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Why do you have Under Eye Circles?

Most of us will wake up in the morning looking “tired”, when in all reality we just have those pesky dark circles under the eyes. In this blog post, our own Certified Para-Optometric Technician, Toni, will discuss the science underneath it all.

Possible Causes

Lack of sleep, dehydration, frequent rubbing of the eyes, too much sun-exposure without UV block, and genetics are all reasons for dark circles underneath your eyes.

Dark circles are most apparent in the morning because of our position while sleeping. Laying on our backs all night causes the all of those tiny blood vessels located right underneath the skin to expand so that they can hold more blood. You don’t notice this on other parts of your body because the skin underneath our eyes is very thin. In fact, it is almost transparent.

The loss of fatty tissue underneath the eyes is what causes the uneven surface to darken. As we age, our skin loses elasticity. Dark circles begin to appear more and more evident. When the orbital septum begins to break down, this also causes the fat underneath the surface to protrude. The orbital septum is a thin sheet of fibrous tissue, and it is the anatomic boundary between the lid tissue and the orbital tissue. It keeps the fatty tissue around the eye intact, but with age, herniation of the orbital fat does occur.

Prevention Tips

Don’t tug too much on skin below eyes

Cool compress/gel mask in the morning upon wakening.

Keep skin hydrated. Try consuming 1-2 glasses of cool water upon waking in addition to a hydrating facial mist.

Try an eye cream that contains caffeine, which helps constrict the blood vessels under the skin and helps suppress swelling.

ALWAYS wear sunscreen! Any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen, but there are plenty of products made specifically for the face that do not clog pores and give you great protections from harmful rays.

Natural Remedies

Tea Tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties and will help with swelling.

Rubbing coconut oil under your eyes in the morning de-puffs and moisturizes.

Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12 aids in blood flow and circulation for dark circles.

Vitamin C is also extremely useful in brightening the skin.

Placing the classic cucumber underneath the eyes can easily release tightness and puffiness.

Makeup Tips

Concealers with a moisturizer are a great way to cover and hydrate the skin at once.

Using a darker shade of concealer on the puffy area of the under eye and highlighter in the crease below the puffy area is a great way to cover dark circles without having to apply a lot of concealer.

Also, make sure the darker shade of concealer is something similar to a salmon color, which varies per skin tone. For darker skin, use something closer to orange or a deep peach. You want to choose something that is on the opposite of the color wheel from purple and deep blue so that you can have more complete coverage.

Medical Procedure Options

If you already have severely damaged under-eye skin, you may consider a surgery called Blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty corrects any deformities or skin irregularities around the eyes, including the top and lower eye lids. This process manipulates the fat and/or surrounding tissue, which may improve wrinkles, dark under-eye circles or even hooded eyelids.

There are also non-surgical procedures: Laser treatments fill in small lines and rejuvenate the skin. Peels help revitalize the skin, fill in small wrinkle lines and heal sun damaged skin. Injections or fillers are also safe and approved. A really popular filler consists of Calcium Hydroxylapatite, which is naturally found in teeth or bone. This specific material is great when used in reconstruction of tissues and has been used for several years in success.

The first step in the treatment of dark circles under eyes is determining their underlying cause, because that is the only way to ensure effective treatment. Treatment that works for one person may not work for another. Please feel free to make an appointment with one of our doctors to learn more about what your options might be.