- Dark circles can be treated with natural remedies at home.
- At-home treatments can be effective, but the results are usually slow to appear.
- Combining good lifestyle habits with over-the-counter (OTC) skin care products can often treat dark circles more effectively.
Dark circles are due to several causes: hyperpigmentation, visible veins below the eye, dehydration and lack of sleep. They can be remedied with at-home, all-natural treatments at very little cost, but treatment requires a fair amount of time and patience. Compared to commercial products, these remedies may be less efficient, but they use only simple ingredients and are free of additives.
Natural Treatments for Dark Circles
Natural remedies make up one part of the range of at-home treatments available for dark circles. These treatments use ingredients you may already have in your pantry to counteract the various causes behind dark circles by brightening the under-eye area and hydrating the skin.
Lemon juice has bleaching properties that can gradually lighten excess pigmentation. To use, dilute 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of tomato juice or water (to lower the risk of irritating the skin) and apply the mixture with a cotton ball below the eyes. Leave on for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing. Repeat several times a week.
A natural antioxidant and emollient, rose water can reduce the appearance of under-eye bags and puffy eyes. Soak two cotton balls in rosewater and place them on the under-eye area for fifteen minutes; repeat several times a week..
The lactic acid in milk may promote collagen production in the skin cells below the eyes. Apply with cotton balls, leave on for several minutes, then rinse off. The cold temperature may also soothe any puffiness you may experience along with dark circles. The lactic acid can treat fine lines, too.
An antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, green tea can reduce the visibility of blood vessels under the skin. Brew two tea bags, chill, and apply the cold tea bags over your eyes. As with the cold milk, the cold will help treat puffy eyes as well.
Almond or sweet almond oil also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it suitable for treating all kinds of dark circles. Massage a few drops of oil into the skin at night and rinse off with warm water in the morning for best results.
Are Natural Treatments for Dark Circles Effective?
Home remedies cannot get rid of dark circles as quickly as OTC and professional treatments. However, with consistent use, you may see good results after several weeks or months.
Lifestyle Tips to Treat and Prevent Dark Circles
Dark circles are often a result of lack of sleep and dehydration. Drink adequate amounts of water (6–8 glasses a day is the general rule) and ensure 7–9 hours of sleep per night to reduce their appearance.
If your dark circles are due to hyperpigmentation, daily use of sunscreen may help prevent them from becoming darker through sun exposure.
A diet high in vitamin K, which promotes blood circulation and is found in leafy greens, may prevent blood from enlarging the veins under the eyes, thus making them more visible.
OTC treatments for dark circles have three essential mechanisms of action: they lighten hyperpigmentation, hydrate the skin and promote collagen production to improve skin quality.
Active ingredients found in eye creams and serums for these purposes include vitamin C and E, hyaluronic acid and retinol. The efficacy of these ingredients has been well studied and they are often used in combination to target the various causes of dark under-eye circles.
Dark circles are a common problem that can’t always be corrected with lifestyle changes such as adequate sleep and hydration. With some patience, you can reduce the appearance of dark circles by consistently using at-home remedies. However, OTC products specially formulated to treat dark circles often provide faster results.
- Smit, N., Vicanova, J., & Pavel, S. (2009). The hunt for natural skin whitening agents. International journal of molecular sciences, 10(12), 5326–5349. doi:10.3390/ijms10125326
- Pilkington, S. J., Belden, S., & Miller, R. A. (2015). The Tricky Tear Trough: A Review of Topical Cosmeceuticals for Periorbital Skin Rejuvenation. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 8(9), 39–47. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4587894/