Assess the cause of your black circles before attempting to remedy them. If you need to seek treatment for an underlying health condition, this needs to be your first priority. If having dark circles under your eyes is something that is prolonged and not just the result of overdoing things the night before, consider seeing a doctor to discuss the possible causes. Some things that might be causing your under-eye discoloration include:
Allergies – Allergies are a common cause of skin discoloration under the eyes. If an allergy is the root of your problem, treat the allergy, or remove the allergen. Seasonal allergy problems such as the hay fever can frequently be effectively treated with over-the-counter and prescription medications. For other allergies, the best course of action is usually avoidance. If your dark circles or puffiness are constant, you may have an undetected food allergy or an allergy to a chemical in your home or workplace. Talk to a dermatologist for help determining what you may be allergic to. People with allergies also tend again to be deficient in B6, folic acid, and B12 on occasion. Taking a multivitamin, if you don’t already, may help with your allergies as well as black circles.
Gluten intolerance – Another common allergy that causes dark circles is gluten intolerance, which is an allergy to wheat flour in particular. More severely, you could have celiac disease. To test for celiac disease, have blood tests performed by your doctor. It’s important to remember, however, that you can be gluten intolerant, and not have celiac disease.
Build-up of inadequate sleep – If you’ve been under a lot of stress, or you have insomnia or sleep apnea, your skin will reflect your lack of sleep by looking poor or discolored.
Nasal congestion – a blocked nose can result in dark circles under your eyes because the veins that drain from your eyes to your nose are darkened and dilated.
Pigmentation irregularities – These can cause darker circles under the eyes.
Sun exposure – This can increase melanin production.
Thinning from age – Aging thins the skin, making veins and vessels more obvious as your fat and collagen depletes over time.
Lifestyle factors – Poor nutrition, excess alcohol consumption, too many caffeinated drinks, cigarette smoking, and lack of exercise can all contribute to under-eye discoloration. Consider seeing a nutritionist or dietician if you’re concerned about dietary issues.
Heredity – Establish whether or not this condition runs in your family, as under-eye dark circles are believed to frequently be hereditary. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about the conditions, but you should be prepared for minimal success when trying to get rid of them.
Your facial features – Dark circles may be as simple as shadows being thrown by your own features. There isn’t much you can do change this other than careful use of cosmetics.
Choose a remedy.
There are various remedies available. Not all of them will work, or even be appealing to you, but it’s important that you try what you think applies to your situation. It might be most helpful to work through various remedies and combine or discard what does and does not work for you.
Try a natural remedy. A natural remedy is simply one from household or garden items that have served other people well in the past.
Slice cucumber into thick slices. Cucumber slices have long been used to reduce puffiness and refresh the appearance of skin around the eyes, providing a fast “pick-me-up” for tired and puffy eyes. Place a slice over each eye, extending over the darkened area. Do this daily, coupled with lying down for 10-15 minutes. Keep your eyes closed.
Apply cool tea bags or an ice cube wrapped in soft cloth to your eyes daily. The tannin in tea bags reduces swelling and discoloration. Lie down, preferably in the morning, and leave the fresh, cool, damp, caffeinated tea bags (you can refrigerate them overnight so they’ll be ready) over your eyes for about 10-15 minutes. Keep your eyes closed.
Pour a saline solution (2 cups water with a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and/or a half tea-spoon of baking soda) in one of your nostrils with your head tilted to the side so that the water comes out the other nostril. It’s best used when you’re experiencing nasal congestion.
Use a potato. Place one uncooked potato into a liquidizer and liquidize the whole potato. Scoop out and place the pureed potato on your closed eyes .Keep it there for 30 minutes, lying on your back, then wash it off with warm water. This method works well for some people.
Pop it in the fridge and you’ll be ready to go!
Use a frozen spoon. Put a spoon in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Take it out and cover the circles with it. Hold it there until the spoon is warm again.
Get your beauty sleep. Get plenty of sleep nightly. It’s not entirely clear why inadequate sleep results in dark circles under the eyes, but lack of sleep tends to cause the skin to become paler (thus increasing the appearance of darkness under the eyes), and reduces circulation. It’s also believed that too little time lying down is a cause in itself.
Determine how much sleep you need (it’s usually 7-9 hours per night, but varies for different people at different times throughout their lives). Try to get that amount regularly for a couple of weeks to see if that helps.
Alcohol and drugs can adversely affect the quality of your sleep; abstain from these products or use only in moderation for best results.
Get adequate vitamins that assist sleep. A lack of sleep, coupled with poor vitamin absorption tends to reduce adrenal function. The less adrenal function you have, the less B6 you tend to absorb. The less B6 you absorb, the less well your adrenal glands function, and you end up in a vicious circle. Sleep, regular vitamins (where needed), and good calcium/magnesium support in the form of eating a lot of greens (which are higher in calcium and magnesium than dairy products are), or a good mineral supplement restores adrenal function.
Reduce your stress to help you to sleep more.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet, take vitamins, and drink plenty of water. A whole host of cosmetic problems can be attributed to vitamin deficiencies. Dark circles and puffiness are often attributed to lack of vitamin K or inadequate antioxidants. Also, a deficiency in B12 (usually anemia-related) can result in dark circles.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables—especially cabbage, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables—and take a daily vitamin supplement if necessary. Get adequate fluids to improve circulation.
Reduce salt intake. Excess salt causes the body to retain water in unusual places, and this can result in puffiness under the eyes. Too much salt can also impair your circulation, and cause the blood vessels under the skin to appear bluer.
Use cosmetic solutions.
There are a number of ways to cover up dark circles under eyes using cosmetics. It’s important to test the cosmetics for allergic reactions before using them if you haven’t already done so: try a skin patch test first. Cease using anything that irritates your skin, causes rashes, or makes your eyes sore or watery.
Apply an eye cream containing vitamin K and retinol. Dark circles may be caused by a deficiency of vitamin K. Regardless of the cause, however, skin creams containing these two ingredients reduce puffiness and discoloration significantly in many people. Long-term daily use seems to have the greatest effect.
Use an under-eye cream. Use a concealer that will camouflage the dark under-eye circles. It’s important to use a concealer that matches your undertone (namely, yellow, peach (for bluish circles), tan, light brown, etc.) After applying the concealer, set it with a light dusting of translucent powder.
Treat your skin while you sleep. There are overnight facial masques that may help reduce the appearance of puffiness or discoloration, or you can make your own. And try this simple remedy: just before going to bed, take a piece of cloth and wet it a little with cold water. Squeeze out any excess water and place it over your eyes as you sleep.
Don’t rub the eyes!
Focus directly on the under-eye skin. Keep in mind that any direct contact with your under-eye skin must be gentle, as this is the most delicate skin on your body.
Try to relax the space. Wet a cotton swab, then freeze it a short time. Then, gently wipe under your eyes in the areas where the circles are occurring. When wiping, close your eyes and try not to flinch.
Avoid rubbing your eyes. Usually rubbing of the eyes is brought on by allergies, but not always. It can also be an anxious habit or a reflex action. Regardless of the reason, it’s best to stop doing it because the rubbing irritates the skin and can break the tiny capillaries underneath, causing both puffiness and discoloration.
Wear dark sunglasses to protect your skin from melanin changes.
Smoking doesn’t do your eyes any favors
Examine your smoking habit and decide to quit. Smoking causes vascular (blood vessel) problems that can not only threaten your life but also make your blood vessels appear more prominent and bluer.
Relaxing might help remove sources of stress and anxiety that are preventing you from sleeping, eating, and resting properly. In turn, relaxing enough will help your eye skin to improve as you feel less stressed and more at ease. Skin tends to reflect a whole host of emotional and physical ailments, so don’t dismiss the need to relax lightly.