If we lived in a fair world dark circles would be a punishment for stopping out too late and partying into the early hours.
But life just isn’t like that – no matter how much of an early to bed kind of person you are – panda eyes can still greet you in the morning mirror. If you are prone to getting them you probably hate the way they make you look more tired and much older than you really are.
So what causesand is there anything we can do to prevent them?
Dark circles are present in most people to a degree.
The skin under our eyes is the thinnest in the whole of our bodies allowing the blood flowing through the capillaries to show as a bluish dark color. But some people are more likely to get under eye circles and these are the most common causes:
1. Genes – your DNA, heredity – call it what you want but the transparency and thinness of your skin is inherited. The thinner and more transparent the skin on your face the more likely it is you’ll have. Genes are also responsible for the strength of your capillaries – the tiny blood vessels that carry blood under your skin.
Weakened capillary walls make the under eye area darker just as they cause varicose veins orin your legs. So – if you have the ‘dark circle gene’ there isn’t much you can do about it – you’re just more likely to get them.
2. Bone structure – if you have deep set eyes, shadowing will contribute to the overall impression of darkness under your eyes making the circles look much worse. Bone structure is also inherited so again this is something you are stuck with.
3. Anemia - anemia is quite common and is caused by iron deficiency or a lack of balanced nutrients in the body. Much worse for women especially in pregnancy or during menstruation.
Anemia doesn’t cause under eye circles but it will make your skin very pale and so the dark area under your eyes will be much more obvious. You can improve your diet – iron rich foods include green vegetables, lean meat and brown whole meal breads – or you can takesupplements to make sure iron deficiency isn’t a problem.
4. Sun damage – this is something you CAN control. Hyperpigmentation results in higher levels of melanin in the delicate skin around the eyes which darkens unattractively. To avoid making dark circles worse – wear a high factor UV protection and proper sunglasses which fully shade the eye area.
5. Age – unfortunately as we get older collagen levels decline and skin becomes thinner and less resilient allowing the blood vessels to show through. Capillary strength also declines which is a bit of a double whammy as far as eye circles is concerned.
Treat the delicate skin around your eyes carefully and use a good general eye cream day and night. Or even better – rather than a general cream you might want to go for an eye cream for dark circles which will be specifically formulated to deal with the problem.
6. Medication – some forms of medication can cause increased dilation of blood vessels. If you have started a course of medication recently you may find that your under eye circles appear worse or even showif you never had them before – but don’t worry the change be temporary.
7. Dehydration – circles under your eyes can be a sign the body is lacking water. Keep your hydration levels up especially in the heat or when taking exercise.
8. Lack of sleep – actually lack of sleep doesn’t cause dark circles under the eyes but too little sleep will make you look pale and so the dark area will show up more. The answer is simple and obvious – get to bed in good time and give your mind and body a good night’s sleep – regularly.
The causes of eye circles may be outside our control but cosmetic science is coming up with answers – eye creams and gels are getting better and better at targeting the problem. And of course – if you want to disguise the problem – you can buy an excellent light reflecting.
So if you want the best possible answer to your dark circles – combine effective under eye skin care and make up with a good diet, careful sun protection, plenty of water and lots of rest.