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What Are Dark Circles?

Highlighting skin brightening natural ingredients and identifying the root causes and lifestyle habits that lead to those dismal dark circles!

Written by: 100% PURE®
Bright Eyes Main

When your deskmate bemoans those “dark circles” under her eyes, she’s referring to that pesky combination of discoloration and puffiness - which can be triggered by multiple factors. Dark circles can look like dramatic shadows underneath the eyes, or can look like raised bags of discolored skin. Puffiness and purplish discoloration around the eye area are both caused by a buildup of fluid in the undereye area. This fluid can cause the delicate skin under your eyes to stretch, sag, and weaken, letting blood vessels underneath the surface of the skin show through. If enough fluid builds up, it can also create visible puffiness, and even “bags” underneath the eyes.

Sound like a horror movie? Yep, we think so too. That’s why we’ve put together our best skin brightening guide for avoiding (and caring for) dark circles, plus products skin brightening and de-puffing products that will rescue your under eyes from the 7th (dark) circle of… well, you get the picture.

Sleeping Girl What Causes Dark Circles?

Most of us associate dark circles with lack of sleep, but the truth is that dark circles can be caused by a range of different factors, from eye strain to genetics. Below, we’ll outline some of the most common causes of dark circles, and discuss how to prevent dark circles by making simple lifestyle adjustments.

1. Lack of sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep (7 - 9 hours per night for most adults), fluid can build up underneath your eyes, causing the puffiness and discoloration that we associate with dark circles. If you’re experiencing dark circles because of a lack of sleep, the good news (albeit a challenge for some of us) is that you may be able to reverse the problem by getting into a regular sleep cycle.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try turning off your phone screen about an hour before bedtime. Focus on a relaxing activity that helps you unwind, such as reading, stretching, meditating, or even grooming your nails. Make sure to get enough physical activity and sunlight during the day, and to eat your last meal of the day at least 2-3 hours before going to sleep.

You can also help to revitalize your under-eye area while you sleep with our Retinol PM Eye Cream. This nourishing formula features hydrating hyaluronic acid, promotes collagen production, boosts skin elasticity and firmness. It also features vitamin E to deeply heal skin, and a blend of antioxidant-rich extracts and oils to repair daily damage and brighten skin.

Caffeine

2. Eye strain

If you work in front of a computer (guilty) or watch hours of television every day (guilty again), you may be experiencing eye strain, which can lead to dark circles. When your eyes become strained, the blood vessels around them can become enlarged, leading to discoloration of the area around your eyes.

To reduce eye strain, try to take regular breaks from looking at computer, phone, and/or television screens. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, visit your eye doctor annually to keep your prescription is up-to-date. Blue-light blocking glasses are another great way to minimize eye strain and overexposure of sleep-disrupting blue light.

You can also counter the dark circle side-effects of eye strain using our Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, which harnesses the antioxidant power of coffee to reduce puffiness and promote skin brightness. Caffeine helps to contract enlarged blood vessels, easing the problem that causes discoloration. Meanwhile, rosehip oil, green tea, and vitamin E nourish and heal the delicate skin under your eyes, keeping it looking healthy, bright, and youthful.

3. Dehydration

Dehydration can also cause your under-eye area to become dull, hollow-looking, and discolored. We recommend keeping your skin cells quenched and plumped to their max by drinking plenty of water each day, and hydrating your under-eye area with a natural eye cream like our Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream.

4. Hormonal fluctuations

Pregnant and menstruating women may also find that they experience dark circles underneath their eyes. If you often experience dark circles when you’re on your period, you may want to discuss this issue with a doctor, as in rare cases, there may be an underlying iron deficiency or thyroid disorder causing the discoloration.

If you’re pregnant or on your period and looking for a little relief for your under-eye area, we recommend treating yourself to our Bright Eyes Masks. These gentle, cooling masks are the perfect solution for temporary or occasional dark circles. Not only are these handy masks fun to use, they can also an incredibly skin brightening treatment for your skin. They can also increase skin hydration with aloe gel, reduce discoloration with green tea and coffee, and promote collagen production and elasticity with hyaluronic acid.

Multi Vitamin PM Serum

5. Age and genetic factors

As your skin matures, losing some of its natural strength and elasticity, it becomes more prone to dark circles. Meanwhile, certain genetic factors may also make some individuals more prone to dark circles throughout their lives.

Our Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum is an excellent first line of defense against dark circles, as well as some of the other signs of skin aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. This powerful formula is packed with potent ingredients like vitamin C and retinol, plus antioxidant-rich ingredients. Nopal cactus and sea buckthorn deeply repair skin and heal damage while brightening the skin’s appearance and boosting hydration. Best of all, you can use it all over your face, including your delicate eye area (yes to anything that simplifies our beauty routine).

Final Tips for Battling Dark Circles

Now that you can identify the lifestyle habits and common situations that cause dark circles, it’s time to release you into the wilds of the world armed with this knowledge. Following a simple skin care regimen and of course, improving sleep and diet habits, may help you to get rid of dark circles for good. And before you go, don’t forget these bite-sized tips for doing away with dark circles:

Cold packs for dark circles

You can use cold pack to soothe the puffiness and discoloration of dark circles. Just cover an ice bag or cold pack with a clean towel, and apply it to the affected area for a few minutes.

Caffeine for dark circles

Caffeine can help to constrict blood vessels, reducing discoloration and puffiness. You can find caffeine in many under-eye products, but you can also experience its benefits by consuming it in coffee, tea, or dark chocolate.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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