What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes?

By Vanessa Richards

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

what causes dark circles under eyes

Bothered by dark, under-eye circles? You’re not alone. Dark circles under the eyes tend to show up whenever we’re over-stressed and not taking proper care of ourselves.

People with darker skin, naturally thin skin or a family history of this condition are likelier to get dark circles. But, nobody is immune from this skin condition as it’s a natural part of aging.

A recent article published in  Nature suggests that the COVID19 pandemic has accelerated the aging process for billions across the world. People who’ve contracted the virus or faced other physical or mental health issues during this period have aged a lot.

They’re all victims of chronic stress – the primary force behind the development of infraorbital dark circles.

The appearance of dark circles under your eyes may indicate some other deep-seated health conditions as well. Regardless of the underlying cause, dark circles always invite unwanted comments about how stressed or sick you look.

To defeat dark circles, we must understand the science behind them. 

What are Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

A person is said to have “dark circles” when the thin skin beneath their eyes appears baggy, wrinkly, and darkened. According to dermatological science, there are two under-eye circles that become dark and visually unappealing.

The patient’s thinning skin (due to aging) under the eyes makes the underlying blood vessels appear prominent & visible. These reddish-blue blood vessels make the under-eye regions look dark.

Puffy eyes due to the appearance of dark shadows in the under-eye skin regions.

The skin underneath & around the eyes is extremely thin and delicate. That’s why when issues arise in the deeper layers of our skin, the symptoms are displayed in our under-eye skin. Dark circles may or may not be linked with underlying medical conditions.

It’s not always from fatigue, stress, or a lack of sleep either. That’s why they can affect anyone at any age. But, dark circles under the eyes are usually more common in – older adults, people with darker skin tones, and people with genetic predispositions to this condition.

What Do Dark Circles Under Eyes Look Like?

The skin in the circles under your eyes is extremely thin. Hence, the blood vessels under this skin appear closer to the surface & appear darker. Due to aging, our skin cells lose collagen – their main protein structures.

The skin also loses elastin – the protein in connective tissue. The loss of skin elasticity is why our skin gets wrinkly.

Blood flow in the circles under your eyes also slows down with age. This results in the formation of dilated blood vessels. The already dark-colored blood vessels appear even darker with age and they stand even out more.

Here’s what the dark circles under your eyes look like at a microscopic level:

what causes dark circles under eyes
Photo: cdn.shopify.com

The depressions or tears below the eye also deepen with age. Excessive fat gets stored in these tears. These stores of fat create shadows, making the circles under the eyes appear much darker.

What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes?

To treat dark circles, you need to understand what’s causing them. Here are the most common reasons why people develop dark circles or infraorbital dark circles under their eyes.

Sleep Deprivation

Several peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated how skin color changes with insomnia and sleep deprivation. When you do not get enough sleep, your skin gets paler, including the skin in the circles under your eyes.

The thin, pale skin makes the reddish-blue blood vessels appear darker and more prominent. Getting regular sun exposure & more sleep (at least 7-8 hours) every night may help in reducing dark circles. Sometimes, using a few extra pillows can be very helpful in changing your sleep habits.


Different types of allergies have different impacts on the skin. In most cases of allergic reactions, the patient’s body releases histamines. The increase in presence of this chemical in the under-eye skin causes irritation, swelling, and the appearance of dark circles.

That’s why people with allergy symptoms often get dark circles.

Iron Deficiency

If your diet doesn’t have enough iron, your body doesn’t have a sufficient amount of red blood cells. This condition is called “anemia” or iron deficiency.

The blood cells of people with this condition can’t carry sufficient oxygen to all the tissues in the body. Poor blood flow to the eye circles results in the formation of dark eye circles.

Tobacco, Drug, or Alcohol Use

When you consume any of these materials your skin becomes drier. Dry skin, combined with the presence of too much alcohol in your body, negatively impacts your circulation.

The blood vessels under your eyes get dilated and they appear more prominent. Plus, cigarettes and drugs often contain carbon monoxide.

When you inhale these items, the collagen production capability of your skin cells drops. All these factors combine to darken the circles under your eyes.


Family history is a significant factor associated with dark circles. Your genetics determine how much collagen and melanin your skin has.

People born with low collagen and darker skin tones are genetically pre-disposed to developing dark under-eye circles.

Anyone can get dark circles as they get older. Our puffy eyelids only get puffier with age. Our skin also becomes drier and less elastic with age.

Hence, developing dark circles is technically a normal part of the aging process. But, it can be prevented.

How Can Dark Blood Vessels and Dark Circles Under Eyes Be Prevented?

what causes dark circles under eyes
Photo: canva.com

There are different ways to treat dark circles, depending on what’s causing them. For example, if an allergy is exacerbating the dark circles under your eyes, taking antihistamines (Benadryl, Zyrtec, etc.) will help.

Similarly, if deficiency of iron is worsening the appearance of dark circles, consuming iron-rich foods (spinach, beans, etc.) will help. There are also many natural, home remedies that help reduce dark circles.

They include :

  • Drink at least 3.7 liters of water every day to ensure all the toxins in your body are properly flushed out.
  • Exercising to reduce stress levels and get better-quality sleep.
  • Reducing excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Applying cold compresses (ice cubes wrapped in a cloth or tea bags) to your under-eye circles. The cooling effect relaxes the tissues in the under-eye region and surrounding skin, causing dark circles to slowly disappear.
  • Applying green or black tea bags (soaked in warm water) to your under-eye circles. The caffeine and antioxidants in the tea help stimulate faster blood circulation. These chemicals also shrink dilated blood vessels and make them appear less dark.

What if none of these home remedies work? Should you consider getting medical treatments? Not yet.

Thanks to technological advances, modern-day eye creams are extremely efficient at reducing dark circles. Some creams smoothen the skin around the eyes, others hydrate this region of the face to eliminate dark circles.

>>Related Article: 5 Best Anti-Aging Supplements • Top Face and Body Skin Enhancer Products of 2024

The Best Creams for Treating Dark Eye Circles

We’re only mentioning creams that mostly contain natural ingredients. Never use chemical peels or skincare products that contain too much alcohol and other chemicals without consulting with your doctor.

Here are some of the front running “all-natural” eye creams on the market.

1. Instant Line Smoother for Quick Action: Cyabags

cyabags reviews
Product NameFormDescriptionPriceOfficial Website

Cyabags 5th & Glow

Eye Cream

The Cyabags instant line smoother is a perfectly natural eye cream that is designed to lessen swelling and eye puffiness in no time.

Depending on the package.

Cyabags  is a 100% natural and organic cream serum. It’s designed to reduce bloated eye bags & dark circles. By applying this serum, users give their under-eye skin extra protection. Small dabs of the Cyabags serum can help preserve skin elasticity and strength. People who use the Cyabags serum get smoother, firmer, and younger-looking skin.

  • This cream contains Dipeptide-2 – a peptide that’s known for reducing the appearance of dark circles & puffy eyes.
  • It also contains hyaluronic acid – a chemical that decreases swelling in the circles under the eyes. Hyaluronic acid also stimulates the production of collagen, making the thin skin beneath the eyes firmer & more elastic.
  • The Cyabags serum also contains oxidative stress-resisting ingredients. These ingredients make the skin more resilient against pollution, UV rays, and wrinkles.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of this serum also help reduce skin redness.
  • Regular application of this eye cream will make the skin in your under-eye circles stronger. The stronger the skin, the better the blood circulation in that region.

Overall, Cyabags is a highly potent skin cream that offers wholesome benefits for males & females. It can treat the dark circles under your eyes.

It can also protect your skin from external pollutants (e.g., harmful UV rays). When home remedies and other etiology and management options fail, Cyabags helps users get rid of dark circles.

>> Related Article : Cyabags 5th and Glow Reviews 2024: Does it Really Work?

2. Best Hypoallergenic Cream: Derma-Plus Eye Cream

Age-Defying Eyecream DermaPlus reviews
Product NameFormDescriptionPriceOfficial Website
Age-Defying Eyecream DermaPlusAnti-Aging Eye CreamDermaPlus Age-Defying Eye Cream is formulated with all-natural ingredients that keep the eyes moist to fight visual signs of aging.Depends on the package

The Derma-Plus brand is famous for using only all-natural ingredients in its products. The new, hypoallergenic anti-aging eye cream from the brand is no different.

It comes packed with anti-aging peptides, antioxidants green tea, Vitamin C, & E, and hyaluronic acid gel. These ingredients combine to rejuvenate the thin skin under the eyes.

This rejuvenation helps get rid of dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles in the eye regions. The Derma-Plus anti-aging eye cream contains no synthetic additives.

It’s 100% fragrance and toxin-free. It also doesn’t contain any parabens or sulfates. People of all ages/sexes can benefit from the anti-aging peptides in this non-GMO, vegan-certified cream.

  • The Derma-Plus anti-aging cream is full of hydrating ingredients that fix dull-looking skin and help get rid of dark circles.
  • Regular application helps users smoothen their skin tones and get rid of dark spots around the eyes as well.
  • Users only need to apply pea-sized amounts of this cream on their eye bags & dark circles once a day.

Regularly using this cream by Derma-Plus will also prevent fluid buildup in your eye bags. No fluid buildup means no puffiness. No puffiness means lower chances of developing dark circles under the eyes.

>>Related Article : Age-Defying Eyecream DermaPlus Reviews 2024: Does it Really Work?

3. Best Exfoliant: Eden Beauty Skin Care

Product NameFormDescriptionPriceOfficial Website

Eden Beauty Skin

Serum, Cream and ScrubDesigned to help prevent these signs of aging by stopping signs of melanin production and to boost the look of bright and even skin.Basic Price Per Bottle: $89.00

This all-natural skincare solution is from Eden Beauty Skin Care – a brand famous for products that treat infections and skin inflammations. This product is no different. It comes packed with powerful exfoliants like lactic acid & glycolic acid. These ingredients stimulate the production of collagen and help regenerate new skin cells.

It also contains vitamins and essential oils that prevent hyperpigmentation and create brighter skin tones. Many people use this product from Eden Beauty to protect their skin from bacterial and fungal infections as well.

Some even prefer using this cream instead of wearing sunscreen. If you want to get rid of dark circles/spots on your face – this organic cream is a good bet.

Unlike expensive laser therapy and other chemical-rich skincare products, these creams are 100% safe and natural. If we had to pick one out of these three, it would be Cyabags.

This product is special because it provides long-term strength to the thin skin under your eyes.

So, if you want to safely treat dark circles at home, consider using the Cyabags serum.

>> Related Article : Eden Beauty Skin Care Reviews: Does it Really Work?

Supplement for Treating Dark Circles Under Eyes

Following a healthy diet is also key to addressing the underlying medical conditions that are causing your dark circles. So, in addition to applying creams, consider consuming a few “collagen superfoods.” These are special supplements & formulas that contain the ingredients needed to nourish, moisturize, and rejuvenate the skin.

Here is a supplement qualified to have the “collagen superfoods” tag.

Best Supplement To Achieve A Holistic Healthy Skin: Derma Prime Plus

derma prime plus reviews
Product NameFormDescriptionPriceOfficial Website

Derma Prime Plus

Easy to swallow pill

A capsule form dietary supplement that rejuvenates skin cells for a youthful glow.

Discounted Price Vary on packages

Derma Prime Plus is another all-natural “superfood” supplement. It comes in capsule form. The capsules are full of powder that contains various plants, herbs, minerals, and vitamins. The powder contains anti-inflammatory ingredients such as – dandelion roots, yarrow flowers, beetroot, celery seeds, and turmeric. The clinical efficacy of Derma Prime Plus is scientifically proven.

Consuming this supplement daily typically leads to stronger immune systems, better skin health, and ever-reducing dark circles.  Both men and women can enjoy the benefits of this “superfood” created by Dr. Ally Ray. What makes Derma Prime Plus special is its ability to penetrate deeper into the skin layers. It treats the issues causing the dark circles from their roots.

Regularly consuming supplements can reverse skin damage and make your eyes look amazing. The product is affordable, easy to use, and packed with “super” nutrients and minerals.

>> Related Article: Derma Prime Plus Reviews 2024: Does it Really Work?


Dark under-eye circles can make us look like pandas and not in a cute way. Use this guide to understand what’s causing the dark circles under your eyes.

Try the home remedies first (getting more sleep, eating a healthy diet, etc.). If they don’t work, consider using the creams and supplements mentioned in this article.

The Cyabags eye cream is a safe and bankable product that’s earned rave reviews in online forms. Use it to get rid of dark under-eye circles in the most effective way possible.

Once your dark circles disappear, keep maintaining your healthy lifestyle. That means eating food, sleeping more, avoiding alcohol consumption, and using these skincare products daily!

Click here to get Cyabags at a Discounted Price

Dark Circles Under Eyes FAQs

How do dark circles go away?

When dark circles persist, you need to get rid of whatever’s causing your dark circles. This includes – getting enough sleep, undergoing less stress, eating well, and using the right skincare products.

What do dark circles under the eyes indicate?

In general, dark circles under the eyes indicate tiredness. But, they can also be symptoms of underlying health conditions like deficiency of iron or allergies.

What vitamin is good for dark circles under the eyes?

Vitamin C and E are strong antioxidants. Using creams that contain these ingredients helps make the skin under the eyes appear more radiant.

Vanessa Richards

Vanessa is a mom of 3 lovely children and a software geek. Outside of her career as a health and wellness instructor. She enjoys writing and researching on topics such as finance, software, health and culinary.

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