Fix the Root Cause of Dark Circles Under the Eyes

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/24/2023

Fix the Root Cause of Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Ever gazed into the mirror, only to be greeted by those pesky dark circles under your eyes? We've all been there.

No matter how much concealer you slap on, they won't budge. Who wants to start the day looking like a bear with circles around their eyes?

You might think it's impossible, but kicking those stubborn shadows to the curb is doable! Curious yet? Good.

We're about to embark on this journey. It isn't just about slapping some cucumber slices onto our peepers and hoping for the best. Nope! It goes deeper than that...much deeper.

We'll dive headfirst into understanding what causes these unsightly halos in the first place - hello, cortisol resistance and melanocyte-stimulating hormone!

After this, we're going to take a journey through an exciting new territory. Stay tuned!

Understanding Periorbital Dark Circles

Many of us have seen the dark circles under our eyes in the mirror and wondered what they are - periorbital dark circles.

This common skin issue results from visible blood vessels beneath thin skin around our eyes. These are known as periorbital dark circles, a common skin concern that can make us look more tired than we feel.

Periorbital dark circles occur when blood vessels become visible through the thin skin around our eyes. Aging can also play a role, causing this delicate area to lose collagen and appear darker over time.

What are Periorbital Dark Circles?

The term "periorbital" refers to the region surrounding your eye socket. When it comes to these notorious dark circles, they're often blamed on lack of sleep or stress. But there's more going on beneath the surface—literally.

The Role of Cortisol Resistance and Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone

You might be surprised to learn that hormones could have something to do with those stubborn shadows under your peepers. Specifically, cortisol resistance and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) may contribute significantly.

Cortisol is known as our 'stress hormone.' Chronic stress exposure leads to cortisol resistance within cells near the eye, resulting in dilated blood vessels and a darker appearance. Meanwhile, MSH stimulates melanin production, which causes pigmentation changes.

Temporary Remedies for Dark Circles

A few temporary remedies can offer relief when looking to lighten those stubborn dark circles under your eyes. One such remedy is kojic acid, which inhibits melanin production and reduces pigmentation.

How Temporary Remedies Work

The way these remedies work is quite fascinating. Take Vitamin C, for instance; it's excellent for boosting immunity and promoting collagen synthesis and skin brightness, making it effective against dark circles.

Similarly, aloe vera's soothing properties help reduce puffiness and discoloration under the eyes. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) plays an essential part, strengthening the skin barrier and improving texture and complexion.

Studies suggest this vitamin could be particularly helpful in managing hyperpigmentation issues, including dark circles. Last but certainly not least on our list of helpers is cucumber extract.

It has traditionally been used to cool down irritated or tired-looking eyes because of its hydrating properties - offering quick, short-term respite from pesky dark rings around your peepers.

Lifestyle Changes for Permanent Solution

Let's get honest about dark circles. It's not just about the products you put on your skin or cosmetics to hide them; it also largely depends on how you live. These little adjustments can make all the difference in managing and potentially reducing those pesky under-eye shadows.

Reducing Stress and Regular Exercise

If there were ever two things that didn't mix well with good skin health, they'd be stress and a sedentary lifestyle.

Stress increases cortisol levels, leading to inflammation and worsening of dark circles. Meanwhile, regular exercise helps boost circulation, ensuring nutrients reach our skin cells more effectively.

So, start incorporating activities like biking or gardening into your routine to help manage stress levels better. For exercise? Aerobics is excellent because it increases your heart rate and boosts overall blood flow.

Importance of Sufficient Sleep

We've heard this one before, but let me repeat it - sleep matters. During deep sleep, our body undergoes cell regeneration processes vital for healthy skin.

The next time you're tempted to pull an all-nighter binge-watching your favorite show – remember: beauty isn't just surface-level; give yourself (and your eyes) some rest.

Dietary Supplements for Dark Circles

Are you tired of those stubborn dark circles under your eyes? It's time to explore the power of dietary supplements. Two standouts in this arena are vitamin D3 and magnesium.

Benefits of Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3, or the "sunshine vitamin," is not just for bone health but may also help manage dark circles. Research has shown it can help manage dark circles, too.

The National Institutes of Health highlights that adequate Vitamin D levels contribute to skin health, which may reduce pigmentation issues like dark circles.

A deficiency in this vital nutrient might dull your skin and lead to discoloration under the eyes. So, adding a daily dose of sunshine or a quality supplement could be key.

Word magnesium on wooden cubes

Role Of Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium doesn't get much spotlight but don't underestimate its potential benefits for our skin. This mineral is essential in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, including processes affecting our complexion and overall appearance.

Studies suggest insufficient magnesium can reduce sleep quality – another contributor to pesky under-eye shadows. Boosting your intake through diet or supplementation could thus serve as a simple yet effective solution for managing dark circles permanently.

The Role of Diet and Screen Time in Managing Dark Circles

It's time to take a closer look at the role your lifestyle choices, particularly diet and screen time, play in managing those pesky dark circles. The correlation between your dietary habits and the time you spend looking at screens may be unexpected.

Limiting Screen Time

You've probably heard that too much screen time can lead to eye strain. But did you know it can also contribute to dark circles?

That's right - long hours spent squinting at screens make our eyes work harder than they should, leading to under-eye puffiness and making shadows appear darker.

Low-Carb Diet for Dark Circles

Moving on from digital habits, let’s talk about food. Switching up your diet might be the key.

Here's where keto comes into play: high-carb diets have been linked with inflammation, according to studies, something that doesn't help when trying to get rid of these unwanted guests around your eyes.

A low-carb or ketogenic diet is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It could provide relief by addressing underlying causes like insulin resistance – offering a dietary route towards clearer skin under those peepers.


Embarking on a quest for a permanent solution for dark circles under your eyes can feel like climbing Everest, but you're not alone. You've got the knowledge now!

We began by understanding periorbital dark circles and how cortisol resistance and melanocyte-stimulating hormone play their part.

The next stop was exploring temporary remedies - kojic acid, vitamin C, aloe vera...oh my! They all help inhibit melanin production to reduce pigmentation.

Moving along, we discovered that lifestyle changes are our secret weapon. Regular exercise, stress reduction, and enough sleep add up in this fight against shadows.

Dietary supplements also have their role: Vitamin D3 and magnesium can be your allies here. Let's not forget the diet and screen time either; managing these okay helps manage those pesky halos around your peepers better!

Supporting Data

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