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What Are the Causes of Dark Under-Eye Circles?

There’s no doubt that dark circles under the eyes make you look older and tired. Not surprisingly, these little raccoon-like pests can be blamed on your day-to-day life. With a few simple steps, you can identify the cause circles and correct them (or cover them up) to keep your eyes looking fresh and rested.


While lack of sleep may seem like the most common cause for dark circles, allergies may be the real culprit. Though allergies can cause dark circles on their own, they can also create nasal congestion, which is another dark circle culprit. Nasal congestion dilates and darkens the veins that run from your eye area to your nose, making them more visible, according to the Mayo Clinic. Consult with your doctor about over-the-counter (OTC) medications you can take to lessen the affects of allergies and nasal congestion.

Thinning Skin

As you age, the skin around your eye area begins to thin. This thin skin is transparent, making it easier to see the blue blood vessels below, and making it appear as if you have blue circles under your eyes. These types of circles can be easily hidden with a yellow-based concealer, says Amy Keller Laird, beauty director of “Allure Magazine,” on her blog.

Too Much Sun

Too much sun is another reason not to tan; tanning can create under-eye circles. Every time you tan, your body is told to make more melanin. Melanin is the pigment that makes your skin look darker–all your skin, including the area under your eyes. If you must go out in the sun, try a foundation the contains SPF or use a good sun block.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Living the high-life can come with a price in the form of black circles, says the Mayo Clinic. Avoid smoking, drinking and caffeinated drinks to keep the skin around your eyes looking clear and circle-free.

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