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RIP, Dark Circles!  

Man with face mask and cucumber on eyes trying to get rid off dark circles
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Look like a human, and not like a panda! No offense to the Giant Pandas, they are super cute, but Panda eyes on humans, not so much! Dark circles, those ugly shadows under the eyes are a real bummer. They can make us look tired (even when we’re not) and older than we actually are. Apart from being called panda eyes, under-eye circles are also referred to as the ‘racoon look’. That can never be a compliment now, can it guys?  

How do we get dark circles?
Celebrity Dermatologist and author of two bestselling books (Skin Rules and Skin Talks) on skin-care, Dr Jaishree Sharad say, “The skin under the eyes is almost 10 times thinner than that of the face. It also has very few oil glands. There are also small lymphatic glands or veins in this area of ​​the skin. Thinner skin means allowing the pigment and vessels to be more visible.” Dr Sharad lists out the causes that lead to dark circles.

1. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress: There’s a reason it’s called ‘beauty’ sleep. If you’ve had a bad night, you’ll probably wake up with under-eye circles. What you see when you wake up are dilated blood vessels under the skin around your eyes. “No expert or creams can help you if you’re not getting at least seven to eight hours sleep at night,” explains Dr Sharad. According to her, stress also causes dark circles. “Try to meditate or do pranayama for 15 minutes daily or other relaxation techniques to curb stress.”

2. Genetics: If your parents or other members of the family have dark circles or ‘sunken eyes’ where the bones cast a shadow, chances are you’ll inherit them too no matter what your age or gender.

3. Poor health: Haemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen in the blood to your cells. When your iron levels are low, you cannot produce enough haemoglobin, which can affect the look of your skin and the formation of dark under-eye circles. You can even get them if you’re diabetic or have insulin resistance.

4. Allergies: You can be allergic to dust, pollution, fragrance and even skin-care products and certain types of hair colours/dyes. If you have itchy dry eyes and are constantly rubbing them, you’ll end up with dark circles.

5. Unhealthy lifestyle: Drinking and smoking damage the skin in more ways than you can imagine. They can dehydrate the skin and break down collagen (the protein that keeps the skin young and plumb) causing it to age, appear dull and also result in dark circles. A poor diet with salty and sodium-rich and fried foods are bad too.

Prevention is way better than cure! 
Don’t want to sport the raccoon look? Choose a healthier lifestyle. If you’re a smoker, quit if you can. Cut back on cocktail hour. Drink plenty of water instead to keep your skin hydrated from within. Swap pizza and fries with foods rich in Vitamin C and amino acids that boost collagen levels such as—broccoli, orange, strawberries, kiwi, brussels sprouts and so on. Regular exercise increases blood flow/circulation and it’s not only great for your overall health but also your skin. While out in the sun, apply sunscreen and wear a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes/face from its harmful rays. 

Quick fixes
Overdid mid-week drinks with friends the night before a big presentation? Fear not. A gentle tapping massage with your ring finger over and under the eyelids will increase circulation. Eye masks and patches that have been refrigerated help wake up tired eyes. Or simply, cut a chilled cucumber, put it on closed eyes, put your feet up and relax. Cucumber with its 95 percent water content, moisturises and gives eyes an instant shot of freshness. 

Long-lasting solutions
If the quick fixes fail, consult a doctor to rule out any underlying health issues. Dr Sharad recommends adding a moisturiser to your bed-time routine. “It’s really important to apply it gently not only under your eyes but over the eyelids as well. You can also apply a Vitamin C or Vitamin K-based serum or cream under the eyes. Make sure to dab it on gently with your fingertips and not rub them,” she adds. If your dark circles are still persistent, she recommends getting chemical peels or the Q-switched Nd: YAG Laser from an experienced skin expert. “A couple of sessions will help reduce it by a large extent.”  

So, clean up your diet, amp up your skin-care routine and work on your sleep schedule to bid adieu to tired, sickly-looking eyes. 


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