This story was updated in January 2019.
Dark circles, so far, are one of the most common concerns we all face, something we often blame on lack of sleep. However, apart from being sleep deprived, there could be a plethora of other health issues which may cause under eye circles and bags. Characterized by a bluish colour under your eyes in addition to some puffiness and redness, dark circles can be treated easily with small dietary, lifestyle, and changes in the skincare routine. Before you get to the root cause of what causes dark circles, you need to understand what they are and why you get them. Don't worry, we all get them at some point and there are a few ways to reduce their appearance. Keep reading for hands-on knowledge to everything you need to know about dark circles including its causes, how to get rid of dark circles, makeup to hide dark circles, natural remedies to reduce dark circles.
There could be many things that cause darkness and puffiness in your under eye area. Some reasons can be minor like lack of sleep or less intake of water, while others can be allergies, your bone structure, and veins.
The first cause that pops up in everybody's mind is lack of sleep. Staying up late in the night, scrolling through your phone is definitely not going to do any good to you or your eyes. It strains your eyes which is the most common cause for dark circles. Stress, at times, plays a major role in keeping you up all night. Try disconnecting yourself from all your social media pages and turn off all your gadgets an hour before bed. It helps!
If your water intake is poor, your body tends to get dehydrated. The signs of dehydration then start to show up all over your body and they are not limited to just dry skin and can cause dark circles as well. Why does drinking water help in getting rid of dark circles? Water helps in flushing out the toxins from your body and encourages it to function properly. You need to drink a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water every day to keep your body functioning smoothly. When you make this change, you will see the difference it makes to your skin and hair in just a few days.
The reason you get dark circles could be genetic too. Chances are that if your parents have had dark circles, you could be more susceptible to them. In that case, you may not be able to remove them permanently, but if taken care in a proper and rigorous manner, some home remedies will definitely help to reduce the darkness and pigmentation.
If you have been suffering from a long and prolonged illness, it may reflect in the form of puffiness and pigmentation under your eyes. This happens because your body's internal defenses are being attacked by the illness. Try to drink as much water as you can and check with your doctor if you can take some vitamin supplements. If your dark circles are caused by an illness, they usually fade away once your body is in its path to recovery.
If you are not eating healthy and missing out on nutritious food like salads and green vegetables, it is going to affect your skin. The skin under your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body so any nutritional deficiencies show up easily in the form of dark circles. For instance, an iron deficiency can make your dark circles look more prominent. Cutting down on the number of processed food items and sugar will help get rid of dark circles to a large extent. Try to eat more leafy greens and foods that are naturally rich sources of Iron and Vitamin C.
Certain food or chemical allergies can also lead to pigmentation under your eyes. If you suffer from a cold, you tend to rub your eyes -- this could be causing your dark circles. When you constantly rub your eyes, the tugging and pulling irritates the delicate skin and causes redness. Check if you have allergies, it would help you to get an allergy test at a local hospital. This will help you stay away from things that trigger your allergies.
It’s just as important to protect the skin under your eyes from tanning as it is to protect the skin on your body. Make sure you use adequate SPF, but use a fragrance-free formula for your under eye area and wear a hat or a pair of sunglasses when you are out in the sun. Any area on your body that has thin skin is more prone to darkness, discoloration, and damage.
This is probably not something we can reduce if we work jobs that require us to stare at a screen all day, but prolonged exposure of the eyes to the screen can cause dark circles. Have you ever noticed a burning sensation in your eyes often while working on the laptop for a long stretch of hours? While you cannot stop work, give your eyes a break every few hours. Use some cooling eye drops if your eyes feel strained. Massage your eyes very gently to relax your eye muscles and help in proper blood circulation. You can even cover your eyes with your palms for 2-4 minutes.
The first cure that comes to everyone’s mind for skin related issues is Aloe Vera. This magical plant cures absolutely every skin ailment. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing pigmentation. Apply a thin layer of fresh aloe vera juice under your eyes before you go to sleep. This will hydrate, soothe, and repair your skin while you sleep. It will lighten the pigmentation under your eye and boost the growth of your eyelashes as well!
Our grandmothers swear by it for a good reason. Coconut oil is extremely effective in getting rid of dry and damaged skin cells. It has Vitamin E and antioxidants that reduce dryness and pigmentation. Apply coconut oil under your eye and massage gently in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction, and leave it overnight. Do this for a month or two, and you will notice a visible difference.
Believe us, if you want to go the natural way, nothing works better than using potato juice for dark circles. Potatoes have natural bleaching properties that help in lightening your dark circles pretty fast. All you need to do is grate some potatoes, extract the juice, and then apply it under your eyes. You can even place a slice of potato under your eyes. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash it off. Your under eye area will appear brighter in just a few days.
Cucumbers are full of water and have a cooling effect on your body. They have the same effect on your under eye area too. Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants and a cold slice of cucumber or some cucumber juice will help refresh and soothe your eyes along with reducing puffiness, swelling, and discoloration under your eyes.
Packed with essential rose extracts and a mild flavour, rose water helps in treating dark circles. It's a simple, fuss-free and effective remedy. Mix one teaspoon of rose water with one teaspoon of milk, soak it in a cotton pad and place it on your eyes. Leave this on your eyes for about 20-30 minutes and let it work its magic.
As unusual it may sound, tomatoes have some excellent antioxidants in them that help in lightening dark circles. Tomato juice has a natural bleaching property that helps lighten any kind of discolouration and pigmentation. Take one teaspoon of tomato juice and apply it on the affected under eye area. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse it off with cold water.
Apart from helping you detox and reverse the effect of free radicals, Vitamin K, found in green tea, treats dark circles too. Both drinking and applying green tea (frozen tea bags) can gradually lighten dark circles over a period of time. Brew yourself a nice hot cup of green tea and put the tea bag into the freezer for 10 minutes. Take the tea bag out and place it under your eyes for 10 minutes. In addition to this, chamomile tea is a great stress buster and it also helps you sleep. Drink some tea before bed if you have trouble falling asleep!
Packed with vitamin E and tocopherols, argan oil helps in reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and cures the damage caused by the sun too. Right before you go to sleep, take a few drops of argan oil on your fingertips and massage gently under your eyes for a few minutes. Leave this overnight. You will see a general improvement in the texture and colour of the skin under your eyes in a few weeks.
While there are only so many lifestyles and dietary changes you can make to improve the appearance of dark circles, you could also use makeup to conceal them. A little bit of concealer and colour corrector helps cancel out any discolouration and pigmentation under the eyes. This is how you can conceal those dark circles the right way:
The right shade of concealer will cancel out any darkness under your eye, but the wrong shade can accentuate your dark circles. Be careful while picking a concealer. Don't just randomly buy it without testing it on your eye area first. You can also browse through the ingredients to make sure there are no irritating agents. Ingredients like vitamins C, E, K or retinol are always a plus. Pick a concealer that has the same undertone as your skin. Instead of picking one shade lighter, pick a concealer that’s the same shade as the rest of your face. This looks most natural. If you want to brighten your under eye area further, you could apply a concealer on top that is one shade lighter. If your dark circles are very prominent and dark, apply a colour corrector first.
Also Read: How To Use Red Lipstick As Concealer
Applying it to the right area is as important as getting the right concealer. Apply concealer in a triangle shape under your eyes. Use a soft brush or a makeup sponge to lightly blend it into your skin. You can even use your ring finger to dab it on. Don’t rub and tug, instead always dab the concealer.
The most trusted name in every household for skin and hair related problems is Himalaya. They have a super affordable under eye cream (Rs. 170) that promises visible results in just four weeks. They have natural extracts which don't harm your eyes and keeps your under eye area soft, moisturized, and healthy.
Another trusted brand that has been trending quite a lot for its products is Biotique. Enriched with the goodness of Vitamin E and almond oil, Biotique’s Bio Almond Soothing & Nourishing eye cream (Rs. 199) lightens and brightens your under eye area by refining your dry fine lines and puffiness.
Khadi’s Almond Under Eye Cream (Rs. 440) is packed with 100 percent natural ingredients that will give you a fresh look every morning. Apply it daily before you to sleep to get rid of the puffiness and dullness.
Shahnaz Husain’s Almond Under-Eye Cream (Rs. 710) has ingredients like Fennel, Almond, Carrot seed, Neem, Vitamin E, and Chironji that not only helps in curing dark circles but also in brightening the area under your eye.
Kaya Light and Smooth under Eye Gel (Rs. 490) contains Haloxyl that helps reduce under eye circles by boosting blood circulation and dissolving pigments that cause darkening under the eye.
AromaMagic Under Eye Gel (Rs. 195) is packed with essential ingredients like rose, flax seed, lemon peel, aloe vera, green tea and pure essential oils of witch hazel, chamomile and fennel which works wonders on dark circles. These ingredients help in skin brightening and lightning and will make your eyes feel refreshed.
Enriched with Almond and Chamomile extracts, VLCC Almond Under Eye Cream (Rs. 225) reduces pigmentation by improving blood circulation in the affected area. For best results, apply it daily in the morning and at night.
While this is more expensive as compared to the rest of the products we listed, it's totally worth the splurge (Rs. 1950). It's a lightweight and refreshing eye cream that hydrates and instantly brightens your under eye skin. It is the perfect solution to make you look energetic and refreshed in an instant. It is also recommended for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
Forest Essentials Light Hydrating Hydra Eye Gel (Rs. 995) is one of the most trusted products to reduce dark circles. It has pure Cucumber, Katak, and Aloe Vera extracts that provide essential hydration to your eyes, and then there's rose water and Vitamin E in addition, which will tone and cool your under-eye area.
Another tried and tested brand is Lotus (Rs. 295) and they are definitely worth a buy. It's packed with Wheat Proteins, Soy Bio-Peptides, Rice Bran extracts and Vitamins A and E which helps in reducing under-eye dark circles and fine lines. Try it out.
If you wish to spend a little extra for the ultimate eye care, then we strongly suggest Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II (Rs. 4300) cure your dark circles. It works miracles for fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles, dryness. Try it out and you won't be disappointed!
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye (Rs. 2950) has some great natural essential oils and botanical elements that are creamy in texture and strengthens your delicate eye area, and prevents dark circles.
We already told you the tips and tricks on how to conceal your dark circles. What is more important is to pick the right products. So here we are with a list of our favourite, tried and tested under eye concealers which you may consider. Check them out.
Ideal for all skin types, Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer has a creamy gel based weightless formula which conceals your puffiness and dark circles naturally without making you look overly done. It's affordable (Rs. 500) and works miraculously to fix your under eye.
Clinique All About Eyes Concealer comes with a long-wearing, moisturizing formula without any oil. It conceals your dark circles and pigmentation problems and doesn't settle into fine lines. For best results, use a blender to set it in (Rs. 1950).
NYX Professional Makeup Dark Circle Concealer comes in different shades and you can choose the one which is best suited for your skin tone. With its super smooth application, it provides the ultimate coverage to the pigmented area around under your eye (Rs. 550).
Infused with Vitamin B3 and SPF 20, Lakme Absolute White Intense Concealer Stick SPF 20 (Rs. 450) has a lightweight formula which glides smoothly on your affected area and hides dark circles and blemishes easily. It is suitable for all skin types.
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