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Symptoms & Causes of Dark Circles & Eye Puffiness

Symptoms & Causes of Dark Circles & Eye Puffiness

Symptoms & Causes of Dark Circles & Eye Puffiness

Picture this: You’re standing by the coffee machine at work. Your colleague walks over to you, and says… “You look tired, late night?”.

If you have dark circles or puffy bags under your eyes, you’ve probably lived the above tale more than once. *Sigh*.

You’ve tried every expensive product imaginable; you’re even getting 8 hours of sleep a night and still… nothing. The truth is, there isn’t just one cause of dark circles around your eyes. In fact, there are a number of factors that can contribute to puffy eyes and bags under the eyes, including some that you can’t control.

If you’re fed up of trying everything without getting the results, the chances are that you don’t know what’s causing your dark circles and puffy under eye bags, so you’re not really addressing the underlying issues. While puffy eyes are the result of temporary swelling, dark circles occur when the skin under the eye area looks dark and purplish as you can see the underlying veins.

What are the symptoms of dark circles and puffy eyes:

  •       Dark tissue and blood vessels start to show beneath the skin
  •       Dull and purplish-looking skin
  •       Eyes appearing sunken into the socket 
  •       Fluid retention resulting in puffy eyes and bags under the eyes

If you’re struggling with any of the above, it’s worth working out the cause so that you can target your symptoms effectively with the right treatment.

Below, we’ve included the most common causes of dark circles under the eyes.


Often the causes of dark circles around the eyes simply can’t be changed. Why? Because there’s actually a strong genetic component behind the cause. It’s true. Your unwanted dark circles might have been passed down by your parents.


As you age, your skin naturally becomes thinner, leading to the loss of subcutaneous fat and collagen needed to support that particular area under the lower lid. The skin surrounding your under-eye area can look dark, purple or bluish because it’s so thin that it’s almost translucent. You can sometimes even see the underlying veins beneath the skin, especially in people with a, particularly fair skin tone. The good news is that the right topical treatment can stimulate the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that your body produces and one of its main benefits is to ensure that your skin stays hydrated and healthy.  


Often, dark circles are caused when your body starts to produce an excess of melanin. Wondering what melanin is? It’s the pigment that provides your skin with colour, and too much of it can lead to pigmentation and the skin around your eyes to darken. No matter how much you love sunbaking, overexposure to the sun can really do a number on your skin. Always make sure that you’re protected with sunscreen.


There’s a reason why we’re constantly told to “drink more water”. Being dehydrated is one of the main causes of dark circles under the eyes, puffy eyes and under-eye bags. When your body is dehydrated, it starts to retain all the water that it can, which causes your not-so-cute puffy under-eye bags to appear. In terms of dark circles, dehydration causes the skin to look dull and your eyes to look sunken. Drink. Your. Water – at least 2 litres a day! 


Sleep deprivation doesn’t just cause dark circles around the eyes, but puffy eyes AND bags under eyes too. The triple threat. Lack of sleep causes your skin to become dull and the blood vessels underneath your skin to become more noticeable, as well as creating a build-up in the fluid which causes your eyes to appear puffier than usual. Easier said than done, but the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night could make all the difference.


A lot of the time, people don’t even realise that they have allergies. Just because you’re not sneezing uncontrollably, it doesn’t mean that your dark circles and puffy eyes aren’t allergy-induced! When you have an allergic reaction to something, your body releases ‘histamines’ which cause itchiness, puffy eyes and the bags under your eyes to worsen, especially if you start excessively rubbing and scratching.


You might be eating all the wrong things and not enough of the right things. Too much salt, and not enough  vitamin C could be causing the dark circles around your eyes. Sodium causes you to retain water which leads to bloating. Yes, the dreaded ‘bloat’ happens all over the body, and could be causing your puffy eyes and the bags under your eyes! Eat more foods rich in vitamin C as it helps the body to produce collagen. Let’s become a dark-circle free zone together.

If you’re still struggling with dark circles or puffy eyes, just remember that there are a number of makeup products that you can fall back on while you’re still in the process of working out the causes of your symptoms. Here at Innoxa, we create colour correcting concealers, eye creams and facial masks designed to reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles.

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