As if women do not have enough to worry about in midlife, one day you look in the mirror and wonder, “Where did my raccoon eyes come from?” Depending on one’s complexion, dark circles under the eyes can be a shade of purple, blue, or black. Research shows that women with darker complexions fall prey to having this condition, due to having higher levels of melanin in their skin.
So, what is causing this nightmare?
We often forget that the skin around our eyes is some of the thinnest and most delicate skin on our body. We can thank this “transparency” for causing hyperpigmentation (darkness) to show through. If we could reverse menopause and have a thin stomach with a fat face, midlife would be grand.
2. Poor circulation.
Another reason for dark circles is poor circulation. Insufficient drainage of toxins or weak and dilated blood vessels around our eyes can cause discoloration. This is more prominent in midlife as our face losses fat and collagen.
3. Vitamin Deficiencies.
Deficiencies in Vitamin C and Iron can also leave us cursing in the mirror. Vitamin C is full of antioxidants that help to strengthen our skin. Anemia, or a loss of iron, causes a poor supply of oxygenated blood to the skin under our eyes. Neither is good, so make sure your levels are balanced.
Lack of sleep is all too common in midlife, when progesterone levels are on the decline. 60% of postmenopausal women experience bouts of insomnia. This constant problem of not falling asleep or remaining asleep not only leaves us feeling fatigued, but also causes that sunken in facial appearance all zombies have. Yikes!
Can we reverse this curse?
Don’t fret! There many natural treatments that can turn us back into the beauty queens we deserve to be. All it takes is a little energy and consistency.
1. Brightening creams and serums.
In today’s beauty market there is an endless supply of face and under eye creams. Creams that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, retinoid, and hyaluronic acid are our best bet. Just be careful that the one you chose isn’t full of other harsh chemicals or fragrances that could irritate this delicate area. As a rule of thumb, always consult your doctor or allergist before trying any new skin care to avoid dermatological rashes or burns. A good concealer or shimming powder can detract from dark spots and give you that fresh look back too.
Fluctuating hormone levels, chronic stress, or eating late, can wreak havoc on your eyes. Researchers agree that 7-8 hours of sleep a night is essential. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! However, this is easier said than done when night sweats, stimulants, or mood swings get involved. Soft music, light clothing or bedding, and cool air can be helpful to bring slumber and fresh morning eyes.
3. Cold Compress.
Sometimes dark and tired eyes require some sweet soothing. A cold compress can help shrink dilated blood vessels and calm that “ring around the eyes”. Just make sure not to use ice or your cooled cloth longer than 20 minutes. A cold, jade roller massaged gently below and above your eyes can help too. This will decrease inflammation and increase circulation. Sounds like a win-win!
4. Cooled Tea Bags.
The caffeine and antioxidants in tea make it a good choice to stimulate blood circulation around the eyes. Just make sure that your tea bags are fully cooled and only on for 15 minutes. Who knew relief could smell so good?
Known for its high water content, cucumber is very moisturizing. Possessing silica makes it ideal for keeping swelling and puffiness at bay.
6. Wellness Coaching.
When we don’t look our best often this can transcend to our emotions or spirit. If you lack confidence in how you look, constantly find yourself in a state of negative talk about your appearance, or just have poor self-worth it may be a good idea to get some support. We seldom see ourselves, unless in a mirror, so an outside perspective can give you a brand new outlook! With earrings to match :)
Ians (2022) “How middle-aged women can fight dark circles”, ETimes. 2-7-22, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/beauty/how-middle-aged-women-can-fight-dark-circles/articleshow/89362309.cms.
Luo, E, M.D. (2020) Medical review of the article “What causes dark circles under the eyes?, written by Sisson, B. Aug 8, 2019. Medical News Today. 2-7-2022. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325989