Dark circles under the eyes occur when the skin under both eyes appears darkened. Many factors can cause it, but most of the time it can be treated with home remedies, medical interventions, or both.
Here’s what you need to know about the best treatments to get rid of dark circles and what causes them in the first place.
- Get enough sleep
A 2017 study published in the Royal Society Open Science looked at the effects of sleep deprivation on appearance and found that people who got four hours of sleep had more visible dark circles under their eyes than those who slept eight hours. “Lack of sleep can contribute to dark blood vessels and fluid buildup under the eyes, leading to a dark shadow,” says Karly O’Keefe, esthetician and owner of SkincraftLA facial treatment center in Los Angeles. . Not getting enough sleep can also increase stress, which can exacerbate dark circles.
- Try a cold compress
A cold compress can help reduce the swelling and narrowing of dilated blood vessels, which, if those blood vessels are those under the eyes, can reduce the appearance of dark circles, says Michele Green, MD, cosmetic dermatologist who runs her own practice in New York. To try at home, wrap a few ice cubes in a clean towel, then apply the towel to your eyes for three to five minutes. You can also wet a towel with cold water and place it on the skin under the eyes with light pressure for about 20 minutes. You can also use gel eye masks which can be left in the freezer until ready to use. Apply for 10 minutes.
- Lift your head while you sleep
If you wake up with dark circles, try lifting your head while you sleep. This will keep fluid from building up under the eyes overnight and prevent puffiness, inflammation and puffiness the next morning, says O’Keefe. Puffy, inflamed eyes can create shadows under the lower eyelid, giving the appearance of dark circles.
- Apply tea bags
A cool tea bag can also help fight inflammation, says O’Keefe.This is because tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that help narrow blood vessels, stimulate blood circulation and reduce swelling. To try this method, put the used tea bags in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, then apply them to your eyes for 30 minutes. O’Keefe recommends green tea because its caffeine content tightens the capillaries and blood vessels under the eyes which tighten the skin.
- Try cucumbers
Cucumbers contain vitamin K, which can reduce dark circles under the eyes by strengthening blood vessel walls. This makes the blood vessels less visible under the thinner skin. Although they probably won’t completely get rid of dark circles, cucumbers can help reduce their appearance, Green says. To try at home, cut a fresh cucumber into medium-thick slices and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then place it on your eyes for 10-15 minutes twice a day.You can do this several times a week. Fresh cucumbers also act as cold compresses.
- Take allergy medication
Itchy red eyes due to allergies can contribute to dark circles. Indeed, when you rub them, they become painful and swollen, creating shadows. Taking an antihistamine can help reduce allergy symptoms that can exacerbate dark circles, says Green. But this is only effective if allergies are the cause of dark circles.It is not recommended to take an antihistamine if you do not have allergies.
- Consider laser therapy
Laser therapy can help with dark circles if the cause is excessive melanin production — darker pigmentation — due to genetics or skin exposure to sunlight, says O’ Keef. Laser therapy involves applying a low level of light rays to the skin to improve collagen production in skin cells and reduce pigmentation. It should be done in a medical spa after consulting a dermatologist. Side effects may include swelling or irritation for a few days after treatment.
- Ask your dermatologist about fillers
Fillers add volume under the eyes to reduce the appearance of shadows or hollowness under the eyes, says O’Keefe. The process involves small injections of liquid – usually hyaluronic acid – under the eyes to lift the surface of the skin.This puts space between the skin and underlying blood vessels to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. This is done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia.
- Try skin whiteners
Over-the-counter skin whiteners that can be purchased as a serum, gel, or cream can remove dull skin cells and boost radiance, Green says. Look for products that contain vitamin C or niacinamide which can improve the appearance of dark skin. Dark circles caused by excess melanin production. It can be applied twice a day in the morning and in the evening. Other skin bleaching agents, such as retinoids or vitamin A, are not recommended for use directly under the eyes because they can cause irritation, O’Keefe says.