Help For Dark Under Eye Circles: A Doctor Weighs In + Natural Ways To Banish Them
by Margot White Tuesday, May 22
Sleep deprivation? Genetics? Lacking something in your diet? Maybe like myself, you developed darkening under the eyes during/following pregnancy (known as melasma). Dealing with persistent dark circles can be frustrating. Well, help is here. We checked in with our favorite naturopathic physician, Dr. Matt Fisel to get some answers to our questions - PLUS get some effective tips, tricks from the pros and products to help you banish their appearance.
OUR QUESTIONS FOR DR. FISEL:
1. How common are dark circles and what causes them?
We don't have exact statistics, but the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons suggests that over 2 million procedures are performed annually to correct this problem, making it the second most common minimally invasive procedure.
Dark eye circles can be present for a number of reasons and are typically not indicative of any serious underlying medical conditions. Fatigue and lack of sleep are the most common causes, as the sinus cavities located below the eyes typically drain during sleep. Without proper sleep, the sinuses aren't able to drain properly, leading to swelling and discoloration under the eyes. Thin skin around the eyes also makes this area more susceptible to the discoloration that occurs with compromised blood flow.
Something else we see regularly is what we call "allergic shiners". This can occur with people who have underlying food or environmental allergies, which can cause tissue swelling in the nasal cavities, allowing blood to pool underneath the eyes.
Other causes of dark circles under the eyes include: dehydration, too much salt in the diet, iron deficiency, thinning skin with age, genetics (related to underlying ligament and bone structure), oral contraceptives, hormone changes and excess sun exposure.
2. Do dark circles indicate we are lacking something in our diet? If so, what are some vitamins/foods we could increase?
Iron deficiency anemia can be an underlying cause, but make sure you have your levels tested by a physician before supplementing with iron. Not eating enough antioxidants (vitamins A, C and E), along with vitamin K, can also contribute to dark eye circles. Therefore, make sure to eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with these vitamins.
3. Any other healthy habits/tricks you recommend for treatment?
Getting enough rest and hydration are by far the best strategies you can implement, as well as avoiding any food or environmental allergens. Other beneficial treatments: Almond oil topically (natural emollient, vit E and K, essential fats), Neti pot, to encourage sinus drainage, and minimize the impact of environmental allergens, Vitamin A rich oils, vitamin C and rosewater to plump skin, topical preparations containing caffeine to reduce pooling of blood.
OUR TOP NATURAL PRODUCTS TO MANAGE DARK CIRCLES:
SOLAVEDI GREEN TEA & ESPRESSO EYE BALM: This best-seller, made with finely milled Matcha Green Tea and organic oils, is just what you need to soothe tired eyes, reducing dark circles and puffiness. The active ingredients Tea and Marigold are topical diuretics that reduce puffiness and dark circles. Experience instant smoothing and brightening with concentrates of pure and precious ingredients that work to banish dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles.
SOLAVEDI 100% ORGANIC ROSEWATER: Simply the natural by-product created from the steam distillation of organically grown roses. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of rosewater have been known to help reduce the redness of irritated skin, acne, dermatitis and eczema. Dampen cotton balls and place under eyes to help soothe and lighten dark circles. Rosewater is a standard component in the Kripalu school of Ayurveda, as it is used as an eye rinse or on eye pads over closed eyes.
AU NATURALE COLOR THEORY PEACH CORRECTOR: This was developed based on the color wheel, where hues opposite to one another neutralize when mixed. Peach was designed to hide dark circles or other spots for those with light, medium to dark skin tones.
INIKA CERTIFIED ORGANIC PERFECTION CONCEALER: Hides blemishes, dark circles, and uneven pigmentation while helping to unify skin tone to create an even base. Hydrating and lightweight, this formulation blends easily for flawless results and is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Three shades available.
MAKEUP TIPS FROM THE PROS:
Beverly Fink (top celebrity makeup artist) says, "I recommend layering this way: foundation, eye cream, eye makeup then concealer. I like to warm concealer with ring finger and pat it under eyes. I also love a good concealer brush and tap it on. If you can get a color corrector, yellow tones are best in your concealer and more peach on darker skins and dark circles."
Stephanie Ferguson from SÄF ARTISTRY tells us, "A common concealer application mistake is to apply in a half moon shape under the eye. It is more effective to apply in an upside down triangle (pointy side toward chin) to more evenly brighten the area. I’ve found using a highlighter blended with the concealer helps brighten, not lighten. I also love the idea of using color correcting products under the concealer first (think opposites on the color wheel) pink/peach great for darkness under eyes and green for blemishes/redness/rosacea.
Written by: Margot White
BS Health Education, MS Education
Margot is a Health Educator and founder of The Choosy Chick. Margot has been a natural products contributor for tv programs, Better CT and NBC CT and has written for Mind Body Green, Healthy Well-Being Magazine and Women’s Voices for the Earth. She is a mother of four boys and taught in the public school system for 17 years. She is passionate about building public awareness about toxins in consumer products, leading a healthy lifestyle and raising her children to make healthy, informed choices.