What Causes Dark Circles, Tips to Visibly Reduce

What Causes Dark Circles, Tips to Visibly Reduce

We’ve all had it happen: you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and you look more like a raccoon than a person. There are dark, deep circles under your eyes again and you’re not even sure how they got there. That is NOT going to look good on Zoom! Thankfully, we have some tips to visibly reduce dark circles and even those undereye bags that often come along with them. We’ll also talk a little about what causes dark circles under eyes so you can prevent them from happening next time!


Main Takeaways: From lost sleep to a poor diet, it’s amazing what can trigger dark circles under eyes!

Good to Know: Simple remedies–like a really great eye cream–can get your eyes looking well-rested and bright again.

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What Causes Dark Circles Around the Eye Area?

We know that one of the most annoying things about getting dark circles around the eye area is figuring out what causes them. Sometimes, it almost feels as if a dark circle fairy has come in the middle of the night and waved a dark circle wand over us. Although we know that definitely isn’t happening, here are a few of the reasons you may be experiencing dark circles under your eyes.

Lack of sleep

This is probably the most common reason for dark circles (and the reason many college kids always look so tired). The jury is out on exactly why this is (one theory is that a lack of sleep makes your skin look paler so the area under your eyes looks darker), but we can almost guarantee getting more sleep will at least help alleviate dark circles.

Your Age

It depends on your personal genetic makeup (more on that in a minute), but generally speaking, many people experience an increase in dark circles as they get older. There are a couple of reasons why this seems to happen. One reason is that your skin gets thinner as you age (and the skin around the eye area is thin to begin with), so the blood vessels under your eyes become more noticeable as your skin matures.

Another theory suggests that as we age, our face shape and structure changes. The dark circles you see as you get older may just be due to your face changing as you age.


Like almost everything else, some of the skin issues we face have a lot to do with our genetics, and dark circles under eyes are no exception. If your parents or grandparents have or had a tendency to get dark circles, you are likely to inherit that trait from them.


Those of us with allergies have spent whole seasons with what look like big purple rings under our eyes, and no matter how much sleep we get, no matter how many antihistamines we take, we just can’t seem to get rid of them. Unfortunately, everything from environmental, seasonal allergies to food allergies can cause this.


Other than the sun (which we’ll talk about in a minute), there is little else that will cause harm to the skin as smoking. Dark circles are one of the many awful side effects. Not that you needed more reasons to quit, but if you did, this is a good reason.


Have you ever gotten to the end of a day and realized you’ve been staring at a screen for eight hours? Well, believe it or not, all that time is contributing to the way your skin looks and it could be part of why you have dark circles under your eyes. We know it’s not always easy, but try to reduce your screen time and you’ll probably reduce your dark circles.


Once you start doing a little research about stress, you realize that it affects just about everything, including our appearance. Believe it or not, when you get stressed out, your blood starts flowing to other parts of your body, leaving your face looking pale and the area under your eyes looking dark. If you’re constantly experiencing dark circles, give some thought to whether stress might be the culprit.


Is there anything a bad diet doesn’t affect? A poor diet–or at least, one that doesn’t have a good balance of nutrients- can definitely play a part in creating dark circles under your eyes. Try getting more dark green veggies, protein, and nuts into your diet and see if you don’t notice a change.


Speaking of what you consume, salt can play a huge role in the appearance of dark circles and puffiness under the eyes that it deserves its own call out. As you probably know, salt makes the body retain water, and that causes bags under the eyes. The next time someone passes you the salt, pass it on and see if you notice a change!

How To Reduce the Appearance of Dark Circles

As annoying as dark circles under the eyes are, luckily, there are ways to mitigate the damages, so-to-speak.

Use a Really Good Eye Cream

You might be thinking that you’re too young for eye cream, but we can pretty much guarantee you that if you’re old enough to vote, you’re old enough for an eye cream. A product created specifically for the skin around your eye- such as our Eyes Eyes Baby anti-aging eye cream- is perfect for helping to reduce your dark circles! Not only that, it helps to reduce the appearance of puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. The texture is so lightweight and silky, you won’t even know you have it on.

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Get More Sleep

We know–this is easier said than done- but we can just about guarantee that if you start getting more sleep, you’ll start seeing fewer dark circles.

Step Away From the Screen

Again, we realize this is easier said than done, but even if you can reduce your screen time by a couple of hours a day (and maybe enjoy something called “The Weekend”), you might be able to see a reduction in the darkness under your eyes.

Use a Concealer

We’d all like to think we can improve the quality of our skin with just skin care products and a little self-care, but the truth is, make-up really helps. With a little under eye concealer, you can really minimize the look of dark circles.

Try a Cold Compress

While this is probably better known for reducing puffiness, it also helps with dark circles. Just moisten a clean washcloth with very cold water and place gently on each eye, or use a jade roller.

Hopefully, this article gives you a little insight into why you may get dark circles–and more importantly, how to get rid of them! It might even help improve your lifestyle in the process!