It’s the circles of life.

An NYC-based 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 skincare 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, shares his solutions to these unsightly spots in his 35-second TikTok, which has drawn more than 120,800 views.

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 advises.

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

Volume loss

“Volume loss,” Puza explains, 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.


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.


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

“Look for brighteners — vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) 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.

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