Many of us know that getting sufficient sleep has plenty of health benefits and is equally as important as maintaining a healthy diet with adequate exercise. Dark circles, which appear under the eyelids, affect both men and women. We are also frequently told that a lack of sleep results in dark circles and heavy eye bags. They make us appear older and tired and are difficult to eliminate.

Dark circles appear under our eyes due to a host of reasons such as trauma, lifestyle, fatigue, allergies, and for more severe cases, a result of an infection. As the skin around our eyes is the thinnest, it is also the most vulnerable to changes within the body. As such, we quickly look for quick fixes by applying lots of skincare and makeup products to hide those hideous dark circles.

We easily associate dark circles and heavy eye bags with sleep deprivation, which is one of the reasons, but there are also other contributing factors too! Reading on to learn more about dark circles and some methods you can consider adding to your daily skincare ritual.


The Importance Of Getting Sufficient Sleep

Sleeping allows the body to recover and plays an important role in our immune system, metabolism rate, memory, learning, and other vital functions. It is also quite common that a lack of sleep results in an inability to take in information whether it is at work or school. A quality sleep allows the brain to acquire new information, process and recall information. Acquisition and recalling of information only happen when the mind is fresh as the neural connections that form our memories strengthen thus allowing us to receive and consciously or unconsciously recall any information passed through.

Sleep deprivation affects an individual’s mood, motivation, judgement, perception. It affects their outlook of certain events causing the individual to have lesser emotions towards an achievement or positive experience. They will also be less prone to engage in positive social interactions due to a lack of sleep.

Nevertheless, we relentlessly continue to catch up with all the available TV shows, late night shows, parties and all sorts of activities knowing the importance of getting sufficient sleep. After all, we ought to indulge and pamper ourselves after a long, hard day at work dealing with our bosses and tight deadlines.

Apart from getting sufficient rest, let’s have a better understanding of dark circles and how we can take measures to reduce them.

1. Deficiency In Iron

As iron levels in the body affect the delivery of oxygen throughout our body cells, a lack of it will reduce the efficiency of the blood to carry oxygen throughout the body and supply your tissues with it. With low iron, your body will not be able to produce enough haemoglobin, the protein in your blood cells that carries oxygen around the body by binding to it. As oxygen-bound haemoglobin turn blood bright red, a lack of the protein causes blood to look darker. This can easily give the eyes area a darkened look since the skin around the area is thin. Consider a diet rich in green vegetables and fruits to maintain healthy levels of iron in the body.

2. Oversleeping

Yes, it’s difficult to find a balance in life and anything in excess is usually bad for you. Similar for sleep, oversleeping can cause dark circles as fluids accumulate around the eyes during sleep. So, think twice if you have made plans this coming weekend to sleep through! Consider getting around 7 – 8 hours of sleep per day and cap your sleeping-in at a maximum of 10 hours.

3. Consuming Excess Amounts Of Salt

Dark circles tend to form due to an over-consumption of salty foods such as potato chips, salted produce, instant noodles and fast foods, just to name a few. Excessive amounts of salt consumed may lead to water retention, causing your eyes to puff up and cast a shadow over your lids, making your dark circles more visible.

4. Exposure To Sun

Exposing your skin to excessive amounts of sunlight may lead to increasing levels of melanin in the body. This leaves the skin darker than usual and makes the shade around your eyes look more visible. To prevent an over-exposure to sunlight and its harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin and damaging it, consider wearing a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes, the surrounding skin or apply sunscreen lotions.

5. Makeup And Other Skin Care Products

Take note of this ladies: the mascara, eyeliner or concealer that you are using may be the cause of your dark circles! Some may develop allergic reactions due to skin allergies or not removing their makeup which results in scrubbing or rubbing. Allergies can make your eyes puff up, and further rubbing may exacerbate the swelling, casting darker shadows. At worse, this may lead to eye infections.


All Hope Is Not Lost

For the majority of us, dark circles are not permanent. In fact, it could be due to signs of ageing or sleep deprivation. Typically, dark circles are not a major health concern. Consider following the tips above in order to improve the appearance of your eyes. If the discolouration or inflammation persists, do consult your doctor or dermatologist who will be able to diagnose and give you the necessary medical attention.