Show of hands if this sounds familiar: You get the recommended eight hours of sleep and wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready for the day—but when you go to look in the mirror, you realize with horror that you have got some massive dark circles under your eyes. What the eff?
Sadly, even if you get plenty of shuteye every night, there are plenty of other reasons you may still look tired. Here’s the deal:
What Causes Dark Circles?
You may have your mom to thank for your under-eye darkness, since it’s often hereditary. “Some people, especially those who have olive or darker complexions, just genetically have dark circles under their eyes,” says Rebecca Kazin, M.D., a dermatologist at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C.
When it comes to skin tone and under-eye circles, women with darker complexions often deal with hyperpigmentation, which happens when areas of skin become darker due to an overabundance of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.
Dark circles also often become more visible as you get older. Because the skin under your eyes is so thin and gets even thinner as you age, the blood that’s pooled beneath the surface becomes more obvious.
“[The area under your eye] ages faster than the rest of your face because the skin is so thin,” says Kazin.
And large dark circles, also referred to as hollowness, are the result of losing volume under the eyes.