Dark Circles Under Your Eyes: What Really Causes Them?

dark circles under eyes concealer

If you deal with having dark circles under your eyes, you'll know what I'm talking about when I say ... they stink! Even if you FEEL fine, dark circles can make you look so much more tired and worn out than you really are. And they don't exactly make you look younger! But do you know what causes them? If you're thinking it's all about not getting enough sleep ... you're wrong!


According to Miami-based dermatologist, Dr. Jill S. Waibel, dark circles under your eyes are caused by blood vessels that dilate under your skin. "This area of skin is extremely thin, which causes these blood vessels to be more noticeable," she adds. Dark circles are also hereditary! "People who have dark eyes or pale skin are more prone to having bags under the eyes, as the darker pigmentation is more likely to show through," she says.

Sun damage also plays a factor, explains dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Founder & Director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, NY. "Dark circles under the eyes are actually a combination of sun damage and blood flow from the capillaries in this area,” says Dr. Bank, who is the author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age. "Because your eyelid skin is the thinnest skin in the body, sun damage shows up quickly here in the form of dilating and increased blood flow to the area."

Alas, the magical solution to improving dark circles isn't just to get more sleep! Getting sleep will not, unfortunately, make dark circles disappear, says Dr. Bank.

Hmmm, so dance all night, ladies. Those extra zzz's aren't necessarily going to help your tired-looking eyes.

Have dark underye circles got you down?

Image © Mario Castello/Corbis

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