpigmentation, or overproduction of melanin. Overexposure to the sun can cause dark circles to worsen under your eyes. COSMEDIX always recommends a daily broad spectrum SPF like Peptide-Rich Defense or Protect UV to help protect your skin from the sun. At-home remedies like cold compresses, elevating your head, and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated can also help with under eye darkness.

COSMEDIX Eye Care Favorites


Of course, using an eye cream and a serum helps by hydrating the skin under the eyes and helping to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Read on for a list of our uber-moisturizing eye treatments and a breakdown of the skin care ingredients that help them address under eye darkness.

Opti Crystal Liquid Crystal Eye Serum AM/PM

This bestseller is so much more than a mesmerizing, opalescent texture! The Liquid Crystal Technology that gives Opti Crystal its signature, luxurious look also provides deep, lasting hydration to your under-eye area. Opti Crystal is also formulated with Copper Complex to encourage the appearance of firmer, younger-looking skin and Spin Trap and Alpha-Lipoic Acid to help reduce the appearance of signs of aging caused by environmental stressors. Opti Crystal is gentle enough for all skin types, and you can add it to your morning or evening skincare routine for a boost of intense hydration.

I-Complex Advanced Eye Gel AM

Ask about this spa-exclusive gel at your next facial to help smooth the look of wrinkles and brighten the look of your under eye area. I-Complex uses the botanical Retinol alternative Bakuchiol to help brighten skin’s appearance and visibly improve skin tone and texture. This daytime treatment uses an innovative metal rollerball applicator to gently massage the lightweight, Hyaluronic Acid-infused formula into the delicate skin without leaving a sticky residue. Orchid Stem Cells and Horse Chestnut Flower Extract condition the skin and visibly help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Eye Genius Brilliant Eye Complex AM/PM

Who What Wear calls Eye Genius a, “do it all eye treatment,” and we totally agree! This luxe, lightweight Brilliant Eye Complex harnesses the power of Firming Peptides including Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3, Dipeptide-2, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. Eye Genius is also formulated with Light-Reflecting Mica to instantly illuminate the appearance of dark circles and Borago Oil & Vitamin E to help soothe the look of puffiness.

Eye Doctor High Potency Eye Treatment

Use our spa finder tool to find your nearest COSMEDIX partner aesthetician for this age-defying, liquid crystal eye serum that replenishes moisture and helps improves the appearance of the under eye area. Recommended for your night time skincare routine, this eye treatment is formulated with Retinol to encourage the appearance of firmer, healthier-looking skin and Coconut Extract to provide deep, lasting hydration.