What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes? 

It is common to wonder what causes dark circles under eyes. After all, this issue ranks number two in the list of most common skin complaints, right behind acne, according to dermatologists. It is common to look in the mirror the morning after a late night and notice the unpleasant blue-toned bags under your eyes. This pigmentation is not only because of a lack of sleep, however. In reality, there are many causes of dark circles that you should be aware of.

What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes?

There is no one answer to the question of what causes dark circles. Instead, they are a combination of many different factors.

1. Not Enough Sleep

Perhaps the most popular answer to the question what causes dark circles under eyes is not getting enough sleep. If you don’t have enough sleep, you can suffer from health problems as well as stress. This makes your skin appear paler than normal, creating hollows under your eyes and dark circles. Being exhausted can also lead to dark circles, meaning that sleeping 8 hours a night can reduce the issue.

2. Dehydration

Dehydration, or not drinking enough fluids, may also lead to dark circles. This leads to dark urine, dry skin, dry mouth, and fatigue. The ideal solution is to simplely drink enough water throughout the day, preferably 8 glasses or more. You may need to consult your doctor in the case of severe dehydration.

3. Allergic Reaction

Allergy is another common answer to the question what causes dark circles under eyes. This can include both year-round and seasonal allergies and when the dark circles are due to allergies, treating the allergy will frequently reduce or completely eliminate the dark circles.

4. Smoking

Smoking leads to issues with your blood vessels, making them seem blue or simply more prominent and causing dark circles as well as multiple other health issues. Quitting smoking can help ease the circles.

5. PMS

If you get dark circles, pay attention whether they occur right before your period. This will help you find out whether the culprit to what causes dark circles under eyes is your hormonal cycle. Sometimes natural diuretics will help reduce discoloration and swelling. Try using green tea and reducing salty foods a week before your period.

6. Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion is another culprit that dilates blood vessels by the eyes and nose. This dilation makes the blood vessels appear bluish or darker. Treating the congestion from its cause will help get rid of the dark circles most of the time.

7. Stress

When you are feeling stressed, your blood gets directed to the main organs as this is where your body requires it. This leaves your face looking slightly pasty and drained. This in turn leads to a greater contrast between your pale skin and the dark circles under your eyes so they are more noticeable.

8. Broken Capillaries

Your skin is thinnest directly underneath your eye compared to the rest of your face and this portion is the most sensitive area of your skin. As such, the capillaries under the thin skin frequently break from sun damage, stress, or other causes. The blood cells will spread out underneath these areas, gathering directly underneath the skin where they oxidize to create the dark color.

9. Nutritional Deficit

Sometimes a nutritional deficit will appear in the form of dark circles. If you have these spots under your eyes, try eating more folic acid, iron, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. You can find these nutrients in avocados, green tea, cheese, beef, seafood, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and fruits.

10. Heredity

Although most people don’t want to hear it, heredity can also cause dark circles under the eyes. In this situation, your best option is to use makeup to reduce their appearance.

How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Eyes

Once you know what causes dark circles under eyes, you can start to treat them. These methods all help eliminate this pesky discoloration.

1. Getting Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is probably the easiest and cheapest way to reduce dark circles regardless of cause. Sleep will ensure your eyes stay bright and lets your body repair any cell damage affecting your skin.

2. Reducing Caffeine and Alcohol

While alcohol and caffeine can provide a temporary boost, they won’t help your eyes. Instead, they lead to mild dehydration, which worsens the appearance of dark circles.

3. Use Skin Lighteners

It is possible to reduce dark circles with skin lighteners, but keep in mind that many of these products are dangerous or contain illegal compounds which damage your health. Always pick reputable skin-lightening products, use them with sunscreen, and stay out of the sun.

4. Try Injectable Fillers

A cosmetic skin doctor or dermatologist can administerinjectable filler in cases your dark circles are caused by broken blood vessels. These may also help when shadowing or hollow underneath the eyes are due to fat loss.

5. Try Vitamin K and Laser Treatments

Laser treatments can help in cases when your dark circles are from broken blood vessels. You can also try skin care products with vitamin K.

6. Lighten Your Concealer

To disguise your bags, try using a concealer that is a shade lighter than the one matching your skin tone. Always try to pick a concealer with SPF 15 or higher and select an oil-free one if your skin is acne-prone or oily. Remember to apply the concealer lightly, patting it in place instead of rubbing for the best results.

7. Remove Makeup Before Bed

Never go to sleep with your makeup on if you want to keep your face healthy. Doing so will lead to your eyes watering and give you puffiness the next morning. Instead, use makeup remover or soap and water every night before bed.