Sun 101 |

Why You Have Dark Under-eye Circles and How to Prevent Them

Research shows that dark circles are people’s number one concern with it comes to their eye area. Here, we’ll tell you what causes them and more about what you can do to help prevent them.

At some point in your life, dark circles underneath your eyes may show up. There are many reasons why — from genetics to not taking care of your eye area properly — but one of the main reasons is the sun. Keep reading to find out what causes dark circles and how you can prevent, slash minimize, their appearance.

What causes dark circles?

According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Fenton, there are four major reasons why dark circles occur…

1. Genetics

This one is fairly straightforward – dark circles simply just run in some people’s families, and you could be someone who has been dealing with them since you were born.

2. Thin Skin Around your Eyes

“As we age, the skin gets thinner around your eyes, especially as you lose collagen,” says Dr. Fenton. “We also have a lot of superficial blood vessels in this area, and with thinner skin, these blood vessels are more prominent, leading to the appearance of dark circles.”

And going back to collagen loss…there are a few different things that can lead to it that you should be wary of: continuous movement of your facial muscles, touching and pressure applied to your face and, last but not least, UV damage. 

3. Tear Trough

Another reason why you may be seeing dark circles is because of something called tear trough, which is the depletion of volume around the eyes that can lead to a more sunken look. “As we age, we lose volume in our face not only from the skin thinning, but also bone, muscle and fat,” says Dr. Fenton. “This can contribute to a shadowing effect that can cause dark circles to appear. This shadowing can be further worsened if you have puffiness or bags next to your tear trough.”

4. Hyperpigmentation from Environmental Stressors

Finally, a major cause of dark circles is hyperpigmentation, which is when patches of your skin become dark because of things like UV damage, blue light exposure or acne. And unfortunately, your eyes aren’t off limits!

Here’s how UV-induced hyperpigmentation works, specifically… “Sun exposure stimulates the melanocytes in the skin, and these are the cells that produce melanin, or our skin’s pigment,” says Dr. Fenton. “Thus, overexposure of your under-eye area to the sun can cause your skin to produce more pigment than necessary, leading to dark circles.”

Here’s how to protect yourself from getting dark circles or from making them worse…

While we can’t help with any genetic predisposition to dark circles or things like tear trough, we can help you better protect yourself from dark circles related to rapid collagen loss from overexposure to the sun and/or damage that’s caused by environmental stressors like UV rays and blue light.

All you need to do is wear an eye cream with sunscreen and blue light protection every single day. Our new eye cream, Bright-Eyed, protects your delicate eye area from both UVB and UVA rays from the sun, thanks to broad spectrum SPF 40.

And again, while Bright-Eyed can’t necessarily help correct or prevent other issues related to dark circles, it does contain an illuminating pink tint along with a concoction of pomegranate, probiotics, mica and caffeine that will help brighten and help mask the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

Another dark circles prevention tip is to make sure you’re always wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outside for long periods of time, as they can also help block a great deal of the sun’s UV rays.

+Have more questions about what causes dark circles? Leave them in the comments below!