Among the most common of skin concerns, eye bags and dark under-eye circles are among the most common. Concerned with fluid retention, which occurs when water is excessively stored in the skin tissue underneath the eye. As for dark circles, they appear as your under-eye skin shows blood vessels underneath more prominently than anywhere else.
Ageing is an unavoidable process, intrinsic ageing takes place over the years regardless of outside influence, yet extrinsic ageing occurs as a result of external factors like sun and environmental damage. For a lifetime of great skin, we treat all signs of ageing. After the age of 20, a person produces about 1% less collagen in the skin each year and as a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile with age. However, the ageing process can be sped up by external damage, like tobacco use and exposure to pollution for example. Extrinsic ageing shows up as thickening of the cornified layer, precancerous changes such as lesions called actinic keratosis, skin cancer, freckle and sunspot formation, and exaggerated loss of collagen, elastin and GAGs. These alone or together, give the skin the appearance of roughness, uneven tone, brown patches, thin skin and deep wrinkles.
The key causes
As we age, we lose collagen and elastin in our skin and this, combined with other factors, causes our skin to develop fine lines and wrinkles. Facial movement and expressions, sun damage, stress, dehydration and lifestyle factors such as drinking, diet, alcohol and drugs can all contribute to the formation of fine lines.
Getting eye bags and dark circles is a natural part of the ageing process. As we get older, the fat under our skin’s surface starts to droop, and this is what leads to bags under the eyes. The ligaments and muscles that hold the fat together also begin to weaken as time goes on, this causes our skin to sag and eye bags become more visible. In turn, dark circles become more prominent as we age, due to the loss of the fat and collagen under our eyes, alongside the thinning of the skin which magnifies the appearance of blood vessels underneath the eye. However, time is not the only cause behind the ageing of eyes. Lack of sleep is considered one of the most common causes of eye bags, as it prevents your body from flushing out excess fluid and instead, gathers in the tissue under our eyes causing eye bags to appear. There is also a strong correlation between an unhealthy lifestyle and the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. You may notice that if you indulge in a salt-heavy meal before you go to bed, you will wake up with bags under your eyes, as salt causes your body to retain water. Smoking also breaks down collagen production and accelerates the ageing process and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, eye bags included. The onset of eye bags and dark circles, however, is partly hereditary. There are also a number of medical complaints that can lead to the accentuated appearance of eye bags and dark circles.