Why do I have dark rings under my eyes?

By January 5, 2018Skin

Eek! You have a date tonight and there are dark circles under your eyes… again. You’ve tried sleeping for eight hours every night, but this doesn’t seem to make any difference. What now?

A lot of people suffer from these dark rings. The dark rings are basically just the blood vessels underneath the eyes that are visible through the skin. The skin around the eyes are naturally very thin, so depending on hydration, blood flow and the colour and thickness of the skin, these dark rings may be more or less visible.

Lack sleep and too much alcohol are the two most common causes for these pesky rings. But if you’ve been getting enough shut-eye and keeping your drinks to a decent limit, there may be other causes to consider.

Panda-eye culprits

  • Genetics: If you’ve had dark circles under your eyes since you were a child, it’s possible you’ve inherited it.
  • Allergies: Your stuffy nose could be causing more harm than you think. Nasal congestion can affect the skin under your eyes when it dilates the blood vessels that drain that area.
  • Too much sleep: It’s not just a lack of sleep that’s an issue. Oversleeping can cause the blood vessels in the eye area dilate, making the dark colour noticeable.
  • Iron deficiency: A lack of iron can prevent blood from carrying enough oxygen to your eye tissues.
  • Stress: If you’re often stressed, your dark circles appear more visible. This is because more blood is directed to your main organs, leaving your face looking pasty and drained.
  • Rubbing your eyes: The most sensitive part of your face is under your eyes. Rubbing may cause the capillaries around your eyes to break or leak, leaving you with bruise-like shadows.
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Lighten up  

  1. Place a cold washcloth or a bag of frozen vegetables underneath your eyes to constrict blood vessels and help with the dark circles.
  2. Elevate your head with an extra pillow in bed. This helps stop too much blood from collecting in the blood vessels under the skin around your eyes.
  3. Up your intake of Vitamin C and other antioxidants. These nutrients and vitamins help fight off free radicals (unstable molecules that damage cells) which cause your skin to become thinner and see-through.
  4. Don’t neglect the under eye skin during your beauty routine. Gently, cleanse, tone and moisturise that area regularly.
  5. If all else fails, try beauty products (like a good concealer) to mask the problem area.

Good to know

  • Wear sunglasses when you’re outside. The sun can also cause dark circles underneath your eyes.
  • Beauty products which contain alpha hydroxy acids help to thicken the skin around your eyes, making dark circles less visible.
  • Too much salt in your diet cause water to accumulate throughout your body, including your eyes, which could potentially cause dark circles.