What Causes Dark, Under Eye Circles?

If your eyes are looking more like a panda’s than a human’s lately – due to dark under eye circles – then you’ll want to read up on theses causes!

Too Much Sleep:

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Dark circles are often associated with a lack of sleep. This is true, but the reverse is actually the more likely common cause! Too much sleep means you are lying in bed for about 8+ hours, which is 8+ hours of fluid building up in your face. (When you are awake and vertical, gravity will pull excess fluid away from your eyes.)


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When the skin under your eyes starts to thin, the blood vessels behind the skin are more easily seen. Thinning skin creates the appearance of “dark circles,” and one of the common causes of thinning skin is genes. If you suspect your dark circles are genetic, show some extra love to your skin! Talk to a dermatologist about your options.


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Because the skin around your eyes is the most delicate skin on your face, it is a great indicator of your overall health levels. If you are hydrated, your eyes will be one of the first places to show signs of hydration: the skin will feel and look plump, bright, and healthy. Conversely, if you are dehydrated, your under eye skin will look dark, tired, and dry.


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Many medications – such as medications that cause dehydration, blood vessel dilation, or trouble sleeping – can indirectly cause dark circles. If you notice darkening under your eyes after taking a new medication, ask your prescribing doctor and/or dermatologist his opinion on ways to diminish the appearance.

Rubbing Your Eyes:

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Don’t rub your eyes! Easier said than done, to be sure – especially after a long day of working or staring at a computer. Under eye skin is so delicate, that repeatedly rubbing and pulling it can do long-term damage (like early wrinkles!). If you must rub your eyes, do so gently, and only with your weaker fingers (like the ring finger or pinky).


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