Dark circles under our eyes can be a problem at any age, but tend to be more noticeable as we get older – and they certainly have an effect on our appearance, making us look tired and possibly, older than we feel! They can be tricky to disguise with concealer so a more effective way of dealing with them is to try and work out what is causing them in the first place.
Both men and women get what is sometimes referred to as ‘raccoon eyes’. The skin of the under eye area is thinner and more delicate than anywhere else on the face so it is more vulnerable to damage. As we get older, the number of birthdays we clock up has a direct effect on our skin, especially if we have not taken good care to protect it from too much sun. The skin under our eyes gets thinner as we get older so the tiny blood vessels underneath (called capillaries), can show through and be visible from the outside as a bluish-black tinge.
Dark Circles Caused By Allergies
Hay fever, dust allergies or pet allergens can be a direct cause of under eye circles. Allergies can cause sinus problems leading to inflammation and problems with drainage of tears and the fluids that can build up in the skin below the lower eye lids. Indirectly problems can also arise because the natural thing to do when our eyes are itchy and sore, is to rub them which causes the delicate capillaries to rupture.
Identifying the cause of allergies can be tricky but allergy testing can help. Antihistamines can help in the case of hay fever but pet allergens are more difficult, especially if the culprit is your own much loved dog or cat! Bathing your pet regularly in a shampoo recommended by your vet can really help and it is certainly very important to keep your pet out of your bedroom. Ionizers can be helpful and are quite inexpensive – they work by removing allergy-causing particles from the air and are particularly beneficial whilst you sleep.
Under Eye Circles Caused By Lack Of Sleep
Whilst not usually a primary cause, lack of sleep can contribute to the problem of circles under the eyes. If you have young children who regularly interrupt your sleep or a busy job that you find it hard to ‘switch off’ from in the evening before bed time, getting enough sleep can be a problem.
The appearance of the circles is made more prominent because when we are tired we tend to look paler and this emphasizes the blue-black color showing through our skin below the eyes. I know it is easier said than done, but trying to get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep will really help.
If stress is a problem for you, take steps to address this now as research has proven that people who suffer long term stress can look as much as ten years older than people of the same age who have a stress-free life!
Drink More Water!
Dehydration can make skin look pale and deprive it of vital nutrients. Try to drink extra water every day. If you wait until you are thirsty until you have a drink, you have already left it too long!
Home Remedies You Could Try
There are many home remedies for under eye circles which can be surprisingly effective for refreshing the eye area.
Did you know, for example, that raw potato slices placed over the eyes like an eye mask can be very beneficial as potatoes are a very good natural source of the polyphenol antioxidant catechin?
Cooled used tea bags are also very good and green tea made double-strength and cooled can be applied to the eyes on a cotton pad dipped into the tea and squeezed out before using over closed eyelids while you relax for fifteen minutes or so.
Even simpler, just chill two teaspoons in the fridge and place the backs of each onto your closed eyelids – magic!
It is never too early to start taking care of the skin beneath the eyes as this is definitely the first place where the earliest signs of aging show up. So take action now! If you have allergies, try to alleviate them. If you are stressed get some help in addressing this and enjoy trying the home remedies we mentioned above to relieve those under eye circles today.
Guest post by author Alison G. on behalf of the Under Eye Circles web site.