Troubleshooting Periorbital Dark Circles and Eye Bags: What are they? And how can plant-derived ingredients help?

Troubleshooting Periorbital Dark Circles and Eye Bags: What are they? And how can plant-derived ingredients help?

What are Dark circles and Eye Bags?

    Dark circles around eyes or eye bags (aka periorbital dark circles) are an increasingly common skin problem affecting young people, as well as the elderly. There are a multitude of reasons why people develop the appearance of darkened skin and/or bags, such as:

    • Age
    • Sleep deprivation
    • Dehydration
    • Hereditary factors
    • Hormonal changes
    • Nutritional deficiencies
    • Allergic Reactions
    • Excessive sun exposure
    • Mental/physical stress and smoking

    As we age, dark circles or eye bags may start to appear by virtue of thinning skin. This thinning is mostly attributable to the natural loss of collagen and fat as a function of compromised protein synthesis and cellular repair as we age (via telomere shortening). Eventually, subdermal tissue and periorbital veins (dark veins around the eyes) start to show through this thin barrier, creating the appearance of darker, sunken skin or bags around our eyes. However, there are many other reasons as listed above — and others not listed that may contribute to this appearance.

    Before discussing cosmetic treatments, it is important to address some of the things we can proactively do to help prevent this occurrence. One such factor contributing to dark circles in many people is sleep deprivation. Let’s find out why this is so important…

    When we are sleep deprived our bodies are unable to repair tissue as blood circulation and protein synthesis become compromised (more on this later). If this is not enough to make you want to take that extra nap today, consider that sleep deprivation will also increase steroidal compounds that reduce proper blood flow to the eyes, resulting in deoxygenated blood, as most available blood will then be transported to muscles and other major organs instead. Sadly, this leaves our eye areas to fend for themselves. The ultimate result: dark circles and bags, or periorbital dark circles — with or without the use of skincare products.

    Combine sleep deprivation with age related impaired protein synthesis and we have serious bags, problems, darkness, hallucinations, zebras fighting unicorns, and…just get some sleep, ok? 💤

    Another simple action we can take before resorting to skincare products is to drink water. Like any other organ in our body staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your health, including your eyes. If dehydrated, proper blood flow and skin hydration will be impaired causing those dark subdermal tissues and veins to show through. However, this appearance is usually temporary (we will discuss this in the next few articles in more detail). 

    Last, but not least, nutrition (eating foods rich in vitamins B12, C, E, K, iron if anemic, lycopene in tomatoes and anthocyanin in dark berries), limiting excessive sun exposure (to prevent excess melanin production), quitting smoking, and taking time to relax are sure fire ways we can improve not just those bags, but our overall general health, appearance, mood and safety. Now, for the good stuff…


    How do we treat those Dark Circles and Eye Bags?

    Dark Circles have a multitude of different solutions, but many people are beginning to opt for plant-derived products rather than other potentially harmful alternatives. Here are some of the best plant-based ingredients for Dark Circles and Eye Bags that we have selected and recommend:  


    1. Hyaluronic Acid (HA)


    Hyaluronic acid (HA), or hyaluronan, is produced naturally in our bodies as well as in plants. Contrary to popular belief HA is actually a hydrophilic polysaccharide (water loving sugar), or if you want to get technical, it is considered a non-sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG), a type of mucopolysaccharide.

    Ok, whatever, tongue twisting organic chemistry aside, HA plays a vital role in retaining water and hydrating your skin (Fig. 1). It is great for use as a humectant, meaning it will retain/keep water within the skin as a means of hydration — like wetting a sponge (Fig. 1). This unique characteristic of HA plays an important role in keeping your skin looking full, smooth, vibrant and firm (Fig. 1). It also greatly helps with elasticity and significantly enhances your body’s ability to synthesize and use collagen. In other words, this is great for those periorbital dark circles and bags. Dark circles and bags? HA says, “Hi!” 👋

    In addition, hyaluronic acid in our bodies has the unique ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water due to hydrogen binding between its carboxyl and N-acetyl groups, making it a must have humectant [1]. But that’s not all, as one of its most impressive feats is that it also prevents this same water from escaping, due to the hydrophilic properties of these hydrogen bonds (remember that wet sponge?). This is just amazing stuff!  This polysaccharide (type of sugar) can also be found in citrus fruits and root vegetables - like potatoes, onions, carrots, etc.

    But, not so fast! Unfortunately, as we age, we sadly lose naturally occurring HA, collagen and elastin (Fig. 2). And to add further insult to injury, it only has a half-life of about 1-3 days, therefore time becomes our skin’s kryptonite. Because of this, HA needs to be supplemented regularly as the years pass by (daily use is ok). However, despite these minor shortcomings this does not mean we are completely Sugar Out of Luck.

     Many foods — some just mentioned above — and various plant derived skincare products can be great sources to supplement adequate levels of hyaluronic acid with. And just because you are young and producing copious amounts of HA doesn’t mean you should neglect the start of a normal routine using this amazing product now. In fact, there is evidence to support those who start a skincare regimen in their teens and early 20’s may significantly slow the progression and appearance of aging as the years go by [2].

    On a similar note, a study involving 33 women (average age = 45.2 years) who applied low molecular weight HA topically 2 times per day for eight consecutive weeks showed up to a 40% decrease in wrinkle depth and up to a 55% increase in firmness and elasticity compared to the placebo group showing this polysaccharide’s amazing ability to fight against the appearance of aging [3]. And yes, this is significant evidence that HA will combat those dark circles or eye bags. The science and data speak for themselves despite what other sites may claim.

    At Picasso Skin we strictly adhere to science and real world experience to make informed decisions when recommending products. Until the scientific community overwhelmingly states otherwise, we will maintain our stance on the amazing benefits of HA.



    Check out the study here:


    Who can/should and should not use hyaluronic acid?

    1. Most people and all skin types can.
    2. Best for people with dry skin.
    3. Those with acne can and should.
    4. Those with wrinkles and aging issues can and should.
    5. Those who want to keep their skin looking full, firm, vibrant and elastic can/should.
    6. Those with dark circles under their eyes due to thinning skin can/should.
    7. Those with eczema or rosacea should consult with their dermatologist or doctor first.

    How to use HA:

    1. Apply morning and/or night during your normal skincare routine (can be used and/or purchased alone, in creams, serums, etc.)
    2. Apply moisturizer post application (if moisturizer is infused with HA, then use in place of HA alone at normal stage of moisturizing).
    3. Can be used with just about any skincare product.



           2. Shea Butter

    Shea butter is derived from the seeds of the Vitellaria paradoxa tree found in West Africa and is found to have plant phenolic compounds (compounds that exhibit strong antioxidant properties). In addition — despite the fact that shea butter is derived from a nut — allergic reactions to this awesome seed oil extract are rare, making it very safe for just about everyone and all skin types.

    Shea butter is an all-natural, do-it-all product due to its content of hydrating palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and arachidic fatty acids; antioxidant vitamins A, E and F; nourishing triglycerides, anti-inflammatory cetyl esters, and collagen protecting triterpenes which originate from squalene (also found in shea butter). This incredible seed extract may also harbor antibacterial properties as well as help boost collagen production. In addition, it is also known to prevent the breakdown of collagen already present in our skin due to its high vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) and triterpene content.

    Speaking of vitamin A (found in shea butter and other plants)…

    Plant based Vitamin A — a provitamin A carotenoid — is known to play a role in strengthening and stimulating the cells of the dermis layer of our skin via β-carotene (found in shea butter). β-carotene is one of 3 forms of carotenoids called provitamin A carotenoids that can be converted by the body to retinol (true vitamin A). All types of carotenoids are part of a family of chemicals called phytonutrients. In total, there are more than 600 identified types of carotenoids [4].

    In humans, carotenoids play a role in our antioxidant defense system. Being a provitamin A carotenoid, β-carotene may also be considered an antioxidant; and a very powerful one at that. When applied to human skin, β-carotene acts synergistically with other naturally occurring antioxidants to form a strong response against many harmful free radicals. It simply inhibits the oxidation of molecules from free radicals by donating electrons, thus rendering them harmless and stable. In addition, this carotenoid may even reduce the risk of cancer [4].

    One of β-carotene’s unique features is that it is also a precursor to vitamin A (retinol) and can be converted to this particular retinoid depending on our body’s needs. α-Carotene and β-cryptoxanthin are the other two forms of provitamin A carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A (retinol) as well. Once converted, this retinoid (retinol) is able to deeply penetrate into the dermis (middle layer) portion of our skin [4]. While present in this layer, it begins to neutralize free radicals actively damaging our cells — including those fibroblast cells. Once repaired and functioning again, our fibroblast cells boost up production of fibrous collagen proteins, “stretchy” elastin proteins and glycosaminoglycans (such as hyaluronic acid), thus paving the way to a younger, fuller, and more vibrant looking appearance.

    Considering the benefits described above and the fact that shea butter itself is a humectant, occlusive and emollient all in one, our skin should look as good and supple as new with tens of thousands of new cells proliferating each day. This is great news for those eyes!

    Most often this nutrient rich wonder ingredient is used as an emollient, meaning it protects, softens, and soothes our skin in a similar way that natural sebum does. However, as mentioned above, shea butter is also very diverse in that it has humectant and occlusive properties as well. Being a humectant means it retains moisture, whereas being an occlusive means it will trap this same moisture within the skin via a hydrophobic (water repelling) protective barrier, thus preventing Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). TEWL is the loss of water through various factors within the body and its interaction with the outside environment.

    With so many amazing benefits of shea butter — and so many we haven’t discussed in detail — such as its healing properties, UV protection (via carotenoids) and more, it is easy to see why this plant-derived ingredient ranks high on our list of products to use for those dark circles, bags and more.

    It is important to note however, and out of an abundance of caution, a few contraindications and/or risks (may) exist with shea butter (probably not though):

    • May be comedogenic (probably not though due to its low comedogenic rating)
    • Very rare chance of allergic reaction
    • Any other risks (if there are any) are so rare that nothing has ever been officially documented (that we know of) – including the previous two “risks” listed above.



    Shea butter is great for (but not limited to):

    1. Moisturizing
    2. Treating acne and blemishes
    3. Reducing inflammation
    4. Anti-aging
    5. Elasticity
    6. Preserving and boosting collagen production via provitamin A carotenoid (as explained) and triterpenes (compounds that may also deactivate collagen fiber destruction).
    7. Possible cell regeneration

    How to use Shea Butter:

    1. Can use it raw, in creams, lotions, etc.
    2. Anyone can use it on any type of skin when skin feels dry - (do not use in the rare event you are allergic to it)
    3. Use as much as you want to moisturize.
    4. Can leave on overnight - (debate on whether it is comedogenic)

    Do you wish those periorbital dark circles and bags would just go away? Just shea it and your wish will come true. Sorry, couldn’t resist…



         3. Argania Spinosa (Argan) kernel oil

    Argania Spinosa (Argan) kernel oil is extracted from the kernel seeds of the Argania spinosa plant, native to Morocco in the semidesert Sous valley in the southwest part of the North African nation. It is also found in the region of Tindouf in southwestern Algeria, a nation also in Northern Africa. This unique plant and its nutrient rich seeds harbor many beneficial skin secrets and specialties that make it a must-have staple in your skincare regimen.

    Argan is absolutely loaded with α-Tocopherols (vitamin E), Polyphenols (Ferulic acid), Triterpene (antioxidant), other antioxidants, fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic and palmitic acid; phytosterols and squalene. This power packed kernel oil also carries anti-aging and moisturizing benefits as well. It is easy to see why this plant-derived ingredient is not only great for dark circles, but for general skin health and appearance, as evidenced by its impressive ingredient profile we will discuss below:


    • α-Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

    α-Tocopherol (α-Toc) is one of 8 derivative forms of vitamin E and the most abundant form in human skin [5]. Vitamin E, which is synthesized and derived from plants, is often described as an “antioxidant superhero” on its own. This vitamin is arguably one of the most powerful antioxidants known to humans (Fig. 3 below, shows how antioxidants work).

    Based on multiple studies, α-Toc may have the ability to significantly protect against UV-induced free radical damage as well as damage caused by pollution to our amazing, yet sometimes vulnerable skin. This powerful vitamin is also considered an excellent moisturizer and exhibits a significant anti-inflammatory response when topically applied to damaged skin.

    The benefits of this form of vitamin E are quite extensive, as evidenced by multiple studies. One study, involving 98 patients prone to acne vulgaris, showed a significant reduction in the formation of comedones when α-tocopherol was combined with vitamin C [5]. In a separate report from the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, dark circles were moderately reduced when applying a topical gel containing 2% phytonadione, 0.1% retinol, 0.1% vitamin C and 0.1% vitamin E [5].

    Due to α-tocopherol’s hydrophilic properties, it can be used as both a humectant and an emollient by drawing moisture into the skin and sealing it there creating a soft, full, smooth, and hydrated look and feel. In addition, with its many antioxidant properties, this vitamin has the ability to protect fibroblast cells in the skin which are largely responsible for synthesizing elastin and structural collagen. Therefore, it plays a major role in maintaining structure and skin elasticity.

    Vitamin E (α-Toc) also has major implications on anti-aging, wrinkle reduction and filling in thinning skin as a result of its many benefits and synergistic properties as described above. Couple this with triterpene (also found in Argan oil) and its associated compounds known to deactivate collagen fiber destruction and there seem to be endless synergistic benefits taking place in one product. Thus, we see why this plant and seed has rightfully earned its name, “Liquid Gold of Morocco.”

    Argania spinosa kernel oil truly possesses a stellar combination of ingredients, whether working synergistically or solo. One must consider using this plant-derived “cosmetic wonder” as a part of their anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, collagen boosting, elasticity improving, hydrating, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, UV protecting, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, moisturizer (using both emollient and humectant properties) plus dark eye and bag repair product package all in one.

    Did someone say dark circles or eye bags? What are we discussing again? Supple skin? Where are we?

    Ok, as good as it sounds, there’s more, much more to Argan oil…


    • Polyphenols (Ferulic acid in focus)

    Polyphenols are naturally plant derived. They can be found in food sources such as fruits, vegetables, berries, plums, apples, beans, nuts, dark chocolate, and the list goes on and on and of course, Argan oil. Polyphenols are considered antioxidants that exhibit special and unique characteristics as we’ll soon find out (fig. 3 below, how antioxidants work).

    This brings us to a particular and very cool polyphenol friend of ours called Ferulic Acid (FER). Ferulic acid (a polyphenol antioxidant) is unique in the way that it acts with other antioxidants when used in skincare. Like some kind of natural miracle, we have another amazing ingredient that actually works synergistically in our favor. This crazy antioxidant has no fear of free radicals or obstacles that stand in its way because it simply has too many friends with electrons to spare.

    What does this mean? Well, when in the presence of harmful/damaging free radicals, our old friend FER over there simply gives his or her antioxidant friends a pep talk, gets them rallied up and they work side by side in tandem to donate extra electrons to easily convert those unwanted, pesky free radicals into harmless stable substances (see fig. 3, image to the left). Next, the former radicals finally leave our cells alone and allow us to age properly. 

    Some of FER’s antioxidant friends are vitamins A, C, and E (remember α-tocopherol? The vitamin E we just discussed above?). Yeah, ferulic acid is friends with this vitamin too, good friends actually.

    Ferulic acid also has very good anti-aging properties on its own, but in all honesty, we still may owe most of our gratitude to α-tocopherol, who we just learned above is one of the most powerful antioxidants known. That’s not to say ferulic acid isn’t an awesome ally to have, because it certainly is, and for many reasons.

    Let's explain why…

    One reason we want this polyphenol antioxidant on our side is because it simply works well with the other antioxidants we previously discussed. It is excellent at working in tandem with them and simply magnifies their efficacy as a unit (you know, strength in numbers?). These antioxidants, when working together — especially with vitamin A — travel deep into the dermis, like armed, tactical troops ready to methodically and systematically stop and even help reverse the oxidative damage done to our cells via those free radical enemies. As a result, our fibroblast cells are better protected and able to resume normal operations. As we recall, healthy fibroblast cells synthesize collagen and the extracellular matrix which includes elastin. Add some hyaluronic acid into the mix, and, well..

    Enough said!


    “What does this mean? Well, when in the presence of harmful/damaging free radicals, our old friend FER over there simply gives his or her antioxidant friends a pep talk, gets them rallied up and they work side by side in tandem to donate extra electrons to easily convert those unwanted, pesky free radicals into harmless stable substances. Next, the former radicals finally leave our cells alone and allow us to age properly.”



    • Phytosterols (type of phytosteroid)

    As mentioned before, the wonders of Argania Spinosa (Argan) kernel oil are far from over in this section. If you ever wanted a gift that keeps on giving, Argan oil may be it. It is loaded with goodies! Aside from all the wonders we have already discussed, this plant also harbors phytosteroids in the form of phytosterol, which is somewhat analogous to cholesterol in its composition [6]. You might ask: “cholesterol?!” However, there is no need to panic. Well, unless you plan on eating your skincare products that is. Even so, ingesting plant based phytosterols could actually be heart healthy. But, please don’t get any ideas because there are many other “nasties” in your products that may not be so beneficial to your health and survival. Staying alive and staying healthy is a good thing and should be our goal.

    Hungry yet? Try eating broccoli, red onions, carrots, corn, nuts, seeds, and many other plant-based whole foods instead, as they contain copious amounts of these heart healthy compounds and are great for your skin and those baggy eyes.

    Phytosterols, as mentioned above, are plant-derived compounds that occur naturally as free alcohols and fatty acid esters. They closely resemble the structure of cholesterol, as both have C-5 double bonds and a 3 β-hydroxyl group in their chemical structure but differ only in their carbon (C) side chains at the C-24 position [6]. In addition, depending on the specific phytosterol, it may or may not include a double covalent bond. A covalent bond is simply a bond that involves the sharing of paired electrons between different atoms.

    These amazing compounds are known to block LDL (low density lipoprotein) absorption within the digestive tract. As a result, this LDL, or “bad” cholesterol (some studies suggest LDL may not be so bad) is out competed and blocked, therefore, based on studies, it may have the potential to significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels by as much as 10% [7].

    Aside from ingesting our skincare products (once again, DO NOT do that) and blocking cholesterol, phytosterols also appear to be very good at inhibiting the reduction of collagen synthesis in our fibroblast cells (due to collagenase) post UV exposure, indicating its use in anti-aging products and UV protection (Fig. 4) [7]. According to research this seems to be quite a jim-dandy ingredient when fighting those periorbital dark circles and bags!

    Not only does this amazing compound help block the effects of collagenase on collagen, but it may also aid in the stimulation of collagen production post sun exposure as well (Fig. 4) [8]. There is also significant evidence that, in addition to collagen production, phytosterols may aid in the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in fibroblast skin cells. As we recall, hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. For those of us battling dark circles and bags, this should open up and brighten our eyes with excitement.

    Lastly, as discussed above, the use of phytosterols applied topically to the skin can mimic the protective benefits of cholesterol’s role within this magnificent organ of ours. However, if we were to topically apply cholesterol, and it were absorbed through the stratum corneum (Remember? The thin outer protective layer of the epidermis - or skin - consisting mostly of cells containing keratin and lipids?), we would likely encounter irritation, inflammation and, you guessed it, acne. That certainly doesn’t bode well for our skincare goals.

    So, how can we reap the same benefits as natural cholesterol from within our bodies without the negative side effects? Well, meet our new family friends the Phytosterols that we’ve just heard so much about. They are excellent at mimicking the benefits of cholesterol’s role in skin health, but come without the irritation and other associated side effects.

    Phytosterols, like all the constituents in argan oil, have an abundance of benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, anti-aging effects, improved elasticity, skin hydration and help create smooth vibrant skin to name a few. And best of all, this plant-derived ingredient has been proven safe for use through many studies and is rated so as per the EWG website. This makes its use safe and worthwhile.


    The days of toxic and animal sourced ingredients are gone, stop Argan ‘bout it.



    “Couple that with triterpene (also found in Argan oil) and its associated compounds known to deactivate collagen fiber destruction and there seem to be endless synergistic benefits taking place in one product. Thus, we see why this plant and seed has rightfully earned its name, “Liquid Gold of Morocco.””


    • Squalene (and derived Squalane)



    Squalene - not squalane - is a naturally produced oil constituent of sebum produced along with triglycerides and wax esters by our sebaceous oil glands in the skin. Sadly, it used to be taken from sharks, but thanks to the emergence and advances in plant-based science, we can finally leave our friends of the sea alone and free to roam.

    Squalene is also considered a triterpene, which as we previously discussed, is known for protecting collagen degradation. Natural squalene by itself is lipid based and is great at hydration, but unfortunately, production “slows significantly after the age of 30,” as explained by Samantha Fisher, a board-certified dermatologist, in an interview on

    Squalane (SQ) on the other hand (ending with an “ane”), is the hydrogenated, more shelf-stable derivative of squalene. And, because we are discussing plant-derived ingredients, and we at Picasso Skin Do Not test on animals; and most importantly, we love sharks, we will be sticking strictly to the topics of plant-derived squalene (constituent of sebum) and its hydrogenated derivative squalane.


    Well, we’ll sort it out…

    It is somewhat comforting to know that, at least in the USA, squalane is now almost exclusively derived from plant sourced squalene for ethical reasons (and we are happy about that). One little letter makes all the difference, so be inquisitive and look out for that when searching for these plant-based ingredients.

    When using squalene or squalane, make sure you know their sources and never use them if animal products are suspected ingredients. Look for products containing the phrases like “bio-based,” “plant-based,” “plant-derived,” and so on. Look for plant name ingredients and origins. However, be careful with terms like "natural" and "organic" because definitions of what is natural and organic can have multiple meanings. I mean, what is natural? Is it plant-derived? Sure. But, is shark liver oil not natural as well? It is. Marketing is tricky.

    Anyway, squalene is an amazing, but unstable moisturizer that can also be extracted from olives, wheat, germ oil and rice bran. It is also a constituent of unsaponifiable vegetable oils (cannot be converted to soap), such as olive oils (mentioned above) and amaranth oil [9]. 

    Squalene and its more stable derivative squalane are considered occlusive emollients (previously discussed), meaning they absorb and lock in moisture via a hydrophilic barrier, thus preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). In addition, each ingredient is very similar to the other in terms of chemical composition and function. They both do a wonderful job at preventing fine lines and wrinkles and can be used for spot treatment of dry areas on the skin [10]. However, once squalene (with an ene) is exposed to air, it oxygenates rather quickly, going rancid and becoming somewhat useless. In addition, squalene should not be used for people under the age of 20 due to high levels already present in their bodies during these years.


    "Natural squalene by itself is lipid based and is great at hydration, but unfortunately, production “slows significantly after the age of 30" – Samantha Fisher, MD


    Another thing to consider is that squalene is a poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon (type of lipid) and as a result may become comedogenic for some skin types. However, once hydrogenated into squalane it becomes saturated, stable and non-comedogenic. Plant-derived squalane is also very efficacious when treating acne, but seems to have only very slight antioxidant properties compared to squalene [11]. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both squalane and squalene are unique in that they are very good at mimicking your skin’s natural oils.

    Squalene has also been used safely in an adjuvant (substance that enhances immune response to antigens) which was successfully added to a flu vaccine [12]. Both squalene and squalane have ant-inflammatory properties as well [13]. Squalane has even shown the ability to be a better hydrator than hyaluronic acid!

    Other uses of these fine oils include, but are not limited to, the treatment of skin disorders like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis as noted in studies involving squalene [9]. These plant-based warriors may also protect against UV damage and help regenerate skin cells, making them viable options to try. Due to the poor shelf life of squalene in cosmetics, and its potential to be comedogenic in some people, it is rarely — if ever — included in skincare products before undergoing hydrogenation.   

    Considering plant-derived squalene and its hydrogenated derivative squalane’s use in products related to skin hydration, anti-aging, anti-inflammation, skin barrier protection, fine lines, wrinkles and more, one must consider these options when choosing ingredients used to combat those periorbital dark circles and bags.

    And let’s not forget that regular use of these oils have shown the ability to boost collagen production as well. Both squalene and squalane are safe for most people and can be used on all skin types, but squalane may be additionally beneficial for those with acne and oily skin, as it is non-comedogenic. What more can we say? Is this not enough? Are we not entertained?


    Which do you prefer?


    Our pick: Hands down plant-derived squalane for its stability, non-comedogenic and anti-acne properties, but both have their advantages though.


    Who can use Squalane?

    1. Everyone, all skin types, even sensitive, dry skin and particularly those with oily skin, acne, and inflamed skin conditions (i.e., eczema).
    2. May be very beneficial to start using in your mid-20’s.
    3. Few people will experience an allergic reaction.
    4. Those who need it daily for anti-aging and many other benefits.


    Who can use Squalene (if found alone or within a skincare product at all)?

    1. Everyone, all skin types, even those with extra dry and mature skin due to its thicker consistency when compared to squalane.
    2. May be very beneficial to start using in your mid-20’s and after (would need to quickly use before oxidation occurs in product).
    3. Few people will experience an allergic reaction.
    4. Those who use it for its antioxidant properties.


    How to use Squalane:

    1. Cleanse skin.
    2. Apply any serums next.
    3. Add and massage in a few drops of squalane oil or if it is included in another product remember the general rule of thumb: apply thinnest products first then work your way to the thickest.
    4. Finish with moisturizer (use moisturizer with sunscreen or apply sunscreen after moisturizer if using in the morning).


    So, as we can see, the Argania Spinosia plant is loaded with treats! That's why many of our products contain extracts from this amazing friend of ours.

    Other ingredients to strongly consider for those periorbital dark circles and eye bags are peptides, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), niacinamide, retinol, and many more. We will go over these in much more detail in the next few articles, so stay tuned.


    Periorbital dark circles? Bags? This is not an exhaustive list, but based on the ingredients we selected for this article, we now have a repertoire of options on hand to consider this case closed.




    It is easy to see how periorbital dark circles and eye bags can form. There are a multitude of factors regarding their presence and formation — many of which we haven't discussed (yet). The good news is that in most cases there are steps we can take to manage — and sometimes reverse — their severity and/or appearance.  

    We have learned of only a few ingredients in Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter and Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, however, there are many more alternatives that may be used and we will discuss these in future articles. I am a middle-aged, single father like many people out there and I am certainly not exempt from the stressors of life. I too succumb to the many skin problems we have discussed and will continue to discuss, including periorbital dark circles and eye bags. 

    Two of my favorite Picasso Skin products for this condition are Hyaluronic Eye Remedy and our Oligopeptide Restoring Eye Complex. Both products are loaded with the ingredients we have just learned about and I can tell you first hand that they work wonders for my periorbital appearance. I know, as always, I am going to be a bit partial, however, the truth is my reputation and place within this industry will be destroyed (before I even start) if I am not honest. I am proud to say that these products are life savers for me. I would also like to suggest our Peptide Eye Corrector which we believe will certainly bring a smile to your face when combating those dark circles and eye bags. This is a product that we will discuss in future articles, but I wanted to introduce it to you now because I simply can't wait and can't help myself. It is fast acting and can dramatically improve those dark circles,'ll just have to wait for a few more articles...sorry.

    Lastly, I think it's important to note that appearance alone, whether it is wrinkles, dark circles, acne, etc., are superficial. You are beautiful the way you are, with or without these so called "conditions." I am not a doctor, dermatologist, etc., but just someone with with a background in biological research and a passion for skincare and I think it's important for everyone (including myself) to feel comfortable with who we are, change only what we want to change and/or change for our health, happiness and well being only. My opinion is that if you have periorbital dark circles and or eye bags as a result of an underlying health problem, such as lack of sleep, then it is time to visit your doctor; not for your skin appearance, but for your overall health. I cannot give medical advice, but my honest opinion is that changing your appearance should only be done for your health and your happiness, not because the industry, media, etc., places unnecessary pressure to look a certain way. 

    While we are here for your skincare needs, you must always know you look great the way you are!


    So that ends our second article...hope you have enjoyed! Please feel free to comment below.


    Next article: Fine Lines and Wrinkles.


















    Important: Always remain patient when undergoing any skincare routine. It may take weeks to months and even up to 6 months for some users to see very significant results when using over-the-counter products. We are not doctors or dermatologists and our advice is based off of scientific research, our own experiences, available and reliable literature, safety analysis and our customer experiences. Our recommendations are for informational purposes only, so always contact your dermatologist before using any product or starting a skincare routine of any kind. We are always here for you as we are a company who truly cares about our clients satisfaction. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions you may have. 

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