Can More Sleep Improve the Look of Dark Circles? A Skin Care Expert Explains
It’s the crack of dawn, you stumble into the bathroom in a half-asleep stupor, turn on the lights and—much to your dismay—see nothing but deeply-sunken hollows staring right back at you. You give out a little screech at the sight of the bluish-black shadows beneath your eyes, realizing it’s not just a bit of last night’s mascara smeared below your water line. Nope, these bad boys are full-blown dark circles that, unlike mascara, won’t disappear with just a quick sweep of micellar water. Yeah, if only it were that easy…
Your tired-looking eyes scream fatigue, but it makes you wonder: Would I be looking less like a panda right now if I had gotten a few more hours of shut-eye last night? To find out if more sleep can help fade the look of dark circles, we asked board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. The short answer: It’s possible. But there’s a catch. According to Bhanusali, sleeping more can definitely help dark circles look less pronounced, but (sadly) it’s likely not enough to completely eradicate those suckers for good. He recommends pairing your beauty sleep—helpful tip: elevate your head with two pillows overnight to reduce blood from pooling under your eyes—with product use for the best results. But before we dive into how to help diminish the appearance of dark circles, let’s first consider their source.
WHY DARK CIRCLES APPEAR
Lack of sleep is not the only culprit for dark circles, so more sleep doesn’t always make a difference. According to the Mayo Clinic, allergies, genetics—do dark circles run in your family?— pigmentation irregularities, chronic eye-rubbing, sun exposure, and thinning skin as a natural result of aging are all factors at play.
HOW TO HELP DIMINISH THE APPEARANCE OF DARK CIRCLES
“The best thing patients can do is use products formulated with retinol,” says Bhanusali. “These products can help relieve the ‘sunken-in’ look.” For his patients, he suggests products infused with caffeine, vitamin C, and green tea, a powerful antioxidant. “I also have them wash their face with cold water first thing when they wake up, as this vasoconstricts the area,” Bhanusali adds.
Need more help alleviating the bags? Check out our comprehensive guide on the different types of dark circles—plus, the best products for the job.