Dark circles, crows feet, puffy eyes- what causes them and how can we treat them?

The eyes are said to be the window to the soul and can tell us a lot about our wellness and health. They can also tell us about our age, being one of the first places on the face to show signs of ageing.

I have chosen three of the most common ‘eye’ worries that people ask me about at my clinic: Dark Circles, puffy eyes and crows feet. Let’s find out more:


1: Dark circles: can make us look tired and older than our years but its not just lack of sleep that causes them.


  • Age: Our skin around our eyes becomes thinner as we age due to a loss of fat and collagen. The thinner skin makes the bluish vessels under the eyes more prominent.
  • Tip: Look for collagen boosting eye creams to strengthen the skin. Retinol, which is a Vitamin A derivative, is the superstar of anti-ageing and great for boosting collagen and smoothing eye lines. Other skin boosting ingredients to look for in your eye creams include hyaluronic, niacinamide and vitamin K, which are great for hydrating the skin around the eyes and reducing dark circles.
  • Sun exposure: UVA/UVB rays can be harmful for the skin, especially around the delicate eye area. Sunlight can also increase the natural pigmentation of the skin which makes the dark circles even darker.
  • Tip: Wear SPF protection daily and make sure you wear sunglasses when exposed to the sun.
  • Dark circles are also worsened by dehydration, smoking, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Tip: prevention is better than cure. Cut out those panda eye inducing factors



2: Puffy eyes:

Puffy eyes are caused by a build-up of fluid around the eyes. whilst some degree of puffiness can be normal it can also suggest an underlying problem such as an allergy to your skin products or makeup and even hay fever .

Tip: treat allergy induced puffiness with an over the counter antihistamine such as cetirizine daily.


  • Nasal congestion: if you have a blocked up nose or sinus congestion this can lead to a build-up of fluid around the eyes. Try a decongestant nasal spray to reduce the puffiness.
  • Salt: water retention in the body and around the eyes can be caused by salt in our diet.
  • Tip: don’t add salt to your foods and look for low salt content on your food labels
  • Alcohol: Like salt, alcohol can increase water retention around the eyes.
  • Tip: limit alcohol consumption and aim to have no more than 1-2 units per day ( < 14 units per week) as a female and 2-3 units per day as a male (< 21 units per week).

More Puffy eye tips:

Look for eye creams containing soothing plant extracts. Recent studies show that yeast extract is effective at reducing both puffiness and dark circles. Aloe is a soothing natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant which helps relieve fluid build-up around the eyes.

Nuriss Eye perfecting Contouring cream (£55.00)- a rich source of anti-oxidants, peptides (to improve microcurculation and reduce puffiness and dark circles and also stimulate collagen) arnica (soothing and healing properties), hyaluronic (collagen boosting and hydrating), vitamin K (reduces dark circles)


3:Crows feet

Sadly the eye area is one of the first places we start to show signs of age, with the formation of ‘crows feet’  the wrinkles around your eyes. These pesky wrinkles can make you look older than your years. Depending on the cause of the wrinkles, you may be able to eliminate or significantly reduce them.

What causes them ?

Age is not the not the only thing that causes wrinkles under the eyes. Sun damage, squinting, smiling, smoking, poor diet and overactive muscle movement can cause facial wrinkles. If you notice more wrinkles under one eye, your sleep position may be the culprit. If you sleep more on one side than the other side, pressing that side of your face against the pillow night after night may result in under-eye wrinkles.


Once again prevention is better than cure. Eat plenty of fruit and veg for your daily skin boosting antioxidants, don’t smoke and protect your skin including your eye area from the sun with daily SPF protection and sunglasses.

Over-the-counter eye creams  may also help to reduce your under-eye wrinkles. I recommend using a cream with retinol, which works by neutralising the free radicals in the skin that can contribute to wrinkles, it also helps to boost collagen in the skin. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative much loved by Dermatologists for all sorts of skin conditions.

Look for skin rejuvenating actives such as peptides, stem cells, antioxidants and wrinkle busting hyaluronic. These will work hard to strengthen the skin, boost collagen remodelling and help to soften lines and wrinkles.

Many aesthetic clinics offer skin rejuvenating laser and radiofrequency treatments to stimulate collagen remodelling at a cellular level. Exilis insta-tighten facials and lunchtime laser lift are particular favourites amongst my patients at Nuriss and can reduce crows feet, lines and wrinkles.

For more information visit www.nuriss.co.uk