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caffeine serum by the ordinary

How Does Caffeine Remove Dark Circles

I’ve always been looking for a reason to continue my caffeine addiction, and now I’ve got a legitimate one. This time, its for my skin. I recently bought the 5% Caffeine serum by The Ordinary, and got curious about how caffeine can remove dark circles.

Why Do You Get Under Eye Circles?

 Dark eye circles can be caused by a myriad of reasons. We know some of the culprits: dehydration, consuming too much alcohol, an unbalanced diet. 

When it comes to one of the biggest culprits, fatigue, our blood circulation gets affected when you’re tired, leading to a build-up of fluids in the under-eye area. That’s how blood can pool in the blood vessels in the under-eye area when you lack sleep. It certainly doesn’t help that the skin underneath our eyes tends to be thinner and translucent, so it’s easier to notice when the veins in that area look more purplish or bluish. That effect can be more pronounced in people with fair skin or pale skin, as well as when your skin have less subcutaneous fat in that area.

Your Genetics and Physiology Affects Dark Circles Too

For example, your hormones can affect your skin’s fluid retention too. And for some of us, the dark circles in the under-eye area are just naturally darker. It might look a little more severe if you have a fairer skin tone. If you have darker skin tones, you might notice a cut-off in that area. Your skin could also be producing extra pigment there—which is why your dark circles can be more pronounced if you’ve been under the sun. 

And, of course, ageing. This is one factor we can’t run away from when it comes to dark circles. As we age, our skin loses its ability to maintain collagen levels. Collagen and fat loss leaves your skin less elastic, which would hollow out the under-eye area. That leaves the darker blood vessels underneath more exposed.

Alas, the under-eye area usually has more delicate skin. So the simple act of rubbing your eyes could cause dark circles under your eyes too. And if you have allergies, rubbing your eyes could exacerbate the redness caused by your allergies too. The usual advice still applies for sensitive skin: don’t touch it!


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How Does Caffeine Remove Under Eye Circles?

There’s that homemade solution that’s reached mythical proportions: using damp tea bags for your under-eye area. And apparently, there’s an iced-coffee version of that hack too. It might have a kernel of truth behind it: the caffeine can constrict the blood vessels under your eyes if you place them there. And that reduces the amount of discolouration in the area. Not to mention, caffeine contains antioxidants too, which can increase the blood flow to your skin and provide some protection from UV rays.

Though there is a caveat. Caffeine mainly addresses the symptom, not the underlying problem behind your dark under-eye circles. Most of the time, the caffeine serum or solution you use have other skincare ingredients that work directly to improve the health of your skin. Caffeine creams or caffeine serums for under eyes area are usually combined with ingredients, like retinol, lactic acid, vitamin C and peptides. Some even add natural ingredients with antioxidant properties, such as olive oil and rosehip seed oil.

If all else fails, always try and find out the reason behind your puffy eyes and dark circles. Maybe you’ll realise that you have been having coffee one cup too many, or that you’ve been having trouble sleeping the past few days. Or maybe your skin just needs a little hydration boost from hyaluronic acid. Knowing your skin will always work.


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A curious wanderlust at heart, Benedict is always out to explore the world around him, and share his discoveries.