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It’s not your imagination. When the days get shorter those dark, baggy circles under your eyes do in fact appear to intensify. While some underlying causes of dark circles are associated with aging, (thinning skin, loss of fat and collagen which reveal the reddish-blue blood vessels under the eyes), it is also the paler winter skin that provides a starker canvas.

Like those dark circles we feverishly work to conceal and the drier winter air our skin must combat, there can be even more serious conditions associated with the lack of prolonged exposure to sunlight with winter’s shorter days.

The Great Outdoors
Studies have shown that men who have jobs which keep them indoors and out of natural sunlight do not get the full spectrum of the sun’s benefits believed to protect against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer and kidney cancer. Women seem to have a higher instance of developing endometrial cancer in winter while additional disorders like pre-eclampsia and increased occurrences of schizophrenia and epilepsy have been attributed to inadequate exposure to natural sunlight.

Sunshine in a Bottle
The absolute best solution for Vitamin D deficiency is not to be found in Aisle 5 of your drug store. There is no over-the-counter sunlight; our bodies may actually need the specific wavelengths found in sunshine. Overall, the amount and type of any nutritional enhancements should be based on your gender, your age, your health and your individual deficiencies.

Besides consulting with a doctor, what’s our best advice? Take a walk and get your cardio fix in the great outdoors. Despite the somewhat cooler temperatures and the tendency of Floridians to exercise indoors during the winter months, smooth on that sunscreen and enjoy a brisk saunter around the neighborhood. It’ll put you in the holiday spirit and you’ll absorb some of Mother Nature’s pure goodness.