Why Do You Get Dark Circles? How To Make Them Disappear


Are you bothered by dark circles?

Dark circles under the eyes make you look tired and old.

I am sure there are many people who hope to improve these dark circles.

The cause of dark circles is often considered to be a lack of sleep, yet in fact, this is not the only cause.

There are different types of dark circles, and the causes and methods of dealing with them differ depending on the type.

In other words, you need to know which type of dark circles you have and take care of them according to the type of dark circles to get the best results.

In this article, I will explain the different types of dark circles under the eyes, their causes, and how to deal with each type.

Let’s start with what you can do to improve the dark circles that bother you.

4 Types of Dark Circles 

According to a survey conducted by Rohto in 2019, the top concern around the eyes of people in their 20s to 50s were dark circles. Dark circles are a problem for people of all ages, however, not all dark circles are the same. 

Generally, it is said that there are four types of dark circles under the eyes and different measures are taken for each.

Let’s look at them one by one!

Brown Dark Circles That Don’t Disappear Even After Pulling the Pigmentation

So-called “brown dark circles” are those under the eyes that look dull and brown.

Brown dark circles do not fade from any angle and do not change its appearance when looking up.

If the dark circles move with the skin when you pull gently under the eyes and there is little change in color, there is a high possibility that they are brown dark circles. The main cause of brown dark circles is said to be pigmentation. Some people think, “Is it pigmentation from eye makeup?” Yet, this is not the case.

Other possibilities are:

  • Frequent exposure to UV rays
  • Friction from makeup brushes when applying eye makeup
  • Scratching, rubbing, or other physical irritation
  • Dry skin

The skin produces melanin pigment as a defensive response to protect the body from UV rays, friction, and other stimuli.

Pigmentation occurs when this melanin pigment, which is excessively produced by melanocytes in the epidermis, is not expelled normally and is deposited on the skin.

Normally, melanin is expelled by the skin’s turnover process, yet if the skin is continuously exposed to UV rays or the turnover process is disturbed, pigmentation may remain on the skin.

People who are often exposed to the sun through sports, and outdoor activities are also at increased risk of having brown dark circles.

You should also be careful if you usually wear a lot of eye makeup. Rubbing the eye area when removing mascara, eyeliner, etc. can cause pigmentation due to friction damage.

In addition, people who suffer from hay fever or allergies should also be aware that they tend to rub their eyes unintentionally.

Blue Dark Circles That Have A Blue/Reddish-purple Color

Blue dark circles are dark circles that look bluish under the eyes. In some cases, they may look blue-black or reddish-purple.

If the dark circles lighten in color when you pull gently under the eyes, you can consider them blue dark circles.

In addition, one of the features of blue dark circles is that they appear differently from day to day.

Blue dark circles are said to be caused by poor blood circulation due to lack of sleep and tired eyes.

The skin under the eyes is very thin, so stagnant blood causes blue-black circles to appear through the skin.

Lack of sleep is a cause of blue dark circles, yet even if you get enough sleep, blue dark circles may appear if the quality of your sleep is poor.

Overuse of the eyes, such as using a computer or smartphone for long periods of time, can also cause blue dark circles.

In addition, blue dark circles can also be caused by general coldness, so people who do not get enough exercise or who have cold feet should also be careful.

Red Dark Circles With Sagging

Red dark circles are dark circles that look red under the eyes.

If the redness increases when you gently pull down around the cheekbone, you can consider it to be a red dark circle.

Red dark circles are also usually accompanied by puffiness and sagging under the eyes.

The orbicularis oculi muscle, a muscle around the eye, looks red through the skin, which is a feature of red eye circles.

Under the eyes, there is orbital fat, the fat that surrounds the eyeballs, and when this orbital fat presses on the orbicularis oculi muscle, the color of the muscle shows through, making it look red.

Black Dark Circles Caused By Shadows

Black dark circles are caused by shadows under the eyes and look black.

When you look at your face from the front, if there is puffiness or sagging under the eyes and the dark circles are not hidden by concealer, they are considered to be black circles.

Since dark circles are shadows under the eyes, they fade or become invisible when your face is turned toward the ceiling.

Dark circles appear as the skin loses firmness and elasticity and sags with age.

As the skin under the eyes sags, bumps appear on the skin, which become shadows, making them look darker.

When puffiness is added to the dark circles, they become more noticeable.

Another cause of dark circles is the weakening of the orbicularis oculi muscle, which is around the eye and is the muscle that opens and closes the eyelid.

In many cases, muscle strength decreases with age and the orbicularis oculi muscle weakens.

As a result, the skin and fat around the eyes can no longer be supported, and the lower eyelids sag, which leads to dark shadows.

How To Deal With Dark Circles

Since the cause of dark circles differs depending on the type, the measures to deal with them are also different for each type. Therefore, if you take care of them in a way that does not suit the type, you cannot expect the desired effect no matter how hard you try.

I will explain 4 eye cares for different types of dark circles under the eyes.

Brown Dark Circles

It is important to promote skin turnover in order to deal with brown dark circles caused by pigmentation.

To regulate turnover, it is essential to review lifestyle habits such as diet and sleep.

Furthermore, to prevent brown dark circles from getting worse, it is essential to avoid UV rays and friction. Let’s take a look at some specific measures to prevent brown dark circles.

<Use UV protection >

UV protection is important to prevent pigmentation and to prevent existing pigmentation from worsening.

Although the eye area is often left out of UV care, it is important to remember to apply sunscreen and foundation to the eye area as well.

To prevent smudged makeup, it is a good idea to use face powder to press the eye area at the end of the makeup. During periods of strong UV rays, it is important to make good use of sunglasses, hats, and sunshades as well as makeup.

<Avoid friction>

When applying or removing eye makeup, be careful not to scrub the skin. It is recommended that eye makeup is gently removed using a makeup remover specifically for the eye area.

<Take good care of your skin>

To prevent dryness and regulate turnover, you should take good care of your skin.

Moisturizing is especially important.

Keep the skin moist by supplementing moisture and oil in good balance.

<Eat a well-balanced diet>

 Irregular eating habits can disrupt turnover. Take vitamins, minerals, and protein actively!

<Get enough sleep>

Fatigue and stress are also said to disrupt skin turnover.

You should make sure to get enough sleep and be conscious of improving the quality of your sleep to promote your body’s recovery.

Blue Dark Circles

Blue dark circles are caused by poor circulation, so it is essential to improve blood circulation.

You should keep an eye on the lack of sleep, as well as take moderate exercise to prevent cooling and promote blood circulation.

<Get enough sleep>

Lack of sleep is a major enemy as it causes poor circulation. To improve the quality of sleep, try to avoid using phones and computers before bedtime. Since it is said that skin turnover is active between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., you should try to go to bed at that time.

<Prevent cooling your body>

Since cooling the body causes poor circulation, you should try to add exercise to your daily routine to prevent it. You can increase the amount of exercise by making small efforts such as using the stairs instead of the elevator and walking as much as possible. For those who work at a desk, it is recommended to roll your shoulders and stretch during work to stimulate blood circulation.

Taking a bath at the end of the day to warm up the body. It also helps promote blood circulation.

<Promote blood circulation around the eyes>

Apply a steamed towel to the eyes or gently massage the area around the eyes to stimulate blood circulation.

Long-time use of your phone or computer can decrease blood circulation to the eye area.

<Intake iron>

A lack of iron can lead to poor circulation. Although iron is found in a relatively wide range of foods, it is highly possible to lack iron due to dieting or unbalanced diets. Eat a well-balanced diet of meat, fish, vegetables, and beans to prevent a lack of iron.

Red Dark Circles

Red dark circles are caused by orbital fat pressing on the orbicularis oculi muscle, which tends to reduce blood circulation around the eyes.

As with blue dark circles, you should try to improve the blood circulation around the eyes. It is also recommended to include nutrients in the diet that stimulate blood circulation.

However, red dark circles caused by aging or by being born with a large amount of orbital fat may not improve with self-care.

<Promoting blood circulation>

Wet and wring out a towel, wrap it in plastic wrap, and warm it in a microwave until the temperature reaches the desired level. Cover the area from under the eyes to the forehead with the towel.

Warming improves blood circulation and relaxes stiff muscles.

<Gently massage the eye area>

Use a face cream or massage cream and gently massage the eye area to stimulate blood flow. However, the skin around the eyes is very delicate. You should be careful not to press or rub it too hard.

<Intake vitamin E>

Vitamin E is a nutrient that is believed to help improve blood circulation.

It is recommended to include nuts such as almonds and peanuts and green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli in your diet.

Black Dark Circles

In order to deal with dark circles caused by sagging skin, it is necessary to give the skin elasticity and reduce puffiness around the eyes. Moisturizing care to prevent skin dryness and orbicularis oculi muscle training will help improve the dark circles.

<Moisturize around the eyes>

Moisturizing care around the eyes is essential for dark circles caused by sagging skin. Use an eye cream or eye serum containing moisturizing ingredients to prevent dryness around the eyes.

<Train the orbicularis oculi muscle>

The orbicularis oculi muscle is the muscle that opens and closes the eyelids.

Since unused muscles weaken, it is better to consciously move the orbicularis oculi muscles. Exercising the orbicularis oculi muscle is also recommended to prevent swelling of the eyelids.

It is said that opening the eyes wide open, holding them open for 3 to 5 seconds, and then relaxing the eyes several times is a good way to train the orbicularis oculi muscles. If you put pressure on your forehead at this time, your forehead may rise or wrinkle. If the forehead rises, hold it lightly with your hand and be careful not to put pressure on the forehead as much as possible.

If Dark Circles Are Severe, Use Makeup

If dark circles under the eyes are serious, it is recommended to use makeup to cover them up.

Simply applying a thick layer of foundation of the same color as the skin will not cover dark circles naturally.

Here, I will introduce makeup methods to cover dark circles, breaking them down into concealer and highlighter.

Choose items according to the type of dark circles to effectively cover them up.


Since the skin under the eyes is thin and moves frequently, a liquid concealer is recommended.

First, apply a thin layer of concealer to the dark circles, slightly away from the corner of the eye.

Next, gently press the outline of the concealer with a brush or fingertip to blend it with the surrounding skin.

It is also important to use a thin primer or foundation, as thick base makeup tends to crumble. In addition, color selection is the key to covering dark circles naturally.

Choose a color that matches the type of dark circles.

<Brown dark circles>

You should cover brown dark circles with a yellow concealer that will make the area around the eyes look brighter.

It is not recommended to apply a thick layer of concealer in a color that matches the skin, as it will make the area look darker and duller.

<Blue dark circles>

To cover the blue under the eyes, an orange concealer, which is the complementary color of blue, works well.

If you want to make yourself look ruddy, you can choose pink.

<Red dark circles>

For light red dark circles, I recommend a yellow concealer that adds brightness, and for dark red dark circles, I recommend a green concealer, which is the complementary color of red.

<Black dark circles>

For black dark circles caused by shadows from sagging, a concealer that contains pearls that makes the skin look brighter is ideal.

For dark black dark circles, it is recommended to choose an orange-toned color.


Adding a highlighter as well as concealer is another way to cover dark circles.

In addition to powder types, there are also cream and liquid types of highlighters.

Each has different characteristics and finishes, so choose the one that best suits your preference.

Powder-type highlighters are easy to use even for beginners because it is easy to adjust the amount.

With just a quick application, you can get a natural glow.

After applying primer and foundation, use a brush to softly apply under the eyes.

Cream or liquid-type highlighters are recommended for a luminous, moisturized glow.

To cover dark circles, take a small amount of highlighter on your finger and apply diagonally down from the inner corner of the eye.

The key is to apply with gentle tapping, without applying several layers.

If you put it along the bone structure, the lighting effect will brighten the eye area and cover dark circles naturally.

Since the area around the eyes is particularly prone to flaking makeup, you should not put on too much.


Finally, here are three questions about dark circles and their answers.

Q. If dark circles and sagging under the eyes do not go away, can they be treated with plastic surgery or other treatments?

The treatment method for dark circles depends on the type and how serious the dark circles are and is determined after a medical examination and consultation with a doctor.

Typical treatment methods include incisional removal of sagging and fat, injection of hyaluronic acid or other substances to improve dimpling, and laser treatment.

However, plastic surgery involves risks.

It is important to fully understand and accept the risks of pain, side effects, complications, and aftereffects during and after the procedure.

Furthermore, it is important to know that in some cases, the results may not be as expected.

The Consumer Affairs Agency introduces the following checklist to check before undergoing cosmetic treatment.

  1. Can you explain to yourself what kind of medicine you are going to use?
  2. Did you understand not only the results but also the risks and side effects?
  3. Did you receive explanations about other treatment methods and options and did you make your own choice?
  4. Do you need the procedure “right now”? 

Q. Is there a recommended way to prevent dark circles under men’s eyes?

Try to figure out which type your dark circles are and take measures appropriate for the type of dark circles you have.

If you want to cover dark circles immediately, one option is to use concealer just like women’s makeup. Concealers for men are also being sold, so you may also check out these products.

Q. What should I do when my child has dark circles?

The main reasons for dark circles under the eyes in children are the following:

<Atopic dermatitis, allergies, or hay fever>

If the entire eye area is dark, it may be pigmentation due to atopic dermatitis, allergies, or hay fever.

The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, and if your child scratches it, the irritation can cause pigmentation and brown dark circles. Consult a medical professional to treat the cause of the itching.

<Excessive use of phones and game devices>

If your child overuses the phone, computer, or game, they blink less often and their eyelid muscles move less.

This will reduce blood circulation around the eyes and may cause dark circles.

They should avoid long hours of use of cell phones and video games.


When blood flow is impaired due to anemia, the blue-black color of stagnant blood shows through, which causes blue dark circles to show.

Children who exercise a lot are especially prone to a lack of iron, so it is important to make sure that they have a well-balanced diet.


Weak functioning of the orbicularis oculi muscle, the muscle that opens and closes the eyelids, can cause poor blood circulation around the eyes, resulting in dark circles. Also, if the skin is white, the color of the blood will show through more easily and dark circles will be more likely to appear.

If you have concerns about the dark circles of your child, we recommend that you see a medical professional.


Dark circles are more likely to appear when anemia causes poor circulation around the eyes or rapid weight loss due to dieting.

Otherwise, dark circles under the eyes may be a sign of illness.

If you have suddenly developed dark circles or have other symptoms besides dark circles that concern you, we recommend that you visit your family doctor or have a medical checkup.

The following points are important for treating dark circles 

  • Find out what type of dark circles you have.
  • Take appropriate measures for the type of dark circles.
  • Review not only skincare but also lifestyles such as diet and sleep.
  • Consider the possibility that the cause of dark circles may be a disease.
  • If the dark circles are serious, cover them with makeup.
  • Plastic surgery is an option, yet you need to understand and accept the risks and side effects.

As I write this article, I myself have been bothered by my own dark circles since I started wearing face masks. Even though they do not usually bother me, they do when my eyes are emphasized with face masks.

In my case, I also had cold and swollen feet, so I am trying various things such as wearing compression socks to prevent cold, exercising the calves of my feet, and moving my toes in the bath.

If I get any results, I will write a separate article.

If you suffer from dark circles like me, let’s work together to improve them by taking measures appropriate to the type of dark circles you have, using this article as a guide.