The skin around the eyes is very thin as compared to other parts of the body, and extremely delicate. Any changes happening in the deeper layers of the skin will be easily visible on the surface. Dark circles are a common problem with both genders and all age groups typically above 16 years. We give you with easy home remedies and makeup tricks to hide them and make sure your eyes look fresh instantly.
Common causes of dark circles
1. Allergy to products, like ingredients of make-up, hair dyes, some medicated applications like eye drops, and facial creams.
2. Repeated rubbing and scratching the delicate skin around the eyes can eventually lead to a brown discoloration around the eye.
3. In a certain subset of people, the problem of undereye bags and pigmentation around the eyes runs in the family. They get worse with sun exposure.
4. Improper sleep exacerbates the problem.
5. Stress (physical or mental) is a major killer of healthy glowing skin. Stress can be a major factor that contributes to your eyes looking tired.
6. Iron deficiency can also lead to pigmentation around the eyes.
7. Smoking increases free radicals in the skin resulting in puffy eyes.
Home remedies to remove dark circles
Cold cucumber slices
Cucumbers contain antioxidants that can reduce puffiness around the eyes. As a natural astringent and a coolant, cucumber causes the skin tissues to contract. This makes ender-eye circles less prominent. Place finely cut cucumber slices on each eyelid. Leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse.
Cold tea bags
The caffeine present in tea bags shrinks blood vessels and reduces fluid retention in tissues. This makes the skin around your eyes look vibrant and glowing. Cold tea bags cause skin tissues to shrink, leaving your eyes looking less puffy. Take two already soaked tea bags and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove and place them on each eye for 5 -10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and repeat 1-3 times a day to see effective results.
Mint leaves contain menthol that improves blood circulation and soothes and rejuvenates skin. It is natural astringent and contracts the blood vessels around the eyes, reducing the blue tint. The vitamin C in mint makes the skin around the eyes appear brighter. Make your own mask at home by blending mint leaves and applying them on the affected area. Leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Milk contains vitamins A and B6, which help build new skin cells. The vitamin B12 in milk naturally lightens dark skin. The selenium in milk protects skin from harmful free radicals and sun damage. Just soak two cotton pads in cold milk and squeeze out excess. Place the cotton pads on the eyes covering the dark circles. Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with cold water. Repeat thrice a week.
Aloe vera is an effective moisturiser and has anti-inflammatory properties. Clean the under eye area with moist cotton and apply massage aloe vera pulp under the eyes for 10 minutes. You don’t need to rinse unless you find it sticky.
Rose water and whole milk
Rose water is great for those with sensitive skin. Take two teaspoons of milk and mix it 1 teaspoon of whole milk. Soak two cotton pads in the mixture and cover your eye area with it for 20 minutes. Wash with normal water.
Potato contains natural bleaching property that can help to lighten your skin under your eyes as well as prevent puffiness around your eyes. Take chilled potatoes and grate them. Extract the juice in a bowl and soak cotton pads for a minute. Place them on your eyes for 20 minutes and wash off with normal water.
Turmeric and mint leaves
Turmeric is known to rejuvenate tired and sagging skin. In a blender, puree mint leaves and strain to extract the juice. Add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to the juice. Apply the mixture to the affected area and leave it on for 20 minutes. Allow it to dry and wash with cold water.
Coconut oil is extremely moisturising and contains vitamin E and antioxidants that help repair damaged skin cells and dryness. It also is rich in lactic acid that tightens skin. Before going to bed, apply extra virgin oil on clean under-eye skin. Massage gently in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for a few minutes. Leave it overnight.
Almond oil and lemon juice
Mix one teaspoon of almond oil with a few drops of lemon juice. Massage the mixture around your eyes for 2 minutes. Leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse.
The vitamin E and tocopherols in argan oil replenish moisture in skin cells and reduce wrinkles by repairing the skin’s hydro-lipid layer. It also reduces fine lines and reduces the damage caused by sun. Gently massage a few drops under eyes for a few minutes before sleeping. Leave it overnight and rinse in the morning.
Tomatoes are natural bleaching agents. They contain antioxidants that reduce discolouration around the eyes. Try this potent home remedy to banish dark circles: Extract tomato juice and mix ½ tsp of lemon juice and 2 tsp of gram flour to it. Apply the paste under the eyes and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with cold water.
Many times, what may look like dark patch around the eyes, in reality, is just dry skin. Moisturising it twice daily will restore your skin and hydrate it, giving your eyes a fuller look. Use a good quality moisturiser that suits your skin type. You can even try massaging your skin with almond oil.
All about under-eye creams
If you expect your under eye cream to get rid of your wrinkles and fine lines completely or even shadows around your eyes for that matter, then you are obviously under the wrong impression.
Dr Jaishree Sharad, dermatologist, says, “An under-eye cream can never be a quick-fix, nor can you see results within a few days of applying the cream. Under eye creams can certainly help to hydrate the skin and prevent lines and wrinkles. The skin around the eyes has very few oil glands and is almost 10 times thinner than that of the face. Facial expressions such as squinting, blinking, smiling will cause the thin muscles to exercise more. This and other factors such as lack of moisture, sun exposure, rubbing of eyes, smoking, stress can lead to wrinkles and dark circles around the eyes. They can also occur due to lack of sleep, allergies, low haemoglobin or if the person has sunken eyes. It is extremely important to apply an eye cream every single night in order to moisturise the thin skin under the eyes. This will prevent the early breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres and keep the skin soft and supple. Thus reducing the chances of you developing fine lines and wrinkles.”
How to pick under-eye cream
Use under eye creams containing barrier-repairing oils like jojoba oil or sunflower oil. These prevent trans-epidermal water loss and help to repair the skin. Look for a cream containing vitamin C and vitamin K if you have dark circles. Make sure you have used the cream for at least 6 months before you begin to see the results. Another advantage, the creams prevent them from getting worse. So, use them. Avoid the use of heavy creams under the eyes as these may cause puffiness . And during the day, do not forget a sunscreen under your eyes too.
Makeup tricks to hide dark circles
Concealing under-eye circles with sloppy makeup only makes them more prominent. Try these hacks:
Pick the right concealer
It’s important to pick the right concealer. A green toned one will reduce redness while yellow toned concealers will hide the dark bluish circles. If you’re picking the normal flesh toned concealers, use a shade lighter than your skin tone to brighten up the area. Also, don’t pick a formula that’s cakey and dry. Look for a light, creamy one that can be easily blended so that it doesn’t accentuate any fine lines or wrinkles.
Apply it at the right place
If you have been smearing your concealer on the entire under-eye area, then stop doing it right away. Ideally, you need to dab it only on spots where you actually have them. Generally forms a semi-circle from the inside of the eyes towards the cheek. And remember, apply with a light hand. Don’t cake it on.
Apply it in the right way
Use a soft brush or your finger to dab the concealer on and then blend around the rest of your eyes using a sponge. Set with a translucent powder.
Tips to prevent dark circles
1. Try to ease your stress.
2. Have a diet rich in iron and vitamin C. Food rich in iron will improve your haemoglobin content and reduce your dark circles. Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron by the body. Dried beans, dried fruits, eggs (especially egg yolks), iron-fortified cereals, liver, lean red meat, oysters, poultry, salmon, tuna, and whole grains are rich in iron. Include citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, melon, and spinach for vitamin C.
3. Get treated for allergies, hay fever, asthma, and nasal congestion too.
4. Abstain from rubbing your eyes all the time.
5. Avoid eye cosmetics if you are allergic to them. Change your eye cosmetics every six months to prevent irritant allergies and infections.
6. Always moisturise the skin under the eye. Dry, dehydrated skin will make the under eye area dull and more prone to allergies.
7. Stylish glares not only make you look cool, but also protect your eyes as well as the skin around the eyes from the harsh effects of UV rays.
8. Be gentle when cleansing and removing eye make-up.
9. When choosing a cream or serum to reduce dark circles around the eyes, look for vitamins C, E, K or retinol in the ingredients.
FAQs on dark circles
Are dark circles under the eyes hereditary?
A The appearance of dark circles could be due to a variety of reasons – nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, or allergies. But the most common cause is that they are hereditary. Often, the genes passed down from parents is the leading cause for many.
Is aloe vera gel good for eye bags and wrinkles?
A If there’s one product that works effectively for both eye bags and wrinkles, it’s aloe vera gel. A storehouse of essentials vitamins, namely vitamin E, C, B12 and A, aloe vera gel is also known for its anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties, which helps you combat pesky under eye bags and wrinkles.
Are there any medications or treatments for this?
A Vitamin C supplements are effective in dealing with wrinkles and eye bags. The vitamin aids in the making of collagen, which improves skin elasticity, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Treatment for this condition should be based on the factor causing it. If it is due to an allergic reaction to something, anti-allergy medicines should be consumed. If the factor causing it is linked to genes, then treatments like under eye fillers can be considered, which add volume to the under eye bag, helping it transition better to the cheek. A doctor should be consulted before any medication or treatment is considered.
How long does it take to reduce dark circles?
A The nature of the dark circles determine how long it will take to reduce the them. If they are caused due to fatigue or lack of sleep, adequate sleep will help solve the problem in a couple of weeks. For more stubborn dark circles, continuous treatment and changes in diet and lifestyle should show a change.
What is a good eye care routine?
A A good, hydrating moisturiser goes a long way in keeping the skin around your eyes well-nourished and healthy, and should always be part of your eye care routine. Despite moisturisers advocating the inclusion of SPF in their formula, it is better to opt for a separate sunscreen, especially because the skin around your eyes is doubly sensitive compared to the rest of your face. There’s no denying the beauty of eye makeup, but if not removed properly, it causes more harm than good. Most makeup removers are too harsh for this part of your face, and can lead to irritation and dryness. Instead of chemicals, opt for a baby oil, or olive oil, as a gentler (and more nourishing) alternative to removing your eye makeup. Lastly, but most importantly, good sleep (in terms of quality of sleep, and not just number of hours clocked in) staying hydrated, and a regulation of salt in your diet are also key in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags.