How to reduce those WFH dark circles under eyes

You’ve likely been sitting at your desk working from home, probably getting less daylight than usual, and almost certainly putting in longer hours under conditions of pandemic-exacerbated-stress. And what have you got to show for it? Dark circles under your eyes, mixed with a little puffiness too! It’s easy to let these dark circles leave you feeling self-conscious and fed up, but there are ways to reduce their appearance. Read on to discover how to reduce dark circles and puffy eyes naturally.

Who is most prone to dark circles under the eyes?

Not everyone waves their flag of exhaustion in quite the same way. Therefore, whilst your friend somehow still has a glorious rosy complexion despite being tired, you may look wan, pale and have the tell-tale dark circles. Generally speaking, if you’ve got paler skin then your dark circles could well be on show more than others. It could be genetics, or it could just be skin tone and thickness.

But pale skin isn’t the only cause of dark circles. In fact, many individuals with darker skin tones also suffer with dark circles under the eyes. This is because darker skin can experience hyperpigmentation around the eye area. 

What causes dark circles under the eyes?

If you know what is causing those dark circles then you’re part way there to alleviating them. Yes, that WFH tiredness is almost certainly a factor, but there are actually several culprits behind them.

  • Fatigue

Tiredness or fatigue is the biggie. Whether it’s because you’re pulling a late night and have allowed unpaid overtime to eat into your bedtime, or because life factors (like home schooling) are ensuring you burn the candle at both ends. Interestingly oversleeping also has the same effect.

For those with pale skin, this is often the major cause. It’s because your skin becomes dull and paler, enabling you to see the blood vessels and darker tissue under it. This may also be because when you don’t get enough sleep, the fluid under your eyes pools, making them a little puffy. What many don’t realise is that often the dark circles are actually shadows caused by this inflammation. 

  • Stress

It’s no surprise that stress has a similar effect on your skin as fatigue and tiredness. Unfortunately, stress can show up on your face in dark circles. 

  • Eye strain

A notable issue if you work at the computer is eye strain. This continual focusing on the same depth can cause the blood vessels around and in the eye to become enlarged. The result is that the skin darkens too. 

  • Dehydration

Dehydration is a very common cause of dark circles under the eyes. Dehydrated skin is thinner skin, and thinner skin will show the underlying blood vessels and dark tissue more. Additionally, with dehydration, your eyes can look more sunken and this creates a shadow which worsens the look of the dark circles. 

  • Sunshine

Too little daylight can compound pale skin, allowing the dark circles to flourish. On the flip side, too much sun exposure and your body will produce too much pigmentation, which can darken the skin around the eyes. This is particularly the case if you’re from an ethnic group that already experiences hyperpigmentation. 

  • Age

It’s normal to find dark circles and puffy eyes more troublesome as you get older. This is because as you age the collagen in your skin decreases, causing your skin to become thinner, therefore showing the blood vessels and darker tissue more than before. 

  • Eye dryness

Eye dryness (which bizarrely can present as watery eyes) can cause itchiness and a tendency to rub your eyes. This may break the delicate blood vessels around the eye, making the dark circles worse. Eye dryness can be caused by different things, including allergies, and it’s worth getting it checked out if you’re concerned. 

  • Genetics and medical conditions

Some genetic conditions, such as thyroid disease, are associated with dark circles. However, genetics in general likely plays quite a part in whether you struggle with dark circles or not. If you’ve had them since childhood then your genes are probably not helping!

How to reduce dark circles naturally

The good news is that you aren’t stuck with the dark circles and puffiness. There are a few simple at-home natural ways you can reduce them. You could try:

  • Improving your sleep

Having a regular sleep routine, whereby you always go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, will help to reduce your fatigue and tiredness. Aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep.

  • Drink more water

Keep a water bottle with you and make sure you drink around 2-3 litres of water every day. There are lots of handy mobile apps that will send you reminders to drink every hour.

  • Cool them down

Use a cold compress gently on your eyes for around 20 minutes. This will shrink the little blood vessels and also reduce swelling. There’s a reason why the image of a lady at the spa with cool slices of cucumber on her eyes is a classic! Cold damp tea bags are also wonderful due to the caffeine and the antioxidants. 

  • Lower your stress

It’s not always easy, but if you can reduce your stress levels then you’ll sleep better and your dark circles will reduce. Try making small changes to improve your WFH life-balance. We find an at-home massage is an instant stress buster.

  • Raise your head

How do you sleep? Make sure your head is raised on a pillow or two and this can help to prevent fluid pooling, causing the puffiness. 

What else can you do?

Another tip to reduce dark circles naturally is to have a regular facial. In  facials, two important things help reduce dark circles. Firstly, the skin is hydrated through the application of various carefully selected products. Secondly, the gentle massage helps to improve circulation and enable excess fluid under the eyes to drain away. We’d also argue that the relaxing effect will help you sleep better and feel less stressed!

Dark circles can be bothersome, but there is a lot you can do to reduce their appearance. Of course, you can always use concealer to cleverly minimise the shadows!