They say the eyes are windows to the soul. And yet, the skin underneath one’s eyes can provide an even clearer view of one’s lifestyle, mental state, and genetic makeup.
There are many potential reasons for dark circles underneath the eyes, including lack of sleep, poor circulation, genetic predisposition, allergies, stress, exposure to sunlight, and aging. Of course, determining the root cause or causes of your dark under-eye circles isn’t always easy. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to lighten up the skin under your eyes. And when performed in conjunction, you can cover all your bases.
So, let’s go over 8 enlightening tips for treating your dark under-eye circles.
Sufficient sleep is essential to maintaining your overall mental and physical health. Additionally, getting enough sleep will help mitigate those dark circles under your eyes. Catching too few Zs can lead to pale, dull skin, emphasizing the darker tissue and blood vessels underneath your skin (such as under your eyes). So, if you’re not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of proper sleep every night, you should make an effort to do so. You don’t want to go overboard, though -- sleeping too much can also lead to fatigue and dark circles.
Wrinkles aren’t the only cosmetic skin condition that comes with age. As we get older, our skin loses some of its elasticity and becomes thinner, making dark blood vessels more prominent (plenty of which reside under the eyes). Using anti-aging skin creams, moisturizers, and other products containing retinoids can promote your skin’s collagen production, maintaining its structure and flexibility. As a result, you may experience wrinkle reduction, dark circle reduction, and brighter skin overall.
Sunlight is beneficial to our health in many ways, but too much sun can become harmful. Sun damage and overexposure can lead to inflammation and excess melanin production (i.e. darkened skin). If the skin underneath your eyes is exposed to the sun’s rays for too long, it may darken, along with other exposed parts of your body. In order to protect your skin from harm and discoloration, wear sunscreen daily, and make sure to rub some underneath your eyes.
Dark circles may also form when your body delivers an allergic response. Your body may produce histamines to ward off what it sees as a threat, resulting in inflammation, itchiness, dry eyes, and more. If the allergic response is severe enough, the itching and swelling can lead to dark circles and broken blood vessels beneath your eyes. So, if you struggle with allergies and dark under-eye circles, the two problems might be related. Treating your allergies (i.e. antihistamines) may, in turn, treat your dark circles.
Concealing your dark circles with makeup is, of course, only a temporary solution. Still, if your dark circles are affecting your self-esteem, covering them up in any way can make a big difference in your mental health. Just be mindful of the type of makeup you’re using, as certain products might irritate your skin.
What we put into our bodies can have an impact on our appearance, including the way our skin looks. Specifically, excess salt intake can cause your body to retain more water, including the areas beneath your eyes, which can lead to bags and dark circles. While it may be challenging, cutting back on salt can help you get rid of those circles and bags.
As it turns out, caffeine can also help you treat your dark under-eye circles, though perhaps not in the way you think. In this case, caffeine shouldn’t be consumed to stay awake or stave off fatigue -- rather, when applied directly to the dark circles in question, the diuretic tannins inside caffeinated tea or coffee can actually reduce puffiness and brighten up the skin. You might try soaking tea bags in warm water, chilling them for a little while, and placing one bag on each eye for several minutes.
When lifestyle changes, moisturizers, makeup, allergy meds, and home remedies aren’t enough, consider cosmetic treatments for your dark circles. These options include but are not limited to:
Of course, some of the treatments listed above are more extreme than others. Speak with your dermatologist to determine which treatments, if any, may be right for your specific situation and skin type.
Don’t delay on dealing with your dark under-eye circles. The cosmetic dermatology professionals at Premier Dermatology Partners can provide you with resources, advice, and assistance regarding this condition and how to effectively treat it. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.