Deeper Than Sleep: Under Eye Circle Causes and Solutions

Late night study sessions and Netflix binge-watching have both gained the bad reputations of being the ultimate causes of the next morning’s dark circles. Although fatigue will intensify under eye darkness and puffiness, there are many reasons why — even with a full eight hours of rest — they still seem to linger.

Dark circles are essentially formed when there is congestion in your sinuses or inflammation in the blood vessels surrounding the eyes. Pigmentation then shows through the under eye tissue and forms those tricky dark circles. Dark circles can be worsened by anything from seasonal allergies to vitamin deficiencies, so before you blame them on lack of sleep, try a few different methods to clear them up.

Gua Sha Massage

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Similar to its sister tool, the jade roller, Gua sha is a practice that dates back to traditional Chinese medicine. Gua sha massage drains the metabolic waste that gets congested in areas that are not usually subject to motion.

Using a gua sha tool, gently sweep the tool from the inner area under the eye outwards toward the temple three to five times. Be sure to use a non-comedogenic facial oil, such as squalene or marula oil, and use light pressure to avoid damaging the delicate eye area. By moving stagnant lymph nodes under the eyes using gua sha, inflammation, puffiness and dark circles are cleared.

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Wake-Up Call

Just how your Starbucks jolts you out of morning haze, the under eye area is instantly awakened by caffeine. Naturally anti-inflammatory, caffeine improves circulation surrounding the eye and can have a brightening effect. Serums and eye creams are essential to moisturize the delicate skin beneath the eyes. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides and caffeine or vitamin C to brighten the skin.

Get Your Greens In

Vitamin K — primarily found in broccoli, kale, spinach and brussel sprouts — is essential for reducing inflammation and bruising under the eyes. Of course, consuming lots of Vitamin K should be paired with drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep. Check out VALLEY’s favorite kale recipes here for some inspiration! 

Blame the Weather

Because the purple hue that appears under the eyes is caused by congestion that dilates blood vessels, an easy solution is to decongest that area. You may have seasonal allergies that you are not even aware of and by taking an over-the-counter decongestant, such as Benadryl, your sinus will be relieved, reducing overall puffiness.

VALLEY suggests consulting a doctor before introducing any new medications into your daily routine.


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