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Article: How to get rid of dark circles under your eyes

How to get rid of dark circles under your eyes

How to get rid of dark circles under your eyes

We’re not talking about mascara failure here; we’re talking about the haunting, horror-movie shadows that appear under your eyes when you’ve been burning the candle at both ends.

Some people - men as well as women - suffer from dark circles under their eyes more than others. While you might hope they make you look interesting and kind of mysterious, dark circles aren’t aspirational in anybody’s book. And they can be tricky to eliminate, unless you understand the underlying causes.

What causes dark circles?

Sleep problems

Dark circles under your eyes can be caused by oversleeping and undersleeping, although not getting enough sleep is by far the most likely cause. Sleep deprivation causes your skin to become pale and dull, which lets the blood vessels and darker tissues beneath your skin show through. Basically, you’ve become translucent.  

Eye strain

Another cause of dark circles under your eyes is eye strain. If you work in front of a screen all day, then come home and stare at the TV all evening, the tiny blood vessels around your eyes can become swollen. Because they’re enlarged, they’re more likely to show through the skin.


If you don’t consume enough water in a day, your skin thins out and your eyes can look sunken. In short, you’re asking for panda eyes.


Certain ethnicities are more prone to dark circles than others. For example, if your ancestors hail from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, dark circles could be part of your genetic makeup.


Collagen production decreases as you age, which leads to skin that’s thinner and saggier than it used to be. What’s more, facial fat loss associated with aging can lead to hollowed tear troughs and an illusion of dark circles.

Health problems

Certain health conditions, like anaemia and liver problems, make it difficult for oxygen to reach body tissues, which contributes to dark circles under the eyes.


If you’re prone to hay fever, you might notice dark circles under your eyes during the sneezing season. This happens because the blood vessels in the eye area become inflamed. The result is greater show-through, which causes the dark circles.

Too much sun, too often

If you’re a sun bear, i.e. someone who actively pursues a tan, the skin under your eyes can become permanently darkened. Basically, your body is trying to protect itself from UV by creating more pigment.

How can you treat dark circles?

Whether you’ve had a big night out, been romping in the hay or spent too long in front of a computer screen, here are some quick fixes that will help with dark circles:

  • Soak a couple of cotton makeup pads in our cucumber and lettuce natural mist toner, then put them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Relax on the couch with these cooling pads over your eye area. 
  • Another eye compress option is cold tea bags. The caffeine in black tea helps to stimulate blood circulation and shrink blood vessels. This is why the latest eye creams have caffeine as an ingredient.
  • Go to bed earlier and avoid alcohol. Getting more sleep will plump-up your skin, so that it’s not so see-through. And avoiding alcohol helps you to stay hydrated (alcohol sends your kidneys into overdrive, making you pee more than you take in).
  • If you suffer from sneezy seasonal allergies that make your eye area tender and inflamed, taking an oral antihistamine could help. Ask your doctor about nasal sprays too.
  • Eye strain can be relieved by giving your eyes a regular break from the computer monitor. Look away from your monitor and focus on something in the distance for 20 seconds. Do this every 20 minutes.

How can you disguise dark circles?

If you have dark circles under your eyes for a reason you can’t remedy (age, genetics, sun exposure, ill-health), makeup can come to the rescue. After you’ve cleansed and moisturised, use a tiny amount of creamy concealer to cover the dark circles. Apply carefully with your ring finger, so you don’t press too hard. Some concealers have a sponge tip to make application easier.

What about eye bags? 

Maybe your under-eye problem is less about dark circles and more about Louis Vuittons (eye bags). Many of the fixes for dark circles will also work for eye bags, particularly cold compresses, rehydrating and going to bed on time. But there’s one trick that is specific to eye bags: Try sleeping on a higher pillow. Elevating your head prevents fluid from pooling under your eyes and forming puffy bags.

Read more: Do you really need a special eye cream?

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