Have you ever woken up after a long night and dragged yourself into the bathroom only to realize that there’s a zombie staring back at you in the mirror? We’ve all been there. It’s not even Halloween, but for some reason you look like you spent last night in a coffin rather than a bed. The good news is that you don’t have to live with these dark circles any longer!
By following these five simple steps, you can return to the land of the living and never look back.
1. Understand Why You’re Seeing Dark Circles
There are many remedies for under eye circles. To get the best results, you need to pair the remedy with the cause.
Dark circles can be caused by allergies, gluten intolerance, lack of sleep, sinus or nasal congestion, genetic pigment irregularities, excessive sun exposure, age, alcohol, caffeine, smoking and a variety of other factors. If you monitor your dark circles, you may be able to figure out when and why you get them, and tailor your treatment accordingly.
2. Check Your Allergies
Allergies may not be your first thought when you start seeing dark circles, but the chief of plastic surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine actually believes that certain airborne allergens may be causing blood to pool in the skin under your eyes.
According to Dr. John A. Persing, these allergens likely hide in weeds like ragweed, tumbleweed, and sage brush. They can also be carried in food products like wheat and yeast, and even pet allergies can aggravate dark circles if your cat or dog gets too near your face.
Evaluate your allergies and minimize the potential damage to see if it shows an effect under your eyes.
3. Make Lifestyle Changes
If it’s not allergies, chances are the skin under your eyes is being aggravated by lifestyle factors.
The most traditional reason, lack of sleep, is well known for a reason. Although scientists are unsure why a lack of sleep causes dark circles, they are fairly certain it is directly correlated to dark pigment under the eyes.
Sleeping and lying on your back helps facilitate blood flow throughout your eyes and face, leaving you less likely to experience leaky capillaries or pooled blood underneath your eyes. To combat dark circles this way, you need to start setting aside the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
If you’re a smoker, this could be adding to your under-eye circles as well. This relationship was first observed in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1971, when scientists found that smoking exacerbates wrinkles and the thinning of tissue, which contributes to dark eye circles.
When you smoke, your eyes automatically squint, leading to deeper lines around your eyelid region. The deeper the lines, the darker the circles.
Finally, excess stress may also be a culprit. Stress causes adrenal exhaustion, which leads to swelling and dark circles. It also wreaks havoc on other areas of your body, which may lead to wrinkles and double the damage that lack of sleep can do.
4. Try a Natural Remedy
Once you’ve identified the reason for your dark circles, it’s time to remedy them. Natural remedies are usually the most affordable and gentle. Try applying some cucumber slices, refrigerated tea bags, or ice cubes wrapped in a cloth to your closed lids. They will reduce puffiness and invigorate the skin.
You can also try simple tricks like putting a spoon in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes and then covering your eyes with it. This can help relax the blood vessels in and around the eyes, stopping leaky capillaries and reducing puffiness.
5. Cosmetic Solutions
If all else fails, you can use a cosmetic to cover up your dark circles. There are many under-eye creams that have Vitamin K, retinol and concealer, ingredients that give health as well as color to the skin.
To get the most out of your concealer, warm up your skin with a little warm water before you apply it. This will help open your pores so your skin can more easily absorb the beneficial ingredients in your makeup.
Identifying the underlying causes to dark eye circles is a difficult business, so if you’re serious about reversing the damage you may want to consult an allergy doctor or a general practitioner. However, if you simply want to stave off dark eye circles in the future, lifestyle changes and a good eye cream can go a long way.