The skin under the eye is very thin, and when blood passes through the veins close to the surface of the skin, this can cast a bluish/blackish shadow to the under eye skin. Any increase in blood flow will cause the areas under the eyes to appear darker.
While heredity can be one factor for development of under eye circles, sun exposure is another. Even though tanning may make your whole body look good, it’s not good for the skin under the eyes. Too much sun can cause excessive pigmentation of the area beneath the eyes, resulting in dark spots.
Allergies are another factor that can lead to dark circles. Any skin or respiratory condition which has you rubbing or wiping your eyes will trigger increased blood flow. More blood flow to the sensitive under-eye area means a greater likelihood of dark circles.
Certain medications can cause dark circles, especially those medications which lead to blood vessel dilation. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and menstruation may change the color and texture of the skin, resulting in a greater appearance of under eye circles.
While all these factors can play a role in the development of dark circles under your eyes, the two most common culprits are lack of adequate nutrition and lack of enough sleep.
People with diets low in vitamins C and E (antioxidants), low in lutein, beta carotene, and zinc are likely to have dark circles. You can combat this by adding in more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
People who don’t get enough sleep are also prone to under eye circles. This can be addressed most easily by a better sleep routine. It’s best, too, to sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated for the best results.
Treating under eye circles can take some time, but here are some suggestions for doing so:
- Get proper nutrition.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid frequent rubbing or wiping of your eyes.
- Use a cosmetic concealing stick to hide the circles.
- Use an eye cream containing Vitamin K, which has been shown to reduce dark circles.
- Protect your skin from the sun.