Southern Living: There Are Different Types of Dark Under-Eye Circles

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And This Is How You Can Tell Which You Have. Plus, which products will help each type.

Not to be dramatic, but dark circles are like a looming rain cloud trying to hover over the prospect of a happy, sunny day. The bluish-purple under-eye monsters, as I so warmly like to refer to them, seem to be bent on evading all attempts of covering them up with concealer. Instead, I've turned my approach to trying to heal them before any makeup is even in the equation.

From vitamin C to retinol, there are many options out there to help treat dark circles and puffiness, which makes it hard to know what ingredient works best for your specific under-eye area. There are also different types of dark circles that can be caused by issues like extra pigmentation or collagen loss.

However, there is a dermatologist-backed trick to figuring out what type of dark under-eye circles that you're experiencing. In turn, it tells you exactly which type of skin-care product can help combat them. Here's how to tell.

Look in the mirror, then grab and pinch the skin under your eyes where your dark circles are. Lift up the skin and move it around back and forth just a little bit, watching to see what happens to the under-eye skin. If the bluish tint disappears or significantly lightens, that likely means your under-eye skin has thinned out and the veins underneath are peaking through. For that, you need something to repair and promote collagen production, so ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid will be your friends.

But if the bluish or brownish tint moves with your skin and stays the same shade, that means you're experiencing over-pigmentation, which can be a result of many different factors from sun damage to run-of-the-mill aging. For these types of dark circles, you'll want to use a retinol to reduce hyperpigmentation and age-related dark spots. And if your circles seem to be more related to dark shadows primarily caused by puffiness or "eye bags," you can use an eye cream fortified with caffeine to help fight excess fluid retention, which can result from lack of sleep, too much salt, alcohol consumption, or even allergies.

Dark under-eye circles are a tough thing to beat, and sometimes it just all comes down to genetics. (As in, don't ever let them ruin your day.) Shop some of our favorite eye creams for each dark circle type below.

Pathology FlashPatch Restoring Night Eye Gels

Best for majorly rejuvenating the under-eyes overnight

When you want a little bit of everything and then some, these overnight eye patches with retinol feel like a one-two punch to dull, dark circles. Plus, they make bedtime feel like a spa experience.

Shop Restoring Night Eye Patches

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