10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home
10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home

Stress, lack of sleep, and staring too long at a computer screen — all of these modern maladies will show up under your eyes. This is one of many reasons why we get those dark circles under our eyes.

Most of us pack on the concealer whenever we see dark circles or puffiness under our eyes, but there’s a much cheaper solution with no makeup required. It turns out that the best tools to achieve younger-looking eyes are already within reach: our hands. Giving yourself an eye massage will nix dark circles and brighten the skin around those areas within minutes!

What causes dark circles?

According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Fenton, there are four major reasons why dark circles occur…


This one is fairly straightforward – dark circles simply just run in some people’s families, and you could be someone who has been dealing with them since you were born.

Thin Skin Around your Eyes

“As we age, the skin gets thinner around your eyes, especially as you lose collagen,” says Dr. Fenton. “We also have a lot of superficial blood vessels in this area, and with thinner skin, these blood vessels are more prominent, leading to the appearance of dark circles.”

And going back to collagen loss…there are a few different things that can lead to it that you should be wary of: continuous movement of your facial muscles, touching and pressure applied to your face and, last but not least, UV damage.

Tear Trough

Another reason why you may be seeing dark circles is because of something called tear trough, which is the depletion of volume around the eyes that can lead to a more sunken look. “As we age, we lose volume in our face not only from the skin thinning, but also bone, muscle and fat,” says Dr. Fenton. “This can contribute to a shadowing effect that can cause dark circles to appear. This shadowing can be further worsened if you have puffiness or bags next to your tear trough.”

Hyperpigmentation from Environmental Stressors

Finally, a major cause of dark circles is hyperpigmentation, which is when patches of your skin become dark because of things like UV damage, blue light exposure or acne. And unfortunately, your eyes aren’t off limits!

Here’s how UV-induced hyperpigmentation works, specifically… “Sun exposure stimulates the melanocytes in the skin, and these are the cells that produce melanin, or our skin’s pigment,” says Dr. Fenton. “Thus, overexposure of your under-eye area to the sun can cause your skin to produce more pigment than necessary, leading to dark circles.”

What your doctor might suggest for dark circles

10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home
Photo: Allure

Your doctor might offer a medical option, depending on their diagnosis of the cause of the circles under your eyes. That recommendation might include the following.

Skin-lightening cream

To lighten under-eye hyperpigmentation, a dermatologist might prescribe a skin-lightening cream with azelaic acid, kojic acid, glycolic acid, or hydroquinone. Some of these creams, in formulas with lower percentages of the active ingredient, are available over the counter.

Laser therapy

Laser treatments use heat energy to vaporize damaged cells. The darker pigment under the eyes can be targeted. Along with lightening darker skin tones, laser therapy may induce new collagen formation.

Chemical peels

A dermatologist might suggest a light chemical peel to lighten dark pigmentation under the eyes. Commonly these will include glycolic acid, retinoic acid or hydroquinone. Your dermatologist might also suggest a Jessner peel, which includes a combination of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol.


Fat can be surgically removed in a lower lid blepharoplasty by a plastic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, or dermatologic surgeon. The procedure can decrease the shadow cast by your eyelid, which can decrease the appearance of dark circles.


A hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler such as Restylane or Juvederm can be injected into the tissue under the eye by an ophthalmologist, dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or specially trained healthcare provider. Fillers help with volume loss under the eye, which can cause dark circles.

When to see a doctor

If swelling and discoloration appear under only one eye, you should talk to your doctor about it, especially if it appears to get worse over time.

10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home

1. Eye Massage Will Lighten Up Your Dark Circles

10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home
Photo: Healthline

While logging off and sleeping until they disappear would be ideal, it’s just not possible. But here’s the next best thing for perking up those tired eyes: A 30-second eye massage to get rid of puffy, dark circles.

Based on the theory of lymph drainage for eye bags, here’s what you can do for your eyes:

  1. Using gentle tapping motions with your index and middle fingers (no tugging or dragging), tap out a circle around your eyes. Tapping brings blood flow to the area.
  2. Go outward along your eyebrows, then inward along the top of your cheekbones toward the bridge of your nose. Circle your eyes three times.
  3. Then with your middle fingers, press firmly upward at the pressure points just under the brow bone on either side of your nose where your brows should start.
  4. Then press firmly inward toward your nose, above the bridge, next to your tear ducts.
  5. Massage your temples with your index and middle fingers to finish.

The great thing about this tapping massage is that you can do it at any time of the day without messing up your makeup too much. Make sure you don’t drag your fingers along the delicate skin near your eyes to avoid damaging it.

For an extra relaxing experience, do this with some cold eye cream.

2. Using Best Products for Eye Massage - Eye Cream

If you’re looking for a product to add to this routine, try an eye cream that will help a lot more than concealer with reducing dark circles and puffiness. Dabbing tiny droplets of cream around those key areas of your skin will take your eye massage to the next level.

An anti-aging serum like Revive Science Eye Cream (Buy on Amazon, $24.95) contains collagen, which is a skin-tightening nutrient that decreases as you age, according to research published in the journal Dermato-Endocrinology. It also contains caffeine in the form of green tea to wake up tired-looking eyes.

You should use this method whenever you feel the need to look refreshed. So whether you’re waking up in the morning after some beauty sleep or you’re heading out in the evening with a friend, it’ll do wonders for your appearance. This eye massage technique will definitely become your new go-to trick to get rid of dark circles whenever and wherever!

3. Using a retinoid

10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home
Photo: southernliving

Niacinamide is an antioxidant that helps reduce redness and hyperpigmentation and soothes inflamed skin. Very often it’s added to products with retinol to double the effect. So pay attention to skincare products with these elements.

"With repeated use, retinol can stimulate the production of collagen, making the skin less thin and improving the dark circles. They are easy to find at the drugstore," says Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist in New York City. "Retinoids help rebuild dermal collagen and thereby contribute to vascular support in the area and the recovery of skin volume and firmness," adds Patricia Ceballos, a dermatologist in New Rochelle, New York.

4. Be careful with beverages

Drinking caffeinated beverages doesn’t actually cause fluid loss and dehydration. They may have a mild diuretic effect though. If you’re afraid that coffee may dehydrate you and that it affects the quality of the skin around the eyes, that’s not the issue.

Besides, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor and may shrink blood vessels surrounding the eye area reducing the appearance of swelling and tiredness. You can also apply it to your face.

Still, caffeinated drinks can cause headaches and insomnia in some people so be careful with drinking more than 4 cups of coffee a day.

Can vitamin E actually treat dark circles?

Although vitamin E does have many skin benefits, there have been very few studies to prove its effectiveness in treating dark circles.

A 2004 study was conducted to test whether a gel containing 2 percent phytonadione, 0.1 percent retinol, and 0.1 percent vitamins C and E was effective in reducing dark under-eye circles and wrinkles of the lower eyelids in adults.

The study found that the topical application of the gel was fairly or moderately effective in reducing dark under-eye circles, especially in cases of hemostasis, in Japanese adults. The gel also helped to decrease wrinkles slightly.

But because the amount of vitamin E in this gel was so small, it’s difficult to discern how effective the vitamin E was in treating under-eye circles, compared with the other ingredients in the gel.

5. Get enough sleep

A 2017 study published in the Royal Society Open Science examined the effects of sleep deprivation on appearance and found that people who slept four hours had more visible dark circles under their eyes when compared to those who slept for eight hours.

"Lack of sleep can contribute to darker blood vessels as well as fluid buildup under the eyes resulting in a dark shadow," says Karly O'Keefe, an esthetician and owner of the facial treatment center, SkincraftLA in Los Angeles.

Not getting enough sleep can also increase stress, which can exacerbate dark circles.

6. Reduce sinus congestion

Be careful if you have a runny nose all the time. Chronic sinus congestion can cause under-eye veins to fill with dark-colored blood. As a result, the veins may be visible through the skin and create dark circles around the eyes. Experts suggest cleaning your sinuses from time to time.

7. Try a cold compress

10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home
Photo: Sunmay

A cold compress can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels, which — if those blood vessels are the ones under your eyes — can lessen the appearance of dark circles, says Michele Green, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist who runs her own practice in New York City.

To try this at home, wrap a few ice cubes in a clean washcloth, and then apply the washcloth to your eyes for three to five minutes. You can also wet a washcloth with cold water and place it on the skin under your eyes using gentle pressure for about 20 minutes. You can also use eye gel masks which can be left in the freezer until ready for use. Apply for 10 minutes.

8. Apply tea bags

A cool tea bag can also help with inflammation, O'Keefe says. This is because tea contains caffeine and antioxidants which help shrink blood vessels, stimulate blood circulation, and reduce puffiness.

To try this method, put used tea bags in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and then apply them to your eyes for 30 minutes. O'Keefe recommends green tea because its caffeine content constricts the capillaries and blood vessels under your eyes that tighten the skin.

9. Avoid fragranced skin care products

Dark circles can appear due to lingering irritation because of asthma, for example. If you think that’s the case, an expert recommends using a 1% hydrocortisone cream twice a day and avoiding fragranced skincare products. Also, wear blue light glasses in front of screens.

10. Try Nature Products

10 Simple Tips to Get Rid of Dark & Tired Circles Under Eyes At Home
Photo: Foreo

I've listed the at-home remedies that can help with this problem, then I listed the items that you can buy over the counter (at Cedra!) to speed up the process!

Almond Oil

Almond oil is a great natural ingredient that is very beneficial for the delicate skin around your eyes. Regular usage of almond oil will help fade your under-eye circles. In addition to almond oil, you can use vitamin E oil to eliminate dark circles under the eyes.

  1. Before going to bed, apply a little almond oil over the dark circles and gently massage it into the skin.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
  3. The next morning, wash it off with cold water.
  4. Follow this remedy daily until the dark circles disappear.


Cucumbers have skin-lightening and mild astringent properties that help fix those raccoon eyes naturally. Plus, they have a soothing and refreshing effect.

  • Cut a fresh cucumber into thick slices and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Put the slices onto the affected skin area for about 10 minutes. Wash the area with water. Repeat twice daily for about a week or more.
  • Another option is to mix cucumber juice with lemon juice in equal amounts. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to the affected skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with water. Follow this remedy daily for at least one week.

Raw Potato

There are natural bleaching agents present in potatoes that can help lighten dark circles and get rid of puffiness around the eyes.

  • Grate one or two chilled potatoes to extract the juice. Soak a cotton ball in the juice and place it over your closed eyes. Make sure the juice covers the dark circles under your eyes as well as the eyelids. Allow the juice to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse your eyelids well with cool water. Repeat once or twice daily for a few weeks.
  • Instead of potato juice, you can also use thick potato slices to remove dark circles.

Rose Water

Rosewater has incredible ingredients for skincare. It rejuvenates the skin and has a soothing effect on tired eyes. Due to its mild astringent properties, it also works as a good skin toner.

  1. Soak cotton eye pads in pure rose water for a few minutes.
  2. Put the soaked pads on your closed eyelids.
  3. Leave them on for about 15 minutes.
  4. Follow this remedy twice daily for a few weeks.


Tomatoes have bleaching properties that can lighten skin to a great extent.

  • Mix one teaspoon of tomato juice with one-half teaspoon of lemon juice. Gently apply this mixture on the dark circles and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse it off with water. Follow this remedy twice a day for a few weeks. Simply using tomato juice will also work.
  • You can also drink a glass of tomato juice with some mint leaves, lemon juice and salt. For maximum results, be sure to drink this juice immediately after making it. Drink it once or twice a day for about a week.

Lemon Juice

The vitamin C present in lemon juice can also help remove dark circles under the eyes, thanks to its skin-lightening properties.

  • Use a cotton ball to apply fresh lemon juice around your eyes. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse it off. Do this once daily for a few weeks.
  • Another option is to make a thick paste by mixing one tablespoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of tomato puree, a pinch of gram flour (besan) and turmeric powder. Apply this thick paste gently around your eyes. Rinse it off with clean water after 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat two or three times every week.

How to Prevent Undereye Circles and Bags

  • Get enough sleep. Sound sleeping is an inexpensive, easy way to help minimize dark undereye circles, no matter what the cause. Sleep not only helps keep eyes bright. It also aids your body in repairing cell damage to your skin.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Though they may perk you up in the short term, caffeine and alcohol don't do the same for your skin. They can cause mild dehydration, making dark circles more obvious.
  • Consider skin lighteners or bleaching agents. If the dark circles under your eyes are due to too much melanin, dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, says creams containing lightening agents such as retinol, hydroquinone, kojic acid, green tea, vitamin C, or soy can be helpful. To help skin-lightening products work their best, avoid the sun and use sunscreen daily. Badreshia-Bansal suggests a sunscreen with zinc and a sun-protection factor (SPF) of 30.
  • Check out injectable fillers. A dermatologist may administer these if your dark eye circles are due to broken blood vessels, Badreshia-Bansal says. Fillers can also help if fat loss is the cause of bags under the eyes.
  • Look into laser treatments and vitamin K. Laser treatments may reduce the look of dark circles due to broken blood vessels. Skincare products containing vitamin K can also help.
  • Go a shade lighter in your concealer. A concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone can help disguise undereye circles. A concealer with an SPF of 15 or higher provides double benefits. If your skin tends to be oily or acne-prone, use an oil-free concealer.
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