How Free Radical Damage Causes Dark Circles

Written by - Reviewed by Consumer Health Digest Team

Published: Nov 7, 2017 | Last Updated: Dec 11, 2018

Dark Circles Due To Free Radical Damage

Don’t you hate it when you stand in front of the mirror and notice dark circles around your eyes? They’re frustrating, aren’t they? Dark circles around the eye area make us feel subconscious about our appearance which is bad news for our confidence. This only aggravates when they refuse to go away. It seems like regardless of what you do to minimize them, they’re still there. Eliminating these discolored areas is possible, but in order to do so, it’s important to learn more about causes of dark circles. The more you know about them, the easier it gets to create an effective strategy to make them go away. Damage induced by free radicals is considered a major cause, but is that true? Keep reading to find out.

What is Free Radical Damage?

The term free radical damage is mentioned a lot nowadays, but what does it really mean? A free radical is defined as a molecular species capable of independent existence. Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive. Antioxidants serve to destroy free radicals. When there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress is harmful to our health. Not only it causes inflammation, increases the risk of different cancers, but it also affects the skin. As a result, collagen and elastin fibers break down, the skin becomes saggy, dry, and more prone to the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. Does oxidative damage cause dark circles too? You’ll find out below.

How Free Radical Damage Causes Dark Circles?

The primary cause of oxidative stress and damage it causes is sun exposure. When the sun’s harmful UV rays contact skin, it reacts with oxygen in the air thus causing a free radical chain reaction. The consequences of this reaction lead to the accelerated formation of signs of aging and many other skin irregularities including dark circles.

Now you’re probably wondering how does sun exposure cause dark circles. According to the study whose findings were published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, individuals with dark circles around eyes, especially women, are extremely concerned about their skin in this area and a lot of them report impairment in their quality of life due to the presence of discoloration. The primary causes of dark circles include the abnormal production of melanin and poor blood circulation. Melanin is a pigment that gives your skin its natural color.

Free radicals stimulate the excessive production of melanin which leads to the formation of discolored patches on the skin. In addition, the skin around eyes is delicate and thin. Changes in blood flow also have an impact on this particular area. That’s why poor blood circulation contributes to the formation of dark circles, but it is a relatively unknown fact that free radical damage can also affect your blood, thus indirectly contribute to the discolored skin around your eyes.

Besides sun’s UV rays, other sources of free radicals include pollution, alcohol, tobacco smoke, heavy metals, industrial solvents, transition metals, water pollution, pesticides, some medications, unhealthy cooking methods.

How to Remove Dark Circles Fast?

Even though dark circles are frustrating to most men and women, it is possible to get rid of them. You don’t even have to pay for some expensive treatment, it’s all about trying to eliminate them the right way. If your current strategy didn’t work, try the following tips to get rid of these discolored areas and restore youthfulness around your eyes.

Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliation is an important part of a regular skincare routine that we take for granted. Most of us exfoliate from time to time only. You shouldn’t exfoliate every day, but once or twice a week. It’s that simple! How can it help you? Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and other impurities. This process also improves skin renewal and brightens up your complexion. With regular exfoliation, your dark circles will go away. Just remember, do it once or twice a week, not every day.

Use Products With SPF

As seen above, sun exposure is a major contributor to a number of skin irregularities and it is also one of the main causes of dark circles. Sun protection with the regular use of sunscreen is a great way to protect the skin from harmful UV rays. This is also a big source of confusion because it’s easy to assume we need to apply sunscreen only on hot summer days when we’re sunbathing. Wrong! Sun’s rays are active all the time and you need adequate protection, even when it’s not too hot outside. Strive to use sunscreen regularly or boost your protection efforts by using creams and moisturizers with SPF.

Use a Washcloth on Affected Area

Besides the regular use of sunscreen and SPF products to prevent free radical damage, an easy way to eliminate dark circles is in your bathroom. All you have to do is to moisten a washcloth in cold water and apply on dark circles. Keep washcloth on the eye area for about ten minutes to constrict blood vessels and minimize discolored areas. Do it every day, especially in the morning.

Modify Your Diet

A person’s nutrition contributes to skin health too. Unhealthy diet doesn’t deliver much-needed nutrients that your skin gets through blood. For example, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dark circles too. Healthy skin and radiant complexion wouldn’t be possible through junk food. To solve this problem, try modifying your diet. Instead of junk food and alcohol, eat a well-balanced diet and drink healthy beverages such as green tea. Focus on consumption of anti-inflammatory foods and fruits and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants. Remember, antioxidants destroy free radicals and damage they cause.

Eliminate Allergens

Dark circles can be a result of an allergy. Therefore, a practical way to tackle dark circles and is to reduce the exposure to common allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Also, if you have food sensitivities and allergies, avoid those food groups as well.

Other Things You Can Do

  • Double up on pillows at night to stop blood from building up in the eye area
  • Use eye serums, they are abundant in active ingredients which improve collagen production and brighten up dark circles
  • Eat dark chocolate to improve blood flow
  • Use eye creams with antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, and green tea catechins
  • Apply a concealer to minimize the appearance of dark circles immediately
  • Apply almond oil on dark circles before going to bed
  • Place cucumber slices on dark circles for ten minutes
  • Don’t have cucumber in your kitchen? Not to worry, potato will do the trick too
  • Mix one teaspoon of tomato juice with one and a half teaspoon of lemon juice, apply the mixture on dark circles and rise after ten minutes
  • Soak cotton pads in rose water and keep them on discolored areas for ten minutes


Both men and women deal with dark circles from time to time. Causes of dark circles are numerous but the most prominent culprit is sun exposure that is responsible for free radicals and their damage. Fortunately, you can get rid of these dark circles and restore vibrant appearance. And one of the most simple ways to eliminate dark circles could be the use of an eye cream. An eye cream such as Kremovage consist of a blend of natural ingredients which work in synergy to remove wrinkles, dark circles, under-eye puffiness, etc

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