There cannot be many people who have not experienced dark circles under the eyes at some point in their life, or periorbital dark circles to give them their proper name. However, many people are understandably quite sensitive about their appearance and some spectacle wearers give this as a reason for not wearing contact lenses because they are concerned that this will only accentuate the appearance of dark circles. Having dark circles under your eyes is often nothing more serious than a sign of leading a busy life and not getting enough sleep, but they can make you looked tired and some people think it makes them look old.
Contact lenses and spectacles do not cause dark circles under the eye
One popular myth that is often asked is whether wearing contact lenses in some way or other causes dark circles under the eyes. The answer to this is ‘no’ and the same is true of wearing spectacles, although many people claim that their dark eyes are the result of wearing them and the age of modern technology has allowed these myths to be spread around the world on websites and forums.
What are the causes of dark circles under the eye?
The skin under the eyes is the thinnest in the body and in many instances what you are actually seeing are blood vessels. Dark circles under the eyes are also associated with ageing and become more prevalent the older we get. There is a layer of fat under the eyes and as we get older this layer can become thinner and this makes the blood vessels more visible and noticeable.
But perhaps the most common cause of dark circles under the eyes or puffiness is fatigue and lack of sleep, which can make the skin look pale and therefore the blood under the skin is more visible. Indulging in one too many drinks the night before is a sure fire way of making sure you will wake up with extra baggage under the eyes not only because of the lack of sleep but also from dehydration.
While dark circles under the eyes is a common condition, there can be other reasons for them such as allergies and poor circulation. If you are in any doubt at all or concerned then you should seek advice from a medical professional because on rare occasions puffiness under the eyes and dark circles can be a sign of some other problems such as a thyroid or liver problem.
Vitamins and minerals can help
There are some general lifestyle and dietary tips that can help with dark circles under your eyes. It is important to get enough iron in your diet because iron carries oxygen in the blood so if you have, for example, iron-deficiency anaemia your skin will look pale so accentuating any dark circles under your eyes. A number of foods are good for iron and these include certain pulses such as kidney beans and chickpeas and also dark leafy vegetables.
Know your vitamins
Vitamins are also essential for good skin but can also aid in reducing circles under the eyes. There are many types of topical creams available based either on these vitamins or containing them, but it is useful to know why they are important and which foods contain them so you can also try experimenting with your diet as well.
Vitamin K has been the subject of a lot of research and is commonly used in products for treating ageing and for helping with dark circles. Vitamin K helps in strengthening blood vessels so if your dark circles are the result of poor blood flow a diet rich in vitamin K can help. Foods rich in vitamin K include brown rice, eggs, sweet potatoes, liver, avocados and kiwi fruit.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant so is important for keeping the skin healthy looking by helping against free radicals, which damage the skin and cause ageing. Vitamin E also helps in the production of collagen so helping to prevent wrinkles and keeps your skin young looking and firm. Good sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables and nuts, broccoli, olives, avocados, mangoes and kiwi fruit.
Vitamin C is another natural defence in the war against dark circles under the eyes because it also plays a vital role in the formation of collagen and it is known that vitamins C and E work together and reinforce each other’s antioxidant properties.
Vitamin A is important for the skin because it too is an antioxidant and help fight against ageing. It is also an important vitamin because it can strengthen skin tissue and thus protect against skin thinning, which is one factor that can cause dark circles under the eyes. Foods to look out for that are high in Vitamin A include carrot, pumpkin, papaya and liver.
There are two simple things to remember when it comes to banishing those bags around your eyes – do not smoke and avoid UV radiation. This is because they both destroy collagen, which is vital for healthy looking skin in general. There are any number of commercial eye cream products and serums available on the market that can be used to treat dark circles under the eyes as well as many natural remedies. Many of these are based on the healthy benefits of the vitamins mentioned above.
Try what works best for you
The easiest solution may be to try a number of alternative solutions. It could be that a simple solution such as making sure you drink enough water and get a healthy balanced diet could improve the bags under your eyes. They should not put you off wearing contact lenses too because lenses may also change your appearance more than you image and many people say that wearing lenses makes them feel more confident.