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What Causes Dark Eye Circles?

Introduction

Dark eye circles are one of the very common eye-related afflictions that many of us experience. They can be pretty frustrating to deal with, especially when the concealer does not seem to cover up the severe darkness. Dark eye circles can make one look very tired and exhausted, and people usually don’t like the look of them because they want to look bright and vibrant! However, the causes of dark eye circles are often very misunderstood. They are not necessarily caused by a lack of sleep although dark eye circles can occur due to that. There are many other reasons as to why your under eyes are dark! In this article, we will lay out the main causes of why dark eye circles occur.

How do dark circles form?

The skin around and under the eyes are some of the most delicate parts of the skin. The skin in this area is quite different from the rest of the body in terms of the structure and makeup of the skin. Typically, the skin has 3 layers — the topmost epidermis, middle dermis, and deepest layer which are subcutaneous fats. In the skin around the eye area, the dermis and epidermis do not contain oil glands which are present in other parts of the skin. Oil glands are what produce sebum, which is the oil that helps to keep our skin smooth and moisturized. The skin under the eyes is hence a lot more prone to wrinkling and becoming dry since there is no oil to moisturize it. This thinness of the skin is what makes the under-eye area so susceptible and prone to dark circles.

A lack of collagen and elastin in this area also contributes to the thinness. Collagen and elastin are what give our skin structure and support. The darkness of the area is likely due to excessive melanin deposits. Melanin is the pigment that gives our skin color, however, too much melanin can cause specific areas of the skin to appear darker than others. The thin skin and lack of fats in this area also make the color of blood vessels more pronounced. The bluish-red blood capillaries present underneath the eyes will be more visible if the skin is thinner. The lack of collagen, fats, and oil glands will cause the skin to look more translucent and hence make the subdermal parts of the skin like blood vessels more obvious.

What are the main causes of dark circles?

Dark circles have a range of causes, and can even be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Having dark eye circles could be indicative of having a deficiency in the kidneys or perhaps overly high levels of sugar in the blood. They could also just be genetic and inherited from your parents. Here are the top causes of dark eye circles:


Not enough sleep

This is one of the most common lifestyle reasons for having dark eye circles. Sleeping puts the body into rest and repair mode, and sleeping is when the body repairs the skin and all other tissues. Your body can only undergo this state of reparation when you are fast asleep. During this phase of deep sleeping, the blood is able to concentrate on the tissues and cells. This is why you often look much more refreshed and alive after having a deep, uninterrupted period of sleep. A lack of sleep often increases the amount of stress faced by your body. When stress levels rise, the body will produce steroids and compounds that reduce the blood circulation to the skin, instead directing the blood flow to the other muscles and major organs. This lack of circulation and accumulation of deoxygenated blood is what results in dark eye circles becoming more pronounced.

Brightening Eye Patch

This moisturizing eye patch helps brighten and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving the under-eyes visibly radiant and dark circle-free.

$24.00

Brightening Eye Patch

This moisturizing eye patch helps brighten and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving the under-eyes visibly radiant and dark circle-free.

$24.00

FOREO IRIS

This uniquely designed, ophthalmologist-approved eye massager utilizes alternating pulses to reduce the visible signs of crow’s feet, dark circles, and bags under your eyes.

$104.25

FOREO IRIS

This uniquely designed, ophthalmologist-approved eye massager utilizes alternating pulses to reduce the visible signs of crow’s feet, dark circles, and bags under your eyes.

$104.25

Bad blood flow and circulation

As we see above, poor blood circulation is a cause of dark eye circles. Remember that the skin surrounding our eyes is very thin and not supported by fats or collagen, hence the blood vessels become very obvious. The darkness could be caused by the visible color of the blood. Oxygenated blood is red in color, but deoxygenated blood shows up blue. When there is poor blood circulation, usually it is the blood circulating deeper in the body that is oxygenated while blood that is circulating close to the skin surface is more often deoxygenated. After imparting oxygen to the necessary cells, the blood will be bluish in tone and not red. The capillaries surrounding the eyes will hence be carrying bluish blood, resulting in darker tones around the under-eye area. If the capillaries in this area are weak and start to leak, the red blood cells will spill into the surrounding tissue area. The body’s enzymes will break down the blood cells and hemoglobin, which decomposes into a dark blue-blackish color. This further adds to the discoloration in this already thin-skinned area.

Hereditary dark eye circles

Having genetics that causes dark eye circles are one of the most common reasons for them. If your parents sport dark eye circles, the chances of you getting them too are pretty high. Typically, people who have more melanin in their skin tone are more predisposed to dark eye circles. These genetic groups include races like Latin, Indian, and Africans who typically have darker skin. The skin already has a higher concentration of melanin pigment, so if you genetically have dark eye circles the pigment will show up even more in the under-eye area.

Power K Eye Rescue

Help visibly brighten and reduce the look of dark circles, puffiness, crepiness, fatigue, fine lines, and wrinkles in the delicate eye area with this cream.

$100.00

Power K Eye Rescue

Help visibly brighten and reduce the look of dark circles, puffiness, crepiness, fatigue, fine lines, and wrinkles in the delicate eye area with this cream.

$100.00

Dermalogica Total Eye Care with SPF15

Conceal dark circles and reduce puffiness and fine lines with the help of this SPF eye cream. Prevent further damage to your skin while smoothening it.

$54.00

Dermalogica Total Eye Care with SPF15

Conceal dark circles and reduce puffiness and fine lines with the help of this SPF eye cream. Prevent further damage to your skin while smoothening it.

$54.00

TULA Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm

Instantly hydrate, cool, and fill in fine lines around the eye while addressing dark circles and puffiness through this easy-to-use, portable eye balm.

$22.50

TULA Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm

Instantly hydrate, cool, and fill in fine lines around the eye while addressing dark circles and puffiness through this easy-to-use, portable eye balm.

$22.50

Too much alcohol consumption

Drinking too much alcohol can exacerbate the look of dark eye circles. Alcohol makes the liver work extra hard to detoxify the toxins put into the body, hence the blood flow will be directed towards the liver to aid in its functions. Furthermore, alcohol replaces oxygen in the blood, causing the blood to be deoxygenated and hence increasing the amount of deoxygenated blood in the body. Alcohol also causes the vessels to dilate more, causing puffiness, swelling, and an increase in the appearance of blue under the eyes.


Conclusion

There are many causes of dark eye circles, and often it is either genetic or caused by lifestyle habits. There is not much you can do to combat genetic dark circles, but ensuring you sleep enough and have your blood circulatory system work optimally by hydrating enough are ways to prevent exacerbation of the darkness.

Recommended Products

No. ProductPriceShop
1Brightening Eye Patch

It helps brighten and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, leaving the under-eyes visibly radiant and dark circle-free.
$24.00Shop
2FOREO IRIS

This eye massager utilizes alternating pulses to reduce the visible signs of crow's feet, dark circles, and eyebags.
$104.25Shop
3Power K Eye Rescue

Visibly reduce the look of dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles in the delicate eye area with this cream.
$100.00Shop
4Dermalogica Total Eye Care with SPF15

Conceal dark circles and reduce ine lines with this SPF eye cream. Prevent further damage to your skin while smoothening it.
$54.00Shop
5TULA Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm

Hydrate and fill in fine lines around the eye while addressing dark circles and puffiness through this eye balm.
$22.50Shop

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