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How Skin Dehydration Can Lead To Dark Circles + How To Deal

Image by Alena Darmel / Pexels
October 28, 2022
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Why is it that some people are prone to dark circles? No, it's not just related to a lack of sleep (although, failing to catch Zzz's can certainly result in a shadowed, sallow appearance). Further, not everyone's dark circles can be magically brightened with eye cream. In fact, dark circles can be caused by a lengthy list of triggers, a few of which include more melanin production, genetics, and allergies, which don't come with a quick fix.

However, one sneaky, oft-overlooked cause of dark circles can be in your control, research demonstrates. Here's what to do about it.

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How skin hydration affects dark circles. 

If you needed another reason to keep up with adequate hydration, let it be this: "If you are dehydrated, this can cause the tissues of the body to shrink, including under-eye skin, making dark circles look more noticeable," board-certified dermatologist and YouTube creator Andrea Suarez, M.D., FAAD, once told mbg. So let it be known that filling up on adequate amounts of water throughout the day will encourage hydrated skin from within and perhaps even contribute to brightening those under-eye dark circles.

But water isn't the only option. Certain science-backed ingredients have been found to help boost internal skin hydration. One popular pick? Astaxanthin. Apart from the full-body benefits like cardiovascular support and brain health, astaxanthin is a wonder ingredient for aging skin and dark circles alike.

In a recent double-blind clinical, participants reported significant improvement in moisture levels (especially around the eyes), overall improved elasticity, and appearance of tone.* Another recent double-blind clinical found that the ingredient can even help skin's water-retention capacity.

It's no wonder astaxanthin can be found in many beauty supplements today, along with other cutting-edge ingredients to help fade dark spots and smooth fine lines. Not sure where to look? Here are 13 of our best-voted beauty supplements to help get you started.

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The takeaway. 

One common cause of dark circles under the eyes is skin dehydration. Of course, drinking water is the first step to encouraging brighter under-eyes in this case, but reaching for science-backed skin hydrators like astaxanthin is next up. And if you're not sure what's causing your shadows in the first place, check out our guide to learn more about dark circle causes and remedies.

Hannah Frye
Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.