Here's Everything You Should Know About Those Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

I think most ladies would agree that under-eye circles are the absolute worst.

I mean seriously, there's nothing that will put a damper on your morning quite like waking up, looking in the mirror and discovering two gigantic, raccoon-esque rings under your eyes.

I mean, don't get me wrong; dark eyes look adorable on these little woodland creatures, but when it comes to people, those shadowy circles look anything but chic.

the bags under my eyes are designer — Relatable Quotes (@RelatableQuote) August 30, 2013


Oftentimes, we blame our under-eye bags on not getting enough beauty rest.

But did you know those pesky creases under your peepers can be caused by a lot more than a lack of shut eye?

Yep, it turns out inadequate sleep is just one of the many things that can keep your eyes from looking their best.

So before you curse your brightening cream or toss your frozen spoons out of the window in a fit of rage, here's everything you need to know about those circles under your eyes and the best ways to fix them.

What's the deal with dark circles?

Dark under-eye circles occur when light reflects off of the blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin and shows through the thin layer of skin around the eyes, known as the periorbital area.

Fatigue is a common culprit.

When you don't get enough Zs, your body produces cortisol to give you the energy you need to stay awake.

The release of cortisol causes all of your blood vessels, including the ones in your eyes, to enlarge, which makes the dark-colored vessels more apparent in the area beneath your eyes.

And so are allergies.

Allergies cause inflammation in the blood vessels under the eyes. Oftentimes, the inflamed vessels press against the thin skin of the eyes and make the skin appear darker.

Common symptom of allergies includes itchy, watery eyes, which often causes you to rub your eyes, damage the blood vessels and make the circles even worse.

But that's not all. Allergies can also result in blocked nasal passages, which cause the veins from the eyes and nose to dilate and become darker. This also contributes to the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.

If allergies are the issue, you can try taking an OTC antihistamine to alleviate some of the symptoms or use a neti pot to clear your nasal passage and reduce congestion.

Your genetics can also be to blame.

There are a variety of hereditary conditions that can cause circles beneath your eyes.

If you are born with fair or relatively thin skin around the eyes, the blood beneath the skin will be more visible, making the area under your eyes darker.

People with darker skin tones are often prone to periorbital hyperpigmentation, a condition in which the body produces more melanin in the skin around the eyes, thus giving the skin a deeper pigment.

Bags to the bone.

Sometimes, the circles under your eyes are caused by your bone structure instead of your skin.

Deep tear troughs under the eyes can produce a shadowing effect that causes the skin under your eyes to look dark.

If you're looking to fix the problem, you're best bet is to even out the under-eye area by getting dermal fillers.

You're so vein.

Are the bags under your eyes predominately blue? If the answer is yes, your blood vessels may be to blame.

Blue veins show through the transparent skin around your eyes, which makes you look like you have dark bluish circles beneath your peepers.

If you're looking for a way to cure the blues, a color-correcting concealer should do the trick.

Easy on the eyes.

Constantly rubbing your eyes will make dark circles even worse, since it causes the fragile blood vessels in your eyes to break and leak blood into the affected area.

In addition to damaging blood vessels, rubbing your eyes also creates friction on the skin, which can lead to hyperpigmentation of the skin around the eyes.

To avoid this problem, stop rubbing your lids and make sure you are extra gentle when removing eye makeup.

It only gets worse with age.

As you age, your skin starts to become thinner and more translucent as it loses collagen. This makes the blood vessels beneath the skin become even more visible and makes the whole area under your eyes appear darker.

To combat the problem, you can use a collagen-building treatment, such as retinol cream and an eye serum that contains Vitamin C to brighten the skin.

Makeup can make it even worse.

If you reach for your makeup bag ever time you're plagued with those pesky circles, you might actually be making your under-eye woes even worse.

Beauty products applied around the eyes can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions, which worsens the circles.

So, if you notice that your new mascara is making you rub your eyes a lot, you might want find a different formula.

Protect your peepers.

It's no secret that the sun's rays can wreak havoc your skin, but did you know it can also exacerbate you under-eye issues? The skin around your eyes is incredibly thin and delicate, which makes it extremely susceptible to sun damage.

Sun exposure can dilate blood vessels, which makes them more visible through the transparent skin under the eyes. Or, it can prompt your body to produce melanin, which makes the skin appear darker.

Therefore, it's important to protect your under-eyes with SPF and wear shades as much as possible.