Monthly Archives: November 2016

Here’s What Causes Dark Under Eye Circles (and How to Fix Them)

Ever wonder what causes those dark under eye circles? Better yet, would you like a way to fix them? I talk about it here.

We’ve all been there – maybe it was a late night working on a project. Perhaps the baby kept you up all night. Or maybe it was just a great night out with your girlfriends. But the next day, you stumble, bleary-eyed, into the bathroom early in the morning, flip on the light, look in the mirror and… Whoa! Where did those come from?!?!

Whether you call them bags, eye circles or dark circles, those little dark smudges under your eyes seem to tell a tale. We assume it’s the tale of a sleepless night or more than a few Cosmos. But the reality is, lack of sleep is only one of a number of reasons you could be seeing that dark skin under your eyes.

And for every reason, there are numerous remedies and cures that span the range from ineffective to proven. But to find a remedy that works for you, you have to narrow down why you have them.

So what’s causing your dark circles? And what can you do about them?

Identifying Your Circles

There are a number of terms for dark circles, depending on the cause. From periorbital hyperpigmentation to periorbital cellulitis, there are technical (and slightly scary!!) sounding medical names for the condition.

But if you’re like most people, you care less about what they’re called and more about how to get rid of them. But to do that, first, we’ll need to find out what kind you have.

If you’ve got circles now, go look in the mirror. Tip your chin toward your chest so you’re not getting any shadow from your lids, brow or forehead. What do you see? Take note of the color of the circles. Were they more blue/purple? Or did they look browner?

The general pigmentation of your circles can help you narrow down what’s causing them, and how difficult they will be to treat.

Type 1: Blue or Purple

If your circles appear to be bluish or purple, what you’re probably seeing is the blood under the skin below the eye. That sounds awful, right? But in most cases, it’s completely normal.

The reason veins look blue, particularly in Caucasians, isn’t because your blood is blue, as many of us were taught. Blood is always red.

The real answer has to do with how you see light and color. The cut-to-the-chase explanation is that when light waves hit your skin, the red waves get absorbed, while the blue get bounced back. That bounced color is what you see.

So what does that mean for your circles? Well, the skin under your eyes is thinner than it is anywhere else on your body. So it’s easier to see the blood vessels there, especially as we age and our skin naturally becomes thinner.

Related to this is when puffiness decides to join your dark circles for the party. While aging can be a factor in puffiness, it’s usually more related to things like allergies, illness or even water retention. The additional fluids push the blood vessels closer to the skin, giving that bluish tint to your bags.

If your circles appear to be browner, or a darker version of your own skin tone, that’s a different case. These types of dark circles are usually related to either heredity or a medical condition.

Hereditary dark circles are common for people of color and those from Mediterranean regions – think the olive toned skin of Italians for an example. In these cases, it can be frequently attributed to more melanin being produced in the area below the eye.

Some medical conditions can also produce these dark circles. It is not uncommon for someone with hypothyroidism to experience circles.

But it isn’t the only medical condition that can cause those annoying smudges under your eyes. Some conditions, like certain types of liver disease, can also cause you to experience chronic circles. And while conditions like this are rare, if you’re concerned about your dark circles, make sure to visit your doctor.

 

Treating Dark Circles

Once you’ve got a handle on what is causing the issue, you can begin to find remedies that help you and meet you comfort level.

Any of the types of circles we’ve discussed can be temporarily concealed with makeup. Try experimenting with different brands to find what works for you. If you experience puffiness along with the circles, there are concealers that come with steel ball applicators. These can help cool the skin and reduce the swelling while putting the concealer right where you need it.

There are a number of home remedies for treating circles. For bluish smudges, remedies that improve blood flow and reduce swelling are top of the list. These treatments include used green tea bags that have been cooled or slices of cucumber placed on the eyes for 10-15 minutes. Both contain anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants.

For hyperpigmentation, consider using potato slices instead of cucumbers. Potatoes also contain antioxidants as well as Vitamin C and other nutrients that can help to brighten the skin and reduce puffiness.

If wearing salad on your face is less than appealing, facial creams are the next step up. These creams can contain stimulating ingredients, like caffeine, that will help to tighten and lessen the appearance of blood vessels. Some also contain skin brighteners like soy and citrus that, over time, will help to lighten the appearance of your under eye skin.

 

Nerium’s Age-Defying Eye Serum is PERFECT for circles, regardless of the source!! Because their serum is a multi-functional product, it helps with puffiness and discoloration, with the added benefit of reducing wrinkles. And because their Serum contains brighteners and moisturizers, it can help lighten the appearance of hyperpigmentation, too.

If your circles are related to a medical condition, your doctor should be able to help you identify ways to improve the look of your under eye skin. Treating the underlying ailment should start to correct the issue as well.

Conclusion

Narrowing down the cause of your dark circles can help you reduce their frequency and severity. Start with getting enough sleep, treating your allergies, avoiding salty meals, and be careful how much you drink if you want to look your best the next day.

But if your dark circles and bags go beyond these few simple tips, start by identifying what may be causing the discoloration. From there you’ll have a number of options to address the problem, depending on your wallet and how serious you are about getting rid of your circles.