The cosmetic industry has developed countless of eye creams and serums with promises that they can reduce your dark under-eye circles. Many companies claim that eye cream with vitamin K works the best. Before you go out and buy that eye cream, learn how dark under-eye circles form because that can give you more information, allowing you to decide whether vitamin K can help reduce dark under-eye circles.
Causes of Dark Under-eye Circles
Contrary to popular belief, dark under-eye circles don't always signify lack of sleep. The shadows formed from puffy eyelids can give you the illusion of dark under-eye circles. Other factors include genetics, allergies, eczema, unhealthy lifestyle, nasal congestion, pigmentation irregularities, physical contact with the eyes, such as rubbing and scratching, sun exposure and thinning of the skin, which comes with aging.
What are Dark Under-eye Circles?
According to the Dr. Masuda and colleagues from Shiseido Research Center, dark circles under your eyes form because of poor blood flow. The researchers found that in the area of dark circles, blood flowed at a slower rate compared to the area in the cheeks. They also found more melanin production in subjects with dark under-eye circles.
Vitamin K -- found in green leafy vegetables, meats, fish, legumes and fruits -- have two known functions that may play a role in dark under-eye circles. Vitamin K aids in the function of blood clotting proteins and without it, you can bleed to death from a minor cut. Vitamin K also supports the function of Gas6, a specialized protein that regulates cell growth and cell proliferation.
Effectiveness of Vitamin K
In the November 2004 issue of "Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology," Dr. Tsuyoshi Mitsuishi, the lead investigator, reported moderate improvement of dark under-eye circles in participants who used topical application that contained 2 percent vitamin K. The eye gel also contained 0.1 percent vitamin C, 0.1 percent vitamin E and 0.1 percent retinol -- a form of vitamin A. Participants, who benefited the most from the eye gel, had dark under-eye circles due to hemostasis, or interruption of blood flow. The eye gel decreased hemostasis, which correlated with the reduction of dark under-eye circles. The research does show promising result of vitamin K, but remember that the eye gel contained other vitamins as well. If the eye gel contained only vitamin K, the efficacy of the treatment could change.
- MayoClinic.com: Dark Circles Under Eyes
- Wiley Online Library: Dermatological Study on Dark Eye Circles and Their Treatment with Newly Developed Cosmetics
- Oregon State University -- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin K
- Wiley Online Library: The Effects of Topical Application of Phytonadione, Retinol and Vitamins C and E on Infraorbital Dark Circles and Wrinkles of the Lower Eyelids