Dark circles are a universally felt beauty woe. We all have sported them voluntarily (binge-watching) or involuntarily (burning the midnight oil at work) at some point in our life. The cause of dark shadows under the eyes goes far beyond fatigues and a sleepless night.
There are a variety of different reasons that make dark circles appear such as stress, poor diet, caffeine, and excessive screen time. In a nutshell, if you ignore your eyes, get ready for the under-eye dark circles.
Dark circles under the eyes appear because of hyper-pigmentation of the skin. The skin around your eyes is so delicate that it looks dark whenever blood vessels in the area flood due to inflammation caused by poor lifestyle habits or fatigue.
Sometimes seasonal allergies and nasal congestion can also contribute to poor circulation to the lower eyelid area, leading to dilated veins resulting in the appearance of dark circles.
Besides this, loss of fat and collagen under the eyes also contributes towards dark circles, leading to a sunken look. Also, as we age, the skin under and around our eyes gets thinner and loses collagen.
This enhances the appearance of blood vessels beneath the eyes, making the under-eye area appear darker.
8 Surprising reasons of dark circles
1. Lack of sleep: Sleep deprivation or poor sleeping habits are one of the most common causes of dark under eye area. Sleep is the time, when your skin gets time for repair and renewal.
When you compromise on your sleep, it elevates the stress levels in the body, which leads to sluggish blood circulation and unwanted buildup of deoxygenated blood that can make dark circles look more visible.
2. Hyper pigmentation— While we protect our face, we forget that the skin around our eyes is thinner and more sensitive to the environment and sunlight. Long hours under the sun make the body produce more melanin, which aggravates the appearance of dark circles.
3. Anemia— According to a study, anemia was an underlying health cause of around 50% of dark circles. Iron deficiency can lead to discoloration around the eyes. When you are iron deficient, the veins around your eyes become more noticeable.
4. Inherited genes— Blame it on your genes because if your parents had dark circles then you are much more predisposed to have dark under eye area as well.
5. Fatigue — The weekends dipped in oversleeping, extreme fatigue on the weekdays, or just staying up a few hours past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles to form under your eyes.
6. Age — As you get older, your skin becomes thinner. Skin aging also means loss of fat and collagen needed to maintain skin elasticity and youthfulness. As a result, the dark blood vessels beneath the skin become more visible and cause the under eye area to appear darker.
7. Allergies — Allergic reactions and eye dryness can cause swelling and inflammation, which can further trigger dark circles. When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamines as a response to harmful bacteria. Histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin.
8. Dehydration — Not drinking enough water can make your under eye area look tired and darker. When your body is not receiving the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and sunken.
Dark circles can become an eye sore for anyone irrespective of gender or age. However, dark circles are most common in people who:
· are elderly
· have a genetic predisposition to this condition
· are from non-white ethnic groups (darker skin tones are more prone to hyper pigmentation around the eye area)
5 Must-have Nutrients to avoid dark circles
Iron — Iron deficiency can result in poor oxygenation of bodily tissues. As a result, the bluish veins under the eyes appear more visible.
Vitamin B12 — It helps improve oxygenation of the eye tissues as well as promote healthy eyesight. If you are working for long hours in front of your computer, you need vitamin B12 to keep dark circles at bay.
Vitamin C — It helps minimize the damage caused by exposure against the free radicals. It also improves blood circulation and production of collagen, which helps restore the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption in the body.
Vitamin E — This is also known as the antioxidant that your skin loves. It helps restore skin’s moisture, decrease pigmentation and slow down the aging process.
Vitamin K — It helps with blood coagulation and circulation.
5 Superfoods to get rid of Dark Circles
Tomatoes are red for a reason. How? The bright, dense red pigment of tomatoes indicates powerful antioxidants, particularly lycopene that helps to protect the delicate blood vessels of the eyes.
It also helps improve blood circulation to the eyes and reduces pigmentation. Besides boosting eye health, tomatoes are good to improve your overall immunity.
Best way to have it: Salad
Often called beauty food, cucumber offers many beauty-boosting vitamins such as vitamin A, C, E and K. Vitamin K particularly is known to repair damaged skin, even out the skin tone and boost skin’s elasticity.
Cucumber also has a high water content, which keeps the skin well hydrated from within. It also has collagen-boosting silica and skin-strengthening sulphur.
Best way to have it: Cucumber Juice
One vitamin that is a must for good skin and hair is Vitamin E. But did you know Vitamin E also helps in lightening those dark circles? Loaded with the goodness of Vitamin E and antioxidants, almonds help fight free radicals, replenish skin’s moisture, reduce pigmentation and slow down the aging process.
So besides reducing the appearance of dark circles, almonds also help reduce the puffiness and fine lines around the eyes.
Best way to have it: Take soaked almonds, grind it and have with soaked fig
Did you know dark circles could also be an indication of an iron deficiency? Yes, if your body is not getting enough iron, the oxygen supply to the body tissues is hindered. This makes the skin look paler which will make your dark circles look more visible. Lentils will take care of your iron needs as well as dark circles.
Best way to have it: Dal or lentil soup
As kids, we have all been told to eat carrots to sharpen our eyesight. Why? Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, which makes them an ideal food for eye health. Besides improving eyesight, Vitamin A also helps to get rid of dark circles and has anti-aging benefits too.
It helps to improve proper blood circulation and eliminate toxins in the body by promoting proper digestion. Vitamin A also boosts the health of skin cells and helps the skin retain moisture for longer.
Best way to have it: Carrot juice
5 Natural remedies for dark circles that actually work
Cucumber for well-rested eyes
Grate a cucumber. Now make small potlis with grated cucumber and cotton gauze cloth. Keep these potlis in the fridge for 30 minutes. Place these potlis on your eyes for 10 minutes and then wash with water. It relaxes your tired eyes and lightens the skin around the eyes.
Green tea bags for puffiness
Wet two tea bags and place them in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes. Place on the eyes and leave for 10–15 minutes. Wash your face after removing the tea bags. With the goodness of caffeine & antioxidants, green tea bags assist in lightening dark circles and reduce puffiness under the eyes by reducing fluid retention.
Potato for lightening dark circles
Cut thick potato slices and place them over your dark circles for about 10–15 minutes. The starch found in abundance in potato contains bleaching properties and assists with lightening dark circles. It is one the easiest natural remedies for dark circles under the eyes.
Tomato juice for dark discolouration
Take fresh tomato juice and tap it onto the dark circles with the help of soft cotton. Rinse off after 10 minutes. You can also add a few drops of lemon to tomato juice. Lycopene in tomato combined with Vitamin C in lemon helps lighten the dark circles under the eyes.
Almond oil for nourishing under-eye skin
Gently massage a small amount of almond oil into the skin under & around your eyes. The massage helps increase blood circulation. Rich in vitamin E, retinol and vitamin K, it keeps the delicate skin under your eyes smooth.
Easy Home Remedies for dark circles
1. Refreshing and soothing, a natural Rose water could be the easiest dark circle solution available. The soothing properties of rose water have the effect softening and lightening the skin under the eyes.
2. An answer to all your skin woes, Aloe Vera is an effective natural moisturizer, ideal for all skin types. Applying it regularly lightens the skin texture and even hydrates the skin and helps in the reduction of dark circles under the eyes.
3. A natural oxidant, Amla regenerates the skin and removes dark circles under the eyes. In Ayurveda, it is known to soothe the dark eyes with hydration and freshness naturally. Mix amla powder with honey & apply on the affected area.
4. Widely known for its antioxidant properties, Turmeric has a powerful compound called curcumin, which enhances the glow of the skin. It effectively reduces the melanin production and serves as a perfect dark circle solution.
5. When applies topically, Caffeine or caffeine-based gel is shown to demonstrate the ability to penetrate the lower eyelid skin and diminish the lower eyelid oedema (fuid retention) and pigmentation, according to a latest research.
6. One of the most effective home remedies for dark circles can be found in refrigerator! We are talking about Mint leaves. Take a few mint leaves, crush them and strain the juice. Take a teaspoon of gram flour, half-teaspoon turmeric powder and mix the juice of mint leaves in order to make a paste. Apply this mixture onto the affected area and wash off after ten minutes.
7. Rich in vitamin C, Lemon is known for its bleaching properties. A few drops of lemon do wonders when it comes to lightening the skin and reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. The regular use of lemon juice also reduces pigmentation and darkening and works as an ideal dark circle solution.
Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice and tomato juice. Apply the mixture under your eyes with the help of cotton pads and wash off after few minutes.
3 lifestyle changes that will help prevent dark circles
Adequate sleep, less screen time
How many times do we resist sleep to binge-watch our favourite series on Netflix, reply to emails or just scroll through Facebook and Instagram on our phones?
Not getting enough sleep has become a habit and we fail to see how it is ruining our health. And the dark circles are just a visible symptom of poor sleep pattern.
Your top priority should be to reduce your gadget use at least one hour before your sleep time. Next comes clocking 7–8 hours of sleep. Make sure you sleep and wake up at the same time to maintain your body’s circadian rhythm.
Dark circles are not entirely lack of sleep’s fault. Stress is also equally responsible. When you are stressed more blood is directed to your main organs leaving your face looking pale and drained. This makes dark circles more visible.
Excessive stress can also cause the fragile capillaries around the eyes to leak blood. As a result, the blood spreads out under the skin and becomes oxidize forming a dark purple hue under your eyes.
Start with prioritizing different tasks and try not to stuff your to-do list with too many things.
Switch to a healthy diet
Your plan to get rid of those dark rims around your eyes should begin with a healthy diet. While a good diet doesn’t promise an overnight disappearance of dark circles, maintaining a nutritious, anti-inflammatory diet full of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and good fats can bring improvement in your skin — the eye area as well. Also, go for less caffeine and more water.
Good skin starts with a good diet. If you need help with a diet plan for glowing skin, Check out our program
What causes dark circles?
Some of the causes of dark circles include lack of sleep, hyperpigmentation around the eyes, anaemia, fatigue, growing age, dehydration and even allergic reactions.
Why is sleep important to combat dark circles?
Sleep deprivation or poor sleeping habits are one of the most common causes of dark under-eye circles. When we sleep, our skin gets time for repair and renewal.
When we compromise on sleep, it elevates the stress levels in the body, which leads to sluggish blood circulation and unwanted buildup of deoxygenated blood that can make dark circles look more visible.
Do people with darker skin tones tend to get more dark circles under their eyes?
It is seen that dark circles are more common among the elderly, those who have a genetic predisposition to them and those from non-white ethnic groups or those with melanin-rich skin tones.
This is because people with melanin are more prone to hyperpigmentation around the under eyes.
Can we get rid of dark circles naturally?
Yes, there are plenty of home remedies to combat dark circles. You can place cucumber slices on your eyes, wet green tea bags, potato slices, tomato juice under the eye and even a few drops of almond oil. Rosewater can also soothe and lighten the skin under the eyes.
What are some of the foods we can eat to deal with dark circles?
Foods rich in nutrients like iron, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K are good for dark circles. You can have raw tomato in salad form, cucumber juice, soaked almonds with soaked figs, dal/lentil soup, carrot juice.