Some individuals can blame their ancestors for their inherited tendency for dark circles, usually manifesting in the ‘raccoon eyes’ look, ie., when the circles appear above and below the eyes.
There are several possible causes for the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Black or dark blue circles under or around the eyes can be caused by many different factors mostly related to lifestyle, diet and sleep deprivation. Sometimes the cause is a vitamin k deficiency. Other times the cause might be related to a congested liver and/or pancreas.
The following are the most common causes of those pesky and undesirable dark circles:
* Fatigue, lack of sleep: A lack of sleep or excessive tiredness can cause paleness of the skin, which again allows the blood underneath the skin to become more visible and appear more blue or darker.
* Nutrition: The lack of nutrients in the diet, or the lack of a balance diet, can contribute to the discoloration of the area under the eyes.
* Stress: A too fast-paced lifestyle, especially if you spend long hours on the computer can contribution to black bags under your eyes – perhaps mostly because you don’t get enough sleep.
* Heredity: Like varicose veins, dark circles under the eyes are usually an inherited trait. If you have dark circles, there is a good chance that others in your family also have them. The skin under the eye is very thin. When blood passes through the large veins close to the surface of the skin it can produce a bluish tint. The more transparent your skin, also an inherited trait, the darker the circles appear.
* Exposure to the Sun: Even in darker skinned people, exposure to sunlight, especially during the summer months, can cause a higher-than-normal level of skin pigmentation (melanin) under the eyes. People get suntans because exposure to the sun increases the natural pigmentation of the skin and draws that pigmentation to the surface. The same principle applies to the skin under the eyes.
* Allergies, Asthma and Eczema: Any condition that you have that causes your eyes to itch can contribute to darker circles under the eyes because rubbing or scratching the skin can darken the skin. Hay fever sufferers particularly will notice under-eye “smudges” during the height of the allergy season. Some food allergies can also cause the area under the eyes to appear darker.
* Medications: Any medications that you are taking that causes blood vessels to dilate, can cause circles under the eyes to darken. Because the skin under the eyes is very delicate, any increase blood flow shows through the skin.
* Pregnancy and Menstruation: The skin can also become more pale during pregnancy and menstruation, which again allows the underlying veins under the eyes to become more visible.
* Age: If you have a propensity to have dark circles under you eyes, as you grow older, they are likely to become more noticeable and permanent. Excess folds of skin under the eyes will also make dark circles more pronounced.
Natural Remedies To Treat the appearance of dark circles
* VisionTone and Purple Gold Cream: According to Chinese medicine, dark circles under the eyes is often due to what is referred to as “Kidney Deficiency”. This does not necessarily relate to the Kidney organs, but more to the Kidney “meridian”, or flow of energy. VisionTone is an excellent Kidney tonic. Kidney deficiency can be caused by a number of reasons including: lack of sleep, chronic stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, smoking, drugs, etc.
Supplement your diet with a high quality multivitamin and mineral regimine.
* Tea Bag Treatment: Try applying a cold compress of rosemary tea to increase circulation, which helpsreduce swelling around the eyes. Make tea by bringing a half-cup of fresh rosemary and a quart of water to a boil. Steep for 20 minutes, then strain and chill. Soak a washcloth in the tea, ring out extra liquid anal place over eyes for 15 to 20 minutes, once a day, as needed.
* Acupressure: Another circulation-boosting treatment is acupressure. This is an easy exercise that you can also do every day. Close your eyes and gently press your ring finger underneath one eye, moving from the inside corner to the outside corner. Do this 10 to 15 times. Then repeat on the other eye. * Cold compress: Close your eyes and cover them with a cold washcloth for about five minutes. Repeat several times throughout the day. That will help constrict your blood vessels, minimizing darkness, and it may help minimize tissue swelling and eliminate some of the darkness.
* Moisturizer: To minimize the appearance of bags, plump up skin with moisturizer, one that contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects skin cells from damage and supports collagen production; licorice (or fennel) extract, an anti-inflammatory; and stabilized oxygen, a form of hydrogen peroxide that promotes circulation.
* Spread on the sunscreen. Use a sunscreen especially made for the face with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, but preferably 20, “all day every day,” to keep the sun’s rays from darkening the skin under your eyes,
* Freeze some parsley in ice cubes. Use the parsley cubes instead of eye creams to diminish dark circles and puffiness. Parsley is packed with chlorophyll which helps fade darkness, while the ice cubes reduce the swelling.
Potato/Cucumber combinations are helpful, too…
Close your eyes and cover eyelids with slices of raw potato or cucumber for 15-20 minutes. Wash with warm water and apply a cream.
Grate a cucumber, squeeze to take out its juice and refrigerate. Make a mixture of lemon juice, lanolin cream and cucumber juice and apply around the eye for 10-15 minutes.
Dip some cotton in a 1:1 mixture of potato and cucumber juices. Put the cotton on your eyelids and keep for 20 minutes. Wash your eyes with cold water.
Lemon/Tomato combinations are helpful. o Apply a mixture of lemon and tomato juice(equal parts) on the black circles 2 times a day.
Make a paste out of the following: + 1 tsp. tomato juice, + 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, + a pinch of turmeric powder, and # Pistachio # Raspberry # Walnuts
These treatments can go a long way in preventing bags, circles and wrinkles.
Kaptchuk TJ. The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine. Chicago: Contemporary (McGraw-Hill) 2000
Lu, H. Chinese Natural Cures, New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 1994.