Is Your Phone Causing Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

There nothing worse than waking up with dark circles under your eyes, especially when there is little you can do except use a ton of concealer and hope they stay covered all day so your boss doesn't think you were out clubbing on a school night. "Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a number of different factors, from genetics to skin allergies," Dr. Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at London's Cadogan Clinic and author of The Skincare Bible, told Marie Claire. "Rings under the eyes often run within a family and can be down to your skin type," Mahto continued. However, a lesser known reason for dark circles under your eyes is actually blue light, which comes from your phone or electronic device. 

Artificial light, such as blue light, disrupts your body clock. As Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and founder of the Center for Human Sleep Science, told NPR"Daylight is one of the most powerful resetters of our 24-hour clock." He explained, "When daylight comes through the eyes, it actually turns the faucet off on melatonin," and adds that your brain now realizes that it must be daytime, so it's time to be awake and alert. So when are constantly exposed to blue light from your phone at different hours of the day, your body clock is thrown off and confused.

Blue light disrupts your sleep cycle

"Normally when the sun goes down and the lights turn off, our body releases melatonin, which helps us get a nice, restful sleep," Lisa Ostrin, an assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry, told NPR. "But when we have all this artificial light on, it's tricking those photoreceptors into thinking it's still daytime." Ultimately, blue light from your phone or TV can have a detrimental effect on your ability to sleep and can disrupt your natural sleep cycle. As a consequence, it can actually lead to dark circles under your eyes — or at least make them look worse than they really are.

However, "Not getting enough sleep doesn't cause dark circles; rather, it exaggerates their appearance," Paula Begoun, founder of Paula's Choice Skincare, told Vogue. To combat this, Begoun recommends reducing your exposure to blue light. "Your number one priority is to enable the night mode setting on your phone and tablet, all day long," she advised. Not only will you avoid dark circles under your eyes, but you'll probably sleep better, too.