What are dark eye circles?

The area under the eyes can appear darker due to a variety of reasons that cause hyperpigmentation or thinning of the skin

Dark eye circles may appear bluish, dark brown or black depending on the type of dark eye circles and the skin colour. 

Types of dark circles-min

There are 4 types of dark eye circles:

There are several grades of dark eye circles, as shown in the table below.

Grade 0 - 1

Grade 0 - 1 Dark Eye Circle
No dark circles
Barely perceptible dark circles

Grade 2

Slight dark circles
Slight dark circles

Grade 3

Mild dark circles
Mild dark circles

Grade 4

Grade 4
Mild to moderate, noticeable dark circles

Grade 5

Moderate, obvious dark circles
Moderate, obvious dark circles

Grade 6

Moderate to pronounced dark circles
Moderate to pronounced dark circles

Grade 7

Pronounced, distinct dark circles
Pronounced, distinct dark circles

Grade 8

Pronounced, significant dark discolouration </br> 
Extensive, severe dark discolouration
Pronounced, significant dark discolouration
Extensive, severe dark discolouration

Dark eye circles usually do not indicate anything serious, but many people find them unattractive as it makes their eyes look tired and listless. Hence, people undergo dark eye circles removal for cosmetic reasons to enhance their eyes. 

What causes dark eye circles?

Common misconceptions about dark eye circles are that they are always a result of poor sleep, and that they can be improved with eye creams alone. Unfortunately, the cause and solution tend to be far more complex.

The key physiological factors behind dark eye circles are: 

  • Thinned out skin
  • Increased number or thickness of capillaries
  • Increased pigmentation in the undereye area

In addition, the presence of eye bags or hollowed tear troughs create a shadowing effect which gives the appearance of dark eye circles. These factors are in turn affected by both genetic and external variables, which worsen blood vessel congestion in the undereye. These include: 

  • Stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Hormone changes
  • Rhinitis

Poor lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive sun exposure can lead to accelerated collagen loss and pigment formation, thus worsening dark eye circles.

Needless to say, identifying the correct cause/s of your dark eye circles is essential to a successful treatment outcome. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action after a thorough consultation, where various contributing factors will be explored and discussed in detail. Your expectations, lifestyle, pain tolerance and budget will also be taken into consideration when deciding on an appropriate treatment plan.

What is the difference between dark eye circles vs eye bags vs puffy eyes?

Dark eye circles are caused by pigmentation of the skin on the lower eye area. It may also be caused by dilated capillaries that discolour the skin to make it more prominent. 

Eye bags are caused by sagging skin that create spaces for fat to accumulate, forming a “bag” underneath it. It can be made worse by the accumulation of interstitial fluid that makes the eye bag even more obvious. 

Puffy eyes are when the eyes become swollen and red, usually because of allergies. The body releases histamines in response to the allergens that create a puffy appearance and reddening of the eyes. 

Dark Eye Circles Removal in Singapore by Harmony Aesthetics


Medical Skincare

A customized skincare range will be prescribed to boost collagen production and lighten pigmentation in the undereye area. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential not just on the face but around the eyes as well.


Oral Supplements

Oral Glutathione supplements help to lighten dark eye circles that are mainly contributed by hyperpigmentation since they block the melanin formation pathway. Oral Sunblock supplements help to prevent pigment formation and reduce collagen loss from UV damage.



Spectra XT and PicoPlus lasers work by reducing hyperpigmentation under the eyes. They also stimulate collagen production which helps thicken the superficial skin layer. Vascular lasers like the Dual Yellow and Clarity II brighten up the under-eye area by contracting dilated blood vessels beneath the skin which contributes to a blue-black appearance.



Rejuran is an excellent treatment for improving undereye skin thickness and quality, masking the appearance of blood vessels under the eye. Filler injections improve hollowness in the tear trough area. This is useful in lightening dark eye circles caused by a shadowing effect. Fillers also stimulate collagen production, thus improving skin thickness in the undereye region.

Here is a comparison table for the different types of lasers offered by Harmony to reduce the appearance of your dark eye circles. 

Spectra XT PicoPlus Dual Yellow Clarity II
How it worksPigmentation is shattered into smaller pieces and then cleared naturallyNon-ablative laser that uses shorter 450 picosecond pulses with less photothermal effect (less side effects) and higher photoacoustic effect (more energy) to shatter pigmentation into smaller fragments that are more easily removed.Yellow (578nm) and green (511nm) laser lights to reduce redness, treat pigmentation and other skin issues.High-powered 755/1064nm dual wavelength laser that breaks down stubborn melanin particles and shrinks abnormally dilated blood vessels.
Pain levelLittle discomfort – tiny warm pricks  

Cold air blower can be used to minimise discomfort
Little discomfort – tiny warm pricks  

Cold air blower can be used to minimise discomfort
Minimal to no discomfort. Warm sensation.  

Little discomfort – Warm sensation
Side effects and DowntimeMild redness for under an hour  

No downtime
Mild redness and/or itchiness that goes away within a few hours  

No downtime
Mild rednessthat goes away within an hour  

No downtime
Redness, that goes away in under an hour  

No downtime
Duration of treatment15 min15 min15 min15-30 min
Number of treatments neededResults may be seen in 2-3 sessions, but it can take up to 10 sessions for significant results to be visible5-10 sessions5-10 sessions3-5 sessions