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How To Get Rid of Dark Circles For Good (Almost)

Ben Hasset

Photographed by Ben Hassett for Vogue Arabia, May 2017

Dark under-eye circles happen to us all, be it after a long-haul flight, a sequence of extra spells in the office, or the early signs of ageing. Naturally, the beauty desk isn’t going to take it without putting up a fight. If you’ve tried all the dark circle remedies on the market to little or no effect, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s now a cosmetic treatment that promises to treat the darkened area of thin skin right below the eyes for up to a year.

But first, what causes dark circles?

“Dark circles can be caused by two factors,” says cosmetic surgeon Dr Roberto Viel from the London Centre of Aesthetic Surgery in Dubai. “The first is a genetic condition that most Arab women deal with, where there’s a deposit of melanin just under the eyes, making the appearance of dark circles. And the other factor is caused by shadows due to the contours of the skin around the eyes, which increase with age.”

What is the treatment?

The procedure is called eyelid rejuvenation with filler, and works by applying facial fillers — such as Restylane or Juvederm — evenly around the caved-in areas and blending it with the surrounding contours, to alleviate the shadows underneath the eyes. The treatment takes up to 30 minutes, and instantly opens up the eyes and rejuvenates the lower eyelid area. But where this technique slightly differs from others, is that the doctor combines the fillers with platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment.

Also known as the “vampire” or “Dracula” facial, PRP requires drawing a small amount of the patient’s blood then using a centrifuge to extract the platelets and plasma, before re-injecting them into the surface of the dermis to rejuvenate the skin. “By combining the two treatments, we can help produce the best possible results,” explains the doctor. “The fillers deal with creating an even surface so light doesn’t fall to create shadows, while the PRP treats the actual pigmentation which lightens the skin’s surface.“ However, it’s important to note that final results of the PRP treatment do not begin to show until two to three weeks after the treatment is done.

Are there any potential side effects?

Following the treatment, patients usually experience little to no downtime. “The great thing about PRP facial rejuvenation is because it is using the patient’s own blood, there is little chance of an allergic reaction,” assures Dr Viel. However, following the treatment, some patients may experience redness (similar to a sunburn) in their skin, which usually subsides after 48 hours.

One of his tips is to opt for a non-permanent, hyaluronic acid-based filler, so that if you’re unhappy with the results you can simply ask your surgeon to dissolve the filler with hyaluronidase. The only thing to note, he says, “is that sometimes, with fillers, there is a small chance of bruising and in rare cases, an infection, which can be treated with antibiotics.”

How long do the results last?

Fillers typically last up to one year before another visit to the doctor’s chair is required. The PRP treatment should be done every three to six months depending on the patient.

The treatment generally costs AED/SAR 3,000 depending on the surgeon. But, Dr Viel suggest that before you book your appointment, do your research on the surgery you intend to attend. “With the fillers, it’s important to visit a reputable surgeon who uses high-quality products, as under the eyes is an extremely delicate area,” he advises.

The London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery is located in Healthcare City, Dubai. For more information, visit

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