As we mentioned above, dark circles can occur for a variety of reasons, but according to Benjamin and Lee, there’s a specific list of potential causes you should definitely be aware of.
“Usually, a red or purple hue to the under eyes indicates irritated or broken blood vessels under the skin, and since the under-eye skin is thinner and more delicate, this can show up as dark circles,” explains Lee. Additionally, she tells us dark circles are often genetic and are especially common in people with olive, yellow, and brown undertones. “Lastly, when someone is dehydrated, not eating well, and under stress, dark circles can appear,” she adds.
Allergies and congestion: When you are stuffed up, the blood vessels around your eyes dilate, which in turn, causes the area around your eyes to darken.
Sleep deprivation: Not getting enough sleep can elevate inflammation levels within the body, which makes it harder for constricted blood vessels to drain the blood from under your eyes.
Too much sleep: Yep, it’s true! As Benjamin explains, if you’re lying down for too long, blood can pool underneath the eyes and show up as dark circles.
Too much salt: Loading up on salt causes fluid retention all over the body and can increase bruise-like shadows and puffiness under the eyes.
Crying: Adding insult to injury, shedding tears increases inflammation around the eyes, which can lead to dark circles.
Age: Benjamin explains that as we age, the skin around the eyes thins, making the blood under the skin more visible.
Hyperpigmentation: If your undereye darkness is brown and doesn’t change in color, it could be hyperpigmentation linked to genetics, sun exposure, or trauma to the eye area.
Bone structure: A hollow bone structure can contribute to the appearance of dark circles, but luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help correct the look of under-eye shadows and darkness.