Dark circles under the eyes are common. These are usually observed among both men and women. Dark circles are usually accompanied by sagging of skin under your eyes, making them look baggy. They are mostly attributed to lack of sleep, stress, and fatigue.
As you grow older, your skin loses its natural thickness and collagen. This can make the appearance of blood vessels underneath your skin more prominent. As a result, this area can look darker than usual. Other conditions, such as swelling near your eyes or fluid imbalance around the lower eyelids, can make your skin look darker. A black eye or injury to the area can cause the entire eye to look darker.
Natural Ways To Minimize Dark Circles Under Eyes
- Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil has sclerosant as well as emollient properties (1). It may help reduce the appearance of blood vessels underneath your skin by improving your skin tone.
What You Can Do: Dab 2-3 drops of sweet almond oil on a cotton ball. Apply it to the dark circles and massage into your skin. Leave it on overnight and wash off in the morning. Do this every night before sleeping until the dark circles fade.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel contains aloesin, a compound that inhibits tyrosinase activity (2). This can help in preventing excessive pigmentation on your skin. It can also hydrate the skin in the surrounding area and make it supple.
What You Can Do: Take a teaspoon of aloe vera gel and massage it into the affected area. Leave it on overnight and wash it off in the morning. You can follow this every night until the dark circles fade.
Cucumber contains bioactive compounds and vitamins that can inhibit tyrosinase activity (3). This can help reduce pigmentation around the eyes.
What You Can Do: You will need one cucumber and a teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Blend the ingredients to make a thick paste. Apply this paste to the affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash off with plain water. You can apply this paste once every day.
Tomatoes are rich in phytochemicals like lycopene and beta-carotene that mitigate oxidative damage to skin tissues and reduce erythema (redness) of skin (4), (5). This can help get rid of the dark circles that develop under the eyes.
What You Can Do: Make a paste by blending a tomato and lemon juice. Apply this around your eyes and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse it off thoroughly. Do this once or twice a week.
Note: Lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation on your skin, so you must do a patch test before trying this remedy.
- Lemon Juice
Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C exhibits anti-pigmentary properties and may help increase the dermal thickness under the eyes (6). This can help conceal the blood vessels that become visible due to the thinning of the skin and lighten dark circles.
What You Can Do: Extract the juice of fresh lemon. Dab a cotton ball in this juice and apply it to the dark circles. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off. Repeat this remedy twice a week for 3-4 weeks.
Note: Lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation on your skin, so do a patch test before trying this remedy. Also, make sure you apply sunscreen before stepping out in the sun as lemon juice can make your skin photosensitive.
- Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil contains proanthocyanidins that exhibit anti-melanogenic properties (2). Hence, it may inhibit pigmentation in the skin around your eyes and reduce dark circles.
What You Can Do: Take a few drops of rosehip oil. Dilute it with coconut oil and apply it to the dark circles with a cotton pad. Leave it on overnight and wash it off from your skin in the morning. Repeat this remedy every night until the dark circles fade away.
- Licorice Extract
Licorice extracts contain glabridin, which inhibits melanin synthesis (7). This effect can help in reducing the appearance of dark circles.
What You Can Do: Take a few drops of licorice extract and mix well with a vitamin K capsule until you get a smooth paste. Apply this paste on your dark circles and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash it thoroughly. You can apply this paste thrice a week.
Yogurt contains L-cysteine that inhibits tyrosinase activity and prevents pigmentation and dark circles (8).
What You Can Do: Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to two teaspoons of yogurt. Mix well, apply this paste to the dark circles, and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off. You can do this at least twice a week.
Note: Lemon can irritate some skin types. Make sure to carry out a patch test before trying out this remedy.
Potato juice contains azelaic acid that can inhibit tyrosinase activity to reduce pigmentation (9). This may help in fading dark circles.
What You Can Do: Extract about 1-2 tablespoons of potato juice in a bowl. Apply the juice on the dark circles and leave it on until it dries. Rinse off with water. Do this at least twice a week.
Bioactive compounds, like carotenoids and riboflavin, promote the anti-tyrosinase activity of saffron (10). These compounds may help prevent excessive pigmentation of the skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles.
What You Can Do: Take 3-4 strands of saffron and soak them in a quarter cup of milk for about 2 hours. Strain the milk and apply it on the skin surrounding your eyes. You can wash it off in about 10 minutes.
Honey contains polyphenols that inhibit tyrosinase activity (11). This can help reduce excessive pigmentation and fade dark circles.
What You Can Do: Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice with a tablespoon of honey. Apply this mixture to the skin surrounding your eyes and leave for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water. Repeat this once a day until the dark circles fade.
- Green Tea Bags
Green tea contains phenolic compounds that inhibit melanogenesis (12). This may help prevent excessive pigmentation of the skin and reduce dark circles.
What You Can Do: Take two green tea bags and soak them in water. Refrigerate for a short while and place them on your eyes. Wash your face after 10-15 minutes. You can repeat daily until the dark circles fade away.
- Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil contains bioactive compounds that can inhibit melanogenesis (13). This may help reduce pigmentation and dark circles.
What You Can Do: Take 2-3 drops of grapeseed oil and gently massage it into the skin surrounding your lower eyelids. Leave it on overnight and wash off the next morning. You can repeat this every night for a few weeks.