One of the most hated days of the week is Monday and one of a face’s worst nightmare are dark circles. They gather in the inferior area of the eyes and they have the power to make anyone look older, because they make us look tired and they steal luminosity.
If they look purple they’re most likely caused by blood vessels. If they look slightly blue they’re caused by fluid retention. They can also be brown, in case of hard rubbing, or brownish due to melanin overproduction.
The main causes of dark circles are:
Lack of sleep: lack of sleep contributes to a paler skin and it harms the microcirculation in the eye area.
Genetics: unfortunately according to some scientific studies done so far, dark circles can be genetics, which means that the person naturally has a darker shade under the eyes.
Lack of hydration: if the skin is dry the dark circles will be more prominent.
Sun exposure: if the eye area is too exposed to the sun that may accentuate the color around the eyes and make it darker.
Loss of collagen (protein which gives elasticity to the skin): the skin gets thinner and more fragile which accentuates the dark circles.
Brusque movements in the eye area: while rubbing the area for removing makeup or applying creams or just scratching, if the movement is too brusque it may worsen the dark circles.
Allergies, anemia, lack of vitamins, all of these issues may cause dark circles. In case of lack of vitamins the paleness actually accentuates the dark circles.
Hormonal changes: they may unbalance melanin production and darken eye area.
Medicines: some medicines cause dilation of blood vessels increasing therefore the darkness around the eye area.
Since these are the main causes of dark circles, here’s how to beat them:
Sleep well: sleeping is one of the most important things for the human body. According to Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Dr. Daniel G. Amen sleeping is crucial for an overall wellbeing and a number of brain functions that affect decisions, hormone balance or of course the elasticity of the skin, particularly the sensitive thin area around the eyes. You can use some essential oils to help you fall asleep and improve a night’s sleep and this issue will be addressed later in Skin at Heart.
Moisturize daily: the eye area should be nurtured daily with a good moisturizer or a natural oil, using smooth movements. As for the direction of the movements I couldn’t yet understand which direction is the best from the inside to the outside or the other way around, because in the several scientific articles I have read so far, there are different opinions on the subject. So I massage in both directions. One of the best oils for the eye area is sweet almond oil because it reduces the darkness around the eye area.
Use sunglasses if you know you will be highly exposed to sun light, like for example in outdoor activities such as skiing, sunbathing or hiking, if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors near reflective surfaces or in any situation when you feel like you need them.
Promote healthy habits: especially the way you feed yourself. According to Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin by Adina Grigore or The Healthy Skin Diet by Karen Fischer, everything we eat will directly affect our biggest organ: the skin and indirectly affect it through digestion, intestines, liver and the hormone production that are directly affected by what we eat. Our body is our temple and we should treat it as such. Food will be our fuel and it will spread in each and every single one of our pores. All the anti-aging agents come mostly from what we eat and not from what we apply in the surface of the skin.
Control allergies: airing the house, clean regularly using natural products, such as Lemon Oil, Tea Tree Oil or vinegar. Switching the bed lining regularly and expose it to the sun to prevent mites.
Control hormonal changes: ingesting a lot of water will improve circulation and an adequate food regime may actually balance hormone levels. I will later share more information about what affects hormones and how hormones affect human beings in Skin at Heart in future posts.
In the next post I will share some homemade recipes with essential oils to reduce and eliminate dark circles.
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