Long hours in front of screens, and late nights are common for the modern urbanite. Sure, dark circles under eyes are often covered by concealers, but is there a more permanent solution? What are the causes of dark circles, and are there treatments?

Panda-eyed urbanites blame their dark eye circles on long hours sitting in front of computer screens, endless late nights and poor sleep quality. But are they blaming the wrong causes for their dark eye circles?

Dark eye circles refer to darkening of the skin under our lower eyelids. They are common in both men and women. These dark circles often form glaring features on our faces because they make us appear older and more tired than we actually are, and this has social implications that go beyond simply “looking tired”.

Dark eye circles are a result of mainly 2 factors – blood vessel congestion and engorgement – which often gives a dark bluish, greenish, or purplish hue on the inner corner of our under eyes; and hyperpigmentation, which is increased pigment formation or deposition under the eye.

As we age, dark eye circles become worse because the skin around our eyes are the thinnest. Thinning of the skin here not only makes the blood vessels and capillaries in our skin more visible, it also allows the skin to crease more easily, giving rise to fine lines. Often, it is also one of the most sun-exposed areas on our face, hence the higher risk of developing pigmentary problems.

Additionally, there are certain things that can worsen dark eye circles. For example:

  • Lack of sleep or poor sleeping habits – as this leads to venous congestion and puffiness in the under eye.
  • Allergies which can cause vessel dilatation and accumulation of blood.
  • Overexposure to sunlight increasing pigment formation.
  • Ageing which thins the skin in the under eye.
  • Smoking that causes premature ageing of the skin.
  • Inherited genetics, wherein some people just have dark circles from a young age.

So, how do we improve the area around our eyes?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to improving eye beauty. The choice of treatment is heavily dependent on the major factor causing the appearance of dark circles, as well as the severity of the dark circles. Often, the best approach is one that is customized to the appearance of your dark circles.

Possible treatments include:

1. Topical eye creams

Eye creams generally try to address dark circles by targeting a few different issues. Often, they will contain an active ingredient to reduce dyspigmentation, and one to reduce puffiness – often caffeine. Lastly, a moisturizer base to provide moisture to the thin skin in the under-eye area. Avoid using creams that are too rich as these may precipitate the formation of milia in the under eye.

2. Pigment lasers

This group of lasers target the melanin pigments in the under-eye area. Often used in conjunction with bleaching creams, they help brighten the under-eye area by reducing the dark coloured melanin, helping to brighten the under-eye area.

3. Vascular lasers

Vascular lasers address dark eye circles by shrinking down the fine vessels in the under-eye area that give rise to the appearance of venous congestion. It often requires a few treatments to see more lasting results.

4. Fillers

Under-eye fillers are used often to mask the appearance of blood vessels in the under eye as well as to correct any volume deficiency in the tear trough so that the reflection of light can prevent a shadow forming in the tear trough. This should be done by a certified medical professional as the tear trough can be a sensitive area. This often provides instant improvement to the periorbital area.

5. Botulinum toxin (Botox)

The neuromodulating Botox can be used to soften the expression lines around the eyes, while providing a bit of relaxation to the muscles at the sides of the eye. This allows the eyes to look brighter, and reduces the tired look around the eyes.

6. Collagen stimulating skin injectables

As our skin loses collagen with ageing, the dermis also thins. By using skin injectables such as polynucleotide injections or hyaluronic acid injections, we can not only improve hydration, thickness and skin elasticity in the under eye, but also repair damage to skin cells and stimulate collagen production.

7. Energy based devices

Skin tightening energy-based devices such as Thermage can be used to tighten lax skin around the eyes, especially over the upper and lower lids. They can also stimulate the production of collagen which helps to reverse some of the changes that age related collagen loss brings.

8. Surgery

Of course, in severe cases of eyelid drooping or excess skin laxity, surgery may be the best option. It may also be an option to consider in people with severe eye bags.

Tag: Dark Eye Circle Treatment

Dry skin is no fun to deal with wherever it crops up. When it happens under the eye, it can be especially bothersome. Not only does it make us look tired, it also can cause concealers and make up to cake. 

What causes dry skin under the eyes? 

The skin under our eye is thinner and more delicate than on other parts of the body. This also means that it is not as able to retain moisture and is more susceptible to drying out. This can lead to flaky skin which can become itchy, irritated, red, and discoloured. Chronic dry skin can also affect elasticity which can lead to early fine lines and wrinkles. The good news though is that we can manage this and prevent it from happening again. 

How to treat and care for dry skin under our eyes? 

Start by simplifying your beauty routine. The right products along with consistent cleansing and hydrating goes a long way. 

1. Avoid harsh products 

Overuse and overzealous regular use of cleansers and skincare products such as scrubs, deep cleansers and peels that contain harsh chemicals or alcohol can seriously dry out your skin. The skin around your eye is especially susceptible to this. 

2. Be consistent 

Make a habit of washing your face once in the morning and once at night. Switch to a mild or soap free facial cleanser and use gentle strokes with lukewarm water instead of hot water. Lightly dab your moisturizer or eye cream onto the sensitive eye area. Also, it is especially important to remove makeup before going to bed. 

3. Reduce oxidative stress to your skin 

This includes reducing the booze and the tobacco, protecting your skin against the harsh effects of ultraviolet rays (UV). Other lifestyle factors changes you can make include not rubbing beneath your eyes, using only lukewarm water on your face, avoid reapplying under-eye makeup too often and always using clean makeup brushes. 

4. Look after your diet

Adequate hydration is essential for health. It is also a good countermeasure against dry skin. Make sure you get enough antioxidant-rich foods and avoid overly processed foods, refined carbohydrates and soda drinks. 

These are some measures that can help us delay the onset of fine lines and devitalized looking eyes. A skincare routine that is easy to commit to in the morning and night will treat existing dry skin and prevent it from tipping over to becoming a chronic issue. 

If it does not improve however, it is important to speak to your doctor. Get it looked at to rule out any underlying medical issue, and to seek advice regarding more heavy duty measures such as polynucleotide, hyaluronic acid injectables or fillers that the doctors may advise to help with it.

Also on this site: Mole Removal Singapore, Botox Singapore

Many people are bothered by eye bags and dark circles that make them look tired or older than their age, but the thought of surgery and general anaesthesia deter many from seeking treatment. Unknown to many however, eye bags can be treated without going under the knife. 

What are the causes of eye bags?

To treat eye bags correctly and effectively, we first have to look at the exact reason causing the appearance of the eye bags and dark circles. 

Various factors that can contribute to the appearance of fatigue and age in the area around the eyes include:

  1. Sagging of fat, skin around the ligaments under the eye, 
  2. Resorption of bones in the cheek, 
  3. Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes due to lax skin and over activity of muscles around the eyes,
  4. Drooping of the upper eye lids,
  5. Pigmentation or venous congestion around the eye 
  6. Prominence of the muscle surrounding the eye leading to shadowing, as well as 
  7. Thinning of the skin around the eye. 

These, singularly or in combination lead to tired, old and unattractive looking eyes. 

How can eye bags be removed with no surgery?

A multifactorial problem will need to be treated with a multi-faceted approach. This applies to both non-surgical and surgical treatments of eye bags/ dark circles. 

For non-surgical treatment of eye bag removal, dark circle removal to rejuvenate the eye area, treatments that may be used include: 


Filler injection around the eye is a quick and effective way to improve the appearance of eye bags and shadowing around the eye. With the correct choice of fillers and injection techniques, fillers placed around the cheeks, temples and under eye area can immediately lift and rejuvenate tired looking eyes. 


Botox treatment around the eye typically targets 2 main issues around the eyes: 

a. wrinkles around the eyes,
b. droopy brows

The treatment is aimed at reducing fine lines and wrinkles around the eye as well as lifting the eyebrows to provide a younger looking appearance around the eyes. 

Polynucleotide and hyaluronic acid injections – Skin boosters, Rejuran, Rejuran i (eye). 

Rejuran and/or skin booster injections around the eye can be used to improve hydration and simultaneously stimulate collagen production. This is important as the skin around the eyes is thin and ages quicker than the other parts of the face.
By improving the quality and health of skin around the eye, we may delay premature ageing of the skin in the long run while providing hydration for brighter looking eyes. 


There are many lasers that have been used to treat multiple skin problems.
Specific to the eyes, 3 main lasers can be used to treat the area around the eyes:
i. PICO laser
Pigment lasers such as PICO laser can be used to treat pigmentation in the under eye area, to lighten the appearance of dark circles. PICO laser can also improve the skin texture and tighten the skin around the eyes to reduce fine lines and the appearance of tired eyes.
ii . Fractional lasers (clear+brilliant)
These lasers are fractional ablative lasers that penetrate the skin superficially to create multiple microthermal zones which help the skin in the under eye area purge unwanted pigments as well as stimulate collagen production which can thicken the dermis giving rise to tightening and firming of the skin in the under eye area
iii. Vascular lasers
Vascular lasers are useful in treating dark circles that are due to venous congestion underneath the eye bags

Ultherapy (Microfocused Ultrasound or HIFU)

Microfocused ultrasound or high intensity focused ultrasound is a medical technology that uses an acoustic lens to concentrate beams of ultrasound into deeper layers of skin to stimulate new collagen for skin tightening. Treatment around the eyes can help in brow lifting for more energetic looking eyes, and to tighten skin in the under eye area, to reduce the signs of ageing around the eyes. 

Magnetic multipolar radiofrequency (RF) treatment

Radiofrequency (RF) is a very useful treatment around the eyes to improve blood circulation, as well as tighten the skin around the eyes.  This helps to reduce the puffiness and swelling in the under eye area, as well as reduce the appearance of dark circles. 

Is non-surgical eye bag removal better than surgery?

Surgery remains the gold standard in terms of eye bag removal and results are more permanent than non-surgical options.

However, surgery also has its downsides, such as the need for anaesthesia, more serious complications, it is irreversible and will not correct other volume loss in the face.

Non-surgical options are a good bridge for people who may want more time in considering their options, for people who may not be sure if eye bag removal will necessarily be suitable for them, as well as those who may not be ready for a permanent look. 

Which treatment is suitable for treatment of my eye bags?

No eye bag or dark circle is the same. Decision on the most suitable form of non-surgical treatment will require careful assessment of the eyes, as well as an in-depth discussion with the patient regarding the desired outcome, risks or side effects of the procedure, as well as the projected downtime. A treatment plan customized to the patient will usually yield a much better result than standard off the rack treatment packages. 

How long do the effects last? Is the eye bag removal permanent?

With non-surgical eye bag removal, the duration that effects last typically depends on the treatment undertaken as well as upkeep and maintenance of the skin after treatment. Certain benefits obtained from non-surgical treatment may confer a lasting benefit to the appearance around the eyes, whilst some will require regular maintenance treatments. This will usually be discussed by the treating physician with the patient. 

Is there any downtime/ recovery time from non surgical eye bag removal treatments?

Again, as treatment may be multi-faceted and use a myriad of modalities, the downtime/ recovery time from non-surgical eye bag removal may vary from none to about a week. This is generally much shorter and more acceptable compared to downtime from surgical eye bag removal. 

How do I find the most suitable doctor for eye bag treatment in Singapore?

The one important take-home message for patients considering non-surgical eye bag removal is to find a doctor or clinic that can offer a comprehensive range of lasers and treatments. 

“A multifactorial problem will need to be treated with a multi-faceted approach.”

Eye rejuvenation is a multifactorial problem and will generally require a full range of treatment to achieve the best results. 

Eye Rejuvenation treatment requires professional assessment, proper treatment planning and customization of treatment based on individual needs. 

If you wish to improve your eye bags/ dark circles, visit us at S Aesthetics Clinic to speak to our doctors.

Tags: Botox Singapore, Eye Bag Removal Singapore