Dark circles under the eyes can be a common cosmetic concern that many people struggle with. Lack of sleep, stress, allergies, and genetics are some of the factors that contribute to the appearance of dark circles. While there are various treatment options available, opting for natural remedies can be a safe and effective way to get rid of dark circles. In this article, we will explore 18 natural remedies that can help you reduce and eliminate those pesky dark circles for good.
Symptoms of Dark Circles Under Eyes
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of dark undereye circles include:
- Darker pigmentation under the eyes compared to the surrounding skin. Can range from bluish-purple to brown.
- Dullness, paleness, and a sunken look in the under eye area.
- Mild to moderate puffiness or swollen bags under the eyes.
- Dark circles that are more noticeable in the morning.
- Thin, crepey-looking skin under the eyes.
- Discoloration accompanied by redness, itching, or irritation from allergies.
- Darkening only under one eye, indicating a potential medical issue.
What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes?
Numerous factors can contribute to dark circles under the eyes. Here are the most common causes:
- Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation: Lack of rest often leads to skin paleness, which makes the dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin more visible. When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body’s circulatory system overcompensates by producing more oxygen-rich blood, whose dark purple or red color can be seen through the skin.
- Aging: As we age, our skin naturally becomes thinner and loses collagen, making the blood vessels more prominent. This process is a part of natural aging and is something that every one of us will face at some point in our lives.
- Dehydration: When your body is not adequately hydrated, the skin beneath your eyes can start to dull and sink in, creating a hollow area. As this area becomes darker, the dark circles appear more noticeable.
- Sun Overexposure: Overexposure to the sun can trigger an overproduction of melanin, the pigment that provides your skin with color. Too much sun — particularly for your eyes — can cause pigmentation in the surrounding skin to darken, leading to the appearance of dark circles.
- Smoking and Alcohol Consumption: Both smoking and drinking alcohol can contribute to dark circles. They lead to dehydration, which as we’ve already discussed, can darken the skin under your eyes. These activities also lead to sleep disturbances, which can exacerbate under-eye circles.
- Poor Diet: Lack of a balanced diet can lead to a nutrient deficiency, causing the skin to look pale and the dark circles to appear more prominent. Foods high in salt can cause your body to retain water, leading to puffiness under your eyes.
- Allergies: Allergies trigger the release of histamines in the body, which, in turn, inflame the blood vessels and cause swelling. This can result in dark circles due to the thin skin under the eyes revealing the blood vessels and blood flow beneath.
- Genetics: Unfortunately, dark circles can also be the result of heredity. Just like various other traits, they can run within a family and are an inherited trait. If your parents or grandparents have dark circles, you’re more likely to have them too.
18 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Dark Circles Naturally
1. Cold Compress
Applying a cold compress to your under-eye area can help reduce puffiness and constrict blood vessels, reducing the appearance of dark circles. Wrap some ice cubes in a clean cloth or use a chilled spoon and gently press it against the affected area for a few minutes. This will help to tighten the blood vessels and reduce the swelling.
2. Cucumber Slices
Placing chilled cucumber slices on your eyes can provide a cooling effect and help lighten dark circles due to its natural skin-lightening properties. Cut two slices of cucumber and place them over your closed eyes for about 10-15 minutes. The coolness of the cucumber will help to soothe the under-eye area and reduce puffiness.
3. Tea Bags
Cool tea bags, particularly green tea or chamomile, can help reduce swelling and discoloration. Steep two tea bags in hot water for a few minutes, then remove them and let them cool.
Place one tea bag over each eye and leave them on for 10-15 minutes. The antioxidants and caffeine in the tea bags will help constrict blood vessels and reduce dark circles.
4. Rose Water
Dabbing rose water on your under-eye area with the help of a cotton pad can soothe tired eyes, reduce puffiness, and lighten dark circles. Rose water has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe the skin and reduce puffiness. Soak a cotton pad in rose water and gently apply it to the affected area. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
5. Almond Oil
Massage a few drops of almond oil under your eyes before going to bed. Its moisturizing and nourishing properties can help reduce darkness and improve skin health. Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, which can help nourish the delicate skin under the eyes. Gently massage a few drops of almond oil into the skin using your fingertips before bedtime.
Mix one teaspoon of tomato juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice and apply it to the under-eye area. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off. The natural bleaching properties of tomatoes can help lighten dark circles.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a natural pigment that can help to lighten the skin. The acidic properties of lemon juice can also help to brighten the under-eye area.
7. Potato Juice
Extract potato juice and apply it to your dark circles using a cotton pad or your fingertips. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off. Potatoes contain natural enzymes that can lighten skin and reduce puffiness.
Grate a potato and extract the juice. Soak a cotton pad in the juice and apply it to the affected area. Potato juice can help to reduce pigmentation and brighten the under-eye area.
8. Aloe Vera Gel
Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to your under-eye area and gently massage it in. Aloe vera has soothing and skin-lightening properties that can help diminish dark circles.
Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing properties and can help reduce inflammation and puffiness. Apply a small amount of freshly extracted aloe vera gel to the affected area and gently massage it in.
Soak a cotton pad in cold milk and place it on your eyes for 10-15 minutes. The lactic acid and vitamins in milk can help brighten the under-eye area.
Milk contains lactic acid, which can help to exfoliate the skin and lighten dark circles. Dip a cotton pad in cold milk and place it over your closed eyes. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
10. Lemon Juice
Mix equal parts of lemon juice and water, and apply the mixture to your dark circles using a cotton pad. Rinse off after 10 minutes. Lemon juice acts as a natural skin lightener.
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can help to lighten the skin. However, lemon juice can be irritating for some people, so it is important to do a patch test before applying it to the entire under-eye area.
Create a paste with turmeric powder and pineapple juice, and apply it to your dark circles. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce puffiness and lighten dark circles.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with enough pineapple juice to form a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave it on for about 10 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
12. Coconut Oil
Gently massage coconut oil under your eyes before bedtime. Its moisturizing properties can help nourish the skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids that can help to moisturize and hydrate the delicate skin under the eyes. Take a small amount of coconut oil on your fingertips and gently massage it into the skin under the eyes.
13. Mint Leaves
Crush a few mint leaves and apply the paste to your under-eye area. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Mint leaves have a cooling effect that can help reduce puffiness and refresh the skin. Mint leaves contain menthol, which has a cooling effect on the skin. Crush a few mint leaves and apply the paste to the affected area. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
14. Caffeine Eye Cream
Look for an eye cream that contains caffeine as it can constrict blood vessels and reduce puffiness and darkness under the eyes. Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties, which means it can help to constrict blood vessels and reduce puffiness. Apply a small amount of caffeine-infused eye cream to the under-eye area and gently massage it in.
15. Hydration and Sleep
Ensure you are getting enough sleep and staying hydrated throughout the day. Lack of sleep and dehydration can contribute to the appearance of dark circles. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Proper hydration and restful sleep can help to improve the overall appearance of your under-eye area.
16. Healthy Lifestyle
Maintain a healthy lifestyle by incorporating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques. A healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall skin health and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to provide your skin with essential nutrients.
Engage in regular physical activity to improve circulation and reduce puffiness. Practice stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga to reduce stress levels, which can contribute to the formation of dark circles.
17. Get Enough Quality Sleep
Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep each night to allow your body proper rest and recovery. Establish a relaxing pre-bedtime routine like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or meditating to help promote sleepiness.
Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet, and very dark – consider blackout curtains and a comfortable eye mask and earplugs to block out any light or noise that may disrupt deep sleep.
Sleeping on your back can also help prevent fluid buildup under the eyes overnight. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and soothe muscle tension with stretches or massage before bed. Getting sufficient deep sleep is essential for reducing eye fatigue.
18. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Proper hydration is vital for reducing puffy eyes and dark circles. Try to drink at least 64 ounces (2 liters) of water daily. Also consume antioxidant-rich drinks like green tea, chamomile tea, and fresh fruit or vegetable juices.
Eat plenty of hydrating fruits and vegetables too, like cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, oranges, carrots, celery, and berries. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages which can dehydrate you. Drinking adequate fluids improves circulation and reduces retention of fluids under the eyes.
Medical Treatments for Dark Circles
If home remedies and lifestyle changes aren’t enough to improve your dark circles, it might be time to consider medical treatments. These should be discussed with a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon to ensure they’re the right choice for you. Some of the options include:
- Skin Lightening Creams: These creams can help to reduce the appearance of dark circles. They often contain ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid, and hydroquinone.
- Chemical Peels: Chemical peels, administered by a professional, can help to reduce dark pigmentation around the eyes.
- Fillers: Dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic acid fillers, can be injected under the eyes to improve volume and reduce the appearance of dark circles caused by thinning skin and fat loss.
- Laser Therapy: Laser therapy can help to stimulate collagen production and improve the overall appearance of the skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles.
- Surgery: In some cases, dark circles are caused by excess skin or fat under the eyes. In these cases, cosmetic surgery may be an option. This should be considered a last resort, and you should discuss all the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
Signs It’s Time to See a Doctor About Dark Circles
You should seek medical advice from a dermatologist or oculoplastic surgeon for dark undereye circles if:
- No improvement is seen after diligently practicing self-care remedies for 1 month or longer.
- The darkness and puffiness are very pronounced and aesthetically bothering.
- You have a sudden onset of dark circles along with eye irritation, bruising, or rapid swelling.
- Discoloration is significantly worse under just one eye rather than both. This can indicate infection, cysts, or blocked tear ducts.
- Dark circles are accompanied by concerning symptoms like eye pain, numbness, severe headaches, or vision changes.
- You have a family history of hyperpigmentation disorders or autoimmune conditions.
- You have never had dark circles before but they recently developed and are progressive.
- Your under-eye skin feels rigid, thickened, or bumpy, signaling potential skin disease.
A doctor can properly diagnose the cause of stubborn dark undereye circles and rule out underlying medical conditions before aesthetically treating them. Procedures like laser therapy require medical supervision for safety.