10 Causes of Dark Under-Eye Circles (And How to Get Rid Of Them)
Dark circles are no fun. Every time you try to cover them up, they stare at you in the mirror, making fun of you. So, why do dark circles occur under the eyes? Here are ten reasons for those ugly dark circles you might not have known and how to get rid of them.
Studies show that, on average, a woman in the United States spends about $15,000 on cosmetics during her lifetime, of which a large amount is spent on concealer under the eyes. It is no wonder that dark circles make you look tired and old. Depending on the person, dark circles can be caused by different things.
10 Reasons for getting dark circles under eyes
Sometimes your family history contributes to dark circles under your eyes, but there are other causes.
Hyperpigmentation is a description of the dark skin under your eyes. Hyperpigmentation is caused by melanin, an amino acid responsible for darker skin. Melanin helps you get a tan when you are on the beach. A lack of oxygen in the blood vessels around your eyes is one cause of excess pigment under your eyes.
2. Decreased blood circulation
Poor circulation and fluid build-up around your eyes as you age, making that area appear darker. The oxygen-poor blood causes you to see dark under your eyes because the skin under your eyes is thin and delicate.
If you do not get enough sleep, the skin color under your eyes also turns dark. Waking up late and then getting up early disrupts your sleep schedule. Having a regular sleep routine is essential for you to be completely rested.
You should get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Turn off all your electronic devices for several hours before sleeping. The blue screen in these devices affects your sleep cycle, keeping you awake when you need to wind down before going to sleep.
Find ways to relax before bed, such as reading a book or taking a bath. As soon as you relax, you will fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. A good night’s sleep also reduces the strain on your eyes, which contributes to dark circles under the eyes.
When stressed, your body sends more blood to your organs to compensate. This makes your face look pale, and dark circles appear under the eyes. It’s like you’re putting stress on your face. Try exercise or yoga as a healthy way to reduce your daily stress.
If you have a stuffy nose due to allergies, it triggers dark circles under your eyes. Allergy congestion affects the small veins under your eyes, making them look swollen and puffy. Blood pools in these areas, causing the veins to dilate and giving you dark circles.
Colds and sinus infections will do the same thing. If you think you have allergies, try to find out what causes them. The most common sources of allergies include
- outdoor pollens, hay fever, or seasonal allergies
- mold, pet dander, or dust mites
- food allergies
- smoke, chemicals, or fragrances
6. Poor Diet
It’s easy to focus too much on getting rid of dark circles under your eyes, not their cause. A significant contributing factor may be your diet. You won’t look your best if you’re not getting proper nutrition. Here is a list of foods you may need to include or eliminate in your diet to reduce dark circles.
Not enough iron in your diet:
Iron increases healthy red blood cells. A lack of iron in your diet causes anemia. A classic symptom of anemia is dark circles under the eyes. You will also feel exhausted. Foods that contain a lot of iron include:
- Leafy greens
- Thin flesh
Not enough vitamin K:
This vitamin causes your blood to clot. If you don’t get enough of this vitamin, blood may leak into the tiny capillaries around your eyes, making the area look dark and almost bruised. Sources of vitamin K include
- Leafy greens
- Dried plum
- Olive Oil
- Canola oil
Not enough vitamin C:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your skin from damage. These things contribute to wrinkles and hyperpigmentation as you age. Eat these fruits rich in Vitamin C.
- Black pepper
- Ripe fruit
- Kiwi fruit
You may need to limit what is in your diet.
If you overeat salt in your diet, your body retains fluid. This causes swelling and spots under your eyes. Avoid foods such as bacon, canned soups, processed meats, and fast foods, as they contain a lot of sodium.
Doctors recommend eating 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day to stay healthy. Read food labels. Add salt to your food while cooking, not during the meal. It cuts back on salt.
Excess Caffeine or Alcohol:
Too much soda, coffee, or iced tea increases your chances of dehydration. You are dehydrated to dark circles under the eyes.
7. Health Status
You will have dark circles under your eyes if you have thyroid disease. This is because thyroid disease affects fluid retention around your eyes. The skin under your eyes gets stretched and looks puffy.
8. Eye strain
After studying the computer screen all day, your eyes start feeling tired. This puts pressure on the blood vessels under your eyes, causing bulging and darkening of the delicate skin under your eyes.
Be sure to take breaks from your computer to give your eyes a rest. You can also do eye exercises to relax your eyes and encourage blood circulation under your eyes so that your under-eyes don’t darken.
9. Sun Exposure
Being out in the sun increases vitamin D and causes dark circles under your eyes. Exposure to the sun raises the melanin in your skin’s pigment, especially around your eyes, because that’s where your skin is thinner. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses to avoid getting too much melanin around your eyes when you’re out in the sun.
If you are dehydrated, it is apt to have dark circles under your eyes. The delicate skin under your eyes will look dark and lifeless. It is recommended that men have at least 3,000 mL (about 13 cups) of fluids per day and that women should have 2,200 mL (9 cups) of fluids per day. Here are some tips to make sure you drink enough fluids each day.
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink fluids. This usually means that you are already dehydrated.
- Take a sip of water between meals at mealtimes,
- Drink a glass of water while taking the pills
- Drink a full glass of water before exercise.
- Exercise moderation when drinking alcohol, as it can dehydrate you.
How do you reduce dark circles under the eyes?
You can do some practical things at home to eliminate dark circles under the eyes.
If you suffer from allergies that cause nasal congestion, try taking a decongestant to help relieve puffiness and darkening under your eyes. Nasal sprays are also effective in reducing congestion. If possible, try to determine what you are allergic to and remove or reduce the allergen in your home.
Every night before you sleep, wash your face to remove any makeup, dirt, or dust, then apply an eye moisturizer under your eyes. Ingredients like vitamin C or retinol are good for eliminating dark circles.
3. Cold Spoon Therapy
Another popular remedy for dark circles is to put cold spoons under the eyes. Leave the scoop under your eyes for 30 minutes. The coolness reduces swelling and inflammation. Under eye masks or patches also work well.
4. Don’t Smoke
Smoking affects your skin cells, causing them to break down, leading to wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes. Smoking makes you look old and lazy.
5. Cold Cucumber Slices
Another easy way to reduce puffiness under the eyes is to place a cold slice of cucumber under your eyes for 30 minutes. The coolness reduces any swelling or puffiness. Also, cucumbers are high in vitamin K, which improves blood flow to your skin.
6. Don’t Touch Your Eyes
It’s easy to rub your eyes when you’re tired, but rubbing your eyes frequently can make the dark circles under your eyes appear even darker.
Because the skin under your eyes is so thin, you can accidentally break blood vessels in that area, which causes darkening of the skin or bruising. If you wake up with dark circles under your eyes, it could mean that you are rubbing your eyes in your sleep.
Final Thoughts on Reducing Dark Circles Under Eyes
Dark circles are not attractive. They make you look tired and old. You may not realize that you are doing many everyday things contributing to your dark circles.
Eating a healthy diet, lack of sleep, stress, and over-exposure to the sun are common culprits. Once you discover the cause of your dark circles, inculcate healthy eye care habits to get rid of dark circles under your eyes forever.