With the party season in full swing, you might find yourself reaching for the under-eye concealer more than normal, as you try to eradicate any sign of the night before.

However, those dark circles under your eyes might not be due to a late night after all…

[Pollution: Why you should be protecting your skin and how to do it]

12 cheap beauty hacks every make-up addict should know]

1. Nasal congestion

Your sinuses could be at fault here – as the veins that drain from under your eyes can apparently become darker when your nose is congested. In fact, any inflammation under the skin will show more easily because the skin here is so thin. Jump into a shower, use a saline spray or a decongestant to soothe the sinuses and hopefully lighten those dark circles.

2. Eczema

Sounds strange but bear with us – it’s not the actual eczema that’s causing the problem here, but rubbing at your eyes to soothe it. Dermatologist Dr David Bank told Good Housekeeping: “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.”

[Make-up tips for tired eyes - how to hide dark circles and under-eye bags]

3. Make-up

Make-up’s meant to make dark circles go away, right? Well, if you’re allergic to that concealer or mascara, you’ll start rubbing at your eyes, inflame the skin and potentially burst blood vessels around the eyes, making the skin appear darker. Keep an eye out for any irritation from new products and ditch them.

4. DNA

Your genes (ie your ma and pa) could actually be to blame here for two reasons: Firstly the shape of your face can determine how dark the circles appear under your eyes. The deeper the tear troughs, the darker they’ll appear. And secondly, there are some hereditary conditions which can lead to having darker pigmentation under the eyes. Not a lot you can do about DNA…

[Dark circles to puffy eyes: What your eyes can tell you about your health]

5. Sun protection

The sun’s at fault for plenty of things already, and dark circles are another reason we need to slap on the SPF. Dermatologist Dr Bank told Good Housekeeping: “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. As a result, you can see a dark glow or colour through the transparency of the skin.”

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