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Dark Circles: Causes, Types, And Home Remedies

Last updated on : 17 May, 2024

Read time : 13 min

Dark circles are a major beauty issue impacting men and women of all ages. These bothersome shadows under the eyes can make you look tired, older, and dull. Though typically harmless, they often cause self-consciousness. Keep reading to know what causes dark circles, its types and effective home remedies on how to remove dark circles and prevent them from coming back.

Understanding the Causes of Dark Circles

Dark circles can be attributed to various factors, including genetics, lifestyle and environment. The skin under our eyes is delicate and thinner than the rest of our faces, making it prone to discolouration due to these factors. The main causes of dark circles include:

  • Hereditary: Dark circles can run in the family. If your parents have prominent under-eye shadows, you are more likely to develop them too.
  • Increased pigmentation (melanin): Higher melanin levels in the skin around the eyes can lead to dark circles.
  • Insufficient sleep: Lack of sleep can cause blood vessels to dilate, making dark circles prominent.
  • Ageing: With age, skin loses collagen and becomes thinner, making blood vessels beneath the eyes more visible and resulting in dark circles.
  • Loss of fatty tissue around the eye: Reduction in fat around the eyes can make dark circles more prominent.
  • Allergies: Allergic reactions or chronic nasal congestion can lead to dilated blood vessels and dark circles.
  • Sun exposure: Overexposure to UV rays can stimulate melanin production, contributing to dark circles.
  • Bulging fat and muscle loss: Changes in fat and muscle structure around the eyes can cause shadows and dark circles.
  • Thin, translucent skin: Thin skin around the eyes can make blood vessels more visible, resulting in dark circles.
  • Shadowing due to orbital anatomy: The natural shape of the eye socket can cause shadows, making dark circles more apparent.
  • Poor hydration: Dehydration can make the skin appear dull and accentuate dark circles.
  • Poor nutrition: Inadequate intake of essential nutrients can affect skin health and contribute to dark circles.
  • Emotional stress: Stress can lead to poor sleep quality and fatigue, exacerbating the appearance of dark circles.
  • Anaemia: Iron deficiency anaemia can cause paleness around the eyes, making dark circles more noticeable.
  • Smoking: Tobacco smoke contains toxins that can damage blood vessels and lead to poor circulation, contributing to the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
  • Thyroid: Imbalanced thyroid hormone levels can cause fluid retention and puffiness around the eyes, which may exacerbate the appearance of dark circles.

Types of Dark Circles

When choosing dark circles treatment, it is crucial to identify the type of dark circles accurately. Dark circles are of 3 types, and your treatment depends on which type you have: 

  • Pigmented dark circles: These dark circles are primarily caused by an excess production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to the skin. They appear as brown or black discolouration under the eyes and are often seen in individuals with darker skin tones. Pigmented dark circles can be treated with topical skin-lightening agents containing ingredients like hydroquinone, kojic acid, or vitamin C, which help to reduce melanin production and lighten the skin.
  • Vascular dark circles: These dark circles are caused by dilated blood vessels under thin skin. They appear as bluish or purplish discolouration and are often associated with factors such as genetics, allergies, fatigue, or ageing. To determine if you have vascular dark circles, gently press on the darkened area under your eyes. If the discolouration temporarily fades, it suggests that dilated blood vessels may be contributing to the appearance of dark circles. Vascular dark circles treatment include topical creams containing vitamin K or retinol to strengthen blood vessel walls and lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep, managing allergies, and avoiding excessive sun exposure to reduce their appearance.
  • Indented dark circles: Also known as hollow or sunken dark circles, these dark circles are caused by a loss of volume or fat under the eyes, leading to a hollow appearance. They can be exacerbated by ageing, genetics, or weight loss. To check for indented dark circles, observe if the area under your eyes appears hollow or sunken, especially when compared to the surrounding skin. Additionally, gently stretching the skin under the eyes may accentuate the hollow appearance. Indented dark circles may not respond well to topical treatments alone and may require more invasive procedures, such as dermal fillers or cosmetic surgery, to restore volume and smooth out the under-eye area.

Among these dark circles, pigmented dark circles are generally the most treatable with topical agents, while vascular and indented dark circles may require a combination of topical treatments and more invasive procedures for effective management. Consulting with a dermatologist or skincare specialist can help determine the most suitable treatment approach based on the specific type of dark circles.

15 Home Remedies To Treat Dark Circles

Home remedies for dark circles are safe and cost-effective ways to reduce them. Here are some effective home remedies on how to reduce dark circles that you can add to your daily skincare routine.

1. Cucumber Slices

Cucumber slices contain antioxidants and enzymes that help lighten skin pigmentation and reduce puffiness around eyes. To use, chill cucumber slices in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Then, lie down and place the chilled slices over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes. The cooling sensation of the cucumbers helps constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation, diminishing the appearance of dark circles. 

2. Cold Tea Bags

Cold tea bags are an effective home remedy for reducing dark circles due to their natural properties and caffeine content. Caffeine helps constrict blood vessels and reduce fluid retention, which can diminish the appearance of dark circles. To use, steep two tea bags (green or chamomile) in hot water for a few minutes, then remove them and allow them to cool in the refrigerator. Once chilled, place one tea bag over each closed eye and leave them on for 10-15 minutes. The cool temperature and caffeine will help refresh and rejuvenate the under-eye area, reducing puffiness and dark circles. Repeat this process daily for noticeable results.

3. Potato Slices

Potato slices are a natural remedy for reducing dark circles due to their bleaching properties. Potatoes contain enzymes that help lighten pigmentation and reduce puffiness. To use, slice a chilled potato thinly and place the slices over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes daily. 

4. Rose Water

Rose water is a natural remedy known for its soothing and hydrating properties, effectively reducing dark circles. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness and inflammation around the eyes, while its mild astringent properties help to lighten pigmentation. To use, soak cotton pads in cold rose water and place them over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes daily. Regularly using rose water as part of your skincare routine can promote healthier-looking skin and reduce the prominence of dark circles.

5. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a natural remedy for reducing dark circles due to its rich lycopene and vitamin C content, which possess skin-lightening and brightening properties. Lycopene helps to reduce pigmentation and even out skin tone, while vitamin C promotes collagen production and skin rejuvenation. Mix fresh tomato juice with a small amount of lemon juice to form a paste. Apply the paste to the dark circles and leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off. Regular application of tomato paste can help lighten dark circles and remove skin tan.

Read More: 7 Benefits of Vitamin C for Your Skin

6. Almond Oil

Almond oil is a popular home remedy for reducing dark circles due to its nourishing and moisturising properties. Rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, almond oil helps hydrate the delicate skin under the eyes, reducing dryness and promoting skin elasticity. To use, gently massage a few drops of almond oil into the skin around the eyes before bedtime, ensuring it is fully absorbed. Leave it on overnight, and rinse off in the morning with lukewarm water. Regularly applying almond oil helps improve blood circulation, reduce puffiness, and lighten dark circles over time.

7. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is a natural remedy for reducing dark circles due to its soothing and hydrating properties. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, aloe vera gel helps to nourish the delicate skin around the eyes and reduce inflammation. Apply a thin layer of freshy cut aloe vera gel to the dark circles and gently massage it into the skin. Applt it daily as part of your skincare routine. 

8. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is packed with fatty acids and vitamins. It helps hydrate and rejuvenate the delicate skin under the eyes. To use, gently massage a small amount of coconut oil onto the skin around the eyes before bedtime, ensuring it is fully absorbed. 

9. Mint Leaves

Mint leaves are rich in menthol that help to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which can fade the appearance of dark circles. To use, crush fresh mint leaves to extract their juice and apply it to the dark circles using a cotton ball or finger tips. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

10. Cold Milk

Cold milk is a simple yet effective home remedy for reducing dark circles due to its natural properties and soothing effect on the skin. Lactic acid in milk helps exfoliate dead skin cells and brighten the skin, while its cold temperature constricts blood vessels and reduces puffiness. Soak cotton pads in cold milk and place them over closed eyes. The nutrients in milk nourish the delicate skin around the eyes, helping to diminish the appearance of dark circles over time. 

Read More: Plant-based milk and their health benefits

11. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural remedy for diminishing dark circles due to its bleaching and brightening properties. The high vitamin C and citric acid content in lemon juice helps to lighten pigmentation and even skin tone. To use, dilute fresh lemon juice with an equal amount of water to prevent skin irritation. Apply the mixture to the dark circles using a cotton ball, avoiding direct contact with the eyes. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off. 

12. Green Tea Bags

Green tea bags are a natural remedy for reducing dark circles due to their high antioxidants and caffeine content. The caffeine in green tea helps to constrict blood vessels and reduce puffiness around the eyes, while antioxidants help to rejuvenate the skin. Steep two green tea bags in hot water for a few minutes, then remove them and allow them to cool. Once chilled, place one tea bag over each closed eye and leave them on for 10-15 minutes. The cool temperature and caffeine infusion help refresh dull eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles. 

13. Turmeric Paste

Turmeric paste is a natural remedy for reducing dark circles. Curcumin, the active turmeric compound, helps lighten pigmentation and brighten the skin. To make a turmeric paste, mix turmeric powder with a small amount of water or milk to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the dark circles, avoiding direct contact with the eyes. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat this process every other day to gradually diminish the appearance of dark circles.

14. Cold Compress

A cold compress is a simple yet effective home remedy for reducing dark circles by constricting blood vessels and reducing puffiness around the eyes. Soak a clean washcloth in cold water or refrigerate it for a few minutes to make a cold compress. Gently wring out excess water and place the cold compress over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes. The cold temperature helps to shrink blood vessels and alleviate swelling, which can diminish the appearance of dark circles. 

15. Sleep and Hydration

Adequate sleep and hydration are essential home remedies for reducing dark circles. Sufficient sleep allows the body to repair and rejuvenate the skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles. Also, staying hydrated helps plump the skin, making dark circles less noticeable. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep the skin hydrated and minimise dark circles.

Read More: Exercise your way to good night sleep and beat stress

Takeaway

Reducing dark circles involves understanding their causes and adopting a combination approach. Home remedies for dark circles like cucumber slices, cold tea bags, and adequate sleep can reduce them. Maintaining proper hydration and using skincare ingredients such as almond oil or rose water can further reduce their appearance. If your dark circles are not fading with these home remedies, consult a dermatologist or skincare specialist. They will recommend skin care products or suggest more invasive procedures, such as dermal fillers or cosmetic surgery, to restore volume and remove pigmentation in the under-eye area. You can also explore nutritional supplements and dermatologist-recommended best skin care products on Truemeds’ online pharmacy. Get a doctor’s consultation and discuss your skin concerns before you order.

FAQs

How can I remove dark circles permanently?

Removing dark circles requires a combination of lifestyle changes, skincare routines, and professional dark circles treatments for the underlying causes, such as proper sleep, hydration, skincare products, and cosmetic procedures like laser therapy or chemical peels.

Does ice remove dark circles?

Using ice can temporarily reduce the appearance of dark circles by constricting blood vessels and reducing puffiness. However, it does not address the underlying causes of dark circles and may only provide short-term relief.

Can sleeping reduce dark circles?

Yes, getting adequate sleep can help reduce dark circles by allowing the body to repair and rejuvenate the skin. Still, it may not eliminate them if other factors like genetics or allergies contribute to their appearance.

Is it good to get 6 Hours of sleep?

While 6 hours of sleep may be sufficient for some individuals, it’s generally recommended to aim for 7-9 hours nightly to promote optimal health, including reducing dark circles and skin health.

What deficiency causes dark circles around the eyes?

Anaemia is a common cause of dark circles around the eyes, as it leads to decreased oxygen flow to the tissues, resulting in a bluish tint. Vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamins K, C, and B12, can also reduce of dark circles.

What foods reduce dark circles?

Foods such as berries, leafy greens, and citrus fruits, can help reduce dark circles by promoting skin health and reducing inflammation. Additionally, incorporating foods high in vitamins C, E, and K, like tomatoes and almonds, can support collagen production and blood circulation, contributing to brighter under-eye skin.

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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.

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