*Ageing – To begin, the skin around our eye area is very thin. They are on average about 0.5 mm thick while the skin on the rest of your body is about 2mm thick. As we age, you lose the elastin and collagen needed to maintain your skin elasticity. This causes the skin to be thinner, thus the dark blood vessels under your skin become more visible. Furthermore, the loss of collagen combined with bone resorption (loss of bone mass) also creates a hollow under our eyes. The area that used to be plump and full of volume is now skeletal–looking, dark, and shadowy as a result. The sagging of the fat of the cheeks just under our eye creates undesirable shadows under our eyes. That results in a tired, fatigued look.
*Sun exposure – Our body produces more melanin (a pigment that gives our skin its colour) when we are in the sun. The skin around our eyes tends to produce more melanin than other parts of our body.
*Fatigue – A lack of sleep or excessive tiredness can cause the blood vessels under the eye to dilate. That creates a shadow effect that exposes the underlying veins.
*Allergies – Allergies cause our body to release histamines. These are chemicals that can cause fluid build–up in the area. The histamines may also cause swelling of tissues and circulation changes, making the dark vessels under our eye to be more obvious.
*Genetics – If your parents have dark eye circles, you are likely to have them too. Darker or more olive–toned complexions often have higher concentrations of pigment (melanin) under the eyes. This results in discolouration and shadows. If you inherit fair or thin skin under the eyes, it is more obvious when the blood pools in that area.
*Smoking – Smoking accelerates ageing because it breaks down the collagen and elastin in our body. These are the things that help you look youthful and fresh. If you’re a smoker, the delicate tissue around your eyes breaks down faster. This makes the blood vessels under your eyes more prominent.