If you feel like you constantly have dark circles under your eyes, but can’t figure out what’s causing it or how to treat it, keep reading to learn different causes and how to treat each of them.
Hopefully you can read through these, identify with what you think is causing it for you, and treat it properly.
Common Causes of Dark Circles
- Discoloration. Hyperpigmentation, sun damage, melasma, whatever you want to call it – dark circles can literally just be discoloration on your skin.
Treatment: Lightening agents- vitamin C, ferulic acid, azelaic acid, hydroquinone, retinol, etc. There are a lot of different ones you can try, depending on what you and your dermatologist or esthetician think is best.
There are lasers, IPLs and peels that you can do, but even if you’re going to go that route, I recommend starting with a topical for 3-4 weeks first because (1) it’s going to help you get better results, and (2) sometimes you might not need it.
- Volume Loss. This is very common as you age or lose weight – naturally, you’re going to lose some of that plumpness. An easy way to notice this is if you look down in the mirror and see a little divot below your eyes.
Treatment: If you are just starting to lose this or want to prevent it, something like a retinol eye cream or a vitamin C eye cream can help boost your own collagen. The more collagen we can help our skin produce, the more plumpness you’re going to get.
Biossance makes a retinol serum you can use around your face, and Obagi makes a vitamin C eye brightener, which can be used for discoloration or volume loss.
Realistically, if you have a drastic amount of volume loss, using one of these ingredients is not going to do much. This is where cosmetic fillers will come in. A lot of them use hyaluronic acid, which fills the area. These can last anywhere from 1-4 years.
- Allergies. If you feel like you constantly wake up with bags under your eyes, just the puffiness can cast a dark shadow. This could be from seasonal allergies, dietary allergies or too much sodium in your diet.
Treatment: Lifestyle change. A lot of times people don’t even know they have allergies, especially if they develop later in life. Pay attention to those symptoms, and maybe try to take an anti-allergy medication one night and see if that helps.
One fun trick that helps is hemorrhoid cream. This sounds weird, but a lot of models and celebrities use this trick because hemorrhoids are inflammation, so hemorrhoid cream helps bring the swelling down. If you have swelling on your eyes, check with your doctor first, but try putting a little bit of that cream on and see if it helps.
- Diet. Oftentimes, if you are deficient in something, it can cause a discoloration in your skin. There are different kinds of nutritional deficiencies that can cause this.
If you have dark circles for a few days and it’s not consistent, I don’t think you need to get your blood tested and go that extreme, but if this is something that’s everyday, you can’t figure it out and you’ve eliminated all these other things, I really recommend getting a full micronutrient panel. This is much better than a blood test because it’s going to check what your cells are absorbing. I think everyone should get this test done anyway to just have.
Treatment: Diet change. If your iron levels are low, some iron-rich foods are dark leafy greens and lentils. You can work that out with your doctor, and see what’s best for you.
As you can see, these are completely different causes. If you have a nutritional deficiency, and you’re applying vitamin C, that’s not going to do anything. It really depends on what’s going on. Try to figure out what the cause is with your dermatologist or esthetician, and get to the root of the problem.