5 Solutions for Dark Circles

Medically Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on September 19, 2013
2 min read

Whether your dark circles are from too many late nights, or they run in your family, you can fade them and brighten up your look. Start with these five fixes.

Some ingredients can help. Caffeine tightens blood vessels and curbs puffiness. Ingredients like retinol and vitamins C and E can lighten undereye circles.

But these aren't a total cure. "I don't think there is one treatment out there that erases them, unfortunately," says Rebecca Kazin, MD. She is medical director of the Johns Hopkins Dermatology and Cosmetic Center.

You can hide dark circles with makeup.

Match the color to your skin tone. "What you need is a shade that brightens you up under the eye," says celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter.

Find a product that's right for your skin texture. "If you're dry, you want a light, thin makeup. And if you're oily, you can use a waterproof concealer, which is thicker," she says.

Don't put a big swoop of concealer under each eye.

"Take your small camouflage brush and conceal the darkness in the inner corner of the eye and bring it down to the nose area," Linter says. "Blend it in, and that will lift the eye. It will lift the darkness."

Practice the technique. "Dark circles are really hard to hide because the skin under the eyes is thin -- thinner than the rest of the face," Linter says.

Have a cup of tea, and then pop the moist tea bags into your fridge. Let them cool off. Lie down, close your eyes, and put the tea bags on your eyelids for a few minutes.

Tea fights inflammation, and that may ease undereye puffiness and darkness, Kazin says.

Do you rub your eyes a lot because of itchy eyes or other allergy symptoms? All that rubbing can leave you with dark circles. They're sometimes called "allergic shiners."

Ask your doctor about medicines to ease your symptoms. Sometimes an antihistamine or eye drops can help.

Use sunglasses that filter out UV light. "Wearing sunglasses helps, because you're not getting sun damage under the eyes that can cause darkening," Kazin says.

Dark shades will also cover up your dark circles. Bonus: They'll stop you from squinting, which can lead to crow's feet.

If you want more help with your dark circles, see your dermatologist. "You really need to be evaluated carefully to determine what is causing your undereye circles to target the problem most directly," Kazin says. "Then you'll get the best results."