Why Do We Get Dark Circles under our Eyes?

Dark circles are often a sign of not getting enough sleep. However, there are many who struggle with dark circles who get enough rest but struggle with fluid build up around the eyes, which can make eye circles more obvious.

Skin Considerations

The skin below the eyes is fragile and thinner than skin elsewhere on your face. If you find that your eyes are puffy in the morning, the skin under your eyes may appear droopy and dark as the puffiness fades.

That skin will also show blood vessels more easily, so even if you get enough sleep, the skin below your eyes can darken as you age. Finally, the skin and fat above the eyes can droop, creating a shadow that increases the appearance of dark skin below the eyes.


If you have always looked tired, consider using a wedge pillow to keep your head up while you sleep. For those who sleep on their side, fluid may build up in the tissues in the low side, which can add to the discoloration and the droop. Keeping your head elevated can

  • lower your risk of facial puffiness
  • reduce your risk of snoring, which can improve the quality of your rest

For those who struggle with congestion and allergies, sleeping with your head elevated can go a long way toward reducing the intensity if the dark circles under your eyes.

Eye Strain

Many of us may have noticed that the skin under our eyes has grown darker during the pandemic. If you leave your mask off to avoid fogging up your glasses, the muscles around your eyes may be working hard to make it possible for you to move around the office or your home.

As possible, let your eyes relax when at your desk. You may need your glasses once you get to your computer, but be ready to let things be fuzzy when walking through the halls of your office if you need to stay masked inside the office. Avoid squinting when possible.

Allergies and Illness

If you struggle with red eyes in the skin, be aware that the skin under your eyes can also become inflamed by illness and allergies. When the skin below the eyes gets inflamed, it gets dark. There are points at which the skin below the eyes can actually look bruised when your allergies are especially bad.

During bad allergy bouts or when you have a cold, make sure to

  • reduce your salt intake, to avoid gaining water weight
  • drink plenty of water
  • avoid caffeine so you can rest when you need to

Loading up on antihistamines may lower your risk of inflammation, but it will probably dehydrate you. Salty foods may prove a comfort when your taste buds aren’t functioning well, but your favorite soups may cause even more puffiness. Boost your intake of water and unsweetened herbal teas.

Brow Weight

If you have a family history of a heavier brow line or if previous generations had a lot of tissue above the top lid, you may have a family history of looking tired. To keep your eyes bright and clear, you may want to consider eyelid surgery in New Jersey.

This surgery, known as blepharoplasty, can be used to remove extra tissue both above and below the eye. Cuts will be made in the crease above the eye so the excess fat and skin can be trimmed away and the weight of the brow will be reduced.

Below the eye, the small crease right below the eye is utilized to allow for

  • the removal of fatty tissue, which adds to droop
  • trimming away extra skin, which is the cause of sagging

It’s important to note that removing the tissue and extra skin below the eye really can’t change the color of the skin. However, getting it out of the way will reduce the appearance of drooping, tired skin. Tightening up the skin both above and under the eyes will brighten your appearance, making you appear more rested and more alert.

Non-Surgical Options

Tired skin can appear dark and droopy, increasing the appearance of dark circles. To firm up this skin, you may gain some benefit from

  • microneedling, which boosts the production of skin-firming collagen
  • chemical peels, which promotes new growth of the top layer of skin
  • dermabrasion, which carries away toxins and promotes blood flow

Do take care when planning for treatment of the skin below the eyes. As noted above, the skin under the eyes is a barometer for your sleep and wellness because the skin is thin; any treatment you get will be more obvious on that tissue. Microneedling and chemical peels can lead to a bit of irritation and may cause bruising. Let the skin heal, follow the instructions from your physician, and avoid putting make up on broken skin for a few days.

Diet and Supplements

If you are predisposed to the generation of undereye bags and skin darkness, make sure that your diet and supplement regimen are promoting healthy skin. To keep your skin as healthy as possible, make sure you get

  • plenty of antioxidants from fresh fruits and veggies as well as green tea
  • healthy fats, such as those from fish and avocado
  • lean proteins
  • plenty of Vitamin A and C

Make sure you also protect your skin from too much sun. Those with fair skin will burn and can increase wrinkling. Those with dark skin can actually end up with darker under eye circles after too much sun.

For those who have long struggled with dark circles under the eyes no matter how much sleep they get, options for treatment are available. Getting extra skin removed from below and shadowing flesh taken away from above the eye could greatly reduce dark under-eye circles.

If you have any questions, please ask below!