Men don’t usually wear makeup to conceal flaws, so cosmetic issues like dark circles under the eyes can be especially annoying. There are many possible causes for under-eye circles, though people often associate these with lack of sleep. Heredity and age can be factors. Blood vessels under the eyes become more visible with age because a man will lose fat and collagen and his skin will thin. There are, however, ways for men to address this unsightly problem.
Eat foods that nourish the skin and drink enough water. Even mild dehydration can cause dark circles to appear. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily. Choose whole grains and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Consume orange vegetables for vitamin A, citrus fruits for vitamin C which supports collagen production, and green leafy vegetables for vitamin E. Make sure you get essential fatty acids and zinc in your diet. Both nutrients are vital for skin health. Eat salmon twice a week to gain omega-3s. Eat beef or pork to get zinc. Ingest foods with iron like eggs, beans, meat and leafy greens.
Discover and treat any allergies. Allergies are the cause of under-eye circles for many people. Allergies cue the body to release histamines, which agitate blood vessels and cause swelling. Try taking an over-the-counter antihistamine before allergies hit to nip circles in the bud. Visit your doctor and check for food allergies as well as seasonal allergies.
Alleviate nasal congestion and sinusitis. People who suffer chronic sinusitis often also have dark circles. Congestion darkens and dilates veins that drain from the eyes to the nose.
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Alter your lifestyle. Reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeinated sodas. Stop smoking, which can cause dark circles. If you are sedentary, get moving. This will boost circulation and improve your overall health. Try walking if you are just getting started. Work out for at least 10 minutes at a time five days a week. That’s minimum amount needed per session to gain a health benefit, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Chill out with cold therapy. Utilize chilled moisturizers with vitamins K and/or E, sesame oil, safflower oil or avocado oil. Freeze parsley in ice cubes and apply these under the eyes. Parsley has chlorophyll that can ease pigmentation. Massage cold eye cream or almond oil and honey onto the dark circles for a few minutes prior to going to sleep. Almond oil contains vitamin E and is a monounsaturated fatty acid, both of which benefit skin.
Cure or control your eczema. Eczema can cause your skin to thin, which makes blood vessels under your eyes more apparent. Visit your doctor to see if you need medication such as antibiotics, antihistimines or immunomodulators. Try to find out what triggers the eczema, such as harsh soap, and try using a humidifier at night when sleeping.
Keep your fingers away from your itchy eyes. If your eyes are itchy due to allergies or seasonal colds, try using wetting drops instead of rubbing, which contributes to dark circles.
- "Beyond Pritikin: A Total Nutrition Program," Ann Louise Gittleman, 1996
- Real Simple: 7 Ways to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes
- Oprah.com: 4 Dark-Circle Cures (That Actually Work)
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.