10 Home Remedies for Dark Circles Under the Eyes

close-up of woman putting on mascara
Letizia Le Fur/Getty Images

There are a few home remedies that may help to diminish the appearance of dark circles under both of the eyes (also known as periorbital dark circles). However, no known remedy will get rid of dark circles for good. Learn about the causes of and remedies for dark circles under both eyes.

Common Causes

Thinning skin 

The skin under the eyes is thin and delicate. As you age, your skin and the fat pads under your eyes become thinner, causing blood vessels to become more noticeable. This gives the appearance of dark circles. Sun damage can make this appear worse, because it weakens skin.

Allergies and Hayfever 

Dark circles under the eyes can be the result of allergies to airborne substances (such as pollen, dust, and pet dander). These are often called allergic shiners. They happen when blood pools under the eyes because of the swelling of the tissue in the nasal cavities.

People with hayfever may notice them at the height of the allergy season, often in spring. Dark circles may be exacerbated by itching and rubbing, which may make the darkness under the eyes appear more pronounced.


Dark circles under the eyes runs in families. They are more common and sometimes more noticeable in people with darker skin tones. This is because people with darker skin tones have more pigmentation in the skin under their eyes. Dark circles are also more noticeable with deep-set eyes.

Fluid Retention 

Blood vessels under the eyes can become dilated and engorged, which can contribute to dark circles. Excess dietary salt and smoking are common causes. Conditions that cause fluid retention (e.g. heart, thyroid, kidney, liver diseases) or medications that cause blood vessel dilation may be a factor. Your doctor should be aware of any symptoms you're experiencing.

Lack of Sleep 

A lack of sleep doesn't actually cause dark under eye circles, but it can make skin appear more pale, which allows blood vessels to be more visible through the skin, giving the appearance of bluish or dark circles. Shadows you already have may become more obvious after a night of little sleep, too.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia may cause a bluish tinge below the eyes.


As you age, you lose fat and collagen in your face, which can make under eye circles seem more pronounced. Gravity (which pulls your facial skin down) is another reason why your dark circles get darker or bigger over time.


Dark circles under the eyes can be a sign of dehydration.

Under Eye Circle Remedies

Some home remedies may help to temporarily diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. However, keep in mind that scientific support for the claim that any remedy can completely treat dark under eye circles is lacking.

  • Be sure to drink enough water, at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 under the eyes to prevent skin weakening caused by sun damage. When in direct sunlight, wear large sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.
  • Get plenty of sleep, at least eight hours per night.
  • Apply cool black tea bags over closed eyes. Don’t use herbal tea bags, because the caffeine in black tea is the active ingredient. It can stimulate the blood circulation around the eyes, as well as the blood in the capillaries.
  • Apply cool cucumber slices over closed eyes for 15 minutes. This is beneficial because of the cold temperature of the slices, but the cucumber itself also has properties that can reduce swelling.
  • Limit consumption of dietary salt (no more than 2,400 milligrams per day)
  • The dietary supplements grape seed extract and pycnogenol contain antioxidant pigments that may help to strengthen blood vessels. They should be used only under medical supervision if you are on "blood-thinning" drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin) and aspirin. Certain foods, such as cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, tea (green and black), black currant, onions, legumes, and parsley also contain these antioxidant pigments.
  • Vitamin K, which can be found in some skin creams and serums, increases circulation and may help reduce the appearance of dark circles. 

If you are having health concerns, it's important to speak with your doctor. Self-treating a condition with alternative medicine and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Vrcek I, Ozgur O, Nakra T. Infraorbital dark circles: A review of the pathogenesis, evaluation and treatmentJ Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2016;9(2):65–72. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.184046

  2. American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. What are allergic shiners?

  3. Sarkar R, Ranjan R, Garg S, Garg VK, Sonthalia S, Bansal S. Periorbital hyperpigmentation: A comprehensive review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(1):49–55. 

  4. Mukherjee, Pulok & Nema, Neelesh & Maity, Niladri & Sarkar, Birendra. (2012). Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber. Fitoterapia. 84. 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.10.003

  5. Marini A, Grether-beck S, Jaenicke T, et al. Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in womenSkin Pharmacol Physiol. 2012;25(2):86-92. doi:10.1159/000335261

  6. Ahmadraji, Fatemeh & Shatalebi, Mohammad. (2015). Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Advanced biomedical research. 4. doi: 10.10.4103/2277-9175.148292