Dark circles are more commonly caused by heredity, unhealthy lifestyles, and poor care of skin around the eyes. If dark circles run in your family, it may be more difficult to prevent it.  If poor diet, lack of sleep, and lack of regular physical exercise are causing those dark circles, you can shift to healthier habits.  If poor skin care is causing you to develop dark circles, there are several ways to take better care of it.

However, dark circles can sometimes be caused by medical conditions, and among these are vitamins and other nutrient deficiencies.  A deficiency in iron, Vitamin B9, and Vitamin C can be causing it.  Fortunately, you can change your diet to get more of these vitamins from the food you eat, but if you can’t get them from food, you can always try supplements.

A word of caution on supplementing---make sure you check with your doctor first before taking in any of the supplements listed below.  Remember, dark circles can be no more than just a cosmetic problem but, if you’re looking to try supplementing, it may do more harm to your overall health than just having minor skin problems.  A consultation with your doctor is most especially recommended if you have certain medical conditions or take maintenance drugs which can react with supplements.

Supplement 1: Iron.  Iron plays a key role in ensuring that our body organs function properly.  Blood is mostly composed of iron which makes it possible for oxygen and other essential nutrients to be transported throughout the body and thus, support various bodily functions.  A sufficient amount of iron is required for you to have healthy cells, hair, nails, and skin.  When you are suffering from iron-deficiency anemia, you are likely to have pale skin, making dark circles appear more pronounced and visible.  Red meat remains the best source of iron from your diet.  If you think you can’t obtain enough iron from regular food, consult with your doctor before taking iron supplements.  Too much iron can affect the health of your liver, resulting to cirrhosis of the liver, and possibly fatal.

Supplement 2: Vitamin B9.  Vitamin B9 of the Vitamin B group is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it cannot be stored by your body unlike fat-soluble vitamins.  This means that you need to obtain Vitamin B9 from food or supplementing everyday.  Vitamin B9 is important in preventing and improving under eye dark circles because it plays an essential role in the production of red blood cells and in nerve repair.  Vitamin B9 deficiency results to poor blood circulation and weak blood vessels, including underneath the eye area, possibly resulting to leaking of fluids due to breakage in blood vessels.  These leaked fluids get deposited and trapped under your eyes, causing dark circles to form.  Your natural food sources for Vitamin B9 include green and leafy vegetables, whole grains and cereals, eggs, milk, and meat.  Consider supplementation if you are unable to incorporate these in your daily diet.

Supplement 3: Vitamin C.  Vitamin C, like Vitamin B9, is also a water-soluble vitamin so you have to obtain this vitamin from your diet everyday.  Vitamin C helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels thus, helping avoid leaks around your eye area.  Vitamin C plays a particularly special role in promoting healthy skin by aiding in collagen production and by improving the body’s ability to absorb many other vitamins and minerals, like Vitamins A, E, and iron, which are all important in keeping skin beautiful and glowing.  It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off free radicals that damage or kill otherwise healthy skin cells.  Citrus fruits are your best natural sources of Vitamin C.

Supplement 4: Grape Seed Extract. Grape seed extract has been shown to have a high potential to treat certain diseases like cancer, including skin cancer, heart and other diseases of the circulatory system, and eye problems.  Grape seed extract is also rich in potassium which helps the skin better retain moisture and this, aiding the skin to stay well hydrated all the time.  Grape seed extract is also available as a supplement.

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