When you look in the mirror, do you see dark circles under your eyes?
If you do, you probably don’t like the way they look. They can make you look tired, run-down, and much older than you are.
Although there are a few cosmetic procedures available to help, dark circles aren’t typically a severe health concern. But they may be a sign of an underlying problem—and getting rid of your dark circles means addressing those issues.
Get More and Better Sleep
Sleep allows your body some time to repair and rejuvenate itself. It’s also when your skin produces collagen, which helps keep your skin looking firm and smooth.
The skin around and near your eyes is fragile and delicate, so it will often be where the first signs of sleep deprivation will appear.
Improving the quality of your sleep includes:
- going to bed and waking up on a consistent schedule
- limiting or eliminating caffeine
- avoiding alcohol before bed
- establishing a bedtime routine
- sleeping in a cool, dark, and quiet room
It may also help to reduce under-eye puffiness to use an extra pillow to elevate your head while you sleep.
Avoid Allergens and Irritants
Another common cause of dark circles is allergies, especially if your eyes also feel itchy or watery.
To help reduce the appearance of your under-eye swelling and dark circles, you’ll need to avoid the things causing your allergies. This may mean:
- staying indoors on days when pollen counts are high
- wearing a dust mask when cleaning or doing yard work
- taking an over-the-counter allergy medication
If you’re not sure what you’re allergic to, you may need to see an allergist for skin or blood tests.
Drink More Water
When your body doesn’t have enough water, the skin around your eyes may appear sunken and wrinkled, and the dark circles appear more pronounced.
The amount of water you need depends on your weight, activity level, and the climate you live in. Generally, you need to drink more water if your urine is not clear or nearly clear.
Also, use moisturizing lotions or aloe vera gel to keep your skin healthy and prevent it from drying.
Smoking tobacco damages the skin in many ways, including making it thinner and less elastic. This can cause the blood vessels under your skin to become more visible, making the dark circles appear more pronounced.
Smoking also brings harmful metabolites and chemicals into your body, damaging your skin cells and tissues.
If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your skin and overall health.
Stress is not just an emotional issue. It can also harm your physical health, including the appearance of your skin.
Chronic stress can also lead to worsened sleep, reduced immune function, and unhealthy coping mechanisms (such as smoking, drinking alcohol, unhealthy eating, etc.), further exacerbating the appearance of dark circles around your eyes.
There are many different effective ways to reduce stress, including:
- deep breathing exercises
- spending time in nature
- talking to a friend or therapist
Removing your dark circles may require more than just using a cold compress or hiding them with makeup. But by taking steps to improve your sleep, reduce stress, stay hydrated, and stop smoking, you can help reduce the appearance of dark circles and promote healthy skin.