Oct 23, 2017

7 Surprising Reasons You Have Under Eye Circles

It goes way beyond not getting enough sleep.

1. Your parents passed on bad genes.
That's right — your parents could be to blame for your dark circles. "There are hereditary conditions that run in families that can lead to darkness under the eyes," explains New York City dermatologist Dr. Bruce Katz, Director of the Juva Skin & Laser Center in New York. "This is very common in people with Mediterranean backgrounds." The good news: if it's pigmentation, there are specific lasers dermatologists can use that can help you get rid of it.

2. Eczema could be leading you to rub.
While the eczema itself may not lead to the dark circles, the constant rubbing and itching most certainly can. "Excessive rubbing can lead to increased swelling, inflammation, and broken blood vessels in the eye area, which can give the skin a dark, almost bruised appearance," says dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank, Director at The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, NY.

3. Allergies can make you itchy.
Skin conditions like eczema aren't the only health concern that can cause your under eye woes. "Allergies often trigger histamines in the body which cause blood vessels to dilate," explains Dr. Bank. "Since the skin on our eyelid and under eye area is some of the thinnest in the body, it may cause those swollen blood vessels to appear darker than the rest of the face." Long story short: Take care of those allergies ASAP, then your derm can treat the pigmentation.

4. Your makeup could be irritating you.
It seems counterintuitive — makeup is supposed to cover up those dark circles, right? But if you're using a product, whether it's a mascara, eyeshadow, or even concealer, that bugs your skin, it could be leading to worsened circles. "Some people develop allergic reactions to makeup, and they get circles from the irritation, rubbing, and scratching," warns Dr. Katz. If you notice your eyes are looking a little rough after using that trendy new eyeliner, perhaps steer clear.

5. Your bone structure could be to blame.
Surprisingly, your circles could have nothing to do with your actual skin — it could simply be the way your face is shaped. "When people have deep tear troughs under their eyes, the shadowing and indentation can cause the appearance of darkness, but it's not actually from pigment or veins," says Dr. Katz. If this is your personal dilemma, Dr. Katz says fillers from a certified pro can even out the eye area.

6. Veins can give you a blue tint.
If your eye areas look particularly blue, it could simply be your blood vessels. "Blue veins under your eyes look dark, too, so it makes the eyelids and under eyes appear to have dark circles, but really it's just the veins under the skin," explains Dr. Katz. Try using one of these concealers to cover 'em up.

7. You're not protecting your skin from the sun.
You may think heading outside could brighten up your skin, but not if you let your delicate under eye area get too exposed. "Eyelid skin is the thinnest in the body, so sun damage shows up quickly in this area in the form of dilating and increased blood flow," says Dr. Bank. "As a result, you can see a dark glow or color through the transparency of the skin." Just another reason to wear SPF!

Oct 11, 2017

08 Everyday Habits That Are Giving You Acne

Habit No. 1: Using makeup with ingredients that can cause irritation There are certain ingredients lurking in the makeup and sunscreen you're slathering on that are causing you to break out. Now this doesn't mean you have to forgo your foundation (scary, we know) or stop applying SPF (please, don't), but you do need to keep a watchful eye on product labels.

Habit No. 2: Over-drying your face Sucking all the oil and moisture out of your face is a sure-fire way to irritate your skin, says Nakhla. While it might seem like a good idea to dry out oily skin with harsh cleansers, soap, and alcohol-based toners -- and skimp on the moisturizer -- your skin is more complicated than that. 

Drying out your skin will actually cause it to produce more oil, says King. She explains that the skin naturally tries to correct itself, therefore if it feels dry it will try to balance the situation by producing more oil, continuing the vicious cycle. 

Habit No. 3: Pressure (literally) So what is pressure-induced acne exactly? acne caused by physical pressure on your face, be it from the cell phone you are constantly on, an instrument (like the violin), or simply a hand resting on your face as you glare into the TV or computer screen. This pressure not only exposes your skin to loads of bacteria, but the actual force of this bacteria against your face can cause you to break out. 

Habit No. 4: Pressure (figuratively) So, you're already aware that stress gets your heart racing, your stomach churning, and causes wrinkles -- but did you know that it also increases the hormones that can cause acne? So sad, so true. So what are we saying -- magically chill out just because we told you to (yeah, wouldn't that just be dandy)? No, but you can do things to relax and minimize the drama.

Reason No. 5: Your laundry schedule As if your dirty laundry isn't annoying enough to deal with, it could also be causing your acne. Think about it: Your face lies on your pillowcase for hours at a time, and if it's not clean, you're basically rolling around in a bunch of dead skin cells and bacteria. As for that towel of yours? If it's not fresh from the dryer, you could be wiping germs all over your newly-cleansed skin. 

Habit No. 6: The hair products you use Many people don't think about how their hair products can cause acne, says Nakhla, but think about how often your hair touches your face. And remember that unless you are washing your hair every night before bed, all that product is transferring onto your pillow.  
Habit No. 7: Using dirty makeup applicators Alright, so now that you are diligently checking the labels on all your makeup products for known acne instigators, you need to think about the actual brushes, sponges, and other applicators you use to apply your non-comedogenic makeup.
Habit No. 8: Your diet OK, so you've heard rumors that foods like chocolate and French fries are practically guaranteed to give you zits, but the good news (kinda) is that's not totally true.

It's really an overall unhealthy diet that effects your skin. Shamban says that having a high glycemic index, which is caused by frequently eating foods known to spike your blood sugar levels (like refined sugar, white bread, pastas, and fried foods), will mess with your body and can cause acne. So if you are eating these foods only on occasion, it's not likely the cause for your breakouts. 

Also, some people, though they might not know it, have actual allergies to foods like chocolate, wheat, or dairy that cause them to break out. So if you notice your skin goes nuts after a bagel binge or cookie dough ice cream social, take a break from these foods and see what happens.