When you complain about having dark circles under your eyes, you’re most likely complaining about having two rings of pigment beneath each eye. Dark circles aren’t the same as bruises or redness caused by irritation. They are usually persistent and can be tricky to remove. If you are wondering how to get rid of under eye circles, a few home remedies can help.
What are the causes of dark circles under eyes? Several different things can lead to dark undereye circles or that can increase your chances of ending up with “raccoon eyes.” Some of these things you can control, others are beyond your control. Here are a few possible answers to the question “why do I get dark circles under my eyes?”
In some cases, the reason behind dark circles under the eyes is your genes. If you look at the members of your family and notice that mom, dad, or your grandparents have dark circles under their eyes, it’s likely that you do as well and that the cause of those circles is hereditary.
Dark brown under eye circles, which tend to develop in people with darker skin tones, are usually a result of genes.
Getting older can also make you more likely to have under eye circles. Aging is also one of the bags under the eyes causes. With age, the skin around your eyes changes, becoming thinner. Fatty deposits in the eye area also travel downward, causing puffy bags to form.
If your nose is regularly congested from allergies, another symptom might be dark circles under the eyes. When you’re allergic to something, your body produces histamines to try and fight back. Those histamines can dilate the blood vessels under your eyes, creating visible circles.
Everyone’s skin is different, not just regarding color and oiliness, but also regarding thickness. The skin under the eyes is naturally thinner than the skin elsewhere on the body. But some people have more delicate skin than others, thanks to a lack of collagen and fat. If you’re a thinned skin person, it’s more likely that you’ll see bluish circles under your eyes.
Not getting your full 40 winks each night or regularly battling insomnia not only makes you tired. It makes you look tired. Dark circles can form when you’re not getting enough sleep for two reasons. One, a lack of sleep makes your blood vessels bigger, which makes them more visible under the skin.
Two, your eye area tends to become puffy when you’re not getting enough sleep. The puffiness can cast shadows beneath the eyes, creating the look of dark circles.
Getting too much sleep can also cause dark circles. When you’re sleeping, blood has a chance to pool under the eye area, especially if you sleep flat on your back or stomach. Over time, that pooled blood can lead to a darker under eye area.
Too much stress causes some health problems and can affect your appearance. One way it hurts your looks is the formation of dark circles. When you’re stressed, it’s easy for the small capillaries beneath your eyes to leak, creating dark rings below the eyes.
How you live your life can influence whether you end up with dark under eye circles. Smoking, for example, can make under eye circles worse, since smoking speeds up the breakdown of collagen, making your skin thinner and circles more visible.
Drinking an excess amount of alcohol can also contribute to dark circles under the eyes. Alcohol dehydrates you, and dehydrated skin is more likely to show dark circles. Plus, alcohol can make your skin puffy. Puffy eyes cast shadows, making it look like you have circles under the eyes.
Finally, if you eat a lot of salty or processed foods, those foods could be the reason for your under-eye dark circles. Your body retains water when you eat a lot of sodium, making your skin puffy.
Home Remedies for Dark Circles
If you’re ready to learn how to get rid of dark circles under your eyes, the good news is that there are natural ways to get rid of dark circles. Often, a combination of dark circles home remedies will leave you with a brighter, more awake looking eye area.
If the dark circles under your eyes are caused by dilated blood vessels, one way to minimize the discoloration is to shrink those blood vessels. Applying a cold compress, such as a washcloth soaked in cold water and wrung out, to the skin beneath the eyes can help.
The cold will soothe the under-eye area and help the blood vessels constrict. If you don’t have a washcloth handy, you can use an ice cube, a bag of frozen vegetables or even a spoon that you’ve placed in the freezer for a few hours.
Dark circles are often more visible under the eyes when the skin in that area is dehydrated or dry. Almond oil can help moisturize the area and minimize the appearance of dark circles.
To use the oil, just apply a few drops to the under-eye area on each side of the face, beneath the eyes. Repeat the application twice a day, morning and night.
Since they are often turned into things like fries and chips, regular old potatoes get a bad rep. But potatoes are chock full of nutrients, which can help reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. For example, potatoes contain Vitamin C, which can help improve the skin and reduce discoloration.
To reduce dark circles under the eyes with potatoes, place a whole potato in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Take it out when cold and cut into thin slices. Place one slice on each side of your face, right below the eyes. Sit back and relax for at least 15 minutes.
You’ve probably seen people at spas lying around with cucumber slices over their eyes. The thing is, cucumber is more than just a beauty gimmick. A pair of thin cucumber slices can help diminish bags and dark circles beneath the eyes.
In some ways, the cucumbers work like a cold compress. Their cold temperature helps constrict the blood vessels. Cucumbers also contain many nutrients and antioxidants that can tone the skin and minimize discoloration below the eyes.
Rose water helps to reduce dark circles and under eye bags by hydrating the skin, toning the skin and reducing inflammation in the area. To use rose water, simply soak a cotton ball with it, then gently swab it beneath the eyes. The rose water will absorb into the skin, so there’s no need to rinse.
If your dark circles are a result of excess pigmentation in the under eye area, rather than thin skin or dilated blood vessels, lemon juice can help reduce them. Lemon juice contains vitamin C, which is known for its ability to brighten skin and reduce pigmentation.
To use it under the eyes, soak a cotton ball with the juice, then wipe onto the skin. Let it soak in for about 10 minutes, then rinse.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant, as well as vitamins A and C, two vitamins known for their ability to improve skin tone. People often use vitamin C to brighten the skin.
You can try drinking tomato juice to see if it helps your dark circles. Another option is to put the juice right on the skin, either mixed with lemon juice or on its own. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse gently.
Another way to minimize or remove dark circles caused by dryness is to use coconut oil to hydrate the under eye area. Coconut oil is known for its moisturizing abilities, thanks to its medium chain fatty acids.
To use coconut oil under the eyes, apply a small amount. Gently rub it into the eye area, so that the skin absorbs it. Apply when the skin looks dry.
Tea Bags (cold)
Whether you go for chamomile tea or green tea, using cold tea bags on the under eye area can help reduce dark circles. The chill of the tea bags helps constrict blood vessels. Plus, varieties like green or chamomile tea contain anti-inflammatory compounds that further help improve the appearance of the under eye area.
Turmeric & Buttermilk Paste
If you have darker skin or skin with a yellow undertone, applying a paste made from turmeric and buttermilk can temporarily minimize the appearance of dark under eye circles. The golden hue of the turmeric helps to color correct the dark purple hue of the circles, canceling them out.
Since turmeric can stain and is yellow, this home remedy isn’t a good idea if you have very fair skin.
Swabbing some cold milk (whole milk is best) onto the skin under the eyes can help reduce dark circles. The coldness of the milk shrinks dilated blood vessels. Plus, milk contains protein and fats that can help improve your skin.
Like lemon juice, orange juice is bursting with vitamin C, which helps to brighten skin and reduce pigment. To use OJ to treat under eye circles, soak a cotton ball with the juice, then gently rub onto your skin. Rinse after 10 minutes.
Combination Face Masks
Many of the remedies on this list for dark under eyes have the best natural ingredients you can use to help this issue. But even better than using them alone is mixing them. There are tons of recipes you can find online to create the perfect face mask. Think of the impact rose water has, but imagine if you mixed rose water with lemon juice and created a soothing, cooling face mask. Potatoes are good on their own for fark undereye bags, but imagine if they were soaked in almond oil. These mixes create a double impact.
When it comes to dark circles around the eyes causes and treatment, often an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of treatment. Once you know the primary cause of your dark circles, you can take steps to prevent them in the future.
Since a lack of sleep and too much sleep can cause dark circles, aim to get seven to eight hours per night, no more, no less. If you have trouble sleeping, cut out habits such as using your phone or laptop right before bedtime and limit the amount of TV you watch.
Elevate Your Head when sleeping
When you sleep flat, blood can pool under the eye area, making you look puffy and creating dark shadows. It might take some getting used to but get in the habit of sleeping with your head propped up. Sleep on your back and tuck an extra pillow beneath your head and shoulders.
Dry skin can make dark circles under eyes more visible. If you’re not in the habit of drinking water throughout the day or if you regularly go out and have a few cocktails after work, your skin might be dehydrated. Keep a glass of water near you at all times to keep your skin and the rest of your body hydrated.
Sun exposure can make dark circles worse, especially if those circles are caused by excess pigmentation. Wear sunscreen daily, preferably with an SPF of at least 30. Yes, you even want to wear it when it’s cloudy or when you’ll only be outside for a few minutes.
Dark circles under eyes make you look tired and older. But you don’t have to live with them. What have you tried to make your dark circles go away?