Dark circles are the dark (bluish, purplish and sometimes brownish) discoloration of the skin under the eyes. Other names for it are dark rings, shadows or panda eyes.
There are two main causes behind the formation of dark circles. One type of dark circle is genetic and caused by pigmentation; it tends to have a brown color. The other and most common type of under eye circle is caused by dilated blood vessels which resulted from lack of sleep, unhealthy diet, unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. no time for exercise and too much time spent in front of a computer and television), dehydration, stress and allergies; this type of under eye circle has bluish or purplish tint.
Dark circles affect the way a person look. It makes a person look ill, exhausted, unhealthy and older than he is. Dark circles can also affect a person’s self-esteem if they are very prominent.
There are many different products sold in stores claiming that they instantly get rid of dark circles. Some products are affordable and some costs a fortune. Some of these products work but most of them do not. So before you shed a lot of money on very expensive creams or drastic and somewhat invasive measure such as cosmetic surgeries, why not try some easy and inexpensive home remedies?
The following 10 home remedies are effective for diminishing and lightening bluish and/or purplish dark circles:
Cucumber – Cucumber has long been used by our ancestors to relax tired eyes and remove dark circles. Cucumber has skin lightening agents. It works as an astringent and commonly found ingredient in toners. To use it, cut thick slices of cucumber and chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes. Close your eyes and place them on the affected area for 15 minutes. Your eyes will feel relaxed afterwards.
Raw Potato – Potato has natural bleaching agents which will lighten dark circles and will help remove puffiness on your eye area.
- To use it, take two potatoes and extract its juice. You can blend them and strain it afterwards to separate the juice. Dip two cotton balls into the potato juice. Flatten cotton balls and place them on dark circles. Leave it for 15 minutes then rinse off with cool water. Continue this every day till you notice changes on your dark circles.
- In case you find the process of extracting the juice to be time consuming, you can take potato slices and place them on your dark circles.
Cold Milk – Cold milk helps constrict the dilated blood vessels under your eyes. It will help reduce dark circles and puffiness in your eye area. To use it, just soak cotton pads on cold milk and place it directly on your eye lids for 10 minutes. Repeat this process twice daily for a few weeks.
Green Tea or Chamomile Tea bags – Caffeine in tea bags acts as a remedy for dark circles by diminishing puffiness. To use it, soak two green tea or chamomile tea bags in hot water. Rinse used tea bags in cool water. Drain tea bags and store them on the fridge. Place chilled tea bags on your eye area. Leave it for 20 minutes and wash the area with water. I recommend drinking the tea; it contains antioxidants that are beneficial to your skin.
Rose Water – Rose water has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help to hydrate and soothe irritated skin. Rose water is often found in toners, moisturizers, makeup removers, facial sprays and masks. It is so effective and can be used for many reasons. Some people use it as an effective remedy for minimizing dark circles. To treat dark circles, place two cotton balls in rose water and soak them for a few minutes. Remove cotton balls. Place them on your eye lids for 10 minutes and do this twice daily for a few weeks.
Turmeric - Turmeric has many uses. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help to clear dark circles. Take two teaspoons of turmeric powder and add few drops of water to make a paste. Apply this paste on dark circles and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse the area with water and if the turmeric leaves a yellow color on your skin, just wipe that with warm wash cloth to completely remove it. Turmeric not only removes dark circles, it will make your skin soft and smooth.
Lemon Juice – Dark circles caused by skin discoloration can be lightened by lemon juice. Lemon juice is known for its bleaching properties which can get rid of dark spots or skin discoloration. To use it, dip cotton ball in freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply cotton ball to the dark area around your eyes. Rinse it off with water after 10 minutes. Do this until you see improvement on your dark circles.
Almond Oil – Place few drops of almond oil on your fingers and gently massage it around your eyes. Do this every night before bed and rinse it off in the morning with cold water. Using almond oil regularly will lighten your dark circles.
Sunflower Oil – Sunflower oil is good for dark circles. It contains vitamins A, D and E. Sunflower oil can help moisturize your eye area and it can help lighten dark circles. It is even used as treatment for dark spots and pimple marks. Just like how to use almond oil, put few drops of sunflower oil on your finger tips and gently massage it on your dark circles.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil moisturizes the skin around the eyes to prevent dryness and wrinkles. It has also anti-inflammatory property so it reduces swelling on your eye area. To use it, apply extra virgin coconut oil on your under-eye skin before going to bed. Massage it gently on your eye area for few minutes. Rinse it with water in the morning. Repeat this every night until you notice the difference.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes. Too much rubbing will cause dilation on the blood vessels which in turn makes your under eye circles more noticeable.
- Always remove eye makeup properly before going to bed because eye makeup can irritate the eyes.
- Limit sun exposure. It can darken your skin especially the thin and delicate skin under the eyes. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin and use dark sunglasses to protect your eyes and eye area from the sun.
- Live a healthy lifestyle:
- Get enough sleep and rest
- Watch your Diet – Dehydration causes dark circles. To avoid dehydration, drink lots of water, eat foods rich in water (cucumber, melons and tomatoes), avoid sodium-rich foods, limit alcohol and caffeine consumption and eat foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, D and E.
- Quit smoking because smoking damages skin cells.
- Exercise regularly to help stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduce stress.
To permanently get rid of dark circles, you have to deal with what causes your dark circles. If your dark circles appear because you had sleepless nights, then you have to start getting adequate sleep. Dark circles caused by aging, heredity or allergies cannot be removed by natural means or by home remedies mentioned on this page. Dark circles caused by allergies can only be eliminated if you first cure your allergies which can be done if you see a doctor. When dark circles are hereditary or caused by aging, your option on this case is to undergo cosmetic surgeries or hide them with the use of makeup.