Whether you have a full night of shut-eye or haven’t slept in 24 hours, you find yourself plagued with dark circles. Concealers, eye creams, and eye exercises seldom tone down the shadowy effect of the dark or blue-black tints under your eyes. Now, before you succumb to the tall tales of an infomercial product, it’s important to know first what causes them.

Contrary to popular belief, dark circles are more than just the result of being tired. The shady truth is the blue or green tone seen is actually the blood passing through the veins located just below the surface of the skin. “If the skin around the eyes is extremely thin, as can occur progressively with age, and/or blood vessels are extremely close to the skin's surface, this can also give the appearance of darkness because blood becomes visible through translucent skin,” Dr. Diane De Fiori, dermatologist at the Rosacea Treatment Clinic in Melbourne, Australia, told Medical Daily in an email.

As you age, skin loses its elasticity and ability to regenerate, which makes the appearance of dark circles more prominent regardless of beauty sleep. Genetic predisposition to thinner skin below the eyes can also contribute to the presence of dark circles. Cortisone, allergic reactions to cosmetics, tobacco smoke, and air pollution are known to trigger dark circles and bags under your eyes.

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