Skin & Fragrance Blog by Thom Watson

Skin Explained: Under-Eye Darkness and Dark Circles

Dark circles and under-eye darkness are one of the most common skin concerns affecting men. They make us look tired, exhausted, lacking in energy and unhealthy – however much of this is or isn’t true!

What it is

Dark circles and under-eye darkness manifest themselves as dark areas, almost like bruises, under the eye area. They’re really hard to cover up with makeup usually and are one of the biggest annoyances to men.

Why it happens

Lymph fluid.

Our body has a secondary circulatory system called the lymphatic system. It’s essentially the body’s waste disposal system. Once the body has treated or repaired something, lymph fluid swarms in and takes away all the remaining waste. This fluid is then transported back to the lymph nodes (glands).

All this results in swelling which is why certain areas can become inflamed and is also why our glands swell up on our necks when we’re ill.

Lymph fluid is the cause of dark circles under the eyes. The nearest drainage point is in the corner of our noses on the side of each nostril (the place that when you push causes you to snot up a little) but often the fluid doesn’t get that far. Instead lying stagnant and dark under the eyes.

This can be caused by lack of sleep, poor diet, very often lack of exercise but unfortunately sometimes, as in the case of many south-Asian men and women, it’s genetic/hereditary.

How to treat it


This is the best way to get rid of dark circles. Despite what a cream tells you.

A dark circle cream can only condition the skin, conceal and/or brighten the eye area with reflectors. Instead, you want to massage the area to boost the flow of lymph circulation.

There’s a very specific method you can use, that I resort to quite often, that’s used by so many men and women in east-Asia. The YouTube video below from PracticalSkintuition is a perfect tutorial of what to do: