Dark circles can form under your eyes for plenty of reasons, including lack of sleep, allergic reactions, thin skin, dehydration, and simple genetics. That said, regardless of where your dark circles came from, you probably want to get rid of them.
Luckily, there are plenty of effective remedies you can try today. To avoid wasting your time with remedies that don’t work for you, speak with your doctor to get a better sense of what is causing your dark circles in the first place.
If the cause is allergies, you’ll need a different remedy than someone whose dark circles come from lack of sleep.
When the Cause is Vascular
Your dark circles may be the result of excessive blood flow to the areas beneath your eyes. To figure out if this is the case, try the following:
Use extra pillows while sleeping. This elevates your head slightly, preventing blood from accumulating under your eyes. Ideally, you should try to sleep on your back.
Every morning, apply an ice pack or cold compress to your eyes for about five minutes. Cold temperatures constrict the blood vessels, limiting the amount of blood that builds up in a given area.
Use an eye cream with caffeine. This is another way to constrict your blood vessels. For the best results, consult with a dermatologist. They’ll be able to recommend the ideal product for your specific needs.
When the Cause is Stress-Related
Stress is a major contributor to dark circles, mainly because it prevents you from getting she restful sleep that you need.
Reduce your levels of stress, and you’ll sleep more soundly during the night, resulting in a more vibrant and healthy appearance in the morning.
The following techniques are just a few ways you can let go of your worries:
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Basically, mindfulness is about focusing your awareness on whatever it is you happen to be experiencing in the present moment, without judging it as being either good or bad. Studies have shown that over time, mindfulness can have a major, positive impact on stress levels.
To start practicing it, simply sit in a comfortable but erect position, with your eyes closed. For at least five minutes (but preferably longer), try to focus on the physical experience of breathing.
Don’t attempt to control your breathing, and don’t judge yourself if your thoughts wander—that’s going to happen naturally. When it does, just bring your awareness back to the breath. Eventually, this process will become much easier.
Exercise More Often
By working out, you can use your nervous energy more productively. Intense exercise has the added benefit of releasing endorphins, which boost your mood and help to ease physical pain. Working out will reduce your stress levels, and it will help you sleep more peacefully at night.
Although it is essentially just another form of working out, yoga also helps you develop a relaxed, natural attunement to your own body.
Over time, it will promote a general sense of calm and wellbeing. Just make sure you’re not trying any poses you’re unprepared for, otherwise you could hurt yourself. Consider attending a yoga class for beginners at your local fitness center if you’re new to the practice.
When the Cause is Lack of Sleep
You don’t have to be stressed out to lose sleep. Unfortunately, the less sleep you get, the more likely you are to develop dark circles. That’s why it’s important to keep these essential sleep tips in mind:
Stick to a schedule
As often as possible, go to sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Your body can’t properly regulate its sleep patterns if there is no true discernible pattern.
Avoid Electronic Devices
It’s a safe but effective sleep aid that you can easily find at your local pharmacy. Unlike prescription sleep medications, it’s unlikely to result in unpleasant side effects.
Step away from all electronic devices at least one hour before you go to sleep. TV, the internet, and your phone can all stimulate you to the point that getting proper rest becomes difficult.
On top of that, the light from these devices tricks your brain into thinking that it’s still daytime. As a result, it doesn’t naturally produce enough melatonin for you to fall asleep easily.
Keep the temperature in the room cool. Although you don’t want your room to be uncomfortably cold, the body generally falls into rest much more easily in cool temperatures.
If you’re suffering from genuine insomnia, speak to your physician about options. You may need additional treatment for a sleep disorder.
When the Cause is an Allergic Reaction
Some dark circles are the result of an allergic reaction. This is especially likely if yours appear during specific times of year, when you’re also experiencing other symptoms of allergies.
If this sounds like you, give these remedies a shot:
Use an antihistamine before you have a reaction. If you know that allergy season is approaching for you, using an over-the-counter antihistamine can prevent a reaction, leaving your eyes clear and vibrant.
Improve your indoor air quality. Clean up dust in your home, ask an HVAC technician about installing new air filters, and make sure rooms are properly ventilated.
If you have carpeted surfaces, be sure to vacuum them regularly, otherwise allergens will accumulate in the fibers. Don’t let moisture build up in any areas of your house, otherwise mold could form.
Make an appointment with your doctor and ask them to recommend an allergist. Sometimes it’s possible to treat allergic reactions with prescription medications. It’s worth your time to find out if there are any medications that can help you.
When the Cause is Thin Skin
If you’ve had dark circles most of your life, or you’ve developed them with age, thin skin might be the cause. This is especially likely if a close family member also has dark circles, since thin skin is often an inherited trait.
These remedies may help:
Collagen Face Cream
Look for a face cream designed specifically to build up collagen. A dermatologist or cosmetics expert can help you choose the ideal product. Collagen keeps your skin tight and supple, making thin skin appear less prominently.
Vitamin C Deficiency
Get enough Vitamin C. Although the best way to get vitamins is through food sources, a supplement is perfectly fine if you don’t suspect your diet is meeting all your nutritional needs. Vitamin C also helps to boost collagen product.
Stop smoking cigarettes. Aside from the many other health complications that can result from smoking, cigarettes will damage the skin beneath your eyes.
Wear sunglasses and sunscreen, and not just when you’re visiting the beach. Sun damage can worsen the effects of thin skin. Apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses anytime you’re going to be outside for an hour or more.
Despite what you may have heard, this is important to do even on cloudy days; the sun’s UV rays can actually penetrate clouds.
Consult Cosmetic Surgeon
If you’re having absolutely no luck with any of these remedies, but you’re desperate to get rid of your dark circles, make an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon. There are procedures they can perform if the cause of your dark circles is thin skin.
When the Cause is Dehydration
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dark circles beneath the eyes. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest causes to address.
Keep these points in mind, and you’re likely to see your eyes get much clearer after a while.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. The more water you drink, the better.
Keep a filled water bottle next to your bed, so you can remember to drink it each morning. Drinking water is essential when you first wake up, as you’ve gone without it for a long period of time by that point.
It’s also a good idea to get a refillable water bottle you can easily take with you throughout your day, filling it up whenever you come across a water fountain, cooler, or faucet.
Just try not to drink too much water two hours before going to sleep, otherwise you’re likely to wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom. As you already know, lack of sleep is a major contributing factor to dark circles.
Limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol will dehydrate your body very quickly. When you do drink, make sure you have at least one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage.
If you’re still struggling to rid yourself of dark circles, but you don’t want to undergo cosmetic surgery, there are other options to consider as you work to determine the best remedy for your needs.
Find a concealer that matches your skin tone and apply it under your eyes carefully, so it hides the dark circles. Again, this isn’t going to remove them, but it will make them less noticeable.
Even if you’re a man, and you’re not used to applying makeup, this is a smart option to consider. Ask a staff member at your nearest cosmetics store to recommend a concealer that’s suited to your skin.
Apply Eye Cream
While you’re there, also browse the selection of eye creams. Although not all products for dark circles are effective, you may find one that works for you.
There are also several natural cosmetic remedies you can try to improve the overall look of your skin and diminish the appearance of dark circles:
Rose water has a naturally rejuvenating effect on your skin. Before going to sleep each night, soak two cotton balls in rose water, place them beneath your eyes, and let them sit there for 15 minutes. After you remove them, rinse the areas beneath your eyes with cold water.
Cold Cucumber Slices
Place cold, refrigerated cucumber slices over your eyes, and leave them there for 10 minutes, then wash your eyes with water. Cucumber freshens the skin, and the cold temperature will constrict the blood vessels.
Crush some mint leaves and mix them with water until you have a paste. Apply the paste beneath your eyes and keep it there for 10 minutes before rinsing it away. Many natural cosmetic enthusiasts consider mint to be one of the most effective dark circle remedies available.
Sometimes, dark circles and eye puffiness go hand in hand. If this is the case, soak two tea bags in warm water, then place them in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Once they’re cold enough, place one tea bag on each eye, leaving them there for five minutes. Because tea is a natural diuretic, it will help remove excess water that could be making your eyes puffy.
A healthy diet is key to getting rid of dark circles. Again, make sure you’re drinking enough water and limiting your consumption of alcohol. You should also limit your salt intake. Salt causes you to retain water, contributing to eye puffiness.
Lack of Vitamin C
Foods that are high in Vitamin C will keep your skin healthy, and should be a staple of your diet. They include bell peppers, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, lemon, mangoes, papaya, guava, oranges, and many others.
Lack of Iron
Sometimes an iron deficiency can make dark circles worse. Thus, it’s also a good idea to include more iron in your overall diet. Red meat, poultry, seafood, and spinach are all very good sources of iron.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Finally, eating foods with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and walnuts, can promote healthier blood flow through the skin of your face.
It’s understandable to feel self-conscious about dark circles beneath your eyes. Luckily, there are many ways of getting rid of them. Most importantly, if this has been a chronic problem, be sure to get in touch with your physician.
Your dark circles could be linked to anything from allergies to chronic sinus issues. Often, there are treatments for these problems that can not only remove your dark circles, but also improve your overall health.
Either way, if you want to remove circles beneath your eyes, it’s essential that you have a better understanding of what is causing them in the first place. Once you know why you have dark circles, it’s easier to find out which remedy will be best for you.