7 Reasons For Your Dark Eye Circles

A common occurrence among both men and women, dark eye circles are undesirable, distracting at face to face engagements and can be a source of anxiety. Nobody wants to look tired, uninterested, haggard nor unhealthy. Sufferers often resort to putting on heavy eye makeup to cover dark circles, only to have to deal with clogged pores and dry skin later on.

Some conditions can make you more susceptible like old age, a genetic predisposition called periorbital hyperpigmentation, or simply due to ethnicity.

Below, we list 7 ways you could be contributing to your woes.


Your Beauty Sleep Pattern Isn’t Pretty

Inadequate sleep and oversleeping are usual causes of dark eye circles. Beyond just making skin less radiant and paler, making other colourings from darkened skin or blood vessels more contrasting. While you sleep, fluids do accumulate under your eyes, causing blood vessels in the area to dilate and pool blood. The under-eye can become puffed up and cast shadows to make your dark eye circles look worse.

You can explore propping up your pillow higher and increase the gradient to reduce pooling under the eyes. However, the better option is to regulate your sleep patterns and avoid sleeping too little or too much.


Refrain From Eye Strain

Not only can prolonged straining of your eyes give you potential eyesight ailments, they can become unsightly problems around your eyes as well. Straining your eyes can cause blood to pool around the under-eye and dilate blood vessels, giving a darkening effect around the eyes.

Activities that can cause eye strain include extended hours in front of computer or television monitors, reading in low light conditions and prolonged visual concentration like during driving.

While our modern lifestyles make these activities inevitable, there are ways to minimize their effects such as taking regular breaks from intense visual concentration, improving lighting conditions and reducing driving time wherever possible.


Allergies And Vasculitis

Nothing much you can do about allergies, but just in case you are wondering why your eye rings form despite having adequate sleep and good eye health practices, it could be due to allergies or a case of vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels). Symptoms of allergy include itch, swelling, redness and puffy eyes.

Vasculitis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attack blood vessels, causing them to constrict, dilate or bleed. These symptoms can give rise to the appearance of dark eye rings as blood pools in the affected vessels around the eye.


Drink More Water

“Oh look, another tip that involves drinking water”. It’s unavoidable that water content affects you in a myriad of ways, often compounded, when your body is 50-60% made up of water.

When you are dehydrated, your tissues will lose volume and appear to have shrunk. Due to the fact that your eyes sit within 2 cavities, the skin around the eyes will appear sunken, blood vessels to become more visible and shadows become more contrasting.


Be Thick-Skinned

Having thin skin can make blood underneath the skin more visible. The thickness of our skin is dependent on a variety of factors: lifestyle choices, diet, genetics, sun exposure, loss of subcutaneous fats, medication and other personal habits.

Ensuring a balanced diet with healthy amounts of protein, collagen, fat (especially omega-3 and 6), antioxidants and vitamins A, C, E and vitamin D (from moderate sun exposure) is a good first step. Medication like steroidal skin lotions and conditions like eczema can lead to thinning of skin; consult your physician for best advice on how to manage skin-thinning.


Overexposure To UV Rays

Exposure to the sun is good and healthy for the skin, unless there’s too much of it. For some, the source of UV could be from using tanning beds too. Nevertheless, overexposure to UV rays can not just damage skin (and thin it) but also cause it to produce melanin, the dark pigmentation (tan) that protects us from UV and increase the likelihood of developing dark spots.



Your genes, the biological code that defines the physical you, can play a part in your dark eye rings too, although there is nothing much you can do about it either. However, knowing the genetic reasons for the rings can help you design and find ways to soften its effects on you — whether it be allergies, a natural predisposition to other medical conditions involving the thyroid, skin thickness, natural pigmentation, deep periorbital cavities or others.


Tips For Reducing Dark Eye Circles

  • Applying a cold compress can reduce the puffiness that can contribute to redness or shadows.
  • Get adequate sleep and not too much of it.
  • Elevating your head with good pillows and good postures while you sleep can reduce blood pooling around your eyes.
  • While concealing with makeup is not a cure for eye circles, they can help to reduce anxiety and self-consciousness, contributing to your emotional wellness.
  • There are various medical solutions available; consult a professional for advice.