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What is the cause of red tired eyes

Although wrinkles, fine lines or crow’s feet prematurely age the face, to have red tired eyes can make your entire face look tired, old and haggard.

The eyes are the main focus of the face and also the first thing that people look at when meeting you – this is a major part of the "mental picture" they immediately form about you.

red tired eyes face skin complexion on this page:
red tired eyes

Cause of red tired eyes

There are many contributing factors that can be the cause of red tired eyes, and although genetics can play a part, this is not the main cause of this problem.

It is therefore a good idea to have a smooth young-looking skin surrounding the eyes – this helps to create a more youthful appearance.

The skin around your eye area is the thinnest and most fragile skin found on the entire body, and must always be treated with the utmost care. The periorbital skin is about 0.55 mm thick, while skin on the rest of the face is about 2 mm thick.

Dark under-eye circles are equally found in men and women. They usually occur in adults, although children can also have dark circles under their eyes.

Sometimes it is a sign of nothing more than just a plain lack of sleep and exhaustion. This is usually remedied by a good night’s rest.

Under-performing liver or kidneys red tired eyes

Naturopathic and Chinese medicine (Yang deficiency) view this problem as an under-performing liver or kidney ailment and we have found that there may be validity in this diagnosis.

Some people find that if they boost their liver and kidney functions, the dark circles under the eyes become far less prominent.

Although we are not implying that this problem is due to any disease of the liver or kidneys, it will definitely not harm anyone to pay some attention to these two very important detoxifying organs of the body.

Aging contributing to dark circles under the eyes

As we age the skin starts to thin. Since the skin around the eyes is very thin to start-off with, aging makes the problem even more noticeable.

In aging, the collagen in the skin becomes thinner and it is not as resilient - therefore it is a good idea to start fighting premature skin aging as soon as possible. If skin care has been lacking in the past, all isn’t lost.

If you use a good skin care product formulated for the eye area, great improvement will be noted. In most cases dark circles are caused by the lymphatic drainage being compromised (see info below) and when the skin thins, this problem becomes even more visible.

When you get older, an enzymatic reaction called “glycation” occurs. This causes a domino effect - oxidation of the cells, cross-linking (aging), and hardening of the elastic collagen and elastin fibers. This all contributes to the formation of eye bags.

The health of the blood vessels is of utmost importance in fighting dark circles under the eyes. Fragile blood vessels (capillary permeability) will cause fluid to leak into the surrounding area, causing puffy eyes.

When looking for a cream or gel to combat this problem ensure that it will multi-task. In other words – it must help improve lymphatic drainage, strengthen blood vessels, boost collagen production and look after elastin fibers.

Allergies, hay fever, sinus problems and nasal congestion red tired eyes

If you are unlucky enough to have problems with allergies or sinus, and suffer from hay fever and nasal congestion, the chances are good that you will also suffer from dark circles under the eyes.

This is not only caused by environmental or airborne allergens but food allergies or even supplements and medication can cause this.

Irritated skin and tissue caused by an allergic reaction will most likely trigger itchiness. This usually results in people rubbing their eyes – and this in turn will worsen the problem.

In our experience we have found that allergens are a very common reason for dark circles under the eyes. Relieving the allergic response of the body will make the dark circles less prominent. For more info…

Lifestyle factors – smoking, drinking caffeine or alcohol

Our lifestyle affects the way you look. Smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, or caffeine containing drinks, can also contribute to dark circles under the eyes.

Smoking cigarettes interfere with the proper transport of oxygen to the cells (see iron deficiency anemia below). In naturopathic medicine it is believed that smoking depletes vitamin C, which is critical to the manufacture of collagen and proper skin health.

Apart from damaging the lungs, smoking also directly affects the health of blood vessels, which can contribute to dark circles under the eyes.

Alcohol and caffeine should be limited as both these substances can have an impact on this problem.

Iron deficiency anemia – causing blue skin under the eyes red tired eyes

If there is a shortage of iron in the body, oxygen cannot be properly transported by the blood. Hemoglobin is the oxygen transporting component in the blood, moving oxygen from the lungs to the cells where it is released for normal cell metabolism.

If you suffer from an iron deficiency anemia, the skin around your eyes can have a bluish tint. This is due to an oxygen shortage - should this shortage increase, the blue tint of the skin will become more prominent.

As soon as this shortage is corrected, the bluish tint of the skin will fade away. Please note - if an iron supplement is taken, it would be a good idea to take it with orange juice, as vitamin C assists with iron absorption.

Fluid retention, salt (sodium) intake and lymphatic drainage

When the skin cannot get rid of excess fluid in the tissues it will result in edema (oedema). This will cause puffiness and can also contribute to dark rings and circles under the eyes.

There are various factors that cause fluid retention. Impaired kidney or liver functions are a major cause (this underscores the naturopathic and Chinese "Yang deficiency" approach to this problem).

Apart from these serious medical conditions, there are also a host of other ailments that may contribute to this.

An excessive intake of salt – raw salt added to cooked food, salt added while cooking or sodium added in the manufacture of convenience foods – has a great effect on fluid retention.

Excessive salt intake affects our health and can increase blood pressure.

Using certain medication – such as taking cortisone internally – can cause the tissue to retain fluid and become puffy. Cortisone also thins the skin and causes skin fragility.

Medication to reduce fluid retention is available, and can be prescribed by your medical practitioner. You may however want to look at having a more "natural" approach. Vitamin C acts as a diuretic (removes excess fluid) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) as well as B6 (pyridoxine) can be of help.

Medication that may cause red tired eyes red tired eyes

Using medication to dilate blood vessels (open wider) can contribute to this problem. It will cause the blood vessels to be more prominent since the volume of blood will be more.

When blood vessel health is compromised this problem will be more visible and taking a vitamin C supplement can be helpful.

A cream or gel containing ingredients that support vascular health (for instance butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) or Centella asiatica) could also be of benefit.


If your skin is dehydrated any minor defect will be far more pronounced.

Following a good daily skin care regimen is a given. This will help with surface hydration - yet a youthful skin requires proper hydration of the body.

It is important to drink enough water every single day. This is not only for the benefit of your skin, but your general health. We are referring to water – not tea, coffee, fruit juices or soda.

Ensure that you drink enough clean unflavored, unsweetened, uncolored, and uncontaminated water.

Increased pigmentation of the periorbital area (Indian, Asian, Black and Mediterranean people)

A very common skin complaint is hyper-pigmentation of the periorbital area (periorbital melanosis). This complaint is often found in Indian, Asian, Black or Mediterranean skin.

Hyper-pigmentation is formed by an excessively high concentration of pigment (melanin) in the skin. This manifests as very definite demarcation rings around the eyes.

These rings are referred to as Pigmentary Demarcation Lines (PDL) and are the bane of millions of people. They normally become more pronounced with age and are also referred to as Futcher's or Voight's lines.

Melanin production is normally stimulated by the rays of the sun, but studies show that PDL may be caused by other factors.

A huge amount of research has been done on the causes of these PDL markings and various explanations for this have been given.

These are - post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH) from contact dermatitis, hyper-circulation, stress, hormonal changes and sun exposure etc.

A study found that there are several triggers – including pregnancy and acute illness while the most common trigger seems to be puberty.

Various medical treatments have been tried to lighten and remove these rings. These include treatments such as glycolic acid peels, cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen), hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, retinol, pure alpha hydroxy acid, topical vitamin C and liquorice extract.

Laser treatment, using a Q-switched ruby laser, was used in combination with topical tretinoin and hydroquinone application to lighten the skin around the eyes.

Although none of these treatments proved 100% successful, it was found that the shadowing of the skin became more noticeable when the skin was slack and loose, or if the eye area was swollen.

Research on skin lightening compounds red tired eyes

Our holding company, Sallamander Concepts (Pty) Ltd. has clinically tested a variety of "skin lightening" compounds and peptides on the market – including the above.

Various combinations and varying inclusion rates were used, yet no ingredient – natural or synthetic – could be found to fix this problem.

Considering all the above we maintain that our herbal Ageless Eye Gel is one of the best treatments to be found.

Ageless herbal Eye Gel

herbal Ageless eye gel eye cream

The herbs contained in our herbal Ageless Eye Gel boost the production of collagen while supporting the health and elasticity of the elastin fibers. It also helps to reduce excess fluid, improves lymphatic drainage and tones the blood vessels and capillaries.

The gel has a decongestive, calming and soothing effect on the skin while helping to fight allergies and has superb antioxidant properties.

The anti-inflammatory effect of the gel helps to fight skin irritation as well as aging, assists in remineralizing the skin while having a mildly astringent affect as well.

Ten natural herbal compounds are blended to offer you the very best eye treatment - unsurpassed by any eye cream or eye gel.

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Articles of interest

Ageless herbal product range

Our Ageless herbal product range

Skin care

  • Healing cream
    • To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
  • Face wash
    • This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
  • Moisturizing day cream
    • This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
  • Nourishing night cream
    • This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
  • Eye gel
    • An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
  • Mud face mask
    • With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.


Hair care

  • Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
    • Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
  • Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
    • We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.


Specialized herbal gels and lotions

  • Hand and body lotion
    • When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
  • Stretch mark gel
    • Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.


Herbal supplements


Other products

  • Jojoba oil
    • This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
  • Almond oil
    • This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.

Herbal information

Herbal encyclopedia

Different uses of medicinal herbs

Explanation of the therapeutic properties of herbs

List of ailments and herbs that may be useful

Information on individual herbs

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Information contained on this website is for general information purposes only
and must not be used to treat or diagnose medical conditions.

All health problems must be referred to a health care professional.

Statements made regarding the products, ingredients and general information
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Our site was last updated on 25 Oct 2023

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