If eyes are the windows to the soul, then the dark circles underneath them must be the old set of drapes that need to be replaced. Dark circles are common in both adult men and women, although children can develop them too. They aren’t a sign of anything serious, but most people don’t find them attractive and want to conceal or completely remove them. If you’re one of those people, read on to find out how to get rid of dark circles under your eyes.
Why Dark Circles Appear
Dark circles are caused by a variety of things, including fatigue and lack of sleep. While those may be some of the more common causes, they aren’t the only ones. Here are some of the other common factors that cause the formation of dark circles under your eyes:
- Aging: As you get older, the skin under your eyes tends to hollow, and the shadows cast from that hollowness can make the skin appear dark. Your skin also loses collagen and elastin as you age; these are two proteins that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As your skin thins and loses these proteins, the dark veins under your eyes become more noticeable.
- Nasal congestion: When your nasal passages become congested, the veins from your eyes to your nose can darken, causing the look of dark circles.
- Sun exposure: When you spend a lot of time in the sun, your body produces more melanin, the pigment that colors your skin. Melanin is what makes your skin tan after being in the sun and can darken the skin under your eyes.
- Heredity: If dark circles are common in your family, it’s possible they were passed on genetically.
- Lifestyle factors: If you smoke or drink regularly, or are in a constant state of physical or emotional stress, it can affect the way you look and that includes the formation of dark circles.
Allergies, eczema or rubbing of the eyes can also cause dark circles to appear. But if you think that something else might be the cause, or if your dark circles become darker or start to change, visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis of the cause.
How To Get Rid Of Them
There’s bad news and there’s good news when it comes to dark circles. The bad news is that dark circles appear more easily than they disappear. It takes more than a good night’s sleep to see them disappear. The good news is that there are a few simple remedies that should help you get rid of dark circles under your eyes:
- Sleep with your head elevated. This means sleeping with an extra pillow or placing a rolled up towel or T-shirt under your head while you sleep. This will help to prevent any blood from building up under your eyes while lying down, which creates the appearance of dark circles.
- Use a collagen-boosting cream. Both vitamin C and retinol help to increase collagen production, so look for a face cream that contains one or both of those ingredients. If you can’t find a vitamin C or retinol cream, look for an eye or face cream that contains green tea or grape seed oil as both can strengthen the capillaries under the eyes.
- Take an antihistamine. If allergies are the cause of your dark circles, taking an antihistamine to prevent allergic reactions should keep dark circles at bay.
- Use a cold compress. Cold compresses work well in the morning after you’ve been lying down for a few hours, but they can be effective at any time. A cooled green-teabag, chilled teaspoons or even a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a dish towel can work just as well.
- Wear sunscreen. This will prevent your skin from over-producing melanin, which can lead to the formation of dark circles.
- Tweak your diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins C and E and incorporate foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and flavanols as they can increase blood flow to the skin.
How To Hide Them
Since these remedies take some time to work, you may want to conceal them temporarily until you start to see some results. An easy way to cover your dark circles is by wearing sunglasses. Not only can they act as a clever disguise, but they can also keep the sun’s ultraviolet rays from penetrating your skin. Another way to conceal them is with makeup. Here’s how to do it:
- Dab a light face cream on your skin. Don’t use a heavy lotion as that can cause the makeup to appear caked on.
- Brush a corrector on your skin from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner above your cheekbone. If you have fair skin, use a pink tone; if you have dark skin, use a peach tone.
- Apply a thin layer of concealer over the area. Make sure it’s two shades lighter than what you normally use.
- Set the concealer by brushing a dash of yellow powder over the area.
Dark circles may not be serious, but they can affect your appearance by making you look older and tired. Thankfully, they’re fairly easy to get rid of and are even easier to conceal.