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Video:How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

with Jonathon Stewart

If you've got dark circles under your eyes, it doesn't necessarily mean you're short on sleep. See why they often occur, and check out these tips on how to reduce your dark under eye circles.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Ever notice your co-workers staring at you from the water cooler, muttering indistinct whispers like, "blue luggage," "Dun Puffer," or "raccoon eyes"? Well, I hate to say it, but they're probably talking about those dark circles under your eyes. But fear not, today it's all about getting rid of dark and puffy eyes - and, hey, you never know - your coworkers just might be staring at you in envy. Check it out.

Why Do Dark Under Eye Circles Appear?

The area under your eyes is very sensitive and densely packed with tiny capillaries that are prone to expanding, and thus becoming darker. This sensitive skin is also a prime area for swelling due to the collection of fluid in your lower eyelids particularly during sleep, and the resulting puffiness can cast shadows below your eyes which only adds to the perceived discoloration.

Causes of Under Eye Circles

And while there are many reasons all this can happen - you might be surprised to find that lack of sleep, or even staring at a computer monitor are not the primary causes. Even the double whammy combination of sleep deprivation and staring at an LCD while playing Guitar Hero 3 until 5am nightly, isn't the main culprit. Nasal congestion is arguably the number one cause of your panda mask, but heredity, allergies, vitamin deficiency, and reduced adrenal function are all potential contributors. Poor circulation and broken blood vessels are other common factors.

Vitamins That Reduce Dark Circles

Alright, already. But what can I do about getting rid of them? Well, while none of these are guaranteed solutions, they definitely can't hurt, and some of them are even kind of fun. Taking a multi-vitamin is a good first step, as under-eye bags have been linked to a lack of B6, folic acid, and even B12. Calcium and magnesium have been known to help improve adrenal function, and over-the-counter allergy medicines can be helpful in reducing nasal congestion. Lowering salt intake and quitting smoking have proven to improve circulation, a critical factor in reducing darkness under the eyes.

Reducing Under Eye Puffiness

Oh. And, rubbing your eyes is probably a habit you should break, as it can serve to damage those delicate blood vessels behind all this. If it's puffiness you're concerned about, give these tricks a whirl. Splashing cold water on your eyes first thing in the morning can help under-eye capillaries to contract and reduce swelling. Likewise, you could try putting two spoons in the freezer for about 5 minutes, then gently placing them on your eyes for another 5. Leaving two moist green or chamomile tea bags in the fridge overnight, then applying them directly to your eyes for 15 minutes first thing in the morning works wonders, too.

Effective Eye Creams

You can also use cucumbers, but really, they're so cliched. Creams with concentrated vitamin C or vitamin K might also do the trick, and if worse comes to worst, you can always try using a concealer. Assuming you're in the habit of wearing makeup. That's not to say that you shouldn't try getting your 8 hours a night, or limiting your monitor-staring time to 8 hours a day. You might also want to avoid getting into any boxing matches, too.

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