Your eyes are often the most noticeable part of your face. It’s where people focus when you’re having a conversation, and it’s usually the first place people look when you first meet them. When you have dark circles or bags under your eyes, it can make you feel self-conscious and less confident.
One of the quickest options is to cover them up with makeup. But they’ll still be there, and they might be telling you something. There are a handful of reasons that dark circles appear, and most of them can be addressed with simple, natural solutions. This blog post will help you uncover the cause of the dark skin under your eyes and find ways to eliminate them.
What causes dark circles?
Dark circles, and the bags that often come with them, are a common issue for many people. The primary reason is that the skin under and around your eyes is generally more delicate and thin. Thinner skin under the eyes is more transparent than the skin on the rest of your face, so you can see the dark blood vessels underneath more easily.
For some people, the skin in this area is thin due to genetics. For others, it could be due to a medical condition like anemia. But for a lot of people, dark circles happen for simpler reasons.
Here are the most common causes of dark circles that can be managed naturally:
We will all gradually get older as time passes, and the facial changes that come with age are inevitable. One of those changes is the loss of collagen and fat, causing your skin to be more transparent and to lose some of its structure. As this happens, the delicate skin under your eyes darkens and becomes “baggy.”
Lack of Quality Sleep
Being tired is what most people associate with dark circles and bags. And since sleep is a challenge for so many people, it’s a common cause. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin regenerates at a slower rate and has difficulty repairing itself. This can result in paler and thinner skin under your eyes, showing more blood vessels. It can also lead to reduced circulation and under-eye puffiness, which could create shadows that make the area look darker.
If you spend much time looking at a computer or TV screen, you might notice dark circles under your eyes appearing more often. This is because your blood vessels start to get larger and more noticeable under the thin under-eye skin as your eyes become strained by overuse.
If you have allergies, your body reacts by releasing histamine. Histamine causes your eyes to react with redness, itchiness, and swelling. The inflammation can increase the darkness you see under your eyes. Plus, histamine can affect circulation and dilation of blood vessels, making them more visible.
Dehydration is another common cause of dark circles under your eyes. When you aren’t hydrating enough, your skin starts to look puffy and dull, and blood vessels become more noticeable. Drinking alcohol can also lead to dehydration and exaggerate dark circles, bags, and puffiness.
9 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Dark Circles
While some causes of dark under-eye circles are outside of your control, in most cases, you can take specific actions that will make a difference. And you don’t need expensive, invasive treatments to make them go away!
Here are some tips to try to reduce dark circles:
Apply cold compresses
Applying cold to your eyes is an excellent way to counteract dark circles because coldness has the power to decrease puffiness and shrink dilated blood vessels. You can use ice cubes wrapped in cloth and gently rub them around your eye area for a few minutes. Or you can buy gel-filled eye masks or packs and keep them in the freezer. Always use a cloth between the cold and your skin to avoid your eyes getting too cold.
For an even easier way to apply cold, dampen a washcloth with cold water and gently press it onto your eyes for a few minutes.
Eat more antioxidants
If you want to slow down the thinning of your skin due to aging, include more colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet. Antioxidants support your body’s ability to produce collagen, helping your skin regenerate, repair itself and maintain a firmer complexion. This will reduce darkness and loose skin under the eyes.
Antioxidants will also help counteract oxidative damage caused by the environment and other elements, keeping the skin under your eyes looking brighter and less dark.
Keep your blood circulating better and your skin cells plumper by drinking enough water during the day. It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re busy going about your day, so keep a water bottle nearby and set reminders on your phone or sticky notes to ensure you’re getting enough.
Put cucumbers on your eyes
Perhaps one of the most well-known home remedies for dark circles and puffy eyes is cucumber. But does it really work? There is research suggesting that antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber can heal and soothe the delicate skin around your eyes, making you look more awake. The coolness of the cucumber also feels refreshing.
Get better sleep
This may not be as easy as it sounds, but there are measures you can take to improve your sleep. Good sleep habits include:
- Maintaining a regular bedtime every night
- Not eating or exercising close to bedtime
- Doing yoga or meditation late in the evening
- Staying away from electronics at night
- Limiting caffeine intake late in the day
- Reducing noise and light in your bedroom
Get regular exercise
Cardiovascular activities and strengthening your muscles with weights will keep your blood circulating, reduce stress levels, decrease inflammation, and help you sleep better. All of these things will help keep the dark circles and bags away.
Use green tea bags
Applying green tea bags to your eyes is an excellent way to harness the power of antioxidants, cold, and caffeine to reduce dark circles. Antioxidants will help skin repair itself, the cold will reduce puffiness, and caffeine will constrict dilated blood vessels, all leading to decreased dark circles.
Steep the tea bags in hot water for a few minutes first, then put them in the freezer until they’re cold. Press them onto your eyes carefully while lying down, and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse your eyes afterward.
Sleep with your head elevated
One of the reasons we wake up with puffy eyes is simply because fluid pools there as we lie flat in bed all night. If you have allergies, the puffiness will be worse. Instead, try sleeping with your head and shoulders propped up on a pillow or a wedge instead of sleeping flat on your back to prevent fluid from collecting around your eyes and creating dark circles and puffiness.
Limit alcohol consumption
In addition to causing dehydration, alcohol can disrupt your sleep and lead to dark circles under your eyes. Red wine could also cause an allergic reaction in some people, adding to dark circles and puffiness. Limit the amount you drink, especially right before going to bed, to prevent worsening dark circles.
We’re all prone to getting dark circles, bags, and puffiness underneath our eyes, thanks to thinner, more transparent skin in this area of our face. Luckily, you can take action and do some simple things to minimize these eye issues. Try out some of the above easy remedies for a brighter under-eye look that will keep all eyes on you!