Did you notice that even if you maintain a normal, healthy sleep pattern, those black circles under eyes keep staring back at you in the mirror? Don’t jump to scary conclusions.
Periorbital dark circles, as known among dermatologists, are not a serious skin problem, but more of an unnerving reminder of time catching up to us all. They’re can be the result of puffy eyelids or hollows digging under your eyes as part of the aging process. And they make us look exhausted, unhealthy, and older than we’d like.
Still, upgrading to 12 hours of sleep won’t get you rid of the problem. As always, to find a cure first you need to track the source of the problem.
Black Circles Under Eyes – Causes and Home Remedies
Here are some of the most common causes of those tired raccoon eyes:
Genetics – This is the main culprit to draw those black circles under eyes. If you inherited your mother’s thin skin, you’ll probably get those dark circles with the package. They are the result of the thin layer in your eye pouch revealing the undersurface veins.
Age – With age, our skin loses its collagen supply, therefore its elasticity and will not regenerate so readily. In turn, it becomes even thinner so the blood vessels show more prominently. So far, the blame falls mainly on biology.
Pigmentation irregularities – This is mostly a condition that affects people of darker color, especially blacks and Asians. It manifests itself through an overzealous melanin production by the skin below the eyes.
Sun exposure – It runs on the same principle explained above.
Working for hours in front of a computer – Needless to say, staring at a screen all day long is not a walk in the park for your eyes. The deep black hue bags under your eyes will be all the more noticeable after hours spent in front of a computer.
Seasonal allergies – These release histamines in the body, which cause the tiny blood vessels to become leaky. Fluid then sips into and swells up the tissues. Plus, allergies also make you scratch and rub your eyes excessively, thus aggravating the problem.
Mental and physical stress– Your body responds to stress and sends help those organs that scream for relief. When that happens, the blood is directed to where is needed. Your face might not receive the necessary amount of blood circulation so it will gain an unhealthy, white and pasty appearance.
Try this next test to determine which is the cause of your black circles under eyes.
- If when you press they lighten up, they're most likely caused by blood vessels showing through your skin.
- If the opposite happens and the darkness gets stronger, your circles are caused by hereditary pigmentation or sun exposure. Or both.
- If the color doesn’t change, UV rays or allergies are probably the cause.
Now we’ve cleared the mystery over what causes black circles under eyes, we can turn our attention to solving the problem.
Next, we list some doable and easy home remedies to keep those dark circles from casting a shadow over your sunny days.
1. Almond Oil
Instead of using chemical eye products or going for under eye surgery, use this natural anti-inflammatory.
It reduces the puffy bags and nourishes your skin with vitamin K, retinol, and palmitic acid. These ingredients improve clotting and the healthy rosy color under the eyes while moisturizing the skin.
You can also pair up almond oil with vitamin E oil to eliminate black circles under eyes, but you have to use it regularly.
How to apply: Before bed, apply a dash of almond oil over the black circles and gently massage it into the skin. Leave it on overnight and wash it off in the morning with cold water.
Tomatoes are a great skin lightening agent. With their bleaching properties, they’ll help you clean the area of dark circles. As a plus, a facial tomato mask will make the skin soft and supple.
Take one teaspoon of tomato juice and mix it in one-half teaspoon of lemon juice. Gently apply this mixture on the dark circles and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then, rinse it off with water. Follow this remedy twice, daily till you notice a reduction in the dark circles.
Another option is to drink tomato juice mixed with some lemon juice, mint leaves, and salt. It sounds temptingly close to a Bloody Mary, but you might want to leave the alcohol out of this one.
Drink it once or twice a day for about a week.
Cucumber has skin lightening agents and acts as a mild astringent. The vegetables are also a very good skin toner as well. Plus, they have a soothing and refreshing effect.
To use, you need to cut a fresh cucumber into thick slices and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place the slices on the affected area for at least 10 minutes. Wash the area with water. Repeat twice daily for about a week or more. You’ll get the best relief from dark circles
Another option is to mix two equal quantities of cucumber juice and lemon juice. Pour them into a small bowl. Apply the mixture on the black circles using a cotton ball. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with water. Don’t forget to keep at it daily for a week.
4. Raw Potato
One ingredient in potatoes is the natural bleaching agents which will help lighten and remove the puffiness near the eyes.
To fix up this remedy, grate one or two raw potatoes to extract their juice. You can cut them into pieces, blend them and sieve the liquid. Soak a cotton ball in it, flatten it with your fingers and place it over your closed eyes. Make sure the juice covers the affected area.
Allow the juice to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse your eyelids well with cool water. Repeat once or twice daily for a few weeks or until you see the changes.
You can blend equal quantities of potato and cucumber juice. Apply the mixture on the dark circles and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse it off with normal water.
5. Cold milk
Cold milk will also erase the dark circles while also soothing your eyes and skin.
Take a cotton ball and soak it in a bowl of cold milk. Now flatten it with your fingers and apply on the affected area, making sure that it covers the dark patches as well. Keep it for a while, then rinse with water.
6. Rose Water
Rose water is popular as a skin care product. It helps to rejuvenate the skin and has a soothing effect on tired eyes. Its mild astringent properties make it ideal for those black Saturn rings around your eyes.
Soak cotton eye pads in pure rose water for a few minutes. Place them on your eyelids and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Follow this cheap and effective remedy twice daily for a few weeks.
7. Lemon Juice
Just like potato and cucumber, lemon juice also contains bleaching properties. It brings its own original contribution by adding vitamin C to the mix.
You can place a cotton ball dipped in fresh lemon juice on the affected area. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse it off. Do this once daily for a few weeks.
Try also to make a thick paste with it. Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of tomato puree, turmeric, and some grains of gram flour. Apply this thick paste gently around your eyes. Wash it off with clean water after 10 minutes. Repeat two or three times every week.
8. Tea Bags
Tea is packed with caffeine, antioxidants, and tannins that will help you get rid of the black circles under eyes. By shrinking the blood vessels and decreasing fluid retention, they will also deflate that puffiness over your eyelids.
Chamomile tea is your best choice, but you can also use green or black tea bags. Put in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
Take them out and place one tea bag over each eye. Leave them on for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and wash the area with plain water.
Follow these remedies a few times daily.
9. Coconut Oil
The lactic acid in coconut oil moisturizes and tightens the skin around the eyes, while the vitamin E and anti-oxidants heal the damaged tissue and prevent further dryness and wrinkling.
Simply massage some extra-virgin coconut oil on the black circles under eyes. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight, and then wash it off. Repeat nightly at least a week to notice the difference.
Coconut oil can be used alone or in combination with other natural ingredients, such as potato, cucumber, almond oil, turmeric, lemon juice or honey.
Nothing will feel more divine on your swollen black eye patches than a generous spread of this ‘Holy Powder’. Turmeric deserves the name. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to keep the black circles away from your eyes.
You need to take two teaspoons of turmeric powder and add it to a few drops of pineapple juice to make a thick paste. Apply it on the affected area.
Leave it on for about 10 minutes. Wipe it off with a damp cloth. Do this daily until you get positive results.
Remove your make-up before going to sleep.
Before you go to bed, and really any time once your day is over, you need to make it a habit of removing any makeup from your skin. If you do not remove your makeup and you go to sleep with it on, then the remnants will not only become caked on, but they will clog your pores as well. When your pores become clogged, you are one step closer to developing blackheads and breakouts on your face. Caked on makeup underneath your skin can also get in between fine wrinkles and make them appear more prominent. This will also lead to any magnification of black circles that are already there as well. Do yourself a favor (and your skin) by cleaning off any makeup leftover from the day.
This next tip may sound simple and easy to do, but staying hydrated is one of the key factors in helping to battle dark circles under your eyes. When you stay hydrated, you allow your skin to retain more moisture and look healthy overall. When you are dehydrated, your skin will become thin and almost translucent. This is another way that black circles under your eyes can be magnified. Be sure that you are drinking water throughout your day, not just before you go to bed in order to avoid this.
If you are someone who does not enjoy the flavor of water, then you may want to consider infusing it. When you infuse your water with fruits and vegetables, you give a burst of flavor to your water so that it can be tastier to drink. For some people, this can be the difference between staying hydrated throughout the day and not.
Stay out of the sun
It is common knowledge that too much sun exposure can be detrimental to your skin, especially if you go out and do not protect your skin with sunblock. The harmful rays of the sun will eventually take a toll on your skin. The result can be skin that is dull, saggy, and riddled with sunspots. In addition to using sunblock, be sure to use UV rated sunglasses for additional protection.
Watch your diet
Another reason why many people deal with black circles under their eyes is because of their diet. If you are malnourished, then your under eyes will be one of the first places that indicates this. Malnourished diets are ones that are void of essential vitamins and nutrients. To avoid this, be sure that you consume a well balanced diet with healthy options.
As we age, we need to take into account the changes in our body. Black circles under eyes might have complemented our past disheveled, gothic Lolita look, but later in life, this kind of makeup proves to be out of fashion.
Clara was born and grew up in Great Britain, and although she’s now happier with the weather in North Carolina where she resides with her partner, she does miss the ubiquitous teacakes. She graduated from a master’s in literature and worked for about 5 years at local news magazines as a reporter.