In today’s blog post, we’re breaking down the many potential causes of dark circles and why one of our favorite ingredients, organic matcha tea, is such an effective treatment!
Just like our skin, dark circles are impacted by many different factors. Some potential factors that go into the development of dark circles include sleep, genetics, diet, dry skin, and more! The cause of my dark circles may be different than the cause of yours! It’s important to understand what are the key drivers of your dark circles. Depending on what the causes are for you, making small lifestyle changes + utilizing our MYMATCHA or Organic Eye Firming Oil could make a huge difference.
Let’s breakdown these potential causes and ways you can determine what is impacting your skin.
A lack of sleep or TOO MUCH Sleep!
Both a lack of sleep and having too much sleep can cause dark circles! A lack of sleep can potentially dilate blood vessels, causing more apparent blue-ish discoloration around the eyes. Too much sleep, or laying down for an extended period of time, can lead to excess fluid building up in your body and therefore increased inflammation or darkened blood vessels.
The best way to avoid sleep-related dark circles is to aim for a regulated amount of sleep every night, preferably at least 7.5 hours. Also, to all you side-sleepers out there: switch it up! Sleeping on your side can cause blood vessels around your eyes to constrict and fluid to build up. Sleep on your back to avoid swelling and discoloration…or even better, prop your head up with an extra pillow for increased circulation and decreased fluid buildup. Elevating your head will allow gravity to pull that fluid down toward your belly, relieving your face and the area around your eyes of puffiness and discoloration.
Too much melanin production
The skin around your eyes may be naturally melanin-rich, resulting in darker pigment under the eyes. This could appear as a more brownish tone under your eyes. What are the causes here? This could be a factor of genetics, or potentially too much exposure to sunlight. Sunlight encourages melanin production in the skin, which is another reason why you should always wear SPF, especially around the delicate and thin area around your eyes.
Sometimes the dark circles aren’t a discoloration at all, but rather are a sort of shadowing effect created by your skin or bone structure. Like all of skincare, genetics play a major factor here. Some of us may have bone structures that are more conducive to increased shadows below the eyes.
Additionally, it is possible to form different shadows around the eyes due to the natural process of aging or excess fluid build up. As we age, the skin around our eyes becomes softer and less elastic. It can lead to tear troughs, aka, eye bags. These troughs cause a shadowing effect underneath them — so it may not be a problem of pigmented or vascular discoloration, but rather, of skin elasticity. Our Organic Eye Firming Oil uses virgin grapeseed oil to naturally and gently firm up this area of our skin.
Eye bags can also become more visible if you have too much salt in your diet and are retaining more water than necessary. Remember, your diet is one of the most crucial determinants of skin health!
Thinner skin due to genetics or dry skin
The thinner our skin is, the more veins under our skin become visible. The blood pools behind our skin are what can sometimes lead to a blue-ish or purple-ish undertone.
What causes thin skin besides genetics? Around the eye skin is very delicate, so you want to make sure you’re protecting this area of your skin as much as possible. Avoid rubbing or roughly massaging the skin around your eyes, which can cause irritation / dryness and thin out the skin even more. Also, be sure to thoroughly moisturize this area. Since the skin here is thinner than any other area of your body, moisturize it carefully and often…it needs it! The under-eye area of our face can handle more moisturizer (as long as it’s gentle) than the rest of our face.
Lastly, drinking water and staying hydrated in AND out will always prevent dryness.
Darkened blood vessels and/or poor circulation
This can be the result of a few different factors. For instance, your blood vessels can be darker due to dietary reasons, like an iron deficiency. When your body is low on iron, blood is not able to carry sufficient oxygen to tissues around your eyes. If you suspect you may be iron deficient, try incorporating more iron-rich foods into your diet, like lentils, leafy greens, spirulina, or even dark chocolate!
Sometimes slower circulation of blood also leads to more visible dark circles. Blood, while abundant, tends to flow at a slow pace around the eyes. The slower it flows, the more blood builds up underneath the skin’s thin surface. This leads to darkened blood vessels and the greater visibility of dark circles. To combat this, try incorporating foods or supplements that increase blood circulation, such as liquid chlorophyll, watermelon, or high fiber foods.
Note: blood vessels may be especially prominent or accentuated during pregnancy or menstruation!
Whether topical or internal, allergic reactions (however minute) can cause inflammation and discoloration. Allergic reactions on the surface of the skin can be irritating, and make you want to rub or scratch the skin around your eyes. This can lead to an accumulation of fluid under the skin, which will only worsen puffiness, eye bags, and dark circles.
Additionally, seasonal allergies in your sinuses or other related inflammation can lead to increased nasal congestion, which dilates the blood vessels and increases the appearance of the blue or purple undertones.
How can matcha help?
We’re kind of matcha obsessed for this area of our skin, which is why we put this ingredient in our favorite around-the-eye-treatment, the MYMATCHA. There are a ton of reasons to love matcha: it fights free radical damage, increases blood flow and oxygen to the skin, and helps create a bright complexion. All of these characteristics explain why this special ingredient has a strong ability to fight dark circles. Here are the ingredient’s most important features…
Matcha has significant catechin content
Catechin is an extremely powerful antioxidant component that repels free radicals, activates collagen synthesis, and fights cancer-causing cells. Catechin is also special because it is able to slow down the degradation of the skin’s extracellular matrix, a highly important component of the skin that provides structural and biochemical support! On top of all that, catechin has been proven to reduce hyperpigmentation in the skin. This is especially helpful for those whose dark circles are being caused by excess melanin production, sun exposure, or surface-level pigmentation issues.
The chlorophyll in matcha is key
Matcha is shade-grown, which causes it to have exceptionally high levels of chlorophyll compared to other green teas. Chlorophyll has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve complexion by increasing circulation, and reduce cell damage or scarring. If you’re puffy or suspect your dark circles may be an allergic reaction, this will help to reduce any swelling on the skin’s surface while simultaneously improving complexion.
Matcha is rich in caffeine
Because matcha is made from crushed whole tea leaves, it has an especially high caffeine content compared to other teas. Caffeine is easily absorbed by the skin, is rich in antioxidants, and can help protect skin cells against UV radiation, slowing down the photo-aging process of the skin. Caffeine can also help to constrict blood vessels and improve circulation, temporarily relieving the appearance of dark circles. Lastly, its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness around the eyes.
Green tea polyphenols reactivate dead cells
Researchers have found that the polyphenol compounds present in matcha can help reactivate skin cells and kill off cancer-causing cells. Matcha’s most abundant polyphenol — EGCG — actually has the ability to reactivate dying skin cells while combating inflammation, reducing puffiness, improving complexion, and fighting premature aging.
You’ve been using the MYMATCHA under your eyes and loving the results – and now you know WHY it is so effective! Combining this product with small lifestyle changes can significantly improve the appearance of your dark circles.
For the ultimate under-eye treatment, stick your MYMATCHA stick in the fridge for 15 minutes or so before using it. The cold temperature will reduce blood vessel expansion and inflammation, further reducing darkness and puffiness!