Dark circles are sadly a part of life we all have to go through. They make us look ugly, unkempt, and tired. I used to make a joke that people “aren’t alive if they don’t have bags under their eyes.” However, dark circles/bags are usually caused by not enough sleep and stress. (So, my joke wasn’t so funny.)
Unless your dark circles are an extreme case, in which case you should visit a board-certified dermatologist, dark circles can be “erased” away. In some cases, your dark circles may be hyperpigmentation – which can be treated with creams. In other cases, dark circles may be the result of hypervascularity (or blood vessels), which can be treated with lasers such as V-Beam or Pulse Dye.
Here are several “health hacks” you can do, starting today, to treat dark circles under your eyes so you look a lot healthier.
Before you begin anything else – massage your eyes first to reduce eye puffiness (called "periorbital puffiness"). The puffiness is caused by that are trapped around our eyes. Gently massaging those areas, therefore, displaces that trapped fluid. This is so easy to do you can do it while you’re still in bed in the morning.
Here’s how you massage your eyes:
- Close your eyes
- Lightly press your middle finger under your eye
- Gently “swirl” your finger in an arch around the puffiness’ natural contour
- Repeat 12 times, then switch to other eye
NOTE: Be gentle with your eyes. Do not roughly massage your eyes or face – doing so will not remove the circles faster.
2. Cold Water
Here’s the second easiest thing you can do for your eyes – use cold water. Once again: eye puffs are caused by excess fluid (due to circulation problems) in your face. Dipping your fingers in cold water and then massaging your eyes does wonders. Cold water has a ton of other health benefits, as well.
Alternatively, you can use a spoon. Think back to your high-school days, when you needed to get rid of hickeys in a jiffy. You covered a spoon in water then put it in the fridge for a few minutes, right? The same concept applies to eye bags: cold water (or coldness) constricts blood vessels, kicking your blood circulation into high gear. By using the back of a cold spoon, you’re circulating the blood in your face and removing those eye puffs.
Tomatoes are “masters” of annihilating dark circles. This is because tomatoes—full of vitamins A, B and C (and crucial skin-healing minerals such as calcium and potassium) - treat skin problems. They’re also used by many skin health professionals.
Although you can simply slice up a tomato and put two slices on top of your eyes… here’s a less funny-looking alternative:
- Mix a teaspoon of tomato juice and 1/2 tsp. lemon juice (in a small bowl)
- Apply mixture to your dark circles
- Wait 10 minutes (watch a YouTube video? Do yoga? Do squats?)
- Rinse, repeating twice a day for 3 weeks
Yes, regular potatoes that you get from the grocery store. Starch is anti-inflammatory. Potatoes are the kings of starch. Therefore, they are phenomenal for reducing inflammation and swelling in the eyes. (Much like the benefits of ice - without the ice.)
Wash potato thoroughly
- Cut 2 small round slices
- Place each slice on your eyes
- Relax for 20 minutes
- Wash off with cold water
- Repeat once a day for 3 weeks
Or alternatively, you could also do this:
- Peel two potatoes and grate them
- Squeeze them to get potato juice
- Dip two cotton balls in juice and apply to eyes for 30 minutes
- Wash off with cold water
I prefer the first method, as it’s a lot cleaner and a lot less work. However, the second method of application works wonders for you if you feel goofy about wearing potato slices.
Health spas and beauty experts around the world put cucumbers on clients’ eyes while “beautifying.” For good reason: cucumbers are rife with vitamin-C, which is nourishing for our skin. Plus, cucumbers just feel like a “spa” thing to do. So trying this treatment at home is like giving yourself a personal spa day.
- Cut cucumber into thick slices
- Let slices chill for 10 minutes in fridge
- Place slices on eyes for 10-15 minutes
- Wash face with water
- Repeat twice a day for 7-10 days
6. Cold Tea Bags
Green tea and chamomile tea both have skin-healing properties. (Explaining why they’re so prevalent amongst healthy-looking people.) This is largely thanks to the anti-irritants and anti-oxidants such as catechin in these teas. Here’s how you use tea bags to remove dark circles:
- Put cold water in a cup
- Put cup in freezer for 3-7 minutes and remove
- Put 2 teabags (either green or chamomile) in cup and let sit for 1 minute
- Remove bags and rest them on your eyes for 5 minutes
- Repeat 2 times a day until dark circles disappear
Additionally, it’s been documented that green tea improves eye health. That’s a good enough reason to pick up a box or two at your grocery store.
7. Lightening Creams
For all of their healing properties and money-saving, sometimes natural remedies don’t do the trick. In some cases, skin-discoloration causes the dark circles. In these instances, creams that lighten your skin are one of the most effective methods for removing those dull-looking bags. Sadly, the effect of these creams doesn’t last long and are often temporary. This is because a lot of those OTC solutions are loaded with chemicals. This is why it’s .
(This option is my favourite). If you don’t feel like getting laser treatment or heading to the grocery store for tea bags, tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers, a medical spa may be able to eliminate dark circles. Who doesn’t enjoy relaxing at a spa and rejuvenating their health?
9. Laser Treatment
A lot of what we’ve talked about so far is to treat dark circles themselves, and not remove the actual cause of them. Dark circles, as we mentioned before, could be caused by stress. Sometimes they are caused by aging, too. Low-quality sleep or h20 deprivation may also cause dark circles.
Therefore, one solution for laser treatment for dark circles is to boost collagen within your skin to increase laxity and “plump up” your natural skin. However, the advice of a board-certified dermatologist is recommended before laser treatment can begin.
As we talked about before, a lack of sleep will also give you those eye bags. (Isn’t that common knowledge?) However, the way you sleep plays a role, too. An elevated head keeps fluid from building up, thanks to gravity. For the same reason, it’s advisable to never sleep on your stomach. The best cure for getting rid of dark circles is preventing them in the first place. Luckily, you just saw that both the prevention and treatment are easier than ever.