Peri-orbital hyper-pigmentation, also known as dark circles, is one of the most common skin concerns, and it is anything but appealing. “More than half of my clients and customers, women and men alike, ask about the under-eye circles,” says Frances Thrasher, founder of Kindred Skincare Co., a Delaware-based brand that specializes in oils. “It’s an area that people are sensitive about, as they feel it’s one of the first indicators of fatigue or aging. In addition to dark circles, clients also ask about treating under-eye puffiness.”
A buildup of toxins, stress, allergies, fatigue, sleeplessness, and sun exposure can cause the blood capillaries around the eye to stretch and leak, leaving dark blemishes around the eyes. As the natural skincare movement continues to grow, people are beginning to look for natural eye treatments to restore the vitality and brighten pigmented areas under the eyes. Herbal and plant extracts have long been known to protect the skin and assist the production of collagen, which makes the skin supple and radiant. The anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, astringent, and cleansing properties of essential oils make them the ideal ingredients for skin treatments.
Here, discover a selection of beneficial essential oils that spas can use in facials, massages, and eye-treatments that are beneficial for clients seeking natural treatments to treat dark circles and puffy eyes. Remember, as many essential oils are highly concentrated it is best to dilute with a carrier oil or add to other supplementing ingredients, like clay, shea butter, rose water or aloe gel.
- ALOE: Just like the gel, the nutrients in aloe vera oil moisturizes and reduces inflammation. Spa-goers can benefit from the soothing properties of the oil that can cure capillary dilation. “Aloe increases blood circulation which aids in reducing dark, puffy circles,” says Gabriel De Santino, founder and president of Gabriel Cosmetics. “Enriched with vitamins E, B12, C, and A, aloe vera is soothing, moisturizing, and light enough to apply to delicate skin under the eye.” Spas can enhance the nutritional properties of aloe oil by combining with a carrier oil. “Aloe vera oil has skin-lightening properties as well as antioxidants, and rose geranium oil lightens dark skin and helps soothe irritated skin,” says Thrasher.
- ARGAN: Indigenous to Morocco, argan oil has been part of essential skin and haircare treatments for decades. The array of antioxidants and fatty-acids help skin renewal, especially in the area around the eyes. Spas can help the clients with dark circles with a relaxing massage of rose water as a refreshing skin toner followed by few drops of argan oil, which will leave the skin moisturized, hydrated, and refreshed.
- AVOCADO: The high fatty-acid and vitamin content of avocado oil helps to lighten dark circles. “Avocado has vitamin K which helps lighten dark circles and improve elasticity and resilience of the skin,” says Santino. Combined with almond oil, it works well for alleviating puffiness and controls the leakage of capillaries.
CHAMOMILE: The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile are beneficial for puffy eyes. It pairs well with jasmine, lemon, lavender, and geranium oils. “Chamomile is loaded with antioxidants which accelerate cell and tissue regeneration, helps minimize pores, and has anti-aging properties,” says Santino.
LEMON: The lightening, moisturizing, and astringent properties of lemon oil makes it very beneficial for dark circles. Packed with essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium, and phosphorus, it lightens and renews the cells around the eyes to reduce discoloration and nourish the skin around the eyes. Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen that alleviates wrinkles and boosts skin-elasticity.
MORINGA: Rich in Vitamin C, B and A, moringa oleifera is shown to revitalize skin and protects skin from signs of anti-aging. It is one of the most used oils in the formulation of cosmetic products such as scrubs, ointments, lotions, and balms. Rich vitamin C content in the oil increases production of collagen and reduces dark circles and puffiness. As a lightweight and a non-drying oil, spas can offer moringa oil as an excellent massage oil as it blends easily with other essential oils as a restorative skin treatment.