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4 common types of dark circles — and how to treat them, according to a dermatologist

NYC dermatologist Dr. Charles Puza is highlighting four common types of dark circles — wrinkles, volume loss, vascular and hyperpigmentation — and treatment options for these eyesores.
NYC dermatologist Dr. Charles Puza is highlighting four common types of dark circles -- wrinkles, volume loss, vascular and hyperpigmentation -- and treatment options for these eyesores.

It’s the circles of life.

An NYC dermatologist is highlighting four common types of dark circles — wrinkles, volume loss, vascular and hyperpigmentation — and treatment options for these eyesores.

“I want to teach you which skin care ingredient to look for for each concern so that you can shop anywhere you need to,” Dr. Charles Puza told his 1.7 million followers in a trending TikTok last month.

Dark circles — which tend to make you look older or more exhausted than you actually are — can be blamed on several factors, including genetics, fatigue, dehydration, stress, alcohol abuse, allergies and smoking.

Aging is a major cause. The skin below your eyes loses its elasticity and thins as you age. The dark blood vessels beneath your skin become more visible, thus darkening the appearance of the area below your eyes.

Puza, who studied at Harvard and Duke universities, shared his solutions to these unsightly spots in his 35-second TikTok, which has drawn more than 120,800 views.

NYC dermatologist Dr. Charles Puza is highlighting four common types of dark circles — wrinkles, volume loss, vascular and hyperpigmentation — and treatment options for these eyesores. TikTok/@drcharlesmd1
NYC dermatologist Dr. Charles Puza is highlighting four common types of dark circles — wrinkles, volume loss, vascular and hyperpigmentation — and treatment options for these eyesores. TikTok/@drcharlesmd1

Wrinkles or crepey skin

Crepey skin, which looks dry and wrinkled, can often be attributed to sun damage.

“Look for the hero ingredient of retinoids to rebuild that collagen,” Puza advised.

As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen gives the skin elasticity. Collagen production decreases as you age.

Crepey skin, which looks dry and wrinkled, can often be attributed to sun damage. Getty Images
Crepey skin, which looks dry and wrinkled, can often be attributed to sun damage. Getty Images

Volume loss

“Volume loss,” Puza explained, causes a “hollowing” of the skin.

He recommends looking for ingredients that increase hydration, such as squalane, peptides and hyaluronic acid.

Squalane, a saturated oil found in beauty products, offers moisturizing benefits.

Peptides, meanwhile, are amino acids — the building blocks of proteins.

They have been found to reduce inflammation, treat fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin tone and texture.

Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, has been shown to keep skin hydrated and soften the appearance of wrinkles.

Dark circles — which tend to make you look older or more exhausted than you actually are — can be blamed on several factors, including genetics, fatigue, dehydration, stress, alcohol abuse, allergies and smoking. Getty Images
Dark circles — which tend to make you look older or more exhausted than you actually are — can be blamed on several factors, including genetics, fatigue, dehydration, stress, alcohol abuse, allergies and smoking. Getty Images

Vascular

Visible blood vessels are to blame for vascular dark circles, which appear bluish or purplish.

“The hero ingredient you’re gonna look for is caffeine to help constrict those blood vessels,” Puza said.

“I want to teach you which skin care ingredient to look for for each concern so that you can shop anywhere you need to,” Puza told his 1.7 million TikTok followers last month. Getty Images
“I want to teach you which skin care ingredient to look for for each concern so that you can shop anywhere you need to,” Puza told his 1.7 million TikTok followers last month. Getty Images

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces extra melanin, the natural substance responsible for our hair, eye and skin color.

“Look for brighteners — vitamin Calpha hydroxy acids and tranexamic acid,” Puza shared.

Often found in plants and fruits, AHAs exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells.

And tranexamic acid, a synthetic equivalent of the amino acid lysine, inhibits the cells responsible for hyperpigmentation.