What the dark circles under your eyes are telling you

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Are you sick of always looking tired and trying to conceal those under eye circles? We asked an expert for some assistance, to better understand why some people are more prone to them than others. Plus, we explain the difference between puffiness and dark circles.

Dark circles
Firstly you need to determine what colour your rings are. Look in the mirror (in natural light) with your chin tilted down slightly. This will help you see the ring more clearly.

More blue: If your circles are more of a bluish shade, then they are caused by increased levels of oxygenated blood pooling in that area. The skin under the eye is very thin, hence the dark colour coming through, causing that dark circle. This could be caused by lack of sleep or poor circulation.

More brown: If your circles are more brown, it could be a genetic cause. It could also be from over exposure to the sun, excess eye rubbing or hyperpigmentation. This is usually more prevalent in darker skin tones.

Sonette Donker, Strategic Communications Manager for Dermalogica, says that puffiness could have two causes. “The first one is water retention and this is very easy to treat with skincare. Normally it is just the body holding onto water due to excess salt in the diet, but some individuals are genetically just prone to retaining water in their bodies. We suggest these individuals use an eye cream that contains ingredients such as caffeine and spiraea. These ingredients act as a ‘diuretic’ draining the excess fluid.” Sonette explains.

The second cause is a bit more complicated. “It is due to adipose tissue herniating through the muscle,” says Sonette. “As we get older, and we normally see this in individuals over the age of 50, our muscles weaken. Due to the weakened muscle around the eye, we now see these ‘bags’ that are always present. These must be surgically removed. These operations are normally very simple with a high success rate.”


Written by

Zoe has a bachelor’s degree in motion picture medium. She loves all things beauty and fashion. When she is not writing articles for the latest issue of Clicks Club Card magazine or BeautySouthAfrica.com, she is obsessed with gel nails, lengthening mascaras and healthy glowing skin! Zoe on Google+

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  1. Cookie Nandlall

    I always have puffiness and dark circles. This could be from added stress. Productive article giving insight feedback on various cause of dark circle.

    3 years ago •

  1. Lah

    Mine are definitely from lack of sleep and stress… they have only popped up over the last few weeks. Has anyone tried the Body Shop product?

    4 years ago •

  1. Safiya Rawat

    I think mine are from lack of sleep and hyper-pigmentation :(

    5 years ago •

  1. Anne

    Looks like mine are due to lack of sleep

    5 years ago •

  1. 2ly gal

    I’ve got dark circles around my eyes and was told by a doctor that its because of my sinuses/allergies so it will be interesting to start using a good quality concealer, I just don’t know which one would help.

    5 years ago •

  1. Hess

    I suffer from dark circles too, but recently had the privilege to test Smashbox’s BB Eyes Primer – try it, you won’t be disappointed!

    5 years ago •

  1. Roenel

    Thank you for the information it really helps.

    5 years ago •

  1. Stacey

    I’m glad I don’t have dark circles under my eyes. I just battle with very dry skin under my eyes due to the skin being thin

    5 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    That GOSH concealer is cheaper than I expected. I love me some under-eye concealer. It helps to really brighten my face. I think concealer is a girls best friend, next to the traditional diamond ;)

    5 years ago •

  1. Bernice Jolley

    I have blue under my eyes! And it is really awful I can’t change the hours I work! But I saw this and went and bought The Body Shop one, thank you so much!

    5 years ago •

  1. Leandra Bothma

    I am always struggling with very dark circles under my eyes and I have been searching everywhere for the perfect concealer to cover them up. Thanks for the advice, I will definitely be trying the above and will review my findings once I have them. Thanks!

    5 years ago •

  1. Tanya

    I have puffy eyes, which I hate! Thanks for sharing!

    5 years ago •

  1. Gervase

    I am very dark so my circles are barely noticeable. My circles are probably because of hyper-pigmentation. I need to try some of the darker shades of foundation recommended by BSA :-) Hopefully this should help

    5 years ago •

  1. Phimone Burke

    This is a great article, very helpful and all the recommended products look amazing. Thanks!

    5 years ago •

  1. Jeanine

    I struggle with dark rings and find that I need to wear concealer everyday. I’ll definitely be giving a more proactive product a go.

    5 years ago •

  1. Anel Van Zyl

    Thanks so much for this article. I’ve had dark circles under my eyes for ages!

    5 years ago •

  1. Candice Petersen

    These look amazing, I have really bad under eyes and have been struggling to conceal them

    5 years ago •

  1. Busisiwe Ndzube

    I would love 2 try dermalogica total eye care with SPF 15!!

    5 years ago •

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