Woman applying Eucerin Anti-Pigment Eye Care to her undereye

Dark circles under eyes: causes & treatment

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Dark circles under the eyes are a common skin condition that can be caused by a multitude of factors, from lifestyle to genetics. The colour of the dark circles can vary from purple to dark brown, depending on skin tone.

Although they are harmless, dark circles under the eyes can be a concern for those who have them. Learn about what causes dark circles under the eyes and how to reduce their appearance.

What causes dark circles under eyes?

Any factor that highlights or increases the blood flow to the eye area, or changes the appearance of the skin can result in dark undereye circles. Some of the most common are as follows:


Woman applying face cream in a mirror
Hyperpigmentation can be one of the many causes of dark circles around the eyes

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition whereby some patches of skin are darker than others. It can occur due to many different factors such as genetics and changes in hormones, however the most common cause for hyperpigmentation is sun exposure.

Our bodies react to sunlight by producing melanin, which can accumulate around the eyes creating a darker tone.

Skin conditions and irritation

Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can develop around the eyes. This can look like dark circles in the affected areas, especially on those with darker skin tones. These conditions can be quite uncomfortable and cause the sufferer to want to scratch or rub their eye area. It is essential to allow the skin to heal when suffering from a skin condition as scratching it can cause scarring.

While the skin may already be discoloured due to the primary skin condition, if the sufferer has damaged their skin they may also experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


Wrinkles around the eyes
Dark circles around the eyes are common for those with mature skin

As we get older, so does our skin. Skin gets thinner and loses volume with time. What this means for the eye area is that the surrounding blood vessels become more visible through the skin which can create a purple tone on those with a lighter complexion and generally darken the area for those with a deeper skin tone.

The loss of volume also means that the skin on the face tends to settle around the eye socket. This contour can create a shadow and increase the appearance of dark circles under the eye.

Lack of sleep

Poor sleep is the most common cause for dark circles under the eyes.

When we do not sleep properly, our blood vessels dilate and the blood flow to the eye area is increased.

As the skin around our eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of our faces, the dark tone caused by the increased blood flow can easily be noticed and creates the appearance of dark circles.

Nutrient deficiencies

Dark circles under the eyes can sometimes be caused by a lack of vitamins and minerals in a person’s diet. Without the necessary nutrients, the skin can become paler and similarly to when we do not get enough sleep, the blood vessels around the eye become more visible. The vitamin deficiencies most commonly known to cause dark circles under the eyes include vitamins E, D, K, vitamin A and B12.

Dark circles under eyes treatment

Although it is difficult to completely get rid of dark circles around the eyes, there are several ways to reduce their appearance.

Under eye cream

Comparison between two images showing a dark under eye before using Eucerin Anti-Pigment Eye Care and after using it

A good under eye cream for dark circles can drastically reduce their appearance as well as improve the skin, giving it a radiant look while strengthening the skin and reducing wrinkles around the eye, also known as crows feet.

We recommend the Anti-Pigment Dark Circle Illuminating Eye Care, as it contains Thiamidol and Hyaluronic Acid that work together to correct dark circles caused by all types of factors. It is also effective in reducing puffiness and smoothing fine lines due to the cooling effect of its metal applicator.

It contains light reflecting pigments to instantly brighten the under-eye area, while treating the root cause of dark circles under the eyes. Additionally, it has been formulated with oligopeptides to stimulate collagen in the skin and give it a firmer, smoother appearance.


Eucerin’s patented ingredient Thiamidol fights against hyperpigmentation by tackling it at the root. It is a key component in our Eucerin Anti-Pigment range and it works by blocking melanin production, which makes it so effective at creating a more even skin tone.

It has been clinically and dermatologically proven to reduce the appearance of dark spots and helps prevent their re-appearance. First results are visible after two weeks and improve continuously with regular use.

Lifestyle changes

Good sleep is essential to improve the skin’s appearance as well as support our overall health. While we sleep our bodies get rid of toxins, repair cells and restore energy. It is recommended to get eight hours of sleep every night.

A balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals can also help improve the appearance of dark circles under the eyes as well as general health. If you think you may have any vitamin deficiencies, contact your doctor.

Home remedies

There are also home remedies that can help reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Some common methods are:

  • Placing cucumber slices on the eyelids
  • Placing steeped and cooled tea bags of black tea on the eyelids
  • Placing a cold compress on the eyelids

While these methods may provide a short-term solution for dark circles, it is recommended to use an appropriate skincare product for long-term results, like the Anti-Pigment Dark Circle Illuminating Eye Care.

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