If you have dark circles under your eyes chances are you would like them gone as quickly as possible. Luckily there are quite a few things you can do naturally at home as beauty remedies to support your skin health in the eye area and encourage brighter, lighter tone. Herbs, natural oils, and simply time spent on your skin will be a big help. It's empowering to know you can stimulate repair on your own without spending thousands of dollars on invasive and risky procedures.
Many herbs have dozens of active compounds in them. A simple infusion can provide vitamins, minerals, and a wide range of phytonutrients. Using fresh ingredients can be very effective because there is no loss or degradation of the beneficial plant chemistry from time. You can also look for these botanical ingredients in skincare products, but be sure you are purchasing from a company that uses potent, quality, fresh extracts.
The first thing you'll want to do is find out what is causing your dark under eye circles. Visit our article on what causes dark eye circles to determine if there are lifestyle and health triggers you should address. Once you do that you'll be ready to move on to the best home remedies for your beauty needs.
NUTRITION TO PREVENT DARK UNDER EYE CIRCLES
A balanced diet is very important, which can include fresh fruits, salads, sprouts, unprocessed cereals, yogurt, cottage cheese, lentils, beans, leafy green vegetables, egg and fish. A nutritious diet with adequate Vitamins, like A, C, K and E and iron can help to minimize dark circles. In fact, the deficiency of iron has been found to be a common cause of dark circles due to poor oxygenation in the blood.
As beauty remedies go, eating well is one of the best investments you can make. A few dietary adjustments can make a big difference in the skin.
- Eat many different varieties of fruits and vegetables daily for their micronutrient content and a boost of hydration and digestion-friendly fiber.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fresh, clean water or herbal tisanes. Tisanes are non-caffeinated herbal infusions and they come in a wide variety of flavors from fruity to spicy to mellow. Try rooibos blends, mint or ginger based teas for better digestion, or rose and tulsi like the Cup of Love blend
from our friends at Big Heart Tea Company.
- Reduce caffeine consumption to improve hydration levels in the body and also help you get more restful sleep at night.
- Eat fresh, minimally processed, preservative-free foods whenever possible. Food additives can cause an unnecessary burden on the body in digestion and elimination and they offer no beneficial nutrient content.
You may wish to consult your doctor before making changes in your diet and ask your doctor about vitamin and mineral supplements that will be best suitable for you.
BEST VITAMINS TO LIGHTEN DARK UNDER EYE CIRCLES
Vitamin K - is vital for reducing dark circles, as it supports blood clotting and proper circulation. Dark circles are symptomatic of a Vitamin K deficiency. You can find Vitamin K in leafy green vegetables, avocado, oatmeal, wheat, alfalfa, kiwi, brown rice, eggs, and sweet potatoes.
- fends off free radicals (source
) and helps protect circulation. (Taken with vitamin A and C because it helps the body use it effectively). It is a fat soluble vitamin, so is often found in foods with healthy fats like sunflower seeds, almonds, and avocado. It can also be found in high levels in butternut squash and sweet potatoes. It is also found in leafy greens like spinach and vegetables like asparagus.
- helps maintain skin health and repair tissue around the eyes. The antioxidants in vitamin A help fight wrinkles, skin thinning and other signs of aging. (source
) A deficiency can lead to dry eyelids, over-tiring of the eyes, and sensitivity to light, which all contribute to dark circles. Vitamin A can be found in leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, red peppers, liver, eggs and some fruits.
Iron & B12
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency can result in poor oxygenation of bodily tissues. The effects of this are shown mostly under the eyes where vessels tend to clot and pool. Anemia has been found to contribute to up to 50% of cases of dark under eye circles, (source
) so Iron intake is crucial. Many vegetarians will be low in both B12 and Iron due to not eating the primary dietary sources, so supplementation may be necessary. Iron is also best absorbed with vitamin C, and as an added bonus, vitamin C also helps to strengthen blood vessel walls. Egg yolks, chicken, lean beef, brown rice, oatmeal, lentils, spinach and prunes are some foods that contain Iron and B-12. Have your Iron levels tested before beginning supplementation, as it is not good to have your Iron levels rise too high either.
- Proanthocyanidins are a class of antioxidant polyphenols found in a variety of plants. The most common sources of these compounds for supplements and skincare are grape seeds and maritime pine bark. The pine bark extract may be sold under the trade name Pycnogenol. Studies have shown the ability of proanthocyanidins to improve vascular health and resilience. (source
) Leaky capillaries contribute to dark under eye circles, so strengthening the circulatory system can help reduce discoloration. Proanthocyanidins are also potent antioxidants that support healthy, youthful skin by preventing damage from free radicals.
KEY TOPICAL INGREDIENTS THAT REDUCE DARK UNDER EYE CIRCLES
Almond oil - nourishes and strengthens the skin under the eyes to increase resilience
- Argan oil
has been proven in a scientific study to inhibit production of melanin in the skin and keep pigmentation of skin even. Studies have also shown that daily consumption and/or topical application of argan oil has an anti-aging effect on the skin
and leads to improvements in skin elasticity. (source
Frankincense essential oil
- Frankincense essential oil
is gentle and suitable for skin of all ages. It has anti-aging properties due to antioxidant action, which protect skin elasticity. (source
) Use sparingly and well diluted around the eyes.
- packed with nutrients such as Vitamins A, B, C, and E plus enzymes that inhibit inflammation, 9 different minerals, polysaccharides, 4 plant steroids, hormonal compounds and amino acids. (source
) It also helps stimulate collagen formation to help restore the suppleness of the skin around our eyes.
Arnica - enhances circulation, helps break up trapped blood and relieve bruise discoloration and swelling
Turmeric - has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, also smooths and softens skin
Avocado - contains nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin B, and vitamin E
Rose water - soothes tired eyes and rejuvenates skin
Cucumber - corrects pigmentation with its skin-lightening properties, also soothes and refreshes
Caffeine - reduces the size of blood vessels by forcing the blood out of them and reducing the dark eye circles
Licorice root - soothing and anti-inflammatory, and has pigment lightening properties which can be beneficial for darker skin types whose under eye circles are more of a pigmentation issue.
EASY BEAUTY HOME REMEDIES FOR DARK UNDER EYE CIRCLES
Relieve eye fatigue by washing with warm and cold water.
Wash or compress with warm water and follow this with cold water. This improves blood circulation to the eyes and relieves congestion. Warm water will dialate blood vessels and cold water will contract them. This will help you create a better glow to the skin and then reduce swelling as you finish.
Hydrate and plump under eye wrinkles with an herbal eye soak.
Eye pads soaked in rose water or a strong herbal infusion of licorice or aloe juice are one of the most relaxing homemade beauty remedies. Using a fresh, custom infusion means your eyes will be getting quality, fresh phytonutrients.
To make an herbal infusion use approximately 1 TBSP dry herb in 2 oz of heated water. Steep and allow it to cool before using. Strain if necessary to separate the liquid from the herb material, then soak pads in the infusion.
To juice an aloe leaf simply pick it from your houseplant and split the flesh of the leaf open, scraping out the gel interior.
Lie down with eyes closed and apply the herb or aloe soaked pads on the eyes. Keep them on for about 15 minutes.
Take advantage of tannins to reduce under eye circles and puffiness.
Green or black tea contain caffeine and antioxidants that are highly beneficial for getting rid of dark circles as well as puffiness under eyes by shrinking the blood vessels and reducing fluid retention. The tannins, in particular, help decrease swelling and discoloration. A quick soothing recipe for lower lid support is to chill two used green or black tea bags in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Place one tea bag over each eye and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags and wash your face. Repeat once or twice daily for a few weeks. This is a great thing to do while listening to your favorite podcast, or practicing pranic breathing.
Take a break from your eye makeup to reduce under eye darkness.
Makeup products may actually be worsening your under eye circles due to irritating preservatives and other allergens that cause inflammation. In addition removing eye makeup daily is a challenge for many women. Aggressive rubbing of the eye area such as what many women have to do to remove waterproof makeup has been found to contribute to around 30% of dark under eye circles, and cosmetic use is associated with 36% of dark under eye circles!
Consider skipping using eye makeup products like mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow several days per week to give your skin a break, saving it for special occasions. When you do need to remove makeup you should use a cleansing gel to remove make-up
, stroking the skin gently using a damp cotton cloth. The right makeup remover will make it easy to take off cosmetic products gently without irritating the skin. A pure oil like coconut, jojoba, or argan can also be used for removal of waterproof eye makeup.
Use good quality, organic skincare designed for the sensitive under eye area to reduce darkness and wrinkles.
Include the area around eyes in daily skin care. Gentle movements and a light touch are essential.
Purchase your skincare from a reputable company with good reviews, and avoid bargain buys at the grocery store. Seek advice from your esthetician, and be willing to look online for independent green beauty brands that do not sell in mass retailers. The quality will often be better when you purchase direct from the manufacturer. Many skincare products may actually make your problems worse overall, so it's worth it to take the time to shop carefully.
With any skincare routine the biggest contributor to success is sticking to regular application. While eye makeup can be saved for occasional use your eye serum
or eye cream should be used at least once daily. Your skin will need a consistent supply of nutrients to repair itself daily.
Give your under eye area a massage with natural, botanical oils to improve under eye darkness.
Apply pure organic almond or argan oil
sparingly around eyes and massage it lightly on the skin for one minute under each eye. Massage starting at the nose and working outward. Stroke 5-10 times per side on the under eye and then continue up around the inner corners of the eye area and around the brow bone. Stroke outward gently 5-10 more times on the upper eyelid and browbone. The oil will provide lubrication so that your touch will not pull on the skin, and argan oil contains antioxidants and vitamins that will rejuvenate and protect the skin. Never tug or stretch, just caress gently.
Brighten the under eye area with Vitamin C.
Raw juices contain fresh vitamins, and often also contain enzymes that can help with exfoliation. One traditional under eye remedy for dark circles is to use potato puree or juice on the skin. Raw potatoes contain a significant dose of natural Ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C, which is a skin lightening compound and also extremely good for building collagen and preventing wrinkles. It interrupts the process of melanin formation, which will be particularly helpful for people who suffer from dark circles due to having more naturally pigmented skin. (source
The level of Vitamin C in common fruits and vegetables is high enough to provide beneficial results but not so high as to irritate the skin from the acidity. By using fresh fruits and vegetables you also get the Ascorbic acid compound in its pure form without degradation that can occur in pre-made skincare products that contain pure Ascorbic acid.
Puree a small amount of fresh potato and apply to the skin. You can use it as a mask for the whole face if you like, or just apply to the under eyes. For use under the eye it can be very refreshing to freeze the potato puree into small ice cubes and use the cold temperature to further soothe and shrink puffy tissues under the eye.
Other common fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C and would make a good puree would be red and yellow sweet peppers, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Deeply nourish your under eye skin with a homemade mask
Make a moisturizing mask with smashed avocado and turmeric as a homemade beauty treatment and apply to the under eye area for 15 minutes. Slight and temporary yellow staining may occur from the turmeric, so do this at night. The fats in the avocado will condition the skin, and turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. If you want a non-staining version use raw cacao powder for antioxidants instead. Warning! You may be tempted to eat your avocado-cacao creation! (And it's fine if you do.)
Use stone beauty tools to stimulate the under eye skin at home.
Use a jade roller to gently massage the tissue around the eye area. Make sure you have a real jade roller instead of a plastic imitation. The jade should feel cool to the touch. You can sit and roll during your favorite shows to make use of the time. Roll from the nose outward to the sides of the face using the small end of the roller. This is also an easy way to do your massage if you do not feel as comfortable using your fingers.
Will you try any of these home remedies for dark circles under eyes? Let us know if you do! The extra attention to your under eye skin will give you a complexion that is nourished, supple, and well-hydrated. Holistic methods like the ones we have recommended can result in reduced stress and a general increase in well-being, which will show in your skin as well. Health is the greatest asset to beauty, and it is within your power to create it for yourself!
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program. Cosmetic products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.