Your eyes are a great indicator of your health.
And dark circles can make you look tired, stressed and unhealthy – even if you’re feeling OK!
So why do we get them?
Well, a lot has to do with circulation and the fact that the skin in this area is very thin. Tiny blood vessels can be seen through the delicate under eye skin and as a result dark circles appear.
But there are solutions.
Below we show you how you can get rid of the dark circles with 7 targeted skin care tips - to improve the skin under your eyes and leave you looking fresher and healthier.
Eye strain from staring at a screen can enlarge the blood vessels around your eyes making the surrounding skin look darker
And the first step is to look at why we get them in the first place…
Why do we get dark circles?
It’s frustrating because dark circles can be caused by a combination of many different factors. So it can be hard to nail down exactly what’s causing them for you. But the most common causes are:
Dark circles are the first thing that people notice when you don’t get enough sleep.
Essentially sleep deprivation makes your skin look paler, so the blood vessels beneath your skin start to show - making the skin under your eyes looks noticeably darker.
Lack of sleep can also trigger fluid to build underneath your eyes, making them look puffy and causing under eye bags.
So the dark circles you see may actually be shadows from this puffiness.
We show you how to tell the difference below.
Eye strain from staring at a screen
Spending too long in front of any type of screen - whether it’s your computer, phone or TV - can cause eye strain.
And this strain can enlarge the blood vessels around your eyes making the surrounding skin look darker.
Not drinking enough water is another common cause of dark circles.
When your body is dehydrated, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look duller and darker, and your eyes look sunken.
An allergic reaction can trigger a number of symptoms that affect your eyes.
Your body releases histamines to fight off the allergy leading to itchiness, redness, and puffiness.
Histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate, making them look more visible beneath the delicate under eye skin.
And allergies can make you rub at the itchy skin around your eyes. This worsens your symptoms, causing inflammation, swelling, and broken blood vessels.
Not enough iron in your diet
A lack of iron in your diet can lead to anemia, where your levels of red blood cells are lower than normal.
If you have anemia, your skin is paler than normal, so the blood vessels under your eyes start to show as dark circles.
It’s worth talking with a doctor about checking your iron levels.
When your body is exposed to the sun it produces melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color.
Too much sun on the delicate skin around your eyes can cause an excess of pigmentation making the surrounding skin look darker.
And finally, it could be down to genetics.
Family history plays a large part in whether you develop dark circles around your eyes.
And it’s an inherited trait that can be seen even in early childhood.
So if one of your parents has dark circles around their eyes it could be the reason you do too.
In order to improve the look of the skin around your eyes it’s important to differentiate between dark circles and puffy under eye bags.
Dark Circles vs Under Eye Bags
The best way to tell the difference is to look at the effect lighting has on your eye area.
Dark circles appear when you see physical pigmentation in the under eye area. So no matter what lighting you’re in - whether the light is from above or straight on - you’ll notice a darkness in your under eye area.
Puffy under eye bags appear differently.
If the light is coming from the front you won’t see any darkness, but if the light is from overhead, because of the physical indentation caused by puffiness, it will look like you have dark circles.
And it’s important to know which one you have because treating eye puffiness will reduce the eye bags but if you have dark circles it won’t affect it.
So if your eyes are puffy, head on over to "How to reduce under eye bags".
But if you have definite dark circles then here’s a targeted plan that works to reduce them…
ACTION PLAN: 7 targeted tips to get rid of DARK CIRCLES under your eyes
Let's start with the most important step…
#1 GET MORE SLEEP
When you’re low on sleep, and blood isn’t flowing well, it can collect under your eyes and become visible.
Improved blood flow (as a result of a good night’s sleep) minimizes these dark circles.
A minimum of seven hours sleep a night will make the biggest impact on whether or not you have dark circles.
And although it may seem obvious…..if you’re not getting enough sleep none of the following tips will make a difference.
And I know that for me, whenever I only manage to get 4 or 5 hours sleep I start to notice significant dark circles, which aren’t there when I’m sleeping well.
So make sure you’re getting enough sleep every single night.
The second tip is to use a moisturizer on your under eye area. One that includes brightening agents.
#2 MOISTURIZE AROUND YOUR EYES
The eye area is the first place to show signs of aging, so it’s essential to keep the skin here well hydrated.
And the same ingredients that help prevent skin aging are helpful for treating dark circles too.
These skincare ingredients work to brighten and reduce any pigmentation on the under eye area by:
- increasing collagen production to firm and smooth your skin - and help your under eye skin look thicker and more even in tone.
- encouraging cell renewal to brighten and give skin a more radiant glow.
- and improving blood circulation to minimise the visibility of the veins beneath.
The two most important skincare ingredients to look for are:
Peptides stimulate the production of collagen. Basically the more collagen you have in your skin, the firmer and smoother your skin will be.
It also improves the under eye area – making the skin thicker and with an even skin tone, so dark circles are reduced.
Peptides also help prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming by promoting cell turnover in the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid hydrates and plumps up skin, giving your skin a youthful and radiant glow. By brightening the skin, it helps mask darkness under the eyes.
It also helps draw moisture into the epidermis, hydrating the whole area.
But you don’t need to buy a separate eye cream with these ingredients.
Our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer not only works to get rid of dark under-eye circles, it also diminishes fine lines and wrinkles and keeps your face looking smooth with a youthful glow.
And it’s so light that it’s perfect for the delicate eye area too.
The powerful Peptide and Hyaluronic Acid complex:
- improves circulation to reduce dark circles
- stimulates collagen to firm the skin
- promotes cell turnover to reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- and protects the delicate under eye skin from free radical damage,
reducing the bags under your eyes as well as getting rid of dark circles.
How to apply moisturizer around your eyes:
Firstly, it’s important not to rub. The skin under your eye is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face, and you don’t want to inadvertently bruise this area by being too rough.
- Just tap moisturiser lightly onto your cheekbones and around the eye socket using your ring finger. This will help to reduce puffiness and firm the delicate skin around your eyes.
#3 USE A SUNSCREEN
Sun exposure creates pigmentation so it’s going to make your dark circles look darker.
That’s why it’s important to apply sunscreen every day - especially on the under eye area which can be forgotten.
An effective sunscreen not only helps to prevent dark circles it also reduces signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin.
#4 STAY HYDRATED
Drinking more water throughout the day will stop your skin from becoming dehydrated.
Important because dehydration can make the skin beneath your eyes look darker, and your eyes look sunken.
Water is best, but other fluids also help keep you hydrated. And eating fruits and vegetables adds to your daily fluid intake too.
#5 EAT IRON RICH FOODS
If you have an iron deficiency, you may notice that your skin is paler than usual, and you have dark circles under your eyes.
Good sources of iron to include in your diet are:
- Red Meat
- Dried Apricots
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Dark Chocolate
#6 APPLY A TEA BAG COMPRESS
Tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that help stimulate blood circulation and shrink blood vessels – both contributing to a reduction in dark circles.
To benefit you need to make a cold tea compress.
Simply soak two tea bags (black or green tea will work) in hot water for 5 minutes. Then chill them in the refrigerator.
Once they’re cold, lie down and apply the tea bags to your closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes.
#7 USE CONCEALER
The most immediate way to hide dark circles is to use a concealer.
These will cover dark areas so they blend in with your skin color.
It’s very important that both the color and the texture are correct in order for the concealer to blend in seamlessly.
So it pays to get advice and choose one that won’t sit on top of your skin and accentuate any wrinkles. It also needs to match your skin tone exactly.
Always test in daylight before you buy.
How to determine whether dark circles are genetic or temporary
If you notice that your dark circles get worse when you’ve had less sleep, or you’re more stressed, then these are temporary and can definitely be improved by the remedies above.
But it’s important to know what you’re dealing with.
If you’ve had dark circles since you were quite young then they’re probably hereditary.
And honestly these tips will help a little but there won’t be as much improvement.
But if you do have hereditary dark circles (or nothing else is working for you) then there are corrective treatments that will help.
Professional laser treatments carried out by a dermatologist will safely and effectively lessen the look of all dark circles.
Lasers can reduce hyperpigmentation and stimulate blood vessels in the underlying skin so that they are less obvious.
Why do I have dark circles even when I get enough sleep?
Although lack of sleep is the most common cause of dark circles under your eyes, there are other reasons that you may be getting them.
- Staring at a screen for too long can enlarge the blood vessels around your eyes making the surrounding skin look darker.
- Not drinking enough water can make the skin beneath your eyes look dull and darker, and your eyes look sunken.
- Allergies can cause your blood vessels to dilate, making them look more visible beneath the delicate under eye skin.
- Not enough iron in your diet can make your skin look paler than normal, so the blood vessels under your eyes start to show as dark circles.
- Too much sun exposure on the delicate skin around your eyes can cause an excess of pigmentation making the surrounding skin look darker.
It could also be…
- Genetics. If you’ve had dark circles since you were a teenager then they’re probably hereditary.
Dark circles under your eyes can make you look unnecessarily tired, stressed and unhealthy.
But there are simple ways to improve them.
These 7 targeted skin care tips will get rid of dark circles, improve the skin under your eyes - and leave you looking fresher and healthier.
#1 Get more sleep
#2 Moisturize around your eyes
#3 Use sunscreen
#4 Stay hydrated
#5 Eat iron rich foods
#6 Apply a tea bag compress
#7 Use concealer
And if you think that your dark circles are hereditary then you could consider getting a corrective cosmetic procedure like a professional laser treatment to reduce the look of dark circles.
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All you need to stay looking handsome.