Oh my God! … Was that your initial reaction when you first noticed, reflecting on the mirror those ghastly blue-black rings around your eyes, giving a morbid and melancholic look…? Have no worries….With just few simple steps, bid adieu to those unattractive dark moons and hey presto! Regain that lost sparkle. Well here is how, but before that lets first understand what these dark circles are all about and why they appear out of the blue without an invitation.
What Are Dark Circles?
The Skin around your eyes (periorbital area) is the most delicate and the thinnest of your face, with about 0.5 mm thickness, sparsely dotted with oil glands, unlike the skin on rest of the body measuring a thickness of 2 mm. The periorbital area Due to various reasons becomes thin and dry leading to prominently visible veins beneath the eyes. This imparts an appearance of dark rings.
Why Do They Occur?
In certain individuals, dark circles are an inherited trait due to genetic factors
In very rare cases, discolouration under the eyes may be due to lack of vitamins. Therefore, it is essential to eat a well-balanced healthy diet in order to get rid of dark circles.
Dark circles under the eyes may appear if you have an allergic reaction towards certain foods, pollen, pet dander and dust or if suffering from hay fever. Besides, any condition that produces itching in the eye, with frequent rubbing or scratching the delicate area around the eye may produce those ugly rings.
Thyroid dysfunction, kidney and cardiac ailments cause fluid retention, leading to dilation of blood vessels under eyes contributing towards those unattractive circles.
Certain medications cause dilation of blood that precipitates excessive blood flow, making them look very prominent under the delicate area of the eye.
Inadequate iron intake may lead to iron deficiency anaemia, which affects oxygen supply to the body and the eyes resulting in a pale skin and bluish-black contour of the eyes.
Hormonal imbalances during pregnancy, menopause and menstrual cycles may produce those dark circles making them more pronounced due to changes in skin pallor.
Liver disorders too are major contributors of those unsightly under eye dark rings.
Nasal congestion dilates and darkens the veins that drain from eyes to nose lending a dark appearance.
Lifestyle factors, such as leading a hectic lifestyle, with excessive exhaustion, lack of sleep, stress, smoking or chronic alcohol use will result in pale skin and dark circles. Eyestrain caused due to staying in dry environment for prolonged periods, reading in improper light, excessive weeping and overstraining the eyes working on a computer too are some other factors that play an important role. (Also read how to take care of your eyes)
The periorbital area gradually becomes dry, wrinkled and translucent with age, imparting a dark appearance around the eyes.
Exposure to sunlight increases natural melanin levels causing skin tanning. The same theory applies to the delicate under eye area, which when exposed to sunlight becomes discoloured resulting in Periorbital hyper pigmentation.
Deep-set eyes on a bony contour may cast dark shadows resembling dark rings.
Now that we know that there is a possibility of dark circles due to an underlying medical condition in certain cases, these ought to be treated or else they will only get worse with time.
Although there are a few temporary solutions like camouflaging the dark moons with makeup, it does not provide a permanent cure.
Surgical procedures and various under eye creams flooding the market prove overtly expensive.
Therefore, the most convenient, inexpensive and safe method for treating this problem is by way of simple natural home remedies that cause no side effects.
Natural Home Remedies for Dark Circles
- Cucumbers with effective astringent and skin toning properties come handy with their easy availability on our kitchen shelves.
- Chilled slices of cucumber help lighten the skin and impart a soothing, refreshingly cool sensation after a stressful day at work.
- Cucumber juice applied on the affected area around the eyes eliminates dark circles effectively.
- Mixing cucumber juice with lemon juice in equal quantities, applied everyday on the dark circles and washed after 15 minutes sure does help.
- Applying a mixture of lime juice, lanolin cream and cucumber juice under eyes for about 15 minutes is another proven home remedy for dark circles.
- If you do not have cucumber, potatoes make excellent substitutes, as certain bleaching agents in Potatoes help lighten those ugly dark circles.
- Apply two chilled slices of potatoes over the dark circles for duration of 15 to 20 minutes and then wash with water.
- Extract juice from grated raw potato. Soak a cotton ball in the juice and place them on your eyes. Make sure they fully cover the dark circles over your eyes and eyelids. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash with cold water.
- You can also tie grated potato in a cloth and place the bag over eyes for about 15-20 minutes followed by a cold-water rinse.
- Tomato juice is also said to lighten skin colour. A mixture of lemon and tomato juice mixed in equal parts applied on the dark circles twice a day sure helps get rid of them.
- A pinch of turmeric powder, mixed to a paste with half a teaspoon of lemon juice, pinch of gram flour and a teaspoon of tomato juice applied on the dark circles around eyes and left for 10 minutes will make them vanish. This herbal paste is one of the most popular for treating dark circles.
- Consumption of tomato juice with mint leaves, salt and limejuice works internally and proves extremely effective.
- A superb skin food, Almond has remained a time-tested remedy for various beauty enhancements. A gentle massage with almond oil, on the affected area cures the dark circles and removes their traces.
- Another remedy is mixing equal quantities of Almond Oil and Honey and applying the mixture to your eyes for about ten minutes each day. Repeat the process until the dark shadows around your eyes diminish.
- Prepare a paste made out of four to five crushed almonds with a few drops of milk. Apply this paste over the affected area and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. This will lighten the skin around the eyes.
- Put hot and cold cloth pads alternatively under eyes for 10-15 minutes. Then apply some almond oil on the shadows before going to bed. (Also read benefits of almonds)
- Turmeric powder contains antioxidant properties that help treat dark circles. Apply a paste of turmeric powder and pineapple juice on your eyes for about ten minutes each day, and notice the colour lighten gradually.
- Apply pulp of a pineapple and tomato on the delicate area and wash with water after 20 minutes. This will sure eliminate the dark rings and prevent formation of fine lines.
- A paste made with mint leaves and tomato juice applied on the dark circles turns out to be an effective cure.
- Crush some mint leaves and apply them around the eyes. This besides providing a cooling effect on tired eyes also eliminates the dark rings.
- A cotton wool soaked in onion juice mixed with a few drops of lemon juice and placed over the eyes for about 30 minutes makes another wonder remedy.
- A blob of cream applied under the eye, left for a brief period and rinsed also does the wonder of removing dark circles under the eyes.
- Applying milk cream mixed with a few drops of lemon juice on dark circles is among the best home remedies for dark circles that works well.
- Application of cold tea bags on the affected eyes and removing them after a few moments is an effective way of reducing dark circles. While you do this lie down to ensure that the bag is firmly in place. Make sure the tea bag is somewhat dry because in case of dampness, there are chances of tea getting into your eyes, making them water. However, Herbal tea bags are a big no-no except for chamomile tea with antioxidant properties which like magic makes the under eye circles and puffiness disappear.
- A couple of cotton balls dipped in rose water and placed on your eyes, for 15 minutes covering dark circles yield splendid results.
- Massaging the area with powdered Vitamin E capsule and cleaning off with a mixture of honey and egg white also helps.
- Pierce a Vitamin E capsule with a needle dabbing a bit of oil on your fingertip and applying onto the delicate area to eradicate them.
- Apply a cream rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin C for reducing the dark circles under the eyes every night as a remedy.
Tips To Prevent Dark Circles
- Drink at least ten glasses of water every day to keep the body hydrated. (Know more about health benefits of drinking more water)
- Include fresh vegetables, fruits, salads, yogurt sprouts in your daily diet, along with unprocessed cereals, skimmed milk, cottage cheese, lentils and beans rich in fibrous contents to steer clear of toxins
- Take a diet rich in Vitamin C and Iron such as skinless chicken, varieties of vibrantly coloured peppers in red, yellow and orange.
- Sleep peaceful for 7-8 hours everyday.
- Drink plenty of fresh fruit juice sans preservatives
- Elevate your head with a few extra pillows to prevent puffiness that develop with fluid accumulation in your lower eyelids.
- Applying a cold compress of water or cold milk directly over closed lids for 15 to 20 minutes or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a soft cloth helps reduce dilated blood vessels under the eyes and discoloured under-eye blood vessels decreasing puffiness.
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress levels by practicing meditation and yoga such as Pranayama, Sarvang asana, vajra asana and shersh asana coupled with deep breathing exercises to enhance blood circulation and oxygen supply.
- Sunscreen with SPF 30 helps prevent dark circles while dark glasses may temporarily hide those unwanted and not so flattering rings.
- Cut down on salt as excessive intake of salt cause water retention leading to dilation of blood vessels around the eyes.
- Restrict consumption of sweets and chocolates.
- Limit consumption of junk foods. (Read about disadvantages of junk food).
- Avoid smoking and drinking.
- Do not work long hours on the computer and take frequent small breaks to avoid eyestrain.
- Do not massage the sensitive under eye area, to prevent pulling and stretching of the delicate skin.
- Do not rub, scratch or exfoliate the sensitive skin around the eyes vigorously.
- Avoid overexposure to sunlight.
- Do not leave any cream around the eyes for more than 10 minutes.
- Do not use chemical bleach on the dark circles instead replace them with some natural face packs.
- Do not apply normal facial masks around the eyes.
- Do not use products containing perfumes and salicylic or glycolic acid, as they may irritate the delicate eye tissues
Just follow these simple remedies, say bye-bye to dark circles and recover the twinkling spark in your precious bejewelled pair.