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Ask any woman about their top skincare issues and signs of the aging process will inevitably fill the top spots. On-going issues are usually headed by acne and dark circles that form under the eyes that are often accompanied by puffiness.

The appearance of dark circles under the eyes is common among both men and women of a certain age. While it can be frustrating from an aesthetic point of view, compared to most other skincare ailments, dark under-eye circles are not damaging or harmful to your wider health. They are much more of a cosmetic concern than a physical wellness concern, but if you don’t want to wear concealer every day and want to reduce the appearance of your under-eye bags, then there are plenty of home remedies and over-the-counter treatments.

Before we go through some of the best treatment options for puffy eyes, let’s take a brief look at some of the most common causes of dark circles.

What Causes Dark Eye Circles?

Here’s the science bit! The physical cause of the darkness is the blood vessels in the under-eye area not having a sufficient supply of oxygen or moisture.

The skin under the eyes is very thin because there is no fatty tissue in the area but there are lots of blood vessels and lymph nodes. When deoxygenated or dehydrated, blood is darker in color and flows more slowly. The shadows under your eyes will be bluish or brownish depending on your skin type. Sometimes, genetics is the reason; dark circles due to very thin skin are hereditary.

Some people are more prone but here are some of the main causes of dark circles under the eyes:


Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Dermatology experts will always tell you that getting eight hours of sleep per night is the best way to rest your skin and give it the best chance to be healthy and glowing in the daytime hours.

If you don’t get enough sleep, your eyes are open for longer than they should be, and this stress shows in the sensitive thin skin underneath which leads to the signature look of dark discoloration and puffiness.

Natural Aging

As you age, your skin naturally becomes much thinner, and this is due to a reduction in fat and collagen production that helps to maintain the elasticity of your skin. The thinning of the skin makes the blood vessels underneath become more visible which is the reason behind the darkening areas under your eyes.

Eye Strain

Doing things like staring at your computer screen or television for hours and hours every day can cause a lot of strain on your eyes. This strain means more squinting and blinking making the muscles work harder. This enlarges the blood vessels causing the darkening of the skin around the eyes.


Lots of allergies can lead to eye dryness, which will eventually trigger a level of darkness depending on the severity of each individual. The process that occurs when you have a reaction is that your body releases something called histamines to fight off the offending invader, and histamines will cause symptoms like redness, puffy eyes, itchiness, and dilated blood vessels.


Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dark circles, and many people have no idea that they are not drinking enough water. When your skin doesn’t have sufficient hydration, it can look dull and sunken, which will be emphasized and exaggerated in the proximity of the eye due to the underlying bone.

Sun Damage

Sun exposure can cause an excess of melanin in the body, which is the pigment that gives your skin its color. Too much sun, and therefore too much melanin, can lead to periorbital hyperpigmentation that makes your under eyes look much darker than they should.


Nicotine is no friend to your skin. The chemicals produced by smoking affect collagen and elastin production, leading to slackness and saggy skin. Nicotine also disrupts natural sleeping patterns which can result in the collection of fluids under the eyes.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol is dehydrating even though it is a liquid. Overdoing the drink will cause eye bags to form. This can be a very temporary condition and will gradually reduce as your body rehydrates.

Too Much Salty Food

Too much salty food in your diet will also create dark circles but like with overindulgence in alcohol, the effects are temporary.

Medical Conditions

Dark eye circles are a symptom of some conditions such as thyroid problems, allergies (particularly those that are sinus-related), hyperpigmentation, anemia, and atopic dermatitis.

It is important to look after your body and skin as a whole to prevent dark circles.

How To Get Rid Of Dark Circles

Now that you are aware of what causes them, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to treat dark circles and minimize their appearance.

Natural Remedies

Establish A Healthy Sleeping Pattern

The lack of sleep that leads to fatigue is something that you can easily control. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. Go to bed at the same time every day and don’t press that snooze button too many times in the morning.

Elevate Your Head

When you sleep at night, you can make a difference by putting extra pillows underneath your head. This will help to reduce the puffiness and the fluid that pools around your lower eyelids when you are lying down.

Utilize The Cold

Blood vessels under the eyes will darken when they are dilated, so apply a topical cold compress to the area to restrict them.

Stay Out Of The Sun

For good overall skin health, you should not spend prolonged time in the sun and you should always wear a healthy layer of sunscreen. Ideally, you should wear facial sunscreen every day, even if it is contained in your moisturizer.

Moisturize A Lot

There are plenty of over-the-counter moisturizer creams that can help with dark under eyes. Many of them contain beneficial ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin C, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, aloe, and retinol.

Use Cucumber Slices

A classic home remedy for natural dark eye treatment is using some thick slices of chilled cucumber and place them over your eyes and under eyes for about 10 minutes. Rinse your eyes with water afterward and do this about twice a day to reduce a lot of puffiness.

Almond Oil And Vitamin E

Another area of natural healing that lots of people swear by is almond oil and vitamin E. Massage the mixture into the dark circles under your eyes just before bed, then wash with cold water. Repeating the process every night will help dark circles disappear.

Vitamin K

Studies have proven that placing a pad with a caffeine and vitamin K mixture on it under your eyes can help to reduce wrinkle depth and attack the color of dark circles.

Tea Bags

You can use either caffeinated tea or green tea for this, you sock two tea bags in warm water to activate their ingredients, and then chill them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before placing them on each eye for five minutes just like the cucumber slices. The advantage of tea bags over cucumbers is that tea contains a lot of antioxidants.

Medical/Cosmetic Remediesdark eye circles

Retinoid Creams

Retinoid is derived from vitamin A and is used in creams easily found on beauty shelves. Vitamin A can help to boost collagen production which can reduce the appearance of dark under-eyes. It can also help to decrease the skin’s melanin content which can also contribute to reducing discoloration.

Retinoids/Retinol are not universally appropriate so it is best to seek advice from a healthcare professional before using.

Skin Lightening Creams

To lighten under-eye hyperpigmentation, a dermatologist may prescribe a skin-lightening cream that contains things like kojic acid, azelaic acid, hydroquinone, or glycolic acid. Alternatively, some brightening eye creams that contain lower percentage formulas can be bought over the counter.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatments on the skin use heat energy to effectively vaporize damaged cells. They can target darker pigmented areas, and along with lightening darker skin tones, laser therapy can induce new collagen formation.

Chemical Peels

Some dermatologists and healthcare professionals may suggest a light chemical peel to lighten particularly dark areas of pigmentation under your eyes. These peels will often include things like hydroquinone, retinoid acid, and glycolic acid.


In certain cases, hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Juvederm and Restylane can be injected under the eye to replace any volume that might have been lost under the eye, and restoring the lost volume can help to reduce the appearance of hollowing and darkness that is so prominent and visual right in the middle of your face.

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What is Right For You?

In conclusion, dark eye circles can be a common and frustrating skin concern for many people. While there are various at-home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help reduce the appearance of dark eye circles, seeking the help of a medical spa like Z Center for Cosmetic Health can provide more targeted and effective treatments. 

At Z Center for Cosmetic Health, trained professionals offer a range of services specifically designed to address dark eye circles, including injectables, lasers, and skin resurfacing treatments. By taking a personalized approach to treatment and using advanced techniques and technologies, Z Center for Cosmetic Health can help you achieve a brighter and more refreshed eye area. If you are struggling with dark eye circles and are looking for a reliable and trusted medical spa to help you achieve your desired results, consider visiting Z Center for Cosmetic Health for a consultation.

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