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Diminish pesky under-eye circles

It's the holiday season—time for dressing up and going to parties. But do you have pesky, under-eye circles that make you look like you need to stay home and take a nap instead of heading out for an evening of fun? Don't let those dark smudges ruin your holiday spirit. It may not be easy, but with a little persistence, you may be able to improve or reduce the dark shadows.

For a temporary fix, you can cover dark circles with makeup, but lightening or getting rid of them will take a bit more effort. Before trying to hide them by slathering on under-eye concealer, you should consider what's causing your dark circles. The most obvious culprit is a lack of sleep, but that's not always the problem. Other triggers could be:

  • Aging: the skin thins and fatty deposits become depleted, causing dark veins and capillaries to show more prominently
  • Allergies to environmental irritants, cosmetic products, or foods
  • Build up of fluid under the eyes from nasal congestion as a result of allergies or colds
  • Inherited pigmentation irregularities, or skin darkened by too much sun exposure
  • Too much caffeine
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Poor nutrition

Figuring out the cause of dark circles is a process of elimination. Start by getting plenty of rest and good nutrition. Then, look for potential allergens and eliminate them from your environment. Try an old-fashioned remedy like applying cool cucumbers or wet teabags to your eyes. Even if it doesn't work it will be refreshing.

Try one of the over-the-counter creams or gels that claim to lighten dark circles by reducing pigmentation and stimulating circulation. If your problem still persists, you should consult your doctor to make sure there are no underlying health conditions you should be aware of.