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Dark circles – tips for improvements

woman using dark circles patches

Table of Contents

Dark circles and how to get rid of them is a concern that a lot of people share. In this article we cover topics such as causes, tips and treatments for dark circles.

Dark circles are puffiness and darkening of the skin under the eye, and they create cosmetic concerns. It is usually not a serious condition and doesn’t have any serious complications. They are seen bilaterally. Dark circles under the eyes may look purple or blue to dark brown or black, depending on skin colour.

These circles are rarely a cause for concern, but people may wish to reduce their appearance for cosmetic reasons.

Causes and risk factors

Dark circles under the eyes are usually caused by being tired. Sometimes, what appear to be dark circles under your eyes may merely be shadows cast by puffy eyelids or hollows under your eyes that develop as a normal part of aging.

Some of the most common causes of true under-eye circles are:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin changes that happen with aging
  • Allergies
  • Dehydration
  • Sun overexposure,
  • Heredity
  • Skin color irregularities

There are several contributing factors for dark circles. Some common causes of include:


Oversleeping, extreme fatigue, or just staying up a few hours past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show. Lack of sleep can also cause fluid to build underneath your eyes, causing them to appear puffy. As a result, the dark circles you see may be shadows cast by your puffy eyelids.

looking in mirror dark circles concern

Skin changes that happen with aging

Natural aging is another common cause of those dark circles beneath your eyes. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner. You also lose the fat and collagen needed to maintain your skin’s elasticity. As this occurs, the dark blood vessels beneath your skin become more visible causing the area below your eyes to darken.


Allergic reactions and eye dryness can trigger dark circles. When you have an allergic reaction, your body release histamines as a response to harmful bacteria. Other than causing uncomfortable symptoms, including itchiness, redness, and puffy eyes, histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin. Allergies can also increase your urge to rub and scratch the itchy skin around your eyes. These actions can worsen your symptoms, causing inflammation, swelling, and broken blood vessels. This can result in dark shadows beneath your eyes.


Dehydration is a common cause of dark circles under your eyes. When your body is not receiving the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken. This is due to their proximity to the underlying bone.

Sun overexposure

Overexposure to the sun can cause your body to produce an excess of melanin, the pigment that provides your skin with color. Too much sun, particularly for your eyes, can cause pigmentation in the surrounding skin to darken.


Family history also plays a part in developing dark circles under your eyes. It can be an inherited trait seen early in childhood, and may worsen as you age or slowly disappear. Predispositions to other medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, can also result in dark circles beneath your eyes.

Skin colour irregularities

Dark circles are more common in people with darker skin tones, and they affect people of color more than white people. This risk factor is thought to be due to changes in pigmentation.

At-Home treatments

Treatment for dark eye circles depends on the underlying cause. However, there are some home remedies that can help manage this condition. Some of the more common methods include:

Apply a cold compress. A cold compress can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels. This can reduce the appearance of puffiness and help eliminate dark circles. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean washcloth and apply to your eyes. You can also dampen a washcloth with cold water and apply it to the skin under your eyes for 20 minutes for the same effect.

Get extra sleep. Catching up on sleep can also help reduce the appearance of dark circles. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to appear pale, making the dark circles more obvious. Allow yourself seven to eight hours of rest to prevent dark circles from appearing. Wearing an eye mask when you sleep can help to eliminate dark circles that are caused by rubbing

Soak with tea bags. Applying cold tea bags to your eyes can improve their appearance. Tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that can help stimulate blood circulation, shrink your blood vessels, and reduce liquid retention beneath your skin. Soak two black or green tea bags in hot water for five minutes. Let them chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Once they’re cold, apply the teabags to your closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes, rinse your eyes with cool water.

teabag remedy for dark circles

Conceal with makeup. Concealers can cover dark marks so they blend in with your normal skin color. However, as with any topical treatment or makeup product, use proper care. If you begin to experience irregular symptoms from any topical treatment, stop use immediately and schedule a visit with your doctor.

Medical treatments

Topical agents: Creams containing skin lightening agents like kojic acid, glycolic acid, and hydroquinone, may be used. Low strength creams are available in our shop as well. Higher-strength creams would require a specialist’s prescription. These creams need to be applied every day for several months.

Chemical peel: Light chemical peels are used because the under-eye area is thin and sensitive. Common peels include glycolic peel, salicylic acid peel, and a lactic acid peel. Chemical peels should be performed by a licensed aesthetician or physician. Doing chemical peels at home without an expert’s supervision could lead to serious complications like chemical skin burns, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, allergic reaction, and a chemical injury to the eyes.

Mesotherapy, vitamin C mesotherapy for treatment of periorbital dark circles effectively reduces the pigmentation. Mesotherapy can be carried out with the help of extremely thin needles, by which the substances are introduced and a minimal trauma with local epithelializing restructuring effect.

Researchers comparing chemical peel and vitamin C mesotherapy for treatment of periorbital dark circles found both effectively reduced the pigmentation, but mesotherapy had a slight edge in outcomes and patient satisfaction, according to a dark circles study published February 2019 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Lasers: Several lasers are available to lighten dark circles. Some have additional benefits of reducing wrinkles and inducing collagen growth.

Injectable fillers: Volume loss and increased thinning of the skin in the under-eye area causes the affected area to appear dull, sunken, dark, wrinkled, and aged. Fillers injected by a physician correct the volume loss, reduces wrinkles, reduces shadows, and brightens up the under-eye area.

Blepharoplasty: This is a surgical procedure that may be done for patients with fat accumulation under the eyes, causing an appearance of dark circles due to the shadows cast.

Treatment of underlying medical conditions like allergies and sinus infections.

Treatment of skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema.


People can help prevent the appearance of dark circles by addressing lifestyle factors.

Getting enough sleep and reduce stress: Researchers found that stress increased the appearance of dark circles, while rest and healthy lifestyle habits decreased discoloration. The lack of sleep is commonly observed via missing qualitative sleep rather than the quantity of it. From various researches and reports, the proper amount of sleep required for an adult is around 7-9 hours a day.

Protecting the eyes from the sun: Wearing UV protection sunglasses that cover around the eyes and wearing sunscreen around the eyes can help to prevent or reduce dark circles. Suncare protection dermato-cosmetics are the ideal solution for your daily routine.

protect skin with sunscreen

Keeping your eyes clean and moisturized is the prime ambition in taking care of your eyes. Despite the claims being there about SPF containing moisturizers, it is always better to opt for a separate sunscreen. The skin surrounding your eyes are more sensitive than any other part of your body. Avoid using excess makeup, no matter the amount of beauty it adds to your skin, the chemical composition of the some, makes it more harmful than good.

Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can speed up the aging process of the body and may increase the risk of dark circles.

 Feel free to contact us for a discussion or more tips about any skin improvements.


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