Are Dark Under-Eye Circles a good trend?

TikTok is a place where you can find all sorts of crazy fashion and makeup tips. And I’m all for you expressing yourself. That being said, as a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, this new trend of creating Dark Under-Eye Circles has me a little disturbed. Allow me to explain.

The idea of the Dark Under-Eye Circle Trend is to affirm and normalize what the culture would deem unattractive. It’s to help people feel better about themselves and accept their flaws. The idea is to help alleviate any shame about one’s body. In this case, dark under-eye circles.

Modern medicine generally says that dark under-eye circles are either caused by allergies, lack of sleep, or simply just genetics.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the under-eye area reflects and relates to the health and function of the Kidney Qi. The TCM paradigm teaches that the Kidneys are like batteries for the body. They store our “Congenital Essence” or “Jing.”

Image courtesy of @thebeautypoet

According to TCM, we get our energy from two sources: 1. Post-Heaven Qi – this is the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. 2. Pre-Heaven Qi – this is the Jing/Congenital Essence.

The Jing/Essence is the energy given to us by our parents at the moment of our conception. And we have only a limited amount. When this energy is completely used up, that is when we die. Thus, it’s important to live primarily upon the Post-Heaven energy we get from our food, air, and water.

Dark under-eye circles are an indicator that our Kidneys aren’t properly housing the Jing/Essence.

It’s being drained. And thus, our batteries are low.

This can have a “genetic” component. One’s parents may not have had much energy to gift to their offspring. So there is already a relative depletion of Jing which is reflected in dark circles.

Generally, dark under-eye circles means that we’re stressed out, not sleeping well, and overworked. It means that we’re living primarily out of fear and not in prosperity. Drugs, Alcohol, and Caffeine can also play a part in taxing the Kidney’s ability to properly house and hold the Jing/Essence to create dark circles.

It means we’re burning that candle at both ends and our lifespan is shortening.

Is that truly what we as a culture want to promote and celebrate?

If so, I will be rebelling against it. Celebration of dark-circles is an elevation of the over-worked, the over-stressed, and the fear-ridden. Instead of looking to solve the problem itself, it trivializes and normalizes it. This is wrong. Health is Beauty. Illness is not.

So, how does Traditional Chinese Medicine go about helping people get healthier and heal dark-under eye circles? Simply put, we do our best to avoid draining the body’s batteries.

Because the emotion of Fear drains Kidney Qi, we promote practices to calm the mind and spirit. Prayer, Meditation, Breathwork, Mindfulness, Yoga, and Qi Gong are all very helpful in this regard.

You are not a Human Doing. You are a Human Being. To protect Kidney Qi, stop doing so much and allow yourself some time to simply be in stillness.

Get plenty of sleep. And yes, the quality of your sleep does make a difference. Insomnia and dream-disturbed sleep creates dark circles. Also, eating at least 3 hours before bed time can help improve your sleep. Studies have shown that alcohol and caffeine disrupt the quality of your sleep. So, reduce or avoid those. For more sleep tips, listen to this episode of The Get Foxy Show podcast.

Overindulgence in sexual activity can also deplete Jing/Essence. Sex should be uplifting and energizing. If you feel tired, worn out, and weakened after sex, this is a warning sign that your Kidney energy isn’t being supported and dark circles can manifest.

Additionally, Low quality foods, allergens, and toxins can also create systemic inflammation that overworks the energetic function of the Kidneys and causes dark circles to show up.

And, of course, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can be quite helpful in reducing dark circles.

Listen to Ruthie tell her story and see the results of her under-eye areas.

My job as an Aesthetic Acupuncturist is to promote the health and wellbeing of all my patients. Instead of over-work and depletion, let’s promote rest and rejuvenation. Let’s celebrate the health of women. Instead of affirming overwork and illness, let’s encourage and up-lift others to be well and healthy. Finally, let’s allow for the women of our culture to bask in their softness, radiance, and femininity.

If you have questions about how you can get rid of your dark circles, please feel to reach out. I’m here for you.