Dark circles, often accompanied by eye bags (or puffiness around the eyes) is a common problem that a lack of sleep or stress can trigger. The circles and puffiness make you look more tired than you feel and affect your confidence. While some people have a higher chance of getting dark circles and puffy eyes due to their genetics, others develop it from lifestyle and other factors. While the quickest fix may be cosmetic concealment, various methods are available to help you reduce or get rid of these problems.
What causes dark circles and puffiness?
As skin becomes thinner or paler, it starts showing darker tissue underneath it, including your blood vessels. This causes dark circles to develop. When this is accompanied by an accumulation of fluid in the area, it causes puffiness.
Many factors can trigger this change:
Lack of sleep
Straining your eyes
Allergic reactions (maybe accompanied by other symptoms like itchiness)
Exposure to sun
Medical conditions like thyroid disease
How can you get rid of dark circles?
Dark circles are not a health condition and do not require any treatment. However, if you want to fix the cosmetic change, there are many at-home treatments available that can help you reduce them. Of course, changing your lifestyle, reducing your stress, and getting adequate sleep is the necessary first step before you try any methods. There are also several medical procedures available. However, we advise you to check with your doctor before taking on any major treatments to weigh the pros and cons.
What are the methods to reduce dark circles at home?
If your dark circles are after tiredness or bad sleep:
Ensure you get regular adequate quality sleep
Do not take caffeine within 6 hrs of your sleep time
Stay away from screens for 1-2 hours before bedtime
The sleeping position also makes a big impact. Propping up your head or sleeping on your back can help reduce fluid buildup around your eye.
Reduce strain on your eyes and rest your eyes from time to time
If your dark circles are due to thin skin: A retinoid cream stimulates the production of a fibrous substance called collagen in your skin and helps to make it thicker and less transparent.
If your dark circles are due to increased pigmentation:
Use sunscreen to reduce pigmentation from setting in. Ideally, one containing Zinc or Titanium oxides
Use lightening creams containing Vitamin C, Kojic acid, or Licorice extract
If the skin around your eyes turned darker after damage from rubbing: Any irritation or increased rubbing can quickly damage the very thin layer of skin around the eyes.
Gently take off makeup
Use a fragrance-free wipe
Remove makeup by rubbing in a single direction rather than back and forth
Cleansing oil is a good way to gently wipe away makeup
If your eyes are puffier: Puffiness is caused by the accumulation of fluid under the skin.
Use a cold compress for about 10 minutes at a time
Use refrigerated cucumber slices as a cold compress. Cucumber also has skin tightening properties.
Cover eyes for 5 minutes with tea bags soaked in water and chilled in the refrigerator
Try a tapping eye massage or a gentle eye massager
If you are constantly feeling dehydrated:
Drink more water
Take less salt
Reduce alcohol consumption
Do not smoke
What can you do if none of these methods work for you?
If nothing works for you, please remember that you do not necessarily have to treat dark circles unless they bother you before taking the next step. If you are someone who wears makeup, using concealers and creams may be the simplest solution to make the dark circles disappear when you have to be present for something important.
However, if you are very serious about getting rid of the dark circles, you may visit your doctor, who will try to understand the causes behind your specific condition and suggest various methods like:
Chemical peels for pigmentation
Hyaluronic acid fillers for tear trough area.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for brightening under eye surgery.