Do you always look like you’ve pulled an all-nighter, all thanks to dark circles under your eyes that dull your appearance? It’s a common problem, seen in both men and women, across all ages. From fatigue to genetics, aging, dehydration and allergies, there are several causes for dark circles. However, in most cases, dark circles rarely indicate a serious medical condition. If you’re dealing with this bothersome skin issue, here’s a guide that’ll help you better understand the top reasons that cause dark circles. By tackling the root causes, you may be able to prevent their occurrence in the first place.
Why Do Dark Circles Affect the Skin Under Your Eyes?
We know they’re called under-eye circles, but there’s a reason they appear beneath the eyes. Under-eye skin is one of the fragile areas of skin in the human body. This finely textured area of skin lacks oil glands and subcutaneous tissue, which makes it super susceptible to dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness. While dark circles form because of a myriad of reasons, the thin skin under the eyes makes them look very pronounced, so you’ll notice them more prominently in areas under the eyes and around them.
Top 9 Reasons for Under Eye Rings
Why do these annoying dark circles occur? Here are the top reasons!
This is one is beyond your control, but is considered one of the most important reasons why some people develop dark circles. If your parents or someone in your family has dark circles, you’re more likely to experience this problem too. In other words, dark circles can also be hereditary and may run in families. People belonging to melanin-rich ethnicities may be more susceptible to getting dark circles. Increased amounts of the melanin pigment in these individuals means dark circles become noticeable when exposed to sunlight or stress.
Aging takes its toll on the skin and if we’re talking about a delicate skin zone like the one below the eyes, aging surely has a not-so-nice impact. With age, the skin loses its elasticity and the protein fibers that support it begin to wear down. You lose fat and collagen, and as this occurs the blood vessels beneath the surface of the epidermis show through. Those unwanted dark rings are a direct result of the natural process of aging that everyone goes through.
You’d think of sneezes and sniffles when talking of allergies. But allergies can contribute to dark circles too. Here’s how — exposure to allergens triggers the release of a chemical called histamine, which dilates blood vessels and causes a surge of blood flow under the eyes. When this happens, the blood capillaries become more noticeable, causing dark circles.
With allergies come itchy eyes, increasing the tendency to scratch and rub the sensitive area below the eyes. These actions often cause swollen eyes, inflamed skin and broken blood vessels. As miserable as allergies can be, they can worsen the problem of dark circles for many.
Lack of hydration severely impacts the skin in general, making it look dull and damaged. Since the under-eye skin is particularly sensitive, dehydration can wreak havoc on it, making dark circles much worse. Sip on water or fluids throughout the day for well-hydrated skin that helps diminish the appearance of dark circles and age spots.
Lack of Sleep
Get your beauty sleep to reduce the severity of dark circles. Sleep deprivation over an extended period makes skin look dull and blotchy, and when you’re already dealing with under-eye rings, it often heightens the problem. Plus, not getting a good night’s sleep triggers fluid retention beneath the eyes, causing them to look puffy. Counter both these skin problems by ensuring you’re getting enough sleep.
Love binge-watching TV shows? Staring at your computer screen for long hours when at work? Sounds familiar right? The modern-day lifestyle has everyone using electronic devices all the time, but it’s not the best for the periorbital area. Increased exposure to the blue light from electronic screens causes immense strain on the skin and muscles around the eyes, which causes the red blood cells to move off track and pool around. Since the skin under the eyelids is relatively thin, it’s easy to see the red blood cells migrate, appearing as a darker tint underneath the eyes. If you have a job that requires long hours spent in front of a computer screen, frequently take small breaks—even if for 30 seconds every hour. Look away from the monitor to calm your eyes.
Summer on the beach — sounds great right? But, if dark circles are your concern, spending long hours in the hot sun will compound this problem. The UV rays from the sunlight trigger melanin production, which may intensify the brownish tone of dark circles and also make wrinkles and fine lines more visible. Stock up on wide-brimmed hats, UV blocking sunglasses and slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen to enjoy the summer sun without it damaging your skin and eyes.
Your Food Habits
Foods high in salt and caffeine cause fluid buildup that lead to puffy eyes and pronounced dark circles. Watch what you eat, and see if it makes a difference.
Smoking and Alcohol
Tobacco constricts the blood vessels around the eyes, leading to pale skin that makes dark circles more visible. Plus, cigarettes contain chemicals that create a toxic overload on the body, resulting in degeneration of skin in general. Drinking too much alcohol also has similar damaging effects on your overall health, which results in dull skin showing up issues like dark circles and wrinkles.
Now that you’re aware of the top reasons that lead to under-eye dark circles, take steps to take prevention action. Stick to a healthy diet that nourishes your skin and invest in high-quality skincare products that can help you combat this nagging skin problem. This we say again: the under-eye skin is by far the most delicate, so treat it with gentle care. Knowing the causes and trying to avoid them goes a long way in helping you deal with dark circles.