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What Causes Sudden Dark Circles Under Eyes?

Dark circles under the eyelids are extremely common in both women and men. Usually accompanied by bags, they can make you look older than you actually are.  

They can affect anyone, however they are most commonly found in:

  1. Aging women and men
  2. People of color and those of non-white ethnicity
  3. Those with a genetic pre-disposition known as periobital hyper-pigmentation.

So what are some common causes of these mysterious dark circles?


Being dehydrated is a common cause of dark circles under the eyes. When your body is not receiving the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken. This is due to their close proximity to the underlying bones.

Strain of the eyes

You read that right, straining your eyes with too much TV, computer or phone screen time can cause the blood vessels around your eyes to swell. Reading a book without adequate light can have the same effect.  This leads to the surrounding skin becoming darker.


Lack of proper sleep, extreme fatigue, or even simply staying up a few hours past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show. Lack of sleep can also cause fluid to build underneath your eyes, causing them to appear puffy. As a result, the dark circles you see may actually be shadows cast by your puffy eyelids!

Now that you know some of the common causes, let’s get into what you can do to prevent dark circles and bags under your eyes:

  1. Get proper rest.  This sounds too good to be true, but proper sleep can make a world of difference. Try to get at 7-8 hours of rest per night.  If you’re finding it hard to get enough sleep, consider taking a Melatonin supplement. This is a hormone that is naturally occurring in our bodies and it has been shown to help with sleep.
  2. Apply a cold compress. This can help reduce swelling and shrink the dilated blood vessels around your eyes. By doing this, you should see some reduction of the bags and dark circles.
  3. Hydrate the skin below your eyes with an under eye cream. The EstalaRevitalizing Eye Cream has a soothing effect and works toreduce puffiness and redness of under-eye bags, all while hydrating at the same time.