The pandemic has multiplied the Google search for “how to get rid of dark circles” by a lot. Stress, lack of proper and healthy sleep, lifestyle choices can all result in puffy eyes with dark bags underneath. And try as you might, they somehow end up coming back. So why do you get dark circles and what are some effective ways to get rid of them?
TC46b connected with Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr Smriti Naswa Singh of Fortis Hospital, Mumbai to know all about it. Here she talks about the causes of dark circles, the longevity of it and effective tips to get rid of them.
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1. Deficiencies, lack of sleep and genes can cause dark circles and bags under your eyes
Dark circles can be caused by nutritional deficiencies like Anemia, lack of sleep, which can be familial, as a part of Acanthosis Nigricans (which happens due to Insulin Resistance due to bad lifestyle), less water intake (leading to dehydration of skin), smoking (Nicotine reduces blood supply to the skin and makes it age faster), Allergic Dermatitis due to Allergic Conjunctivitis or eye makeup allergy; loss of fat due to aging leading to more concavity of the area (concave areas absorb light looking darker than convex areas like cheeks, which reflect more light looking brighter).
Bags under eyes can be transient or persistent. Transient baggy eyes or puffy eyes can be due to lack of sleep, oversleeping, excessive intake of salt (leading to water retention), sleeping with head-end low, smoking, bad lifestyle, excessive technology usage, aging, Allergic Eyelid Dermatitis due to cosmetics or allergies to foods like gluten, sugar or dairy, or lack of vitamin K in diet. Persistent bags under eyes which persist throughout the day is usually due to deep fat beneath the eye area popping out as the ligament beneath the eye weakens. The weakening of the ligament can be due to ageing, genetics, or a bad lifestyle.
2. Getting rid of eye bags and dark circles need focused attention
Puffy eyes which are persistent all day long and are due to fat prolapse cannot go with only lifestyle changes; they need treatment like Hyaluronic Acid fillers (to camouflage the bags) or Blepharoplasty (a surgery) without which they remain the same. Transient eye bags can be corrected with appropriate sleep hygiene, reducing salt intake, proper hydration, quitting smoking, and having a vitamin K rich diet.
Dark circles are usually correctable. Some amount of difference of color is normal which is due to the difference in reflection of light by concave and convex surfaces of our face. Rest taking care of hydration, sleep, rest, nutrition, limiting technology usage, quitting smoking, helps along with dermatological treatments like under eye creams/serums, chemical peels, and Hyaluronic Acid Fillers.
3. 5 home remedies to reduce the appearance of dark circles and under-eye bags
- Putting a cucumber on the eyes is an age-old practice to rest the tired eyes
- Rose water is a good refresher for eyes
- Potato slices can be tried
- Cold compresses
- Vitamin E oil at night
4. Ageing loosens the ligaments and can cause under-eye bags and dark circles
Ageing can lead to under-eye bags because of the loosening of the ligaments beneath the eyes leading to fat prolapse. Ageing can lead to sunken eyes which look darker. This is due to receding of the orbital rim (the bones beneath the lower eyelid, the cheekbone- maxilla and zygoma, they recede with age), loss of bones under the eyes, loss of collagen and elastin fibers, loss of muscles, and loss of deep fat.
5. You can tighten the skin under the eyes after 40
The patients can opt for resurfacing lasers, or ultrasound tightening. Besides this Hyaluronic Acid Fillers are a good way to fill the hollow eyes giving a whole look.
6. Some ingredients to look out for when buying products to treat the following conditions
- Dark Circles: Kojic Acid, Vitamin A, Niacinamide, other depigmenting agents as advised by your Dermatologist according to your skin type
- Under-Eye Bags: Vitamin k
- Crow’s Feet: Retinols
- Under Eye Wrinkles: Retinols
7. Changes you should implement in your diet and lifestyle to reduce dark circles and under-eye bags
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid excess salt
- Stop processed and packaged foods which have high amounts of salt/ sodium
- Stop consuming aerated drinks
- See if gluten/ dairy/sugar cause you puffiness. Use them in moderation and include more natural forms of foods like dates/jaggery instead of refined sugar; include millets as whole grains
- Include lots of raw vegetables in your diet. Vitamin K-rich greens should be included. Fruits are rich in vitamin C which is a very good lightening agent and antioxidant too
- Sleep on time
- No overuse of technology
- Go for a digital detox from 9 pm to 9 am. Hit bed by 10 pm and wake up with or before sunrise
8. Face creams and serums work just as well on you under eyes
The under-eye skin is thinner than face skin so the creams are lightweight compared to face creams and have different concentrations/ strength of products compared to other facial skin. We do need to buy different under eye creams if we have some problem to treat for the under-eye and the under-eye cream should be applied before the face cream as it is more lightweight.