If you thought beauty sleep was an ancient myth, you couldn’t be more wrong. As it turns out, it’s an actual thing. Not getting a solid night’s sleep – FYI: the recommended amount is 7 to 8 hours per night – prevents the body from ridding excess fluid, and instead, this gathers in the tissue under the eyes. Paleness of the skin occurs, which causes the blood underneath the skin to become more visible and appear bluer or darker. New York Dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross advises that in order to reduce one's susceptibility to eye bags and under-eye circles, the best call of action is to get a proper night’s rest. “Lack of sleep can put your body into flight or fight mode, which means your brain, like other vital organs, leaches every single molecule of oxygen it can from the blood, so a darker more deoxygenated blood flows through our veins to the other areas of the body. This dark blood is most visible in the transparent skin under our eyes and is what causes the appearance of those discoloured rings.”
We hate to break it to you booze lovers and coffee addicts, but dark circles can form due to excess consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages (yes, you read that right). When your body is not being properly hydrated, the retained water often accumulates under the eyes resulting in dull, puffy and sunken skin.
The foods that we consume on a daily basis can trigger inflammation and fluid retention which can lead to – you guessed it – dark circles and under-eye bags. Dark rings around the eyes are also a result of poor nutrition and an absence of vitamins such as A, C, K, and E. It should also be noted that foods with high sodium should be limited if not avoided. “The sodium in foods encourages water retention under the eyes, resulting in excessive swelling of the eye tissue,” celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau tells Byrdie. “This swelling encourages more rapid wear and tear on the connective tissues.”
There's more to your eye bags than just a lack of sleep and an absence of nutrients in your diet. Your allergies might just be the reason the area under your eyes looks visibly darker. Any condition that causes the eyes to itch may contribute to darker circles due to rubbing or scratching the skin around them. Because the area of skin around your eyes so delicate and fragile, naturally the capillaries under this area of skin are more prone to breakage and leakage. Moral of the story: don't rub your eyes!
When you're stressed for a prolonged period of time more blood is directed to your main organs, leaving your face looking pale and lifeless and any existing dark circles more pronounced. Stress can also cause the capillaries around the eyes to spill blood. The blood thins out under the skin and becomes oxidized forming a dark purple hue.
6. Iron Deficiencies
Dark circles can be indicative of a potential iron deficiency such as anemia. If you have an iron deficiency hemoglobin (the protein which distributes oxygen within the bloodstream) is more likely to rupture, evidently causing the thin skin below the eyes to appear dark or bruised.
If you're already getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and steering clear of salty foods, then the chances are those unwanted dark rings are hereditary as some families have more prominent bags. Under eye circles can also be attributed to darker skin pigmentation, meaning that individuals with darker skin tones are more likely to develop dark circles and under-eye-bags due to the level of melanin in their skin.