How To Lighten Dark Circles Under Eyes

dark circles under eyes

Has it ever happened to you when a friend asked with concern if you are not keeping well or if you are facing any difficult issues in life? 

If you have your friends and relatives asking these questions to you frequently, you need to take a look at your eyes. Those dark circles under eyes are probably why your close ones are worried for you. 

And why not? Dark circles under eyes are considered a common sign of poor physical health and mental stress. They can also indicate a deficiency of nutrients in your diet or a serious underlying illness.

And this is not all. Those dark circles can also make you look tired, dull, unrefreshed, and older than your actual age. So, don’t you think you need to find out why these dark circles appeared and make efforts to lighten them? 

Of course, yes. Then, why wait? Read on to learn why dark circles appear and how to lighten them.

What are dark circles under eyes?

Dark circles refer to the patches of light to dark black or brown pigmentation around the eyes that are formed due to the increased production and accumulation of melanin in the skin. 

In medical terms, these are called periorbital hyperpigmentation or periorbital circles. These dark patches tend to be more prominent in fair-skinned people as the underlying capillaries around their eye area give it a bluish-red tint.

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What are the common causes of dark circles?

As discussed earlier, several factors including poor physical health, mental stress, and worries can contribute to the appearance of dark circles. [1]

The chances of developing dark circles are also higher in those having a lighter complexion and a genetic predisposition. 

Also, as we age, the elasticity of the skin becomes weaker due to the loss of collagen production. As a result, the skin under the eyes becomes thin and more translucent. This can make the capillaries and veins under the skin more visible giving it an appearance of dark circles under eyes. [2]

Sometimes, dark circles may appear due to a condition called the tear trough. It refers to the deep crease between the upper part of the cheek and the lower eyelid. The crease can cast a shadow below the eyes, resulting in the appearance of darkness. 

The darkening of the skin around your eye can also occur due to the excessive accumulation of fluids under the eyes or increased vascularity or dilation of the blood vessels in the under-eye skin.

The fluid build-up and venous congestion responsible for causing dark circles can become more noticeable due to certain conditions such as [3]

  • Lack of sleep
  • Fatigue 
  • Allergy to eye cosmetics
  • Skin laxity cause due to aging 
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Irregularities in pigmentation 
  • Excessive exposure to the sun 
  • A habit of rubbing the eyes
  • Dehydration
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Deficiency of iron or vitamin B12 

One of the best and most efficient ways to lighten the dark circles is to identify the underlying cause. Men and women are advised to ensure their diet comprises of all essential vitamins and minerals to improve skin health and reduce dark circles under eyes. 

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Avoiding mental stress, ensuring you get a sound sleep every night, drinking plenty of water, and minimizing the use of chemical-based cosmetics are some other ways to prevent dark circles. [4] [5]

In severe cases, you can also choose advanced cosmetic therapies to fade the dark circles and restore a healthy skin tone. Read further to learn some of the most effective cosmetic therapies for reducing dark circles under eyes. 

How to get rid of dark circles under eyes?

1. Laser therapy 

Advanced laser technology can help to reduce superficial and deep pigmentation around the eyes and help to fade dark circles. Laser treatment is also suitable for addressing increased vascularity in the skin around the eyes and reduce the dark circles.

2. Dermal fillers 

Advanced non-invasive aesthetic treatments using dermal fillers can be effective for filling in the tear troughs or hollowness under the eyes and thus, reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Most dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid that also plumps up the skin by adding more volume and reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the undereye region. [6]

3. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can be applied on the skin below the eyes to lighten the dark pigmentation. The peels usually contain glycolic acid, lactic acid, and trichloroacetic acid in appropriate quantities and help to reduce periorbital and infraorbital dark circles. [7]

4. Retinols

The topical application of skincare products containing retinoids can help to lighten dark circles under eyes. Regular use of retinoid-based creams or lotions is recommended to lighten the dark pigmentation and improve skin complexion. 

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5. Vitamin K pads

According to a research study published in Advanced Biomedical Research, “The caffeine pad containing vitamin K in an Emu oil base shows an improvement in eye counter appearance with anti-dark circle capacity and as an emollient.” [8]

The findings of this study have revealed that the deficiency of vitamin K could be one of the factors responsible for dark circles and the application of vitamin K-based cotton pads could help to fade these patches.

6. Surgical option

Dr. Pacella, a renowned skincare expert, mentions, “Lower-eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is one of the most effective ways to treat baggy eyelids and dark circles.

If the problem is the shape of the lower eyelid and how light is hitting that area, surgery may be the best solution to improve the appearance of the eyelids.” [9]

A blepharoplasty is performed on the upper or lower eyelids or both. In the lower eyelid surgery, excess skin is removed along with fats making the dark circles fade and giving your face a healthier and rejuvenated look.

This procedure can reduce dark patches and even correct puffiness of the eyes by eliminating fatty deposits around the eyelids.


Healthy lifestyle habits in combination with advanced cosmetic therapies can lighten the dark circles under eyes and improve your skin complexion considerably. It is advisable to adopt healthy dietary habits and eat a nutritious diet even after cosmetic therapies to improve the results further. 

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It can also help the results to last longer and allow you to look fresh, healthy, and younger for years after years. 



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