We’re the first to admit that raccoons are adorable little creatures. Though you rarely see them in Australia, you frequently see “raccoon eyes”, those pesky dark circles that appear above your cheeks, making you look tired and older than you are.

In this article we will shine a light on under-eye circles: Why you may have them, steps you can take to prevent them, and solutions for stubborn eye discolouration that just won’t go away.

Why well-rested people look so sleepy

The most common reason for raccoon eyes is lack of sleep, but late nights followed by early mornings aren’t the only reason. Other factors include:

  • Family history
  • Puffy eyelids that create shadows under the eyes
  • Unhealthy lifestyle choices, including smoking
  • Skin pigmentation irregularities
  • Rubbing or scratching eyes due to allergies or irritants

Raccoon eyes for the over 40’s

Raccoon eyes are a particular problem for women over forty. As her age increases, a woman’s circulation decreases, causing blood to pool under the eyes.  As blood accumulates, it can burst capillaries.
The skin surrounding your eyes is thinner than on any other part of your body. When under-eye capillaries burst, the deep red and purple is extremely visible.
Concealers can help cover up raccoon eyes, but why not deal with the problem at the source?

5 ways to stop raccoon eyes in their tracks

As with many things related to health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you don’t yet have raccoon eyes or are just beginning to see the start of dark under-eye circles, there are several things you can do to halt the process.

  •  Increase blood circulation through lifestyle changes (diet/exercise)
  • Improve elasticity with gentle massage
  • Take antihistamines to control itchy eyes associated with allergies
  • Use sunscreen daily (be sure it is safe for use near the eyes)
  • Hydrate the skin with eye creams that target under-eye circles

Look for eye creams that contain Vitamin K, which has been shown to be effective in combatting raccoon eyes. Vitamin K

  •  Promotes circulation
  • Helps repair broken capillaries
  • Helps fade hyper-pigmentation
  • Helps diminish dark under-eye circles.

In an article for Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology published in 2008, Dr Tsuyoshi Mitsuishi reported moderate improvement of dark under-eye circles in study participants who used a topical application that contained two-percent Vitamin K and other vitamins.

3 solutions for stubborn raccoon eyes

There are almost as many solutions for dark under-eye circles as there are causes. Let’s look at several of the most popular:

  •  For thinning under-eye skin due to ageing, injectable fillers are effective.
  •  For prominent veins darkening the under-eye area, a vascular laser treatment can be a good solution. Three to five treatments are usually necessary.
  •  For skin that has irregular pigmentation, chemical peels, prescription topical creams, and laser treatments are all good options.

If you’re not certain what to do about your raccoon eyes, consult a professional.  That way you’ll have expert advice to guide you.

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