What Causes Dark Circles under the Eyes

What Causes Dark Circles under the Eyes

Question: Some women have dark skin under the eyes and would like to be able to either get rid of them or at least try to hid them. What is the cause of under eye dark circles?


Answer: Occasional dark circles or periorbital dark circles are a result of the thin layer of skin below your eyes showing the blood vessels and the blood they contain shows more clearly than anywhere else on your body.  Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by factors as simple as lack of sleep, dehydration, medications or an allergy - particularly congestion in the central facial and nasal area. Any condition that causes the eyes to itch can contribute to darker circles due to rubbing or scratching the skin around them. Hay fever sufferers in particular will notice under-eye "smudges" during the height of the allergy season. Some food allergies can also cause the area under the eyes to appear darker. Dark circles can also be hereditary, and are more likely to occur in certain ethnic groups. But for many folks, dark circles are simply a sign of the aging process at work. As we age, the fat pad under the eye thins, allowing blood vessels underneath to show through. Moreover, as we age, blood flow to the skin beneath the eye becomes sluggish, further increasing the darkness in this area.

Question: Are there any treatments that could help this condition?

Broccoli is an extra source of vitamin K

Broccoli is an extra source of vitamin K

Answer: While sometimes a skin-lightening product can help fade dark circles, creams containing a combination of Vitamin K and retinol have an even more powerful lightening effect. The vitamin K works directly on the blood vessels, while the retinol helps re-build collagen, potentially improving the appearance of dark circles.


Question: Are there any natural remedies for dark circles?


Answer: Well there are a number of natural remedies that can help temporarily but they sometimes work for some people and not for others.  For example, Cucumber slices have long been used to reduce puffiness and refresh the appearance of skin around the eyes, providing a fast "pick-me-up" for tired and puffy eyes. Another remedy you can do is apply cool tea bags or an ice cube wrapped in a soft cloth to your eyes daily. The tannin in tea bags reduces swelling and discoloration. Lie down, preferably in the morning, and leave the cool and damp caffeinated tea bags over your eyes for about 10-15 minutes. These are only a few suggestions, if they work great, I believe the best natural remedy is to get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, don’t smoke and eat well.  Sometimes just making a small change in lifestyle can make the biggest difference.

Question: What are some tips for hiding these dark circles with makeup?

Answer: The best way to hide dark circles is with a cosmetic concealing product. However, it's important to choose one in a shade as close to your natural skin tone as possible. Choosing a concealer that is too light will cause dark circles to appear gray and call more attention to the problem. Use a setting powder but be careful not to make the area “caky” looking.

Question: What should you look for when purchasing an eye cream?

Answer: Anyone over 25 should be using an eye cream whether or not you have dark circles.  The skin under the eye is very thin and the eye area is the first to reveal those fine lines.  Also, because the skin is thin in this area stretching and pulling the skin while putting on eye makeup and then removing the makeup can cause skin stretching and eventual sagging under the eyes.  Look for eye creams that contain vitamin K and Retinol.  These two ingredients reduce puffiness and discoloration significantly in many people.  Long term daily use seems to have the greatest effect so stay with it for best results.