9 REAL Reasons You May Have Dark Circles Around Your Eyes

Updated: Oct 9, 2020


What are “dark circles”?


“Dark circles” or “dark rings” are what people usually say to describe the darker skin surrounding their eyes. They appear to be dark brown or black on darker skin, and purple or dark blue on lighter skin. These dark areas primarily exist underneath the eyes or on both the eyelid and under-eye area. Sometimes dark circles appear most prevalent in the morning, while on the computer or late at night.

Why do people get dark circles around their eyes?


There are plenty of reasons people have dark circles around their eyes. Some causes are due to genetics, others can be health-related, and some reasons are due to one’s lifestyle. In case you are wondering, there are medical terms to describe darkened skin around the eyes, such as periorbital hyperpigmentation, periorbital edema, and tear trough depression.

Below are nine reasons men and women get dark circles around their eyes and a few remedies that can help reduce the appearance.

1. Lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause dark circles and fluid buildup also called “bags” under your eyes. Sometimes the remedy is simply to get more rest.

2. Allergies

Outdoor and indoor allergies can be a major cause of dark circles. When darkening appears around the eyes, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. Another name for this type of dark circle is allergic shiners. They are caused by nasal congestion and are usually accompanied by additional allergy symptoms.

3. Excessive eye rubbing

Some people have never considered the idea that blood vessels under the eye can be responsible for dark circles. Itchy eyes can be a problem. Too much rubbing can cause damage or break blood vessels under the eye. When a blood vessel breaks, blood spills under the skin and causes darkened areas around the eye.

4. Hyperpigmentation

This happens when too much melanin is produced around the eye area. Eczema, inflammation, eye rubbing, scratching and even hormonal changes can cause hyperpigmentation around the eyes.

5. High alcohol intake/ dehydration

The body needs water to live, so when the body does not get enough, it shows in the skin. Alcohol causes fluid to exit your body faster. Have you ever been out with friends and heard the phrase “Don’t break the seal”? They are telling you, not to urinate (something you cannot avoid when drinking excessively) because you will keep going to the bathroom once you start. You should drink plenty of water as part of your diet anyway, but too much alcohol and not enough water will cause a person to become dehydrated.


To fight, wrinkles, fine lines, puffiness and reduce the look of dark circles around the eye, use Penny Peau’s Restorative Cucumber and Herb Eye Gel. This skin-healthy cooling concoction treats the eye area and is vegan and gluten-free. It uses a unique herbal complex along with caffeine to lighten and tighten the skin under and around the eyes.


For quick kitchen remedies, you can use cucumber slices and tea bags to reduce puffiness and help slow down the formation of dark circles.





6. Thinning of skin/collagen loss caused by aging

As we age, our skin gets thinner and loses elasticity. The loss of fatty tissue and collagen in the eye area causes the under-eye area to look saggy. Sometimes eyes may look sunken into the face casting a shadow underneath the eyes. Aging can also cause fluid retention under the eyes, which results in a puffy or swollen eye area.

7. Sun exposure

The skin surrounding your eyes is sensitive and thin. If your eye area experiences high levels of sun exposure, it can cause the skin to pigment.

8. Genetics

Sometimes we encounter physical traits and conditions based on our genetic makeup. For example, if you have a family history of darkening around the eyes, that could be enough of a reason for you to develop dark circles. Additionally, ethnic makeup is a factor in dark circles. Individuals with darker skin are more likely to see dark circles form because they have more pigment. Examples of melanin-strong ethnic groups include people of African, Latin, Mediterranean, or Indian descent.


9. Iron deficiency

Discoloration under or around the eye is a sign of iron deficiency anemia. A low iron diet, frequent blood donation, and even menstruation are just a few reasons one can develop iron deficiency anemia. You can avoid an iron deficiency by keeping iron as a healthy part of your diet.


There are several reasons someone may have dark circles around their eyes. Learn what could be the cause of your dark circles before deciding to move forward with any cosmetic solutions. If you do choose to go that route, consult with a dermatologist. There are options like chemical peels, laser therapy, and skin-lightening available for your consideration.

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