What Causes Under Eye Circles and How The Hell To Get Rid of ‘Em!

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Information on what causes under eye circles and how you can get rid of them for good!

Well I did it! I got all wifed up, said I Do, and had a raucous night of celebrating our nuptials with my new hubby and our closest friends and family! It was one hell of a memorable week and while I tried to relax, sleep in, and take it easy for a week straight it didn’t exactly go down that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I TRIED to sleep in and relax but being the stresser that I am, I didn’t sleep in once meaning I looked tired the whole effing week. And what intensifies when you’re tired? Dark under eye circles.

Now I’ve mentioned before that I am cursed with dark under eye circles and have tried many a thing to get rid of these annoying under eye circles but no matter what DIY remedies I try, those bastards just won’t disappear!

Which got me wondering – what causes under eye circles and how the hell can I get rid of them for good?

What Causes Under Eye Circles?

While I wish there was a clear cut answer to this question, there are various causes of dark under eye circles – from allergies to genetics, diet to PMS, enlarged blood vessels to lack of sleep – and how our body responds to these different factors can determine the severity of the circles.

So let’s break them down…


If you suffer from allergies (like me – hello chronic nasal congestion!), chances are your under eye circles can intensify during periods where your allergies flare up. For me, this is pretty much every season other than Winter! Aren’t I lucky?

Wondering what causes under eye circles?

But back to you…

When your allergies erupt, causing you to feel congested and blocked up, the veins that run from your eyes to nose can dilate and darken resulting in those unpleasant dark circles.

Looking for a quick fix? Head into your local pharmacy, have a chat with the pharmacist and ask them to suggest an effective anti-histamine that will help bust through your congestion.

However, if taking pills or snorting nose spray ain’t really your thang then why not try using a Neti Pot?

This cross between a teapot and Aladdin’s lamp has been around for years and is oh-so-awesome at helping to ease sinus issues, break up congestion, blast through mucus, and alleviate any pressure you may feel in your sinuses – all of which are precursors to dark circles.

It’s nasal irrigation at its finest…and without having to ingest any pills. Sounds sexy, doesn’t it?


Take a look at your parents, or even your grandparents, faces. Do they have dark circles under their eyes? If your answer is yes, then I’m sorry to tell you but there is not much you can do about this one.

Genetics is one of those maddening factors that make us all special and unique – even if that means having to deal with hereditary issues such as under eye circles.

The good news is you have options! While you may not be able to change your genetics, you can take action and erase those under eye circles with the help of the right product. 

Luckily there are a bunch of different under eye treatments available, you just have to find which one works the best for you.


It’s no secret that your diet and lifestyle choices can have a significant effect on the look of your skin. Being that it is our biggest organ, what we put into our body directly affects its appearance.

Processed foods, greasy foods, alcohol, and smoking can deepen the look of your dark circles – something us sufferers are going to want to avoid at all costs.

Fortunately, there are also foods that can lighten the area under your eyes helping you to mask those circles. It may not be a quick fix but if you can incorporate foods high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, iron, and folic acid you should notice a gradual fading of your dark circles.

Want to know what causes under eye circles and how you can get rid of them?

That means gorging on foods such as berries, citrus fruits, green leafy veggies, nuts, whole grains, avocados, seafood, and green tea as much as you can.

Hey, at least your journey to no more under eye circles will be a tasty one!


I hate it! I hate this one! I mean, in case we girls don’t suffer enough with our monthly crazy-lady-hormones now we have to figure out ways to combat our PMS-fueled under eye circles? Bullsh*t, I say!

Luckily, PMS may not be the main cause of under eye circles for each of us, meaning it’s only a small proportion of ‘lucky’ women who have to deal with this issue once a month.

If you find that a week before your period starts your eyes get a little puffy or your dark circles worsen, try using natural diuretics such as green tea to help expel any premenstrual water retention.

In addition to this, you may want to consider cutting down on any salty foods, carbs, or excess liquids during this week as well.

If you find, after trying this, that your eyes still look dark, tired, and puffy then it may be safe to assume that your under eye issues aren’t related to PMS – meaning you can breathe a sigh of relief that your lady gift isn’t to blame for this issue.

But it probably is to blame for anything else annoying going on in your life for that week because let’s face it, periods suck.

Enlarged Blood Vessels

This one may be a little difficult to troubleshoot but if you find your eyes appear more dark or puffy when you wake up, it could be the result of enlarged blood vessels.

Simply put, when we sleep we don’t blink. While that sounds like common sense, think of it this way. Blinking for our eyes is like walking for our legs. When we don’t blink, the area around our eyes can become backed up with fluid – or edema.

And since the skin around our eyes is the thinnest on our body, the puffiness and discolouration can show up more easily.

Thankfully, you can combat this issue by using another pillow to prop your head up while sleeping, ultimately helping to stop the fluid and blood from building up under your eyes. Another solution is to use a cold compress for about 5 minutes each morning to help constrict the blood vessels and shrink any swelling.

Lack of Sleep

Okay so this one is self-explanatory. If you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep each night, you skin can take a real hit. Not only will it appear more pale but those dreaded dark circles will show more easily.

What causes under eye circles and what you can do to get rid of them

In addition to that, when we don’t get enough sleep our stress hormones (curse you cortisol!) increases and can cause swelling, allowing our dark circles to become even more prominent.

Quick fix? Sleep more. End of story.

How The Hell Can I Get Rid of My Under Eye Circles?

Now that we know what causes under eye circles, let’s discuss treatment options.

If you are a regular reader around these parts, you know that I love to try out homemade remedies so with that being said, let’s get our DIY on!

Since I have already blabbed on for too long, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

To get rid of those nasty circles, try:

  • placing sliced cucumbers over your eyes for 5-10 minutes
  • swiping a cotton ball dipped in potato juice under your eyes
  • crush up some mint and dab the juice and crushed leaves under your eyes for about 5 minutes
  • mix a teaspoon of each tomato and lime juice, dip a cotton ball into the juice, wipe under your eyes, leave on for 10 minutes
  • never underestimate the power of a good concealer

Looking for more under eye DIY goodness? Check out 3 more of my go-to homemade under eye treatments and banish that bruised look!

Or if you have tried the DIY method and find it’s just not cutting it, then check out our #1 favourite under eye treatment, Elite Serum. It is all kinds of badass-ness when it comes to getting rid of those dreaded dark circles for good.

But before you leave me to solve your under eye woes, I want to hear from you!

Do you suffer from under eye circles and if so, what have you done to try and get rid of them? Share your story with me in the comment section below.


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