What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes? (And How to Get Rid of Them!)
If you’re like me, you’ve woken up looking like a sunburnt panda, wondering what has caused the dark circles under your eyes!
Unless you went deep sea diving the night before, the brown and purple smudges under your eyes feel like an unsightly mystery, and stressing about it only makes it worse!
Between work, friends, family, and mom life, life can get pretty hectic at times! These stresses can leave you dehydrated, sleep-deprived, and tense enough for your eyes to show some color— and not the good kind!
It can be tempting to cover them up with makeup, but it won’t permanently fix the issue. Thankfully though Beauty, you can remove those dark eye circles and eye bags for good— and it’s easier than you might think!
Why Do I Get Dark Circles Under My Eyes?
Dark circles under your eyes are often caused by dermatological conditions. These can include:
Constricted blood vessels under your eyes which can cause hyperpigmentation, or extreme darkening, of the skin under your eyes. This can be made worse by…
Thinning of your under-eye skin. Thinning can be caused by reduced collagen levels in your skin. Collagen is a protein produced by your body that supports and strengthens your skin, muscles, tissue and bones.
Not only that, but puffy eyes can actually cast bigger shadows under your eyes, making those dark circles look even darker! These can all occur with the natural aging process.
What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?
Dark undereye circles can be caused by a lot of things, although fatigue and lack of sleep are two of the most common causes. Other causes include:
Aging: The natural aging process can also cause dark circles under your eyes. This is because you tend to lose fat and collagen as you age, and sometimes the skin around your eyes can thin because of this. As a result, the blood vessels under your eyes become more visible.
Allergies and hay fever: Allergies cause your body to release histamines, which can cause itchiness, irritation and redness around your eyes, adding to the appearance of dark circles.
Eczema: This skin condition can cause the blood vessels under your eyes to dilate and become more visible under your skin.
Irregular skin pigmentation: also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation. Put simply, this darkens the skin under your eyes.
Sun exposure: Exposure to the sun can increase the melanin content of your skin, which is what gives you that summer tan. The skin around your eyes is especially vulnerable to darkening because it’s thinner and more sensitive than other parts of the body.
Scratching or rubbing your eyes: This irritates the skin around your eyes, making it look darker.
Dehydration: Being dehydrated can make your eyes look sunken and dull the appearance of the skin around them, making them look darker.
Stress: Stress can make your face look paler, making the blood vessels under your eyes more noticeable. Stress also contributes to poor sleep, another major cause of dark circles.
Smoking or excessive alcohol use: On top of all the other health issues they cause, smoking and drinking can dehydrate the skin, increasing the visibility of dark under-eye circles. Alcohol also dilates the blood vessels under your eyes, making those circles more visible.
Eyestrain: Staring at screens all day isn’t good for us. The eyestrain caused by staring at these screens can cause the skin around your eyes to darken.
How to Get Rid of the Dark Circles Under Your Eyes (Without Makeup)
Makeup is only a temporary solution for puffy eyes and dark shadows. You can actually make the dark circles under your eyes worse if the makeup you’re using bothers your skin!
Thankfully, there are easy solutions to alleviate the delicate skin under your eyes without trying to cover it up or risk making them more inflamed.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
The best way to prevent those well-meaning but unwanted “you look so tired” comments is to get your beauty sleep every night.
Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure you get a full night’s rest every night.
Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time each morning. This helps your internal clock create your natural bedtime routine!
Avoid your electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. Instead, spend time catching up with your family,meditating, journaling, or even a warm oil massage! These healthy habits can help you fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply. By avoiding blue light before bedtime, you can give both your eyes and body a rest.
Elevate your head slightly while you sleep. This can help prevent fluid from pooling under your eyes while you sleep and prevent puffy eyes.
Between diet restrictions, mineral supplements, and cutting out salt, there are countless recommended solutions for your dark eye circles. The truth is, dehydration is one of the most common causes, and one of the easiest ways to treat puffy and purple eyes!
Dehydration is the most common cause of those dark under-eye circles. Being dehydrated can make your skin look dull and your eyes look sunken in. To fight this, make sure you get enough fluids each day.
For adequate hydration, women need about 11.5 cups of fluids daily, while men need about 15.5 cups. Water is best, but beverages like tea and juice can help you stay hydrated as well.
You can also keep yourself hydrated with your diet by consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like watermelon and cucumbers!
Healthy smoothies, like myGlowing Green Smoothie® (GGS) can help keep you hydrated too! That’s because they’re made with wonderfully fresh produce that helps you stay hydrated naturally. They’re also full of vital nutrients that can help reduce the appearance of dark circles, including iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Use a Cold Compress
A cold compress can reduce the appearance of dark circles and eye puffiness by reducing any swelling around your eyes by shrinking the widened blood vessels under your eyes.
Just run a clean washcloth under cold water, squeeze out the excess, and apply it to your undereye area. You can also wrap a few ice cubes in a clean, dry washcloth. Never apply ice cubes directly to your skin.
Use Tea Bags to Brighten Your Eye Area
Dark circles not your cup of tea? :) Use tea bags to make them a thing of the past! The caffeine and antioxidants in tea can help stimulate blood circulation, shrink enlarged blood vessels, and reduce any fluid that may have built up under your eyes.
Just soak two tea bags in hot water for five minutes— either green tea or black tea is fine! Put them in the fridge to chill for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re cold. Then you can apply them to your undereye area for 10 to 20 minutes.
After you remove each tea bag, carefully rinse the area with cold water.
Use the Right Eye Cream
Your eyesight isn’t the only thing that can be affected by age! The delicate skin underneath your eyes can become inflamed, wrinkled, or shaded as the years go by.
Finding a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory eye cream can help reduce dark circles under your eyes by hydrating and nourishing your sensitive skin.
Unfortunately, so many eye creams on the market are made with artificial ingredients like parabens and phthalates, or ingredients like retinol that can have unpleasant side effects! These harmful ingredients can dry out and inflame your skin, leaving it in worse condition than before.
I recommend a natural eye cream, like myFeel Good Eye Cream. My feel good formula is made with natural botanicals and antioxidants that fight signs of aging like fine lines, puffiness and dark circles while moisturizing and firming your skin.
My formula also contains hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring acid that can be found throughout the human body, like in your skin or around your eyes! Hyaluronic acid can help promote healthier, more supple skin. Its moisture-retaining properties are also great for relieving eye discomforts like dry eye and reduced tear production.
Don’t Want the Raccoon Look? Try these Simple Solutions!
In our perfectly imperfect lives, we don’t always get all the sleep we need, or eat as healthfully as we should. And that’s okay. But it can still be discouraging to hear “you look so tired!” despite your best efforts.
Thankfully though Beauty, those pesky dark circles can be banished with some easy changes so that you can get back to looking radiant and refreshed.
In health and beauty,
Sarkar, Rashmi, et al. “Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Comprehensive Review.” The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Matrix Medical Communications, Jan. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756872/.