They say the eyes are the window to the soul and it is no surprise that we often associate beguiling eyes with beauty. But as we go about our daily lives, the fact of the matter is that we may miss out on certain day-to-day habits that inevitably cause unsightly facial blemishes, like dark eye circles and eye bags. Even though it is a given that we should be more mindful of our actions, this article serves as a prompt reminder to be more attentive to our precious eyes.
As much as we believe that dark eye circles are something acquired with old age, it is funny to see how they seem to affect both the young and the old. Dark eye circles clearly do not discriminate by age and the same can be said for both genders.
What Causes Dark Eye Circles?
What we know is that dark eye circles come about from an excess amount of pigmentation or from dilated blood vessels beneath the skin under the lower eyelids, also called the periorbital skin. Due to how thin the periorbital skin is (that is 0.5 mm, if you are asking), the pigmentation and blood vessels are much more prominent, which would contribute to a panda-like appearance.
If you are scratching your head as to how dark eye circles come about, it is all down to a multitude of factors, like regular strain on the eyes, allergies, dehydration, sun exposure and age.
1. Lack of Sleep
Have your colleagues or friends been commenting on how haggard you look in the office? If the reason for that is catching up on the latest K-dramas for hours after midnight, you might have just identified the problem! What those late-night ‘adventures’ after bedtime do is cause your skin to turn much paler, which makes the pigments and blood vessels underneath your skin much more visible. The word on the street is to get your daily dose of beauty rest — if you absolutely have to stay up past your usual bedtime, try to make it a one-off incident and return to your usual sleep schedule quickly. What you should definitely avoid is to make sleep deprivation a regular occurrence — not only do your eyes suffer, it has been reported that your mind and body also take a beating as well.
Something that most people do not realise is that they may have some underlying sensitivities to certain allergens, until they start itching and scratching. Allergens can come from the unlikeliest of sources: Pet dander, pollen, dust and even scented perfume are some of the common culprits. Each body reacts differently and some would react to these allergens by releasing histamines that cause the blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath the skin. Oftentimes, these allergies may tempt you to soothe the irritated skin around your eyes by rubbing and scratching. As enticing as it might be, make a conscious effort to avoid making contact with your eyes, especially since this only provides temporary relief. These unconscious actions actually cause the capillaries to burst or swell, which would form those dark circles that we are oh-so-familiar with.
What our parents have repeatedly reminded us about water is true — in our tropical climate, we ought to take regular glugs of water throughout the day to hydrate the body. Here’s a little test — if you are hankering and thirsting after a cool glass of water in the day, what your body is telling you is that you are already dehydrated. Unfortunately, because of how thin the periorbital skin is, the effects of dehydration are amplified. When the body is running low on H2O, the skin would shrivel up and look duller, causing your eyes to look sunken.
4. Sun Exposure
It is hard to avoid the sun when in Singapore and that is one reason why you see more people around you with dark eye circles. When you are out and about in the sun for an extended period of time, your skin produces more melanin around that sensitive area around your eyes, which gives it a darker-than-usual appearance. If you know that you are up for some outdoor activities with your sporty pals, slather on a fine layer of eye cream and reapply every two hours. We know, it takes extra effort to keep your skin protected from the harsh rays of the sun, but if you are firm on retaining the suppleness of the skin around your eyes, nothing beats giving your body the attention it deserves.
Despite sounding out these habits that you should definitely avoid to prevent dark eye circles, there are other factors, like age or skin tone, that a mere change in lifestyle would not alter. As we age, the elasticity of our skin and its ability to regenerate deteriorate — that explains why most elderly have visible dark eye circles. Similarly, those with darker complexions are more likely to have prominent dark eye circles due to the higher pigmentation within their skin. These are just a few factors that would require a dedicated hand to treat.