Are dark circles suddenly appearing under your eyes? Have they become an aesthetic problem that’s causing you embarrassment and distress? Well, even if you’re self-conscious about them, I have some good news.
Although we don’t know exactly what causes dark circles to form, there are a few common factors that can contribute to their appearance. Understanding these can help reduce your stress-related worry and give insight into the best way of handling them.
In this article, we’ll review underlying biological factors associated with dark circles and explore both medical and natural methods for treating or hiding those dreaded circles.
Causes of Dark Under-Eye Circles
Genetics plays a role in the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Some people simply have thinner skin than others do, making their veins more visible and creating darkness under their eyes. Additionally, certain genetic makeup can make your skin more prone to pigmentation irregularities that can result in dark circles as well.
Fortunately, genetics is not the only factor affecting dark circles – environmental elements can also contribute to their appearance. Exposure to strong sunlight or unhealthy habits such as smoking can weaken or damage the delicate skin around the eyes, resulting in noticeable darkening. It is important to recognize any underlying causes so you know how best to take care of yourself and reduce the appearance of dark circles caused by genetics or lifestyle elements.
Irritation from Rubbing
Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by irritation from rubbing or scratching. The skin around the eyes is especially delicate and can easily become irritated when these areas are touched often, especially with dirty hands. When this happens, it causes inflammation, which leads to dark circles and puffiness that can last for days.
To best handle dark circles due to irritation, prevention should be the first step. If you tend to rub your eyes often, try to break the habit by using moisturizing eye drops or a cold compress applied gently around the eyes. Doing this will help soothe irritation and reduce redness quickly.
It’s also important to keep your hands clean before touching the delicate area around your eyes. Use soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before touching your face to reduce bacteria that could lead to further irritation. You may also want to switch out your eye makeup for something labeled “fragrance-free” or “hypoallergenic” if you think it may be causing additional issues in the area — again, anything labeled as such should keep irritating ingredients away from your skin!
Thin Skin or Loss of Volume
Thin skin and loss of volume are two common causes of dark circles under the eyes. When the thin layer of skin around your eyes has a decrease in the production of collagen, it can become more fragile and transparent. This allows the underlying blood vessels and other pigments to become more visible, creating dark circles.
A decrease in fat naturally causes a hollow appearance in the area under your eyes, drawing attention to any discoloration present. A lack of lipids in this area creates an indentation that enhances the look of darker pigmentation. To best handle this issue, try using 1% retinol cream both morning and night to help with collagen production and increase vitality in your delicate eye area. You can also use hyaluronic acid-based serums at night to plump up sunken areas, while brighteners like licorice root mask darkness during the day.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of dark circles. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body isn’t able to rest, recover and rejuvenate itself. The delicate skin under the eyes goes through much more strain due to lack of sleep which can cause that area to become darker and more pronounced-looking.
To handle dark circles caused by lack of sleep, the most important thing is to make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest each night. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and set a regular schedule for yourself so that you’re going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at a reasonable hour in the morning. Additionally, proper nutrition plays an important role in sleeping well, as does reduce stress – both physical (exercise) and mental (meditation).
Allergies are one of the common causes of dark circles under eyes. Allergens such as dust, pet dander, molds or pollens can trigger inflammation and dilate the capillaries around the eyes which causes dark circles. If you have persistent dark circles around your eyes that don’t go away even after getting enough sleep and hydration, then it’s likely due to allergies.
The best way to combat this is to address possible triggers in your environment. Identify what kind of allergens you’re allergic to and take measures to minimize exposure. If needed, you can schedule an appointment with an allergist for additional testing and help identify environmental and food triggers that could be causing your allergic reaction. Prevention is always better than having to treat existing symptoms since avoiding triggers is more effective than treating them once they appear.
Dehydration can cause dark circles around your eyes. When you don’t get enough water in your system, the skin around your eyes becomes thinner and this causes it to appear darker. In addition, when your body is dehydrated it doesn’t have as much blood supply and this tends to give a hollowed-out appearance that can make dark circles look more prominent.
To reduce the darkness caused by dehydration, the best thing to do is to increase your water intake. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and more when you’re active or spending time outdoors. Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go to remind yourself to drink up! You should also add electrolytes like those found in sports drinks or coconut water if possible. This will help keep your body balanced, helping it better absorb and retain water.
Treatment for Dark Under Circles
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for dark circles and bags under the eyes, so treatments need to be customized based on individual needs. Here are some treatment options to consider:
1. Eye Creams: Eye products such as creams are designed to moisturize and reduce puffiness and are a great way to start addressing the problem of dark circles. Look for eye creams with lightening ingredients like niacinamide, kojic acid, vitamin C, licorice extract, bearberry extract, or hydroquinone.
2. Laser Treatments: If dark circles still persist after using an eye cream for a few weeks, laser treatments can be done to stimulate collagen production and help fade away the dark spots or pigmentation.
3. Dermal Fillers: A dermatologist may also suggest fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm as another option in treating dark under-eye areas. These temporary injections of hyaluronic acid can give you almost immediate results in lifting and filling the skin beneath your lower eyelids and smoothing out any wrinkles or folds in the area.
4. Cosmetic Concealer: This is probably one of the easiest and most affordable ways to deal with dark under eyes on a daily basis; simply apply a cosmetic concealer formulated especially for sensitive areas like around the eyes that helps brighten up the face instantly!
5. Chemical Peels – Chemical peels will remove the outermost layer of skin, revealing a softer and smoother texture. This inner layer contains fewer pigments that make up dark circles, so it will help to effectively lighten their appearance.
Your doctor or esthetician can give you a light chemical peel specifically designed for dark circles that won’t dehydrate your delicate eye area but still offers effective results. Some treatments may use special ingredients like vitamin C or ferulic acid, which work to gently treat hyperpigmentation on the undereye area while also fading away fine lines.