Dark circles under your eyes can affect your self-confidence and may sometimes be a sign of a problem, such as insufficient sleep or poor lifestyle choices. Luckily, there are ways to prevent them and even get rid of existing dark areas on your skin.

You wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and notice this darkness on the skin that surrounds your eyes. At first, it’s not very noticeable, and applying some foundation covers it up. After a while, however, you begin to notice that those dark circles are becoming more visible. If you look for advice, you’ll surely find sleep as the number one culprit behind this very common problem, but it’s not just about a lack of sleep. There are other reasons why this area of your skin can become darker too. Let’s take a closer look at why this is happening and what you can do.

What Are Dark Circles Under The Eye?

Dark circles under and around the eyes are actually quite common skin problems that many people face. It is also known as periobital hyperpigmentation or POH. There are different ways in which this skin problem can surface. The darkened areas of your skin may contain various shades, such as black, purple, blue, or brown.

It is important to note that these dark circles can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. With this said, some people are more likely to develop this darkening of their skin.

The good news is that, even though there are different types of dark circles, they are usually not a cause for concern. The dark circles themselves can sometimes be a sign of something like a lack of sleep, but they generally do not cause damage to your skin. With this said, it is still something that can alter your appearance. Many people who have these dark circles feel self-conscious about them.

Causes Of Dark Circles

If you’ve been struggling with dark circles underneath your eyes, then the first step is to learn why this is happening. There are several reasons why you can develop this darkening of your skin, so you have to ensure you know about them all. Then, you can assess your own life in order to determine what changes you need to make to combat the skin problem.

1. Insufficient Sleep

Sleep is an essential process. When you sleep, your body can restore and rejuvenate itself. Your memories are consolidated, and your body starts to prepare itself for the next day, ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and with enough energy to get through the day.

Sleep deficiency is a major problem. Statistics show [1] that more than 33% of Americans are not sleeping enough. Among these people, 20% have also been diagnosed with some type of mental health problem. Poor sleep leads to many problems. It affects you both physically and mentally.

It is also sleep deficiency that is often the reason behind dark circles under the eyes. Sleep plays a role in your skin's health. When you don't sleep enough, you may notice that your skin doesn’t look as good as it should, even if you’ve been using the right skincare products. You feel tired the next day, and you don’t have energy. You may notice your skin looks pale and dull after a sleepless night. Over time, the effects build up, and that can lead to the dark circles becoming more visible.

2. Genetics

One thing that many people do not realise is that those dark circles can also be related to their genetics. It is true that inheriting certain genes or gene mutations can contribute to a darkening of the skin that is located around your eyes.

In this case, the skin in this area will be darker in colour compared to the rest of your body. If genetics are behind your dark circles, then environmental factors, such as poor sleep or dehydration, will not affect them.

3. Lifestyle

Your lifestyle habits can also affect your skin, including the area under and around the eyes. This is why you should take a closer look at your lifestyle habits to determine how they might be affecting you.

Smoking has been associated with premature aging [2]. Dark circles are more common in older people, which makes sense that smoking can also be behind this skin issue. Exposing your skin to too much sun is another issue, along with excessive alcohol consumption.

4. Age

Apart from sleep, age is another big factor that plays a role in these dark areas of skin under your eyes. The older you are, the more likely you are to notice this area of your skin becoming darker.

Apart from the circles, you’ll also start to notice things like thinning skin and wrinkles. As skin loses its elasticity, dark tissues that are located underneath your skin may also become more noticeable.

5. Dehydration

Another important cause of dark circles under the eyes is dehydration. The amount of water and liquids you drink every day can have an impact on your entire body’s health and functioning. If you don’t drink enough water, you may experience fatigue, a lack of energy, constant thirst, and more.

Water plays a role in saliva production, regulating your body temperature and digestive processes, and also helping to keep the pH level balanced. Additionally, the water that you drink also affects your skin. While you can use certain hydrating serums and creams externally, your skin also relies on internal hydration.

Thus, when you become dehydrated, your skin starts to look and feel dry. Your skin can also become dull. The combined impact of these effects that dehydration can then result in the development of dark circles.


How Can You Prevent Getting Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

Prevention is the best way to take care of dark circles under your eyes. It’s a strategy that you should implement right now, as it helps reduce the risk of these dark circles. There are many things you can do, but start with the causes first.

Do you sleep enough? Are you drinking enough water? What does your diet consist mainly of? If there are lifestyle factors increasing your risk of dark circles, then you should really address them first. This way, you are already lowering your chances of developing this skin problem.

Apart from this, it’s important to also adopt the right skincare routine. It’s generally best to implement both a morning and nighttime routine, as this helps to maximize your ability to take care of your skin. Use a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type. When you use a moisturizer, make sure not to apply it to the delicate area of the skin around your eyes. Instead, use a dedicated serum that was developed specifically for this part of your face.

One option that you can look at is the Blackstone Collection Daily Pick-Up Eye Cream. The unique formula of this eye cream helps to provide a greater level of moisturization to your under-eye area. It also helps to reduce the visibility of wrinkles and is great for people who experience puffiness.

How To Get Rid Of Dark Circles

Once you identify the cause behind those dark circles, it’s important to consider what you can do about them. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to reduce the appearance of dark circles, including lifestyle changes and introducing certain products into your skincare routine.

A product like the Eyevage anti-aging eye cream is definitely a good starting point. This type of cream uses natural ingredients, which means you do not have to worry about chemicals causing skin dryness or irritation. Combine it with a good cleanser, and use a moisturizer on your face.

For exfoliating your skin, consider a skincare product like Rejuvoderm. It’s an all-natural option that effectively removes bacteria, dirt, oil, and even make-up from your skin, without being harsh. The cleanser is also known for its aility to promote an even tone and clear complexion.

You should also consider the question, "What deficiency causes dark circles". There are some suggestions in terms of deficiencies, with the most commonly referred to being vitamin B12 [3]. If you have low levels of this vitamin, then pigmentation in your skin may increase, raising the risk of dark patches on your skin.

Here are a couple of other tips that you can use:

  • Try to sleep for a longer duration during the night.
  • Use the tea bags that you steeped for a couple of minutes in warm water on your eyes. Just be sure to let them cool down in the fridge before you place them on your eyes.
  • In cases where allergies result in baggy eyes with dark circles, consider taking an antihistamine.
  • Apply diluted essential oils to your skin. Rosemary, lavender, fennel, and rose geranium essential oils are good options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Lack Of Water Cause Dark Circles Under The Eyes?

Yes, if you do not ensure you stay hydrated, then your skin can start to dry out. When you have dry skin that lacks hydration, your chances of developing dark circles under your eyes will significantly increase.

Does Overthinking Cause Dark Circles?

Overthinking things consistently can lead to chronic stress. When you have chronic stress, your body releases certain hormones, such as cortisol, consistently. Over time, this can be damaging to your skin and may contribute to these dark circles.

Can Lack Of Sleep And Stress Cause Dark Circles?

Yes, both a lack of sleep and stress can make your eyes feel tired and cause these dark areas on your skin. Together, the impact can be more significant.

How Many Hours Of Sleep Do I Need To Avoid Dark Circles?

As a healthy adult, you should aim to sleep for at least seven to nine hours every night. This helps give your body a chance to refresh and can help improve skin health.


When you notice dark circles appearing underneath your eyes, you may feel concerned. It’s possible for these dark areas to appear even if you ensure you get enough sleep, which is why you have to ensure you understand all of their potential causes. Fortunately, with rest, a few lifestyle modifications, and the right skincare routine, it’s possible to brighten up your skin and reduce the appearance of the circles.


1] https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2021/20_0573.htm
2] https://www.verywellmind.com/9-ways-smoking-damages-your-skin-4061299
3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536080/

Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Ahmed Zayad

Dr. Zayed, has years of experience in the field and has been contributing to public health awareness. Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. Egypt. Dr. Zayed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. His articles were featured on many websites like HuffingtonPost, Chicagotribune . Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Zayed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayad

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