Dark discoloration of the skin under the eye is mainly referred to as dark circles. It is also known as dark rings or shadows.
Some of the main causes behind the formation of dark circles are
Heredity, aging, dry skin, prolonged crying, working for long hours in front of a computer, mental or physical stress, lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet.
Both men and women of different age groups can have dark circles.
Dark circles are not a serious skin problem, but they make people look tired, exhausted, unhealthy and older. You can easily get rid of unsightly shadows under your eyes using some easy home remedies.
Causes of Dark Circles
Let’s discuss the ultimate causes of dark circles. There are many causes, so there are many actions you can take to address them.
- Thin skin under the eyes. Skin under the eyes is thinner than skin elsewhere (half a millimeter or less, as opposed to about two millimeters), and so is more transparent; it shows the blood vessels underneath more clearly than other skin does. Skin under the eyes may be even more transparent if it is pale due to anemia or pregnancy. The blood beneath it appears bluish rather than reddish because skin transmits blue light better than other colors. Thus skin around the eyes may appear bluish, brownish, or even greenish, depending on a person’s basic skin color.
- Extra melanin (dark pigment) in the skin around the eyes. This hyperpigmentation is common among people of South Asian or Mediterranean descent. It is genetic and has nothing to do with age or illness. A dermatologist may treat this pigmentation pattern with a cream including hydroquinone (bleach).
- Shadows from sagging skin under the eyes. Skin may sag into a pouchy, hammock-like shape because age and sun have destroyed much of the collagen and elastin, the stretchy proteins that make young skin look smooth and taut. The sagging skin is thinner in places, and so looks darker, and the “tear trough” area under the hammock looks dark because it is in shadow.
- Shadows from puffiness or edema. Fluid retention can cause the skin to dome up around the eyes, leaving a shadow below. Allergies, crying, temporary illness, excessive salt consumption, or stress (which releases cortisol and increases blood volume) can cause puffiness.
Top tips to treat dark circles
1. If you smoke cigarettes, stop ASAP
Cigarette smoke is known to cause dark circles and damage the delicate skin around the eyes. In addition to all the other benefits you’ll reap from abstaining from cigarettes, you’ll also have healthier, happier, brighter eyes.
2. Get enough iron
Iron deficiency is another reason you might have dark circles. Combat iron deficiency with vitamin B12 and foods including red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, spinach, raisins, apricots, and peas.
3. Eat foods packed with vitamin C
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is another solution for those wondering how to get rid of dark circles and how to get rid of bags under eyes. Eating food rich in vitamin C is helps your body produce collagen. Collagen is a protein your body produces, and one of its top qualities is that it keeps your skin—included the delicate skin under your eyes—healthy, hydrated and dark circle-free. Here are some foods that are rich in collagen-boosting vitamin C:
- yellow, red and green bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
4. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dehydration. If you’re drinking your requisite half gallon of water a day and still feeling dehydrated, take a look at your alcohol consumption. Alcohol acts as a diuretic in the body, causing you to lose not only fluid but also electrolytes. If you’re suffering from chronic eye bags, reducing your alcohol consumption might prove helpful.
5. Drink water
Staying hydrated is one key if you’re wondering how to get rid of bags under your eyes. When the body is dehydrated, it responds by retaining as much water as it can, thus causing puffiness and under-eye bags. One way to avoid the bags altogether is by staying hydrated. To ensure you’re properly hydrated, stick to the 8 by 8 rule: Drink eight ounces of water eight times a day. That adds up to a half gallon, which is the recommended amount of water to consume daily.
6. Avoid excess salt in your diet
It’s common knowledge that sodium can cause you to retain water, but did you know the bloat sodium causes in the body can also cause puffiness under your eyes? Yep — you can retain water even under your eyes. Ridding your diet of excess sodium can help combat bags under your eyes. Your eyes will thank you for cutting back on salt.
7. Do Yoga/ meditation
One of the main reasons that’s seen for the recurrence of dark circles under eyes is because of stress, depression and a hectic lifestyle. No amount of home remedies will work if your mind isn’t cool and calm. Yoga and meditation if practiced regularly will not only decrease your dark circles will also balance the body clock whilst calming your mind, body and soul.
8. Cold tea bags
Another simple technique to get rid of the dark circles is using cold tea bags. Soak a tea bag preferably a chamomile or green tea bags in water. Chill it by placing it in the refrigerator for a while. Now, place them over your eyes. Use this remedy on a regular basis to see considerable difference.
9. Almond Oil
Almond oil is a great natural ingredient that is very beneficial for the delicate skin around your eyes. Regular usage of almond oil will help fade your under eye circles. In addition to almond oil, you can use vitamin E oil to eliminate dark circles under the eyes.
- Before going to bed, apply a little almond oil over the dark circles and gently massage it into the skin.
- Leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, wash it off with cold water.
- Follow this remedy daily until the dark circles disappear.
Cucumbers have skin-lightening and mild astringent properties that help fix those raccoon eyes naturally. Plus, they have a soothing and refreshing effect.
Cut a fresh cucumber into thick slices and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Put the slices onto the affected skin area for about 10 minutes.
Wash the area with water. Repeat twice daily for about a week or more.
Another option is to mix cucumber juice with lemon juice in equal amounts.
Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture on the affected skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with water.
Follow this remedy daily for at least one week.
11. Raw Potato
There are natural bleaching agents present in potato that can help lighten dark circles and get rid of puffiness around the eyes.
- Grate one or two raw potatoes to extract the juice. Soak a cotton ball in the juice and place it over your closed eyes. Make sure the juice covers the dark circles under your eyes as well as the eyelids. 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.
- Instead of potato juice, you can also use thick potato slices to remove dark circles.
12. Rose Water
Rose water has incredible ingredient for skin care. It rejuvenates the skin and has a soothing effect on tired eyes. Due to its mild astringent properties, it also works as a good skin toner.
- Soak cotton eye pads in pure rose water for a few minutes.
- Put the soaked pads on your closed eyelids.
- Leave them on for about 15 minutes.
- Follow this remedy twice daily for a few weeks.
Tomatoes have bleaching properties that can lighten skin to a great extent.
- Mix one teaspoon of tomato juice with one-half teaspoon of lemon juice. Gently apply this mixture on the dark circles and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with water. Follow this remedy twice a day for a few weeks. Simply using tomato juice will also work.
- You can also drink a glass of tomato juice with some mint leaves, lemon juice and salt. For maximum results, be sure to drink this juice immediately after making it. Drink it once or twice a day for about a week.
14. Lemon Juice
The vitamin C present in lemon juice can also help remove dark circles under the eyes, thanks to its skin-lightening properties.
- Use a cotton ball to apply fresh lemon juice around your eyes. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse it off. Do this once daily for a few weeks.
- Another option is to make a thick paste by mixing one tablespoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of tomato puree, a pinch of gram flour (besan) and turmeric powder. Apply this thick paste gently around your eyes. Rinse it off with clean water after 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat two or three times every week.
15. Proper Sleep
Having a good night sleep is one of the best natural solution for reducing the dark circles. Sleepless eyes are more prone to dark circles. It is one of the highly recommended solution by doctors while you having dark spot under your eyes.