The problem of dark circles isn’t alien to both – men and women! And when they occur, we feel dreadful and awful. Don’t worry; you are not the only one who is faced with this problem. Some of the most stunning celebrities the world over have encountered this problem at some point in time and have had to resort to make-up and concealers to hide these dark circles.
Since the skin around the eyes is sensitive, it’s best to resort to natural remedies rather than chemical-based products to treat these problems. So, here’s a bucket list of simple and easily doable home remedies that can help breathe a new lease of life around your eyes.
How to get rid of dark circles under your eyes, naturally
Why do I have dark circles?
‘Dark circles can be caused by both lifestyle and hereditary factors,’ explains dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross, the founder of Dr Dennis Gross skincare.
‘The first cause is pigmentation, which basically means there is darkening colouration in the skin. This can be a hereditary cause and is the same process that happens with melasma or sunspots.
Dark circles can be caused by both lifestyle and hereditary factors
It’s important to note that dark circles are like cellulite, in the sense that your genetic make-up will determine how susceptible you are to them. Then there’s your ethnic background. ‘Asian and southeast Asian ethnicities can have hereditary hyperpigmentation around the eyes and like genetics, these are circumstances where no amount of eye cream will take effect,’ says Consultant Dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto.
What causes dark circles?
There are a number of contributing factors for dark circles. Some common causes of include:
Oversleeping, extreme fatigue, or just staying up a few hours past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show.
Lack of sleep can also cause fluid to build underneath your eyes, causing them to appear puffy. As a result, the dark circles you see may actually be shadows cast by your puffy eyelids.
Natural aging is another common cause of those dark circles beneath your eyes. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner. You also lose the fat and collagen needed to maintain your skin’s elasticity. As this occurs, the dark blood vessels beneath your skin become more visible causing the area below your eyes to darken.
Staring at your television or computer screen can cause significant strain on your eyes. This strain can cause blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge. As a result, the skin surrounding your eyes can darken.
Allergic reactions and eye dryness can trigger dark circles. When you have an allergic reaction, your body release histamines as a response to harmful bacteria. Other than causing uncomfortable symptoms — including itchiness, redness, and puffy eyes — histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin.
Allergies can also increase your urge to rub and scratch the itchy skin around your eyes. These actions can worsen your symptoms, causing inflammation, swelling, and broken blood vessels. This can result in dark shadows beneath your eyes.
Dehydration is a common cause of dark circles under your eyes. When your body is not receiving the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken. This is due to their close proximity to the underlying bone.
Overexposure to the sun can cause your body to produce an excess 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.
Family history also plays a part in developing dark circles under your eyes. It can be an inherited trait seen early in childhood, and may worsen as you age or slowly disappear. Predispositions to other medical conditions — such as thyroid disease — can also result in dark circles beneath your eyes.
What your doctor might suggest for dark circles
Your doctor might offer a medical option, depending on their diagnosis of the cause of the circles under your eyes. That recommendation might include the following.
To lighten under-eye hyperpigmentation, a dermatologist might prescribe a skin-lightening cream with azelaic acid, kojic acid, glycolic acid, or hydroquinone. Some of these creams, in formulas with lower percentages of the active ingredient, are available over the counter.
Laser treatments use heat energy to vaporize damaged cells. The darker pigment under the eyes can be targeted. Along with lightening darker skin tones, laser therapy may induce new collagen formation.
A dermatologist might suggest a light chemical peel to lighten dark pigmentation under the eyes. Commonly these will include glycolic acid, retinoic acid or hydroquinone. Your dermatologist might also suggest a Jessner peel, which includes a combination of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol.
Fat can be surgically removed in a lower lid blepharoplasty by a plastic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, or dermatologic surgeon. The procedure can decrease the shadow cast by your eyelid, which can decrease the appearance of dark circles.
A hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler such as Restylane or Juvederm can be injected into the tissue under the eye by an ophthalmologist, dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or specially trained healthcare provider. Fillers help with volume loss under the eye, which can cause dark circles.
Remove Dark Circles Treatment
1. Cold tea bags
One of the most effective and highly easy ways to combat these dark circles is to use cold tea bags. Preferably, use green tea or chamomile tea bags for quick results. It is thought that the residual caffeine helps to constrict blood vessels which reduces blood flow, helping to provide some relief from dark circles.
- How To Use Cold Tea Bags – Soak the bags in water and chill in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge and gently place them on both your eyes for 10 to 15 mins. Repeat regularly.
2. Grated Potatoes or Grated Cucumber
This is by far, one of the most effective remedies. They also aid in reducing the puffiness around the eye area. Vitamins, antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory nature of these cooling veggies helps to reduce inflammation around the eyes while also helping to stave off darkening.
- How To Use Potatoes or Cucumber – Grate some raw potatoes or cucumber and place the shreds on your eyes. Relax and remove them after 10-12 minutes. Alternatively, you can also extract the juice of potatoes or cucumbers. Take a cotton ball, soak it in the juice, and place it over your eyes. Make sure the entire area around the dark circles is covered. Leave it for 1-3 minutes and wash off with cold water. In case you are pressed for time, you can also directly place slices of cucumber or potato on your eyes.
3. Cold Milk
Cold milk is a natural cleanser for the eyes and also helps in soothing the sensitive skin around the eyes. Cold milk contains lactic acid, which not only helps to reduce puffiness but also lightens the skin. Additionally, potassium in milk allows the skin to stay better moisturised, leaving you with softer and supple skin.
- How To Use Milk – Dip a cotton ball in cold milk and apply it to the eye area. Keep it for a while and later rinse the eyes with cold water. Repeat at least thrice a week!
4. Elevating the Head
The way we sleep also affects the surrounding areas of our eyes. A few pillows under the head can make it raised and prevent fluid from pooling under the eyes, making them look puffy and swollen.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an effective moisturizer. Moisturized skin is less likely to sag and will stay healthy longer. Additionally, aloe vera also helps to nourish the skin, preventing premature ageing.
- How To Use Aloe Vera – Before hitting the sack, gently apply Aloe Vera gel under the eyes and massage for 5-7 minutes. Don’t rinse unless you feel sticky and uncomfortable.
6. Almond oil and Lemon juice
Another tried and tested remedy to treat dark circles is to mix almond oil and lemon juice. Lemon juice’s active component is ascorbic acid, along with other nutrients it helps to reduce water retention which can cause puffy circles around the eyes. It also has a mild bleaching action, however, when used undiluted it can have the opposite effect and cause damage to the skin, so always use caution.
- How To Use Almond Oil & Lemon Juice – Take about a teaspoon of almond oil and a few drops of lemon juice, combine them, and gently apply it around the eye area. Massage and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse post that!
This one can surely be termed as grand mom’s secret remedy! Rosewater is refreshing, rejuvenating and can practically be used on almost all skin types and for all skin-related issues. It’s also a mild astringent and can be used as an effective skin toner too.
How To Use Aloe Rosewater – Soak cotton eye pads in rose water and place them over the eyelids. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat every night for a month to see the best results.
Tomatoes are natural bleaching agents. They also contain antioxidants that help to tame down the discolouration around the eye area.
How To Use Tomatoes – Mix a teaspoon of tomato juice with a spoon of lemon juice and apply under both the eye areas. Let it remain for 10 minutes or so, and rinse off with cold water. Alternatively, you can also consume tomato juice mixed with some lemon juice and mint leaves to get rid of dark circles.
9. Yoga and Meditation
One of the underlying reasons for dark circles is stress, depression and an erratic lifestyle. Thus, one of the most prudent ways to deal with dark circles is to stay calm and composed. But as stress is an integral part of our life, this is not always possible. Hence, it is beneficial to make Yoga and Meditation an everyday ritual!
Yoga not only calms down the mind but also helps to regulate the body clock, and most importantly, it addresses most body problems from the core.
10. Regular Sleep
Arguably, one of the most important factors to consider when you’re trying to get rid of dark circles – getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Regular sleep ensures that your body (and thus, your skin) has enough time to rest, repair and regenerate. This improves the youthfulness of your skin as well as your overall health. One of the first things that reveal our internal health conditions is a poor skin condition. Proper sleep on a regular basis can be your biggest weapon against preventing and reducing dark circles in the long term.
For a more effective and permanent solution, some medical treatments are available to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Some of the more common methods include:
- chemical peels to reduce pigmentation
- laser surgery to resurface the skin and enhance skin tightening
- medical tattoos to inject pigment into thinning skin areas
- tissue fillers to conceal blood vessels and melanin that are causing skin discoloration beneath your eyes.
- fat removal to remove excess fat and skin, revealing a smoother and more even surface
- surgical implants of fat or synthetic products
Before deciding on any cosmetic procedure, discuss your options with a doctor. Invasive medical treatments can be expensive, painful, and often require a long recovery time.
Finally, Treat Dark Circles Naturally by making it a point to:
- Consume a diet that’s rich in vitamin C and iron
- Avoid rubbing your eyes all the time
- Avoid strong eye cosmetics. Go natural!
- Moisturize the skin under the eye
- When you step out in the sun, wear sunglasses. Not only will they help you look stylish but also help in protecting the eyes from the harmful UV rays
Dark circles are quite common, and they don’t have to be the end of the world for you. It is okay to conceal them with makeup if you’re in a hurry and going somewhere, but the best way to keep them in control is naturally. Follow these simple guidelines, take some extra care, and dark circles will be the least of your worries.
All About Under-eye Creams To Remove Dark Circles- What To Look For
Don’t want to get into the hassle of researching and trying on millions of possible fits? Instead, look for these ingredients in your eye-creams because using the right cream can make all the difference.
- Moisturise:Ingredients like glycerine and panthenol are good for soothing skin and locking moisture. You can also pump and lift the area around your eyes with the help of creams that have ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
- Brighten:You can brighten the area under your eyes and depuff the skin with the help of yeast extracts. Golden root, sugar beet and yeast combination can also soothe and depuffs the skin. Other ingredients like Vitamin C and kojic acid can also brighten the skin and help in under-eye pigmentation. For all you coffee and tea lovers, this is nothing related to you because you need to stop consuming it so much and instead start using products infused with green tea and caffeine, this may have temporary effects on your dark circles.
- Prevent thinning:Retinol increases cell turnover and collagen plumps and lifts the skin which helps in making it appear much healthier and nourishes the under-eye area.
Remove Dark Circles With One Healthy Habit At a Time
Smaller changes in your lifestyle can help you in the longer run. Follow these habits that every skin expert swears by:
- Sleep better with at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep to avoid exaggerating the appearance of dark circles. Sleep on your back with your head moderately elevated to minimize puffiness. Make use of the night mode in your phone all the time because it reduces UV rays that are known to cause disruptions in your natural sleep cycle.
- Put your health under a microscope. Smoking, passive smoke inhaling, being overweight, having triglyceride or high cholesterol only worsens things. Exercise, meditate and make some dietary changes to help this.
- Wearing sunscreencan help you avoid hyperpigmentation. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that does both UVB and UVA protection to the lashline and wear sunglasses. If you are also looking to cover those bad boys, invest in concealers that contain an SPF with a broad spectrum.
- Ice ballsand cryo balls when kept in the freezer overnight and run over the skin can help with the puffiness, oxygenating and lightening it. It is also quite rejuvenating and a great way to relax.
- Use theright ingredient combination for skincare that suits your skin. Research and use the above-mentioned ingredients as a guide to starting with.
- Fake it till you make it. Use colour-correction. If you see dark grey/blue undertones use a counteractive peachy concealer. If you see more red/ pink undertones, use a yellow base to neutralize.
- If that’s not working for you, go for subtle butlight-reflective products that will do the trick by helping the light to bounce out from under and even on the inner corner of the eyes. But use a lightweight powder above it to not draw too much attention to the under-eye area.
Why do Dark Circles Occur?
Not restricted to any particular age group, these dark circles occur primarily because of the below reasons:
- Improper diet – Lack of nutritious foods such as salads, fruits, and intake of junk, unhealthy, and processed foods results in the occurrences of dark circles. Inadequate nourishment also makes the skin look dull, shallow and may result in the formation of these dark circles.
- Inadequate water intake – Water is one vital fluid that the body needs at all points of time. Not only does it help to keep the skin hydrated, but also helps in the secretion of toxins. Up your water intake and see how magically these dark circles start to disappear.
- Insomnia – Irregular sleep patterns or short sleep cycles help in the formation of dark circles. Thus, it is vital to have a balanced lifestyle coupled with adequate periods of rest.
- Genetics – Many times, many people may inherit the problem of dark circles from their parents. If you fall into this category, the issue of dark circles cannot be solved completely. But with adequate care and nourishment, they can be reduced.
- Illness – Prolonged periods of illness can throw our routine out of schedule and result in the temporary formation of dark circles.
- Computer usage – Long hours in front of the smartphone and computer can result in eye strain and stress. This can also cause dark circles.
- Allergies – Eye dryness and allergic reactions trigger dark circles. Histamines cause blood vessels to dilate and result in redness, puffy eyes, broken blood vessels, which can all lead to dark circles.
- Sun overexposure – Overexposure can cause an excess of melanin which in turn darkens the skin colour, especially around the eyes.
- Age – Natural ageing makes skin thinner, and in turn, the dark blood vessels beneath the skin become visible, making the area below the eyes look darker.
Thankfully, all is not lost when you start seeing the occurrences of these dark circles! With adequate care and treatment, you can quickly get this situation under control in no time.
FAQs on dark circles
Q. Are dark circles under the eyes hereditary?
- The appearance of dark circles could be due to a variety of reasons – nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, or allergies. But the most common cause is that they are hereditary. Often, the genes passed down from parents are the leading cause for many.
Q. Is aloe vera gel good for eye bags and wrinkles?
- If there’s one product that works effectively for both eye bags and wrinkles, it’s aloe vera gel. A storehouse of essential vitamins, namely vitamin E, C, B12 and A, aloe vera gel is also known for its anti-inflammatory, and anti-ageing properties, which helps you combat pesky under-eye bagsand wrinkles.
Q. Are there any medications or treatments for this?
- Vitamin C supplements are effective in dealing with wrinkles and eye bags. The vitamin aids in the making of collagen, which improves skin elasticity, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Treatment for this condition should be based on the factor causing it. If it is due to an allergic reaction to something, anti-allergy medicines should be consumed. If the factor causing it is linked to genes, then treatments like under-eye fillers can be considered, which add volume to the under-eye bag, helping it transition better to the cheek. A doctor should be consulted before any medication or treatment is considered.
Q. How long does it take to remove dark circles?
- The nature of the dark circles determines how long it will take to reduce them. If they are caused due to fatigue or lack of sleep, adequate sleep will help solve the problem in a couple of weeks. For more stubborn dark circles, continuous treatment and changes in diet and lifestyle should show a change.
Q. What is a good eye care routine?
- A good, hydrating moisturizer goes a long way in keeping the skin around your eyes well-nourished and healthy, and should always be part of your eye care routine. Despite moisturizers advocating the inclusion of SPF in their formula, it is better to opt for a separate sunscreen, especially because the skin around your eyes is doubly sensitive compared to the rest of your face. There’s no denying the beauty of eye makeup, but if not removed properly, it causes more harm than good. Most makeup removersare too harsh for this part of your face and can lead to irritation and dryness. Instead of chemicals, opt for baby oil, or olive oil, as a gentler (and more nourishing) alternative to removing your eye makeup. Lastly, but most importantly, good sleep (in terms of quality of sleep, and not just number of hours clocked in) staying hydrated, and regulation of salt in your diet is also key in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags.
For many people, dark circles are temporary and are often an indication of aging or lack of sleep. Though there are a number of at-home and medical treatments available to improve the appearance of your eyes, dark circles are typically no cause for alarm. However, if the discoloration or swelling worsens over time, schedule a visit with your doctor or dermatologist to ensure you have correctly diagnosed the issue and are receiving the best treatment.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.