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What causes Dark Under-eye Circles?

Dark circles often appear under the eyes after not getting a full night’s sleep, but there are also physiological causes that range from thin eye skin to blood pooling under eyes. Knowing what’s causing your dark circles can help you figure out what to do prevent them, fix them or use makeup tricks to keep them from distracting from your beautiful eyes.

The color that can visibly be seen is the blood pooling. Your skin color never changed; rather, it’s the color of the blood in your veins creating a dark hue under your skin. The exact color varies based on skin tone, meaning one person’s veins may have had a red tint while another’s may have a blue tint. Even the skin on your arms and legs may let the color of your veins show through in spots, yet your skin color itself never changes. Spending several hours in a horizontal position is the reason why the blood pooling is so apparent in the morning.

Skin thickness also matters. Eye skin is fairly thin in general. That’s why you don’t notice blood pooling as much in other areas of your body. But some people have thinner skin than others, likely due to genetics. Skin also thins as you age. If you sleep for eight hours, are fairly young and still have dark circles, it is likely just due to genetically thin skin.

However, sometimes dark circles aren’t sleep related entirely or at all. Dark circles can be a result of allergies, eczema, contact dermatitis, sun exposure (because of the skin color change from tans or sunburns), or rubbing or scratching eyes. If you know the direct cause, such as with allergies, it’s best to treat your allergies for the sake of your overall health.

Even if you’re aware of conditions such as allergies, it’s always a good idea to seek a doctor’s advice. Dark circles that seem to only occur after a restless night’s sleep won’t just occur under one eye. If the dark circle is under one eye only and appears to be getting worse, see your primary doctor for diagnosis and potentially treatment.

The good news is most dark circles are harmless. One pleasant side to dark circles is the excuse to spruce up your eye makeup routine. While concealers only attempt to cover up the dark circles, well-done eye makeup makes your eyes look brighter and more pronounced. Applying mascara to upper lashes and skipping lower lashes draws the attention of the person looking at you upward and away from the problem area. Other tricks include curling your lashes and extending the application of your eye shadow just past your eyelid.

Whatever the cause is of your dark eye circles, get a good night’s rest and take care of your health.