Working remotely from home is becoming the new world order and so is working for long hours, sticking to erratic and indefinite work schedules, and dealing with increased work pressure. On top of that, one has to juggle a raft of other responsibilities as well.
All in all, the humdrum work-sleep-work routine isn’t helping our state of mind. The struggle of balancing both professional and personal lives from the confines of our homes is becoming a challenge and costing us more than realize.
Given these circumstances, you might experience elevated stress levels, anxiety, and hypertension. These health conditions manifest in myriad ways, and of the more common symptoms is the appearance of dark circles underneath the eyes.
Under-eye skin is sensitive and delicate. The periorbital region (the area around the eyes) is characterized by a delicately textured skin tissue that has no oil glands, making it extremely susceptible to wrinkles and discoloration. When the tissues and blood vessels located beneath the upper layer of the skin begin to show, they appear baggy, puffy and dull — giving out the impression of a dark patch under the eye.
While not a health issue by itself, dark circles may sometimes be indicative of an underlying health condition that could be severe.
It might seem counterintuitive, but working remotely is causing more fatigue than one would’ve imagined. Employees are today logging in more hours than they usually would have, and this leaves them overworked and overwhelmed. There is a glaring lack of schedule and discipline.
Dark circles are clear indicators of stress and exhaustion – two factors that we’ve come to accept as part of the ‘new normal’. Think about these dark bags of skin as badges that you collect for working longer hours, be it at your job or to ensure the smooth functioning of your home.
The most straightforward solutions can be the most effective. Ironically, they are also the ones we are quickest to disregard. While the importance of staying hydrated cannot be emphasized enough, most people neglect their daily water intake.
Dehydration renders several regions of the skin — especially the under-eye area — dull, thus making it prone to dark circles. Try to drink at least 8-12 glasses of water in a day.
Dermatologists agree that keeping the skin topically hydrated is equally important. The thin, delicate under-eye skin is susceptible to drying, something that can lead to dark circles. Therefore, you must apply a moisturizer to prevent the area from getting parched.
A good night’s sleep is the panacea to many ailments. This holds in the case of dark circles – an issue that is a clear indication of exhaustion.
Working from home has hurt our sleep schedules. The human body is accustomed to running on a natural clock of its own, one which expects us to use the night’s absence of sunlight and activity to rest.
Sleeping for 7-8 hours a day is essential, and a consistent sleep schedule at night helps the body recuperate faster than sleeping at odd hours.
If on insufficient sleep, the body is forced to focus its blood circulation activity on muscles and other major organs, and ignore skin and other tissues. The poor circulation received by the tissues in the under-eye region causes deoxygenated blood to build up, thus causing dark circles.
With all its virtue, the sun can be harmful if you do not keep your exposure in check. Sun damage can worsen dark circles under the eyes and make them more prominent. That is why you must use a sunscreen with adequate SPF protection (of at least 30) daily.
You are what you eat. The veracity of this statement is reflected very clearly on your skin. An excess of salt or alcohol can dehydrate the body, causing the eyes to appear puffed and dark circles even darker.
On the other hand, there are certain nutrients that, when added to our diet, can prevent darkness in the periorbital region. Include plant-based foods — rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and antioxidants — in your diet should you want the under-eye skin to appear bright and healthy.
Did you know the under-eye area is indicative of your kidney health? This connection highlights a whole new aspect of dark circles. Studies have shown dark circles to be indicators of an underlying iron-deficiency. Therefore, you must check (and increase, if need be) your iron and vitamin C intake, especially the latter, considering it aids iron absorption in the body.
Take a few cubes of ice and wrap them in a cloth. Now gently dab this cloth on your under-eye area to reduce any swelling or puffiness. Repeat this process twice or thrice a day for at least 20 minutes for maximum effect.
While sub-par sleep quality is a primary culprit when it comes to dark circles, you should be mindful of your sleeping posture as well. Sleeping with your head elevated can prevent fluid build-up under your eyes, thereby keeping you from waking up with puffy eyes.
Simple items from the kitchen can be surprisingly effective against dark circles:
If home remedies aren’t working for you, don’t fret. You have access to a host of OTC medications and bleaching creams to treat dark circles. Apart from these, prescription skin brighteners can also be used to reduce pigmentation around the under-eye area.