Home Skin ConditionsCommon Imperfections What Causes Dark Under Eye Circles And Puffiness?

What Causes Dark Under Eye Circles And Puffiness?

by Val

It’s all about the eyes! The first signs of aging usually start around your eyes with puffiness, under eye bags, fine lines, crows feet, and dark under eye circles. These imperfections tend to creep up on us as things like stress, sleep, and allergens enter our lives. The discoloration can often make you appear years older than you actually are and lower your self confidence. Not only are we battling with permanent raccoon eyes, but I can also bet that you may have tried five hundred different products and/or concealers to cover or lighten up those bad boys up. I can tell you now, that you will forever be in this battle unless you make some life changing decisions. You may think that your circles are part of your heritage, or that you have had them your whole life, and so the only thing you can do is deal with them and try your best to lighten and brighten your imperfection using costly lotions or concealers. Most times your under eye circles and puffiness are due to environmental factors, food choices, allergens, stress, or even the position you are sleeping.

Causes of Under Eye Puffiness

There are several known causes for under eyes puffiness, dark circles, and bags. Figuring out what is causing this skin imperfection is the first step in treating your under eye problems. If you want to play the blame game, start by pointing your fingers at that little thing called salt. I know we all love salt, but this ingredient could be what is causing your morning eye puffiness. Water travels in areas of the body with a low salt concentration and gathers where there is more salt, resulting in some excess baggage being stored under your eyes. So, before you think about popping in one of those microwave Lean Cuisine meals in a pinch, check out that sodium content! Take out, especially soy sauce drenched Chinese food, can also leave you regretting that food choice in the morning. If you are eating loads of these kinds of salt enriched meals, than salt may be the contributing factor causing your under eye puffiness.

Your personal habits can also play a role in your dark circles and bags. Oh, how good it feels to rub your eyes, sleep on your stomach or side, and go to bed without worrying about taking off your make up. These are all decisions that have major consequences when it comes to your sensitive under eye area. Sleeping in your eye makeup, or rubbing your eyes will you are wearing make up, can cause irritation and make fluid pool under your eyes. The position you sleep in can also be causing the darkness and puffiness. You may have ruled out sleeping as being an issue if you are sleeping the right amount of time, but your position is just as important as the length of rest time you are getting. You can thank your best friend gravity for your under eye troubles if you are sleeping on your stomach, side, or without a pillow. Sleeping in these positions causes fluid to pool under your eyes. If you sleep on your side, you may even notice one eye may be slightly more puffy or darker than the other.  It has been advised by Dr. Goldburt M.D that if you awake with under eye bags or puffiness, or are dealing with under eye dark circles, that you sleep on your back with a one pillow to lay on and another to prop your head up slightly.

If you are suffering from a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection this can also be a cause for morning puffiness or under eye circles. Allergies can affect some people year around and can lead to permanent dark circles. Some may never know that they are suffering from allergies, just a few sneezes here and there when around the causing agent, or there may be constant rubbing of the eyes throughout the day. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest and is more susceptible to the in and out flow of fluids. An allergy test done by your doctor can make you aware of any allergens that may be plaguing you without your knowledge. This may be as simple as not wearing a certain makeup product, avoiding types of food, flowers, or pet dander. Dehydration is another cause in under eye circles. Alcohol dehydrates you and your under eye area. Heavy consumption of alcohol can cause your under eye area to weaken and appear hollow. The under consumption of water can leave you dehydrated and could also be the contributing factor to the hollowness and dark discoloration.

Sometimes it is all in your genes when it comes to under eye dark circles. Asian and African American skin tones often have issues with discoloration around the eyes that stem from heredity. Age can also be considered a major player in the blame game of what causes under eye discoloration. When we age, the skin around the eyes becomes even more thinner allowing blood vessels to appear. If you are dealing with a hereditary issue that is causing your under eye problems, then there are ways to fight back.


Make sure that you wear sunscreen to block skin damaging UV rays, follow the above steps to rule out any allergens or habits that you may doing to increase your odds, then fight back using a retinoid under eye cream that will lighten and brighten the under eye area. Don’t smoke! Smoking can weaken production of collagen and cause an increase in sagging and under eye discoloration. Apply a day and night under eye moisturizer that contains the ingredient hyaluronic acid for added hydration and anti-aging benefits. If you are dealing with the morning puffs, try holding cool cucumbers, a cold spoon, or a bag of frozen peas of your eyes to reduce bags and puffiness. You can also use a hemorrhoid cream, like Preparation H,  to draw out the swelling. Many swear by this technique, and it works!

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