Editor’s Note: This article was updated on January 21, 2017, first published on June 3, 2015
Physical appearance is critical, especially if you deal with a front end job with requires regular interaction with people throughout the day. In such cases, flaws like skin imperfections, dark circles, and so on, can go a long way in lowering self confidence.
Many of us struggle with dark circles under the eyes, especially as we get older. A lot of people assume that this is the result of a lack of sleep, and sometimes, that definitely is the case. However, there are other, more complex reasons for these shadowy patches to appear under your lower lids.
Causes of Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles
It’s important to understand what might be causing dark circles under the eyes so that you can address any underlying health concerns. It also makes sense from a cosmetic standpoint, as those raccoon eyes make you look tired and stressed out, even when you’re not.
Some causes of dark circles could be heredity issues, age, dry skin near the eye area, continued crying, long work hours in front of a computer or tablet, mental or physical stress, insomnia or unusual sleeping patterns, and unhealthy diet and lifestyle. However, there are more reasons why you could get dark circles or puffy eyes. Some of them are excessive salt intake, hypothyroidism, vitamin K deficiency, collection of lymphatic fluid beneath the eyes, and certain allergies.
How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles
Excessive Salt Intake: Too much salt intake can cause fluid retention, and puffy eyes could be a result of that. In this case, you should watch your food habits and avoid processed and packaged foods.
Underactive Thyroid: Hypothyroidism has many other symptoms. However, if you have puffy eyes along with other symptoms such as sudden weight gain or loss, lethargy, and so on, that could be the reason. In this case, it is best to consult your doctor for thyroid treatment.
Vitamin K Deficiency: One of the first things you should do to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles is check your vitamin K levels, as vitamin K has been implicated in causing dark circles under the eyes. A deficiency of the vitamin has been shown to be common in those who constantly battle dark circles under the eyes. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin K-rich anti-aging foods in your weekly diet, like leafy greens (e.g. kale, collards, and spinach), peas, and oatmeal.
Collection of Lymphatic Fluid: To get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles due to the collection of lymphatic fluid beneath them, improve the circulation. To get this fluid moving and keep it from collecting beneath the eyes, give your face a gentle massage. Some massage therapists specialize in facial massages. Give one a try to get some ideas about how to use the same technique at home to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles. This is also a great anti-aging tip.
Allergies: Environmental issues and certain allergies such as pollen, food, dust, and wheat can cause puffy eyes. Removing the allergens is an easy fix to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles. In this case, your doctor can do some allergy and food intolerance tests to detect the type of allergy you have. Try monitoring your surroundings and diet for a week to see if you notice any changes. At the same time, stop eating some common allergic foods such as eggs, dairy products, gluten, nuts, and so on, and see if you notice any difference. Even certain ingredients in anti-aging skincare products can trigger an allergic reaction. You first need to find out which triggers are setting off symptoms of inflammation around your eyes.
Lifestyle: Keep a check on how you go about with your day. Everything from stress to consuming alcohol, smoking, staying out late, and then waking up early, can cause dark circles. Also ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, consume vitamin-rich foods, include whole fruits and veggies in your diet, stay away from processed foods and caffeine-laden drinks, get your daily eight hours of sleep, and exercise regularly. Over a period of time, the body will benefit from these lifestyle changes and the results will show on your skin, too.
In addition to all these treatments, you can always try some home remedies not only to get rid of dark circles and puffy eyes but also look and feel fresh. Here are a few things you could try out.
8 Home Remedies to Cure Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles
- Apply a compress made from mint leaves; they are antibacterial and antiviral. Mint is also soothing to the skin, which is why it can help get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles. Crush some of the leaves and mix with warm water to create a paste. Apply the paste daily under your eyes and leave it on for about 20 minutes.
- Place slices of raw potato under your eyes. Potatoes contain a natural substance called catechins that are known to brighten skin, thus helping to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles, or at least make them less visible.
- Apply tomato paste on the skin under your eyes. Tomato paste is high in lycopene, an antioxidant that lightens and brightens the skin.
- Cucumbers work very well for dark circles and puffy eyes. They give a cooling effect as they are high in astringent properties and assist in skin-lightening. The soothing after-effect gets additional brownie points. Simply slice chilled cucumber and place them on your lids for a good 30 minutes. Then wash off with cool water. You can also combine equal parts of cucumber juice and lemon juice and apply it on the area with a cotton ball. Since lemon juice is acidic, ensure you wash it off after 15 minutes.
- A wonderful sink toner, rose water, also helps in curing dark circles. Use a flattened cotton ball dipped in pure rose water and place it on closed eyelids. Remove the pads after fifteen minutes and repeat at least twice a week.
- Used chamomile tea bags also make great eye masks. The tea has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, plus it is a great way to re-use tea bags. After brewing your cup, remove the bag and place it in the fridge to chill. Rest it on closed eyes for a couple of minutes to soothe dark circles.
- Natural coconut oil also works well to eliminate dark circles. Pure coconut oil is a great moisturizer and takes care of wrinkles and fine lines. Put a few drops on your fingertips and massage the affected area gently. Leave it for a few hours to allow the oil to get absorbed. This home remedy maybe used a couple of times every day until the desired results are achieved.
- There are a number of dark circle treatment kits available on the market today consisting of eye patches and masks for eye care. Some, like the cooling eye patches and masks, work wonders for your lids. The strips contain natural ingredients and soothing oils that calm the skin and give a refreshing after effect. A lot of these are available online.
You could very easily get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles, or even just to look and feel good with these simple and easy remedies. They are great anti-aging techniques to help you look your best.
Shea, T., “How to Reduce Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles: 6 Surefire Tricks,” Reader’s Digest web site;
http://www.rd.com/health/beauty/how-to-reduce-puffy-eyes-dark-circles/, last accessed January 21, 2017.