Dark circles, which is one of the most prevalent skin problems, refer to the rings formed by dark discoloration of the skin around the eyes. Though more common in older people, people of all ages can encounter this problem. Dark circles are not at all harmful, but they affect the physical appearance of a person making one look tired and unhealthy.
Hectic lifestyle is the main cause of dark circles, although other factors like ageing, heredity, long hours before the computer screen, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiency and stress could also be responsible for them. They may also occur during pregnancy, menstruation and menopause owing to hormonal imbalance. These dark patches look unsightly and are difficult to conceal. Although there are many cosmetic under-eye creams and gels available in the market to treat this problem, here are some effective home remedies that can help you get rid of dark circles.
1. ALMOND OIL: Take a few drops of almond oil and massage gently the area around the eyes with it. Leave it overnight and wash it with cold water in the morning. Follow this routine daily. A mixture of almond oil with honey applied on the spots for 10 minutes daily will also have a positive effect. You can also apply a paste of some crushed almonds with a few drops of milk on the dark circles. Massagung the under-eye area with a vitamin E rich cream at bedtime also helps.
2. ROSE WATER: Place cotton balls dipped in rose water over your eyes and relax for some time. Use this remedy daily and you will notice a miraculous improvement within a few weeks.
3. TEA BAGS: Dip teabags in cold water and place over your eyes for a short while daily to reduce the dark pigmentation around them.
4. CUCUMBER: Close your eyes and place refrigerated cucumber slices over them. Another way is to apply cotton balls dipped in cucumber juice over the dark circle. You can also add some lemon juice to the cucumber juice. Alternatively, a paste made by crushing a piece of cucumber and a piece of potato can be used. Cucumber is beneficial because it acts as an astringent as well as a toner.
5. POTATO: Potato has natural bleaching properties which helps lighten the skin around the eyes. Apply thin slices of a potato on your eyelids to get rid of dark circles.
6. TOMATO: A mixture of some tomato puree with a little bit of lemon juice used over the affected area for 15 minutes and then washed off with cool water is a very effective remedy for dark circles. Drinking tomato juice daily also helps.
7. LEMON JUICE: Lemon juice is a rich source of vitamin C. You can simply dab some fresh lemon juice on the dark circles with a cotton ball and wash it off after 10 minutes. Another effective preparation is a thick paste made up by mixing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, a pinch of gram flour and turmeric. Cover the dark circles with this paste for 10-15 minutes and then wash it with water to lighten the skin.
8. APPLE SLICES: Apple has plenty of vitamin B and C and potassium which help remove dark circles. Put some slices of apple around the eyes for half an hour and then wash the skin with cold water. Alternatively, you can apply a paste of boiled apple on the dark circles.
9. TURMERIC: Make a paste by adding a pinch of turmeric to some pineapple juice and use it over the dark spots for 10-15 minutes daily. Turmeric, with its anti-oxidant properties, has a miraculous effect for lightening the dark circles.
10. MINT LEAVES: Another effective remedy is a paste of mint leaves added to tomato juice and applied to the affected area for some time followed by a splash of cold water.
11. ORANGE LENTILS (MASOOR DAL): Make a paste of 3 teaspoons of masoor dal soaked overnight with 1 teaspoon of tomato puree, some lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric. Dab this paste on the dark circles till it dries up and then wash it off.
12. FENUGREEK SEEDS: Soak 2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds for 2-3 hours. Grind them into a paste with some raw milk and add a pinch of turmeric to it. Use it as a mask for under-eye circles for about 15 minutes and then wash it. Fenugreek contains vitamin C and protein which help lighten the pigmentation.
Apart from the above, the best possible home remedy for dark circles is drinking lots of water, which helps flush toxins from the body. You can also apply a cold compress to your eyes using a cube of ice wrapped in a clean handkerchief. Washing the eyes with warm and cold water alternatively helps improve blood circulation in the under eye area.
A healthy diet and a relaxed lifestyle are highly important for healthy eyes. Include fresh fruit and vegetable juices, milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, sprouts, cereals and beans in your diet. Abstain from alcohol and smoking. Avoid sweets, chocolates, carbonated drinks and junk food. Sleep for at least 8 hours everyday. Meditation and exercise, particularly deep breathing are also effective. Avoid stress and do not forget to take a break from your hectic schedule once a while.