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Skin Res Technol. 2016 Aug;22(3):276-83. doi: 10.1111/srt.12258. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Classification by causes of dark circles and appropriate evaluation method of dark circles.

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Ellead Skin and Bio Research, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.
Department of Dermatology, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.



Dark circles refer to a symptom that present darkness under the eyes. Because of improvement in the quality of life, the dark circles have been recognized as one of major cosmetic concerns. However, it is not easy to classify the dark circles because they have various causes.


To select suitable instruments and detailed evaluation items, the dark circles were classified according to the causes through visual assessment, Wood's lamp test, and medical history survey for 100 subjects with dark circles. After the classification, were newly recruited for instrument conformity assessment. Through this, suitable instruments for dark circle evaluation were selected. We performed a randomized clinical trial for dark circles, a placebo-controlled double-blind study, using effective parameters of the instruments selected from the preliminary test.


Dark circles of vascular type (35%) and mixed type (54%), a combination of pigmented and vascular types, were the most common. Twenty four subjects with the mixed type dark circles applied the test product (Vitamin C 3%, Vitamin A 0.1%, Vitamin E 0.5%) and placebo on randomized split-face for 8 weeks. The effective parameters (L*, a, M.I., E.I., quasi L*, quasi a* and dermal thickness) were measured during the study period. Result showed that the L* value of Chromameter(®) , Melanin index (M.I.) of Mexameter(®) and quasi L* value obtained by image analysis improved with statistical significance after applying the test product compared with the placebo product.


We classified the dark circles according to the causes of the dark circles and verified the reliability of the parameter obtained by the instrument conformity assessment used in this study through the efficacy evaluation. Also based on this study, we were to suggest newly established methods which can be applied to the evaluation of efficacy of functional cosmetics for dark circles.


causes; classification; dark circles; evaluation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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