Thin skin under the eyes. Skin under the eyes is thinner than skin elsewhere (half a millimeter or less, as opposed to about two millimeters), and so is more transparent; it shows the blood vessels underneath more clearly than other skin does. Skin under the eyes may be even more transparent if it is pale due to anemia or pregnancy. The blood beneath it appears bluish rather than reddish because skin transmits blue light better than other colors. Thus skin around the eyes may appear bluish, brownish, or even greenish, depending on a person’s basic skin color.
Extra melanin (dark pigment) in the skin around the eyes. This hyperpigmentation is common among people of South Asian or Mediterranean descent. It is genetic and has nothing to do with age or illness. A dermatologist may treat this pigmentation pattern with a cream including hydroquinone (bleach).
Shadows from sagging skin under the eyes. Skin may sag into a pouchy, hammock-like shape because age and sun have destroyed much of the collagen and elastin, the stretchy proteins that make young skin look smooth and taut. The sagging skin is thinner in places, and so looks darker, and the “tear trough” area under the hammock looks dark because it is in shadow.
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Shadows from puffiness or edema. Fluid retention can cause the skin to dome up around the eyes, leaving a shadow below. Allergies, crying, temporary illness, excessive salt consumption, or stress (which releases cortisol and increases blood volume) can cause puffiness.
A faint purplish arc beneath the eye
A faint purplish arc beneath the eye
Home Remedies for Dark Circles
There are many things you can do to eliminate dark circles under your eyes and keep them from coming back.
To reduce puffiness, a temporary cause of dark circles, change your sleeping habits. Sleep on your back, elevating your head with one or more pillows. Gravity lets fluid buildup drain away.
Sleep well (doctors advise at least eight hours sleep daily) to have a fresh and circle-free face. Lots of sleep means less stress and thus less puffiness.
Control allergies and the puffiness they cause. Take proper medication for allergies to airborne materials like flour or smoke. If you have dust allergies, make your bedroom as dust-free as possible: use bare floors, put dust covers on mattress and pillows, and remove or cover upholstered furniture, clothes, books, and papers.
Remove all eye make-up, like eyeliner and mascara, before going to sleep. Anything that irritates eyes can leave them watery and puffy.
Use a Neti-Pot to rinse the nasal passages, to relieve sinus infections and hay fever that cause puffiness under the eyes.
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Daily exercise circulates blood throughout the body and the face, reducing puffiness. Concentrate on yoga too, which stimulates your breathing, leaving fresh skin.
To eradicate morning puffiness and bluish color, apply something that cools the skin and the capillaries beneath it, reducing swelling and making the blood vessels less visible. Apply cucumber or potato slices, chilled spoons, or bags of ice water to the area around the eye for up to an hour and a half.
Include plenty of green vegetables, fruits, and vitamins in your diet. Eat seasonal fruit like bananas, mangoes, and oranges, along with vegetables like spinach, greens, carrots, and brinjals (eggplant).
Include plenty of iron in your diet, from whole grains, legumes, eggs, or iron supplements.
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Reduce salt in your diet to reduce puffiness.
Arrange your life to reduce stress. Stress releases cortisol, which causes increased blood volume and puffiness, and has other undesired effects.
Stay hydrated; dehydration causes thin and sagging skin. Use moisturizer. Limit cigarettes and alcohol.