There's a bit of beauty science behind the under-eye circle trend currently taking over TikTok. TikTok users have been more than happy to turn their under-eye area into a colorful, exaggerated circle, but as dermatologists told NYLON, there are some very real causes that can lead to the appearance of under-eye circles.
Before you brush off your under-eye bags as just the result of another restless night, the experts have some additional tips, causes, and treatments you may want to consider. Read on to find out what causes under-eye circles — and what you can actually do to treat them.
What Causes Under-Eye Circles?
A lack of sleep is often blamed as the main culprit behind under-eye circles, but Dr. Ife Rodney of Eternal Dermatology, pointed out that there are several other potential factors, including dehydration. "We need to keep our entire bodies, including our skin, hydrated. Dehydration shows up as thinning skin and dark under-eye circles," Dr Rodney noted.
Other possible reasons could be your diet, as an iron deficiency can result in an increased appearance in blood vessels beneath the eyes, as well as seasonal allergies. "Allergies dry out our eyes, causing swelling and inflammation. The chronic rubbing we do in response damages the skin and blood vessels, creating dark circles and a hollowing effect," Dr. Rodney explained.
Additionally, under-eye circles can be genetic, Lynnette Cole, PÜR’s global education director and licensed esthetician, pointed out. "Dark under-eye circles are something that many people face and are nothing anyone should feel self-conscious about," she said.
Should You Be Concerned If You Have Under-Eye Circles?
In most cases, dark under-eye circles are not cause for alarm. However, as Cole pointed out, if under-eye circles are unusual for you, or you are concerned, there's no harm in speaking with a health professional.
It's best to also take note of how long you've noticed the darkening. "Sometimes, when you have volume loss from stress, lack of sleep, or accelerated aging, a shadowing effect occurs. This makes the area look dark and sunken in, but it’s not that the skin itself is dark," Dr. Rodney said.
What To Do About Under-Eye Circles
As is the case with any common skincare condition, treatment is entirely up to you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having under-eye circles, and wearing them with pride, but for those who do wish to conceal or help the area, there are options. "If you don’t have a history of under-eye bags and need to conceal for an important occasion, feel free to use a hypoallergenic concealer. If there’s anything on your skin or face that you’re unsure about, seek out your board-certified dermatologist," Dr. Rodney said.
Along with using concealer, Cole suggested the use of an eye cream or an eye gel. "Our skin is our largest organ, if you see something new, unusual or something that is persistent, seek expert advice with a doctor," she noted.