Let’s face it, our modern world is just too hectic and shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, our society seems to be increasing in speed, and we may feel that we are lagging behind. Unfortunately, all of this racing around can take its toll, particularly on facial appearance.

If you have noticed that your eyes look sunken, with dark circles underneath, it could very well be a sign that it is time for you to slow down, catch your breath, and take some time to look after your own well-being. There are a number of factors that could be causing your hollowed eyes and dark circles. Once you know what may be causing these problems, you can look at how to address solving them. Below, Dr. Paul Pin discusses some of the more common causes for sunken eyes and dark circles.

Lack of Sleep

Either not enough sleep or poor-quality sleep (such as difficulty falling asleep or waking up several times) can lead to sunken eyes and dark circles. While you are asleep, your body is busy repairing itself at the cellular level from damage that it has incurred during the day. If you don’t get enough sleep that is restful, this cellular damage cannot be repaired on a regular basis. The end result will be sunken eyes with dark circles underneath. Experts say that adults need approximately seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and children and seniors may need more.


Forgetting to keep hydrated and eat a balanced diet can make you feel run down, which will also show up in your facial appearance. In addition to helping keep your digestive system in good working order, water also helps hydrate your skin, so drinking enough water will help firm up your skin, reducing the sunken appearance to your eyes. You should try to stick with water to hydrate yourself, as coffee, sodas, and caffeinated teas may actually make the dehydration worse. You’ve no doubt heard about drinking eight glasses of water per day, but aim for 64 ounces per day, to be a bit more precise.

Poor Diet

If your diet does not include enough iron, this can lead to anemia, which will make the skin appear pale. Contrasted against the inner recesses of the eyes, this pale skin can lead to the appearance of sunken eyes with dark circles underneath. Dr. Pin suggests adding more iron to your diet, including lean red meat, kale, spinach, beans, chickpeas, and lentils.


As we age, our bodies will lose collagen, which is responsible for making our skin firm and full. This collagen loss is often first noticeable in the face, particularly in the thin, delicate skin around the eyes. As the skin around the eyes loses collagen and becomes less firm, it will look as though the eyes have receded further into the skull. In cases such as this, Dr. Pin recommends eyelid cosmetic surgery to remove excess loose skin around the upper and lower lids that contribute to the sunken appearance to the eyes.

Sunken eyes with dark circles underneath can make you look worn and aged. No matter the case, there are several ways in which this problem can be corrected. Dr. Pin can help you determine if cosmetic surgery might be a viable option for you to consider.