Causes of Dark Circles – 12 Reasons that Make Us Look Tired

Causes of Dark Circles – 12 Reasons that Make Us Look Tired

causes of dark circles
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Dark circles can make us look exhausted & sick … however, there are several factors that can cause the unpretty shadows under our eyes. Some are genetically modified, and others go back to our own lifestyle. Find here 12 possible causes of dark circles.


One of the main causes of dark circles is our genetic predisposition. If your parents have dark circles, you may also be more likely to experience them since our genes determine, among other things, how thick our skin is, etc., which brings us to the next possible cause:

Thin Skin

The skin under our eyes is naturally thinner & more delicate compared to other facial areas. This thinness is attributed to fewer layers of fat and collagen; plus, as we age, the skin tends to lose collagen and elasticity, leading to further thinning. The underlying blood vessels become more visible when the skin is thin, creating a dark or bluish tint.

Fatigue & Lack of Sleep

One of the “manageable” causes of dark circles is when we don´t get enough sleep. This takes a toll on our skin, especially under our eyes. The lack of rest can make our skin look paler, mainly because our bodies don’t get the chance to recover properly. This paleness makes the blood vessels under our eyes more visible, giving us those dark circles.


Another of the causes of dark circles that you can control is not drinking enough water. This can make your skin look dull & a bit sunken, especially under your eyes. When your skin is not well-hydrated, it loses some of its natural plumpness. This lack of fullness can make the blood vessels under your eyes stand out more, and that’s when you might notice those dark circles.


If you have allergies, they can cause inflammation, leading to more noticeable dark circles. Pollen, dust, pet dander, and some foods are common allergy triggers. When your body reacts to these allergens, it can result in swelling and irritation. Find here an allergy test kit!

Eye Strain

Spending too much time staring at screens or reading in bad lighting can strain your eyes, which might cause dark circles.

Sun Exposure

Even spending too much time outside in the sun can be one of the causes of dark circles. Spending too much time in the sun can increase melanin production, the pigment responsible for skin color. This excess melanin production can result in pigmentation changes, potentially causing dark shadows under the eyes.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Not getting enough essential nutrients like iron, vitamin K, and vitamin B12 in your diet can form dark circles. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy skin and blood vessels. Insufficient intake may lead to issues like poor blood circulation or reduced oxygen delivery to the skin, making the blood vessels under the eyes more noticeable and causing dark circles.

Medical Conditions

Dark circles under the eyes can sometimes indicate underlying medical conditions. Conditions like anemia, thyroid disorders, or sinus congestion are examples. Anemia, which involves a lack of red blood cells, can lead to poor oxygen circulation and contribute to the appearance of dark circles. Thyroid issues may affect metabolism and skin health. Sinus congestion, often due to allergies or infections, can cause blood vessels around the eyes to dilate, resulting in dark shadows.


Smoking can hasten the aging process by contributing to the breakdown of collagen, a crucial protein for skin structure. This breakdown results in thinner skin and increased visibility of blood vessels. Here are some books that can help you quit smoking

Fluid Retention

Fluid retention or swelling around the eyes can cast shadows and enhance the appearance of dark circles. Excess fluid accumulating in the under-eye area can lead to puffiness and stretch the skin, causing shadows to form.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during menstruation or pregnancy, can influence blood circulation and play a role in the development of dark circles. Changes in hormone levels can affect the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, impacting blood flow to the under-eye area. This vascular activity can result in increased visibility of blood vessels and contribute to the appearance of dark shadows under the eyes.

If your dark circles persist or worsen, it is crucial to go & see a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation. The other blog posts check out other lifestyle & health topics!