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Prone to Dark Under-Eye Circles? These Home Remedies May Help

In this video, learn what lifestyle habits may make dark circles more noticeable—and what you can do to brighten up your under-eye area.

Mera Goodman, MD
Written by Brittany Doohan | Reviewed by Mera Goodman, MD
Updated on February 17, 2022

“You look tired.” It’s the comment you dread in the morning after waking up with sullen skin and less-than-glowing peepers. Ugh, why did I have that third drink at the bar last night?!

Dark circles can appear for lots of reasons—and not all of them are due to the wrath of late-night drinking or burning the midnight oil. The dark under-eye appearance may be due to:

  • Increased pigmentation (melanin)

  • Puffy eyes

  • Thin skin

  • Shadowing

  • Dilated blood vessels

Some people may have a genetic predisposition to dark circles, and dark under-eyes can also appear due to aging and in those with darker skin tones.

Other times, certain habits may cause them to appear or be more noticeable, such as:

  • Sun exposure

  • Rubbing the eyes

  • Smoking

  • Fatigue or lack of sleep

  • Swollen eyelids

  • Dehydration

Treating dark circles depends on the cause (since you can’t do anything about aging or your genes), but there are some things you can do to make them less noticeable.

  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors

  • Get enough sleep

  • Quit smoking

  • Elevate your head with extra pillows while  you sleep to reduce eyelid swelling

  • Apply a cold compress, like a chilled spoon, to minimize the appearance of blood vessels

  • Along with your cold compress, lightly massage eye area to reduce swelling

  • Apply light-reflecting concealers (often yellow or gold) in the shadowed area

With these tips, your eyes' future never looked so bright.

Here are more ways to have younger, glowing skin:


Dark circles under the eyes. Hamilton, NZ: DermNet NZ. (Accessed on February 18, 2022 at https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/dark-circles-under-the-eyes)

Periorbital hyperpigmentation − An overview of the enigmatous condition. Chandigarh, India: Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. (Accessed on February 18, 2022 at http://www.pigmentinternational.com/article.asp?issn=2349-5847;year=2018;volume=5;issue=1;spage=1;epage=3;aulast=Daroach)

View All References (2)

Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Comprehensive Review. New Delhi, India: Drs. Sarkar, Ranjan, Garg V, and Bansal are from the Department of Dermatology, Maulana Azad Medical College and LokNayak Hospital. (Accessed on February 18, 2022 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756872)

Infraorbital Dark Circles: A Review of the Pathogenesis, Evaluation and Treatment. Houston, Texas: Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  (Accessed on February 18, 2022 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27398005)

GoodRx Health has strict sourcing policies and relies on primary sources such as medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, thorough, and unbiased by reading our editorial guidelines.

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