What are Dark Circles?

Everyone loves to have a clear, even, and glowing skin but facial concerns like melasma, loss of elasticity, dark circles, are some of the common complaints among people. Also, an increasing availability of cosmetics in the market for dark circles treatment prove that this condition seems to be a major concern for a large number of individuals.

Get Rid of Dark Circles through Facial Exercise

Dark circles under the eyes are medically termed as periorbital hyperpigmentation. They are defined as bilateral, round, homogeneous pigment macules on the infraorbital regions. It is neither health-threatening nor clinically severe. However, individuals especially women, are concerned about how this reflects on the overall appearance of their face. Besides the normal aging process, dark circles can happen to individuals of any age or gender which can affect the quality of life.

What are the Causes of Dark Circles?

Dark circles may appear as a result of multiple etiologic factors and conditions. They are as follows:

Causes of Dark Circles

Dermal Melanin Deposition: Studies reveal that melanin deposits and blood stasis in dark circles may play a role in idiopathic cutaneous hyperchromia at the orbital region (ICHOR) pathogenesis and cause the darkening of skin under the eyes.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentationcauses darkening and discoloration of the skin that appears in the form of spots, or as large patches on an individual’s body. It can occur in all skin types but is more common in people from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and can affect both men and women equally. 

Excessive Ultraviolet Light Exposure: High levels ofUV exposure can stimulate melanin production and harm the sensitive skin under the eyes.

Atopic Dermatitis: Eczema that flares up under the eyes damages the delicate skin. If itched, the skin can become inflamed, discolored and flaky.

Skin Aging: Skin aging includes a loss of elasticity and turgor as a result of collagen and elastin loss. This results in thinning of skin contributing to the appearance of bags under the eyes.

Lack of Sleep/Fatigue: Not getting enough sleep or working late nights could be another cause that can result in dark circles. Lack of sleep cause the blood vessels under the thin skin of the eyes to dilate, and this creates shadowing of the skin in that region.

Hereditary: Dark circles are found to have a genetic basis. According to a reported case, 22 members were affected in six generations with a determined form of hyperpigmentation involving the periorbital area.

Crying: Excessive crying or taking a lot of stress can have a negative impact on the skin.

Lifestyle: Excessive smoking or drinking can contribute to under-eye dark circles.

Diet and Nutrition: Unhealthy diet and lack of vitamin K may cause dark circles.

Poor Blood Circulation: It causes the eyes to become dark and puffy.

How to Manage and Treat Dark Circles?

There are a number of treatment options available to remove dark circles. They include home remedies, cosmetic products, and modern treatment techniques like laser resurfacing and chemical peeling. Facial exercises and simple yoga postures on a routine basis can also be effective in reducing dark circles.

How Facial Exercises Help Fade Dark Circles?

Exercise is a natural way to reduce and get rid of dark circles. Exercise also promotes a youthful glow to the skin. Certain facial exercises stimulate blood circulation and tone the muscles under the eyes.

Facial exercises that lighten dark circles

  • Exercise 1: The first exercise to remove dark circles is a simple eye massage, which is beneficial for the lower eye area. To do this, all you need to do is pat the area around the eyes gently with the fingertip of your index finger. Don’t exert too much pressure and do this smoothly.
Massaging Lower Eye Area Can Help Lighten Dark Circles
  • Exercise 2: Close your eyes, stay relaxed and open your eyes. While opening them, place your fingers above the eyebrows, lifting them as much as you can. Just hold for a few seconds, and then relax the eyebrows. Repeat the movement 10-12 times.
  • Exercise 3: Keep your eyes closed and then look up and start rolling your eyes towards the right and then to the top in circular motion. Repeat it about ten times.
  • Exercise 4: To perform this exercise, lie in bed with your legs stretched out and let your head hang over the edge. Now, slowly raise your head and bring the chin to your chest. Stay in this position for ten seconds, relax your head and repeat for at least five times.
  • Exercise 5: Sit down and breathe normally, then start to look at a spot between your eyes. Keep looking at this starting point of your nose for a count of five and then relax. Now, again look at the tip of your nose, and count to five. This exercise helps to relieve stress relaxing your eye muscles.

Yoga Postures to Treat Dark Circles

  • Hastapadotasana: In this posture, you need to stand straight and stretch your hands upwards. Start bending slowly until your palms manage to touch the floor and your head touches the knees. It helps to stretch out the muscles of almost all parts of the body, revitalize the nervous system, and increase the blood flow to your face.
Hastapadotasana - Helps Increases Blood Flow to the Face and Reduces Dark Circles
  • Singhasana- Fold your knees and rest your hips on the heels of legs and keep your back upright.Now, inhale slowly, hold for a few seconds, then exhale with the same pace and simultaneously pop out your eyes and tongue as wide as possible. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Parvatasana- In this posture, the hands and feet are kept on the ground and the whole body is lifted. The body is in the shape similar to a mountain. Hold this position for 1-2 minutes and relax slowly.
Parvatasana Helps Treat Dark Circles

Performing these yoga postures and facial exercises on a regular basis can help brighten the under-eye dark circles and also rejuvenate the skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult for dark circles?

You should consult a Dermatologist or a Cosmetologist for dark circles.

2. Can pregnancy cause dark circles?

Yes, hormonal changes and pregnancy weight gain can cause hyperpigmentation and thus, dark circles.

3. Is the appearance of dark circles genetic?

Yes, some reports show that having dark circle can be related to familial history.


  1. Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Study of its Prevalence, Common Causative Factors and its Association with Personal Habits and Other Disorders - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3969674/)
  2. What causes dark circles under the eyes? - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17760701)
  3. Management of infraorbital dark circles. A significant cosmetic concern - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10937120/)
  4. Determination of Melanin and Haemoglobin in the Skin of Idiopathic Cutaneous Hyperchromia of the Orbital region (ICHOR): A Study of Indian Patients - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3483573/)
  5. Periorbital hyperpigmentation. An overlooked genetic disorder of pigmentation - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5797956/)

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