Dark circles under the eyes can be a sign that you are lacking these nutrients.
Let’s face it: waking up with dark circles under your eyes isn’t exactly super. And yet it is something that millions of people experience every morning.
The cause of dark circles
Dark circles under the eyes are a common problem often associated with lack of sleep. However, they can also be caused by various other factors, such as genetics, sun damage, allergies and nutritional deficiencies. Studies have shown that these factors can cause significant pigmentary changes in the skin, leading to the development of dark circles under the eyes.
Genetics and certain genes are responsible for the skin pigmentation process that contributes to dark circles under the eyes. Sun damage is another factor that can contribute to the appearance of dark circles. This increases melanin production in the skin, resulting in pigmentary changes that can cause dark circles under the eyes.
Too many harmful UV rays from the sun on your skin can cause collagen and elastin fibers to break down, which can make dark circles worse.
Finally, allergies also play a crucial role in the development of dark circles, as allergic reactions can cause inflammation in the eye area, which leads to the appearance of dark circles. Allergies activate the body’s immune response and lead to the release of histamine, which causes puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.
Your dark circles can also be an important signal from your body that it is lacking nutrients. Because eating healthy is certainly your goal, but sometimes not the easiest task in the hectic everyday life.
What nutrients help with dark circles?
There are several nutrients that, when supplemented and applied topically, can help reduce the appearance of dark circles by promoting circulation, reducing inflammation and supporting healthy collagen production.
Our organic multivitamins contain a blend of the most effective nutrients proven to fight dark circles:
This antioxidant helps protect the skin from oxidative stress and promotes collagen synthesis. Studies show that taking vitamin C supplements for 8 weeks significantly reduces the appearance of dark circles. Foods most rich in vitamin C include berries, citrus fruits, kiwis, tomatoes, broccoli and red peppers. Topical application of vitamin C has also been scientifically proven – it significantly improved the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.
It helps reduce the appearance of dark circles by promoting healthy circulation and reducing inflammation. Foods high in vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds. In addition, applying creams containing vitamin K to the skin under the eyes for a period of 8 weeks has been shown to significantly reduce the appearance of dark circles.
Like vitamin K, vitamin A can help reduce dark circles by improving circulation and reducing inflammation. It can also help protect the skin from damage, which in turn can reduce the appearance of dark circles. Foods that contain vitamin A in the form of the plant precursor beta-carotene include, for example, carrots, sweet potatoes and apricots.
Niacin (vitamin B3)
Niacin has many benefits for the skin, including reducing dark circles under the eyes. Niacin can help reduce inflammation that contributes to dark circles. Niacin, when used topically, can also help improve skin hydration and elasticity, which can reduce the appearance of dark circles.
In one study, 12 percent of participants with dark circles had B12 deficiency. The elimination of this deficiency improved their condition. Since vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods, you must take it through a dietary supplement (such as an organic multivitamin complex) if you eat little or no meat.
This mineral plays an important role in collagen production and wound healing. It also helps reduce inflammation and protects the skin from free radical damage. Taking zinc for 8 weeks has been shown to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Foods rich in zinc include pumpkin seeds, oysters and dark chocolate. Creams containing zinc have also been shown to help reduce the appearance of dark circles.
This mineral is important for healthy blood circulation and oxygen supply. Low iron levels can cause the blood vessels under the eyes to become more visible, which can make dark circles under the eyes appear even more prominent. The richest sources of iron are liver and red meat, but spinach and lentils can also contain this mineral. Interestingly, one study found that a gel containing iron effectively reduced the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. If your dark circles are caused by anemia, you can learn more in our article “Anemia: These Vitamins and Minerals Help.”
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Lifestyle tips for dark circles
Even small lifestyle changes can make a big difference, such as hydration, stress reduction, exercise, and abstaining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Hygiene and eye care, such as washing the face before bed, avoiding harsh rubbing and using a gentle eye cream, can also help. Here are some of our favorite tips to reduce dark circles under the eyes.
Lack of sleep can make dark circles worse. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Achieve this by switching off appropriately in the evening. For example, avoid scrolling on your phone in the evening. Turn off all devices by 9 p.m. at the latest if you want to get a good night’s sleep. The blue light can affect melatonin production (the sleep hormone) and thus sleep quality.
Stress is a common cause of dark circles under the eyes. Stress management through activities such as meditation, yoga and exercise can improve the appearance of dark circles in the long term. Choose an activity you enjoy to relieve stress, because consistency is critical to your success here.
Drink enough water
Drinking plenty of water can help hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Aim to drink about 2.5 liters per day. Little and often is key when it comes to hydration – drinking water throughout the day helps plump up skin cells and keeps you hydrated.
Drinking enough water also helps your body detox. Learn more about this in our article“Detox: What you can do in everyday life to detoxify”.
Abstain from smoking and alcohol
Obvious, but still important: avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as they can damage the skin and worsen dark circles. Aim for at least 4-5 alcohol-free days a week and have no more than 2 drinks a day. This should have a significant impact on dark circles.
Use a sun protection factor and wear sunglasses. Sun exposure can damage the skin, cause hyperpigmentation and worsen dark circles. Even on a gloomy day, UV rays affect the skin, so using a high SPF is an easy win all year round.
Apply a cold compress. A cold compress can help reduce swelling and inflammation, making the dark circles look less pronounced. This can work wonders!
Facial massage and lymphatic drainage can also help reduce dark circles. You can easily do this at home by placing your middle and index fingers on the inner and outer corners of your eyes and gently massaging them around the sockets. A professional facial massage is also a good idea – for example, at Face Gym.
Remember that your skin and lifestyle are absolutely unique. What works for one person does not work for another. So try some of our suggestions to find out what works best for you. If you need additional advice, consult a nutritionist or dermatologist.
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