The appearance of your skin says a lot about how you're feeling mentally and physically - especially around the eyes. When most people talk about dark circles, the condition can be related to a variety of things, like exhaustion and fatigue, allergies, genetics, sun sensitivity, inflammatory skin issues, aging, and more.
Don’t get me wrong -- a late night out, long shifts at work, or taking care of a family member can quickly appear on your face the next day. While lack of sleep can take a toll, that's not all it takes.
What Causes Dark Circles Around The Eyes?
A myriad of factors contribute to the development of dark circles and puffy eyes. I share five primary reasons behind your dark circles below.
01. It Happens Naturally With Age
I know what you're thinking. Agreed - aging is not always a fun process.
As men and women get older, their levels of collagen decrease. Collagen is an essential protein found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It keeps the face plump and healthy.
As collagen and elastin levels diminish, facial skin will become thin. The dark blood vessels underneath the surface will be more visible, causing the under-eye area to shade. The first thing a skincare dermatologist will do is find a remedy to improve the tissue beneath the eye (suborbicularis oculi fat) and control shrinking and volume loss.
Dermal fillers, chemical peels, PRP, and laser therapy are best to correct extensively noticeable dark circles under your eyes.
02. Seasonal Allergies
Dark circles are also common in individuals who experience bad allergies and eye dryness. As your body reacts to seasonal elements, it releases histamines. It can cause the blood vessels to dilate and become visible beneath the skin.
Itchiness, redness, and puffy eyes are additional symptoms that can increase your chances of scratching the sensitive area. That alone can result in under-eye shadows. Even without rubbing, inflammation is enough to cause damage. Make sure to take an antihistamine that works best for you.
03. Dehydration Does Damage
Dehydration can cause facial skin and under-eye tissue to shrink. While volume loss is associated with age, it also correlates with your water consumption. I would ask that you drink plenty of water and stick to a healthy diet before recommending a treatment plan. Minimize caffeine, alcohol, and other diuretics.
04. It's In Your Genes
Do dark circles run in your family? It can also be an inherited trait that may lighten or darken over the years. Or you may have inherited having more volume loss in the periorbital region. Either way, a specialist can help you find a solution to keep symptoms at bay or minimize the appearance, depending on the cause (loss of volume or hyperpigmentation). If your skin is prone to hyperpigmentation, using creams that can lighten the skin (vitamin C, tranexamic acid, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, cysteamine, retinoids, hydroquinone). If you inherited thin skin and dark vessels show through more easily, then using something with vitamin K, caffeine, and retinoids, peptides, and antioxidants may be helpful.
05. Eye Strains
With most Americans shifting from working in the office to working at home over the past two years, there has been more risk of dark circles. Staring at the TV or computer screen for extended periods strains and darkens the under-eye area. Blood vessels will appear through the skin once they expand.
My Favorite Remedies
There's no need to worry if you notice changes in skin color beneath the eyes. The best thing you can do is find out why by scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist. I have rounded up a few of my favorite products to help you achieve healthier, brighter eyes.
Visit My Favorite Under Eye Creams for Dark Circles for the complete list.