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I Have Dark Circles. Can I Use a TCA Peel?

Posted by Jennifer Tilney on Feb 04, 2015

Eyes with dark circles

We answer your questions every day via email, messages, facebook, twitter, and of course, on the phone. We get the "dark circles" question so often that I felt I needed to write a quick post on what you can do to treat it at home.

We have a wonderful TCA Eye Peel Kit and instructional video for you to watch here: 

Can you use a TCA peel for under eye circles?

TCA has been shown to help not only lighten dark circles,but increase skin firmness, improve fine lines and minimize dark spots. Applying a peel is always an option, but you must excercise caution.

  • Always begin by putting a barrier of vaseline/petrolatum jelly right under your lash lines to prevent any seepage into the eye area. Think of Egyptians and their eye liner. A nice line with a Qtip is the easiest way to apply.
  • Only use the lightest percentage available. In this case our TCA 7% or 13% are the mildest formulations. Don't consider using the 20% or 30% for this area. You may dilute your 20 or 30 to a 10% and use that.
  • Always start with only 1 layer only if this is your first peel on the eye area. When you saturate your gauze pad give it a good squeeze so there is no way that solution can potentially drip. Keep it light.
  • Only apply an eye peel one time per month. Give your skin ample time to heal and regenerate between peels. 
  • Next time you do a peel you can consider applying a second layer, and later work up to multiple layers if you need. 
    1. To dilute the 20%. Mix equal parts 20% TCA with distilled or purified water in a separate cup. 
    2. To dilute the 30%. Mix 1 part 30% TCA with 2 parts water.

What are other alternatives to treat dark circles?

Many times a peel is not going to help unless your darkness is a pigmentation issue. Consider using a daily treatment specifically for the eye area alone.

  1. I highly suggest the Eyelift Xpress Caffeine Eye Roller followed by Platinum Eyes Restoration Therapy. Do this 2x daily after washing and before other creams or treatments.
  2. Fade Bright Lightening Serum. Apply a light layer of this serum after washing and before any creams. This is used for pigmentation only.
  3. Allergy Medicine! *If your dark circles are not being helped by topicals, look for an OTC allergy medicine. A great deal of dark circles are from allergies. Take your allergy medicine every day for a few weeks. This will take care of dark circles caused by allergy issues. 
  4. Dr. Rebecca Kazin, MD.,  medical director of the Johns Hopkins Dermatology and Cosmetic Center says "Some ingredients can help. Caffeine tightens blood vessels and curbs puffiness. Ingredients like retinol and vitamins C and E can lighten undereye circles". We recommend reading her article 5 Remedies For Dark Circles.