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True periorbital dark circles are usually genetic. Sometimes, what appear to be dark circles under your eyes may just be shadows cast by puffy eyelids, hollows under your eyes or sun exposure.

Sun exposure prompts your body to produce more melanin, and hollows under the eyes develop as a normal part of aging, because the skin under our eyes is the thinnest skin on the face, and capillaries are more visible. When there is a decrease in blood flow to this part of the eye area, it decreases the hemoglobin transport of oxygen to the tissue, creating the look of dark circles.

While we can’t get rid of periorbital dark circles, we can minimize the appearance of the darkness that these other conditions bring with lifestyle and product changes including:

  • Getting the proper amount of sleep and elevating your head with a couple of pillows to prevent puffiness that develops when fluid pools in your lower eyelids. 

  • Trying cold therapy, ice cubes made with herbal tea wrapped in an eyeglass cloth or a chilled teaspoon against the area are great to constrict the blood vessels and diminish puffiness.  

  • Using sunscreen when you spend prolonged periods of time in the sun. This will reduce the production of melanin. 

  • Maintaining a high level of essential vitamins through diet that aid in the reduction of dark circles. 

    • Vitamin K can help strengthen capillaries, which will in turn diminish dark circles (and redness). Green leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce are great sources. 

    • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that works to protect your body against free radicals that may cause the thinning and wrinkling of the skin in the under eye area. Good sources of vitamin E include olives, asparagus and avocado. 

    • Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It protects the blood vessels from inflammation, and improves vascular elasticity. Similar to vitamin E, vitamin C plays an important role in collagen synthesis, which helps prevent wrinkles. Foods rich in this mega-vitamin include broccoli, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, papaya, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes. 

    • Omega-3 is a fatty acid that can also help relax blood vessels. Plant oils, including flaxseed, soybean and canola oils, contain omega-3 as well as walnuts, salmon, sardines and mackerel.  

Below are some of our favorite eye products for topical treatment of dark circles.