How to Get Rid of Dark Under Eye Circles

Information about why you get dark circles and how to treat them |

Most people think that a lack of sleep causes dark circles. While not getting a good night's rest is one of the culprits for under eye circles, many more reasons exist. Understanding why you're getting dark circles will help you learn how to better treat this condition and find a successful solution.

Below is a chart of dark under eye circle causes and potential treatment options to consider:

Dark Eye Circles: Causes and Cures

Dark Circle Causes Treatment Options
Fatigue or illness A good night’s rest; Good and consistent sleep habits; Sleeping 7-8 hours of deep sleep a night, not intermittent naps that add up to 7-8 hours; Reducing stress; Living a healthy lifestyle (not smoking or drinking); Daily exercise
Allergies, congestion, or sinus problems Allergy medication; Nasal sprays; Rinsing out sinuses (Neti pot)

(Too much melanin production around the eye area; Genetic; Dark circles are more brownish)
Sunscreen to prevent them from getting darker; Skin lighteners (vitamin c, kojic acid) or other topicals (retinoids, AHAs) to improve them
Thin skin

(Blood vessels may show through your skin, especially if you are fair; You can have either have naturally thin skin or experience fat loss; Dark circles are bluish)
Thickening your skin with retinoids; Drinking enough water; Using products with elastin and collagen; Using hydrating moisturizers; IPL or other laser treatments to close the blood vessels

(Iron oxide leaking from tiny blood vessels; Dark circles look purplish)
Copper peptides; Products with Vitamin K

(Iron deficiency)
Make sure to get enough iron either through food (red meats, broccoli, liver) or supplements
Bruising Don’t rub your eyes; Be gentle when you’re putting in contacts or removing eye makeup; Avoid tugging at the eyes; Pat on eye cream with your ring finger

If you test out the above treatments but still have dark circles, it could be that your dark circles are hereditary or just caused by your bone structure (i.e. they could be shadows and not actual dark circles). Neither of those are things you can really change, but common at-home remedies for potential dark circles relief include:

  • Cold cucumber slices
  • Tea bags
  • Cold spoons
  • Potato slices

Another popular at-home remedy is a gelatin eye mask. To make this mask, you mix gelatin powder with water, apply to your dark circles for 20 minutes, and then rinse off with cold water. I have personally tried this method and it has not worked for me. I actually don't recommend that people use the gelatin mask under the eye area because when the gelatin dries, it dries very hard on your skin and makes it extremely difficult to remove. Getting the gelatin off your skin also pulls and tugs at the delicate skin under your eye and that's not something you want to do.

If all else fails, there is always makeup. You want to use a concealer that not only covers up, but also counters the color of the dark under eye circles. Therefore, you might want to use yellow or peachy colored correctors under your normal concealer.

Dusting lightly with a lighter-toned powder may also help to brighten that area of your skin. Dark under eye circles tend to make you look tired, so I like to line my lower eye with white liner because it makes my eyes pop and makes me look extra awake.

Keep in mind that most expensive eye products that claim they get rid of, lighten, or fade dark circles don’t really work. There is no guaranteed fix for dark under eye circles, but there are things you can do to improve their appearance.

Last updated: September 20, 2012

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