Dark Circles: All Possible Causes + How to Treat Them

Dark circles, those pesky discolorations under the eyes, affect people of all ages and genders. They can make you look tired, older, or even sick. Understanding what causes dark circles and how to treat them is essential for maintaining a vibrant and youthful appearance.

Common Causes of Dark Circles

Lack of Sleep

One of the most common causes of dark circles is a lack of sleep. When you don’t get enough rest, your skin becomes paler, allowing the blood vessels underneath the skin to become more visible, resulting in dark circles.

One study done by the National Library of Medicine concludes that while Peri-orbital dark circles are often linked to sleep deprivation, their primary risk factor is hereditary.


Genetics plays a significant role in determining whether you’ll develop dark circles. If your parents have them, you’re more likely to inherit the trait.


As you age, the skin under your eyes becomes thinner, making blood vessels more visible. This can lead to the appearance of dark circles.

Allergies and Nasal Congestion

Allergies and nasal congestion can cause blood vessels to dilate, making the skin under your eyes appear darker.

Sun Exposure

Excessive sun exposure can increase the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. This can lead to hyperpigmentation under the eyes, resulting in dark circles.

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to the development of dark circles by weakening the skin and causing dehydration.

Health Conditions Related to Dark Circles


Anemia, a condition characterized by a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, can cause the skin to appear paler, making dark circles more noticeable.

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Dehydration can cause the skin to become dull and dry, accentuating the appearance of dark circles.


Hyperpigmentation, or the overproduction of melanin, can cause dark patches to form under the eyes.


Fatigue can cause the blood vessels under the eyes to dilate, making dark circles more prominent.

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders can lead to fluid retention and swelling around the eyes, contributing to the appearance of dark circles.

Home Remedies for Treating Dark Circles

Cucumber Slices

Cucumber slices contain antioxidants and flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. Simply place chilled cucumber slices over your eyes for 10-15 minutes daily.

Cold Tea Bags

The caffeine and antioxidants in tea bags can help constrict blood vessels and reduce dark circles. Chill used tea bags in the refrigerator and place them over your eyes for 10-15 minutes.

Potato Slices

Potatoes contain enzymes that can lighten dark circles and reduce puffiness. Apply thin slices of chilled potato over your eyes for 10-15 minutes daily.

Tomato Juice

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has skin-lightening properties. Mix tomato juice with lemon juice and apply it to the dark circles for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

Almond Oil

Almond oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, which can help nourish and moisturize the delicate skin under the eyes. Gently massage almond oil into the skin before bedtime.


Rosewater has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Soak cotton pads in rosewater and place them over your eyes for 10-15 minutes daily.

Lemon Juice

The vitamin C in lemon juice can help brighten and tighten the skin under the eyes. Mix lemon juice with water and apply it to the dark circles for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles. Massage coconut oil into the skin before bedtime.

Turmeric Paste

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and skin-lightening properties that can help reduce dark circles. Mix turmeric powder with pineapple juice to form a paste and apply it to the dark circles for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel has soothing and moisturizing properties that can help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel to the skin under the eyes and leave it on overnight.

Best Times to Apply Remedies

Morning Routine

Apply remedies like cucumber slices or cold tea bags in the morning to refresh and brighten your eyes for the day ahead.

Evening Routine

Incorporate remedies like almond oil or rosewater into your evening skincare routine to nourish and hydrate the delicate skin under your eyes.

Before Bedtime

Apply thicker treatments like coconut oil or aloe vera gel before bedtime to allow them to work overnight and wake up with refreshed eyes.

How to Apply Home Remedies

When applying home remedies for dark circles, follow these steps:

  1. Cleanse your face thoroughly to remove any dirt or makeup.
  2. Apply the remedy of your choice to the dark circles, using gentle patting motions.
  3. Leave the remedy on for the recommended duration.
  4. Rinse off or gently remove the remedy with a damp cloth.
  5. Follow up with your regular skincare routine.

Other Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Dark Circles

In addition to home remedies, making certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the appearance of dark circles:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  • Get enough sleep each night to allow your body to repair and regenerate.
  • Practice stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga to reduce tension and improve overall well-being.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If home remedies fail to improve the appearance of your dark circles or if you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical advice:

  • Persistent dark circles despite adequate sleep and lifestyle changes.
  • Swelling, pain, or itching around the eyes.
  • Changes in vision or eye discomfort.


Dark circles can be a frustrating cosmetic concern, but they are often manageable with simple home remedies and lifestyle changes. By understanding the causes of dark circles and implementing effective treatments, you can achieve brighter, more refreshed-looking eyes.

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