Banish Dark Circles Naturally: Effective Home Remedies

| Modified on Jun 11, 2024
Apple Cider Vinegar

Dark circles under the eyes are a common beauty concern that can make individuals appear more tired and aged than they are. These shadows, often attributed to mere fatigue, can result from various factors, including genetics, lifestyle habits, and environmental influences. This comprehensive guide delves into natural remedies, offering effective and holistic strategies to minimize and treat dark circles.

Understanding the underlying causes, from sleep deprivation to dietary choices, is essential in selecting the most suitable natural solutions.

Understanding Dark Circles

Various factors can cause dark circles under the eyes, and their appearance can tell a lot about one's overall health and lifestyle. These factors include genetic predisposition, aging, lifestyle choices, lack of sleep, dietary habits, and certain medical conditions. Recognizing the root cause of dark circles is crucial in determining the most effective remedy.

Genetic Factors

In many cases, dark circles are hereditary. Some individuals are predisposed to thinner under-eye skin or more pigmentation in this area, making dark circles more prominent.


As we age, our skin naturally loses collagen and becomes thinner. This thinning makes the blood vessels under our eyes more visible, which can give the appearance of dark circles.

Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged exposure to sun without protection can accelerate skin aging and contribute to the development of dark circles.

Lack of Sleep

Insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality can cause the skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath the skin to show.

Dietary Habits

Poor nutrition can affect the skin's appearance. A diet lacking in essential nutrients can cause the skin to look pale and increase the visibility of dark circles.


Anemia, or iron deficiency, can lead to inadequate oxygen supply to body tissues, giving the under-eye area a darkened appearance. It's important to include iron-rich foods in the diet or take supplements as a healthcare provider recommends.


Dehydration can cause the skin to become dry and dull, making dark circles more noticeable. Ensuring adequate water intake is essential for maintaining skin health.


Allergic reactions and eye dryness can trigger dark circles. When you have an allergy, your body releases histamines that can cause puffiness and darkening in the under-eye area.

Natural Remedies for Dark Circles

Apple Cider Vinegar

Rich in minerals and vitamins, apple cider vinegar can rejuvenate skin when diluted under the eyes. However, be cautious as it may irritate sensitive skin.

Cucumber Slices

Cucumbers are not just for salads; they're a time-honored remedy for dark circles. Their natural astringent properties can lighten the skin and reduce puffiness. Chill cucumber slices in the refrigerator and place them over your eyes for 10-15 minutes daily.

Almond Oil

Rich in Vitamin E, almond oil is an excellent skin nourisher that can lighten dark circles. Before bed, gently massage a few drops of almond oil into the skin under your eyes and leave it overnight.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known for its soothing and hydrating properties. Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel under your eyes before bedtime to improve blood circulation and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Green Tea Bags

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and tannins, which can help reduce puffiness and lighten dark circles. Chill used green tea bags and place them over your eyes for about 15 minutes.

Rose Water

Rose water has rejuvenating and soothing properties. It's also an excellent toner that can reduce dark circles. Soak cotton pads in rose water and place them on your closed eyelids for 15 minutes.

Tomato Juice

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can lighten skin effectively. Mix one teaspoon of tomato juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice and apply it gently under the eyes. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

Cold Milk

Cold milk contains lactic acid, which can reduce puffiness and darkness around the eyes. Dip cotton balls in cold milk and place them over your eyes for a few minutes.

Oil Pulling

This ancient Ayurvedic technique involves swishing oil, like coconut or sesame oil, in your mouth for several minutes. It's believed to remove toxins, which can indirectly reduce dark circles.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil moisturizes and lightens the skin naturally. Apply a small amount under the eyes before bed, gently massaging it in.

Foods and Drinks that Exacerbate Dark Circles

While various natural remedies can help reduce dark circles under the eyes, it's equally important to be aware of dietary choices that can exacerbate them. Certain foods and drinks, due to their composition and impact on the body, can contribute to the worsening of dark circles.


High sugar intake can lead to inflammation and aging of the skin. Excessive sugar in the diet can damage collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep skin firm and elastic. This can result in sagging skin and dark circles becoming more prominent.

Wheat and Gluten

For individuals sensitive to gluten, found in wheat and other grains, consuming these can lead to inflammation and bloating. This inflammation can extend to the under-eye area, exacerbating the appearance of dark circles.


Excessive salt in the diet can cause the body to retain water, leading to puffiness. This puffiness can cast shadows, making dark circles appear more noticeable.


Alcohol dehydrates the body, including the skin. Dehydrated skin becomes dull and can accentuate dark circles. Additionally, alcohol can lead to poor sleep quality, which is a common contributor to under-eye bags and dark circles.


While moderate caffeine intake might not cause harm, excessive consumption can lead to dehydration and poor sleep patterns. Both of these factors can worsen the appearance of dark circles.

Processed Foods

Processed foods often contain high levels of sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats, contributing to water retention, inflammation, and skin aging, all of which can enhance dark circles.

Dairy Products

Some people may find that dairy products, especially those lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy, can contribute to puffiness and dark circles due to inflammatory responses in the body.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Besides these remedies, making healthy lifestyle choices can also reduce dark circles. Ensure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and follow a diet rich in vitamins C and K, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.


Dark circles under the eyes don't have to be a permanent fixture. You can reduce their appearance effectively and safely with these natural remedies and lifestyle changes. Always be gentle with the delicate skin around your eyes, and consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns about underlying health issues causing dark circles.

Continue reading for feedback from Earth Clinic readers on which natural remedy was the most effective and please let us know what helped you!

Almond Oil

3 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by St (Japan) on 01/21/2014

Almond oil may work for tired eyes but life long dark circles it does not work for at all. It is nice on the skin but after 1 year of using almond oil, I can 100% say it does not work for people that have dark circles from childhood.

Replied by Susan

I don't have dark circles under my eyes but I do have darkness at the inner corners of my eyes. The almond oil didn't work for those but I do think that food allergies can cause them. And even healthy foods can cause dark circles if you're eating a food that your body is allergic to!

I am trying the Eat Right For Your Type eating plan and hope that avoiding certain foods will make them go away. I also have an omega juicer so plan on juicing every day! My favorite juices will have kale in them. Good luck to everyone in getting rid of their dark under eye circles!

Almond Oil
Posted by Claudia (Santa Fe, Nm) on 02/14/2010

I've been using almond oil on a cotton ball to remove eye makeup for nearly a year now and it is simply fantastic! It removes mascara and any other eye makeup gently and easily. It also has made my eyelashes softer and I have no dark under eye circles anymore. It's also fairly cheap and the bottle lasts a very long time!

Apple Cider Vinegar

6 User Reviews
5 star (5) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Alina (Norther England, Uk) on 12/31/2015

I'm not a fan of a Apple Cider Vinegar per se as I do find it hurts my teeth. But drinking a tiny bit in warm water at night really does get rid of dark puffy eyes. It's amazing. I honestly think it does more than any of my lotions and potions. Impressed!

Replied by Deborah

I use a stainless steel straw when I drink my apple cider vinegar. It also helps so it doesn't affect the enamel on our teeth. All the best!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Whatchamacallit (Dupage, Il, Usa) on 06/27/2013

After reading up on all the benefits that ACV/water has to offer, I figured what harm could it do? My main goal was to just feel better and less tired, loose some weight, and maybe it would also help diminish the bags under my eyes (I mainly get puffiness at the top of my cheekbones).

So three days ago, I began a ritual of drinking ACV mixed with water every day-two 20 oz. glasses with about 2 TB ACV in each glass. Note: Always sip this drink with a straw to prevent tooth erosion!

I must say, that after three days sipping throughout the day, it has begun to help me. Today I don't see as much puffiness around my middle (not to say that I've lost weight, but the puffiness isn't as bad). And the puffiness around my eyes has diminished slightly. My mood has improved a bit too.

I am also avoiding sugar-using Stevia- and dairy when I can. Also eating more chicken and salmon and drinking almond milk. ACV has definitely helped with curbing my appetite. I'm taking extra vitamins to help fill in the gap since I'm not eating quite as much right now.

I haven't had any bad reactions to taking ACV so as long as it keeps doing what it's doing, I'm going to stick with it! I'm looking forward to a better me.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Omnischoolmom (Durham, North Carolina, Usa) on 03/17/2012

Here is the ACV ratio I use: 5 parts water, 2 parts raw honey (optional), and 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar. Good for drinking and topical application, even one drop at a time in the eyes (one eye at a time, it will sting for a good 10 seconds, so roll your eye all around while closed to coat it before your tears wash it out).

Replied by Helpyourself

Please do not put stuff in your eyes, especially apple cider vinegar! You could seriously damage the eyes and end up blind. ACV should be diluted and mixed with juice and should be used as a liquid drink.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rachel (To, Canada) on 10/06/2010

Apply to face nightly. I freeze my ACV in a ice cube tray. When I want to take some I cut it into little pieces and take with warm water. This way you can't really taste the ACV and you won't ruin your the enamel on your teeth.

Replied by El
(Washington, Dc)

Brilliant! This is what has kept me from taking ACV. (I've tried it with the straw, but that didn't do a thing to stop contact with my teeth.) thanks for sharing. Taking frozen ACV tabs reminds me of the following: "Let thy food be thy medicine."

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta, GA) on 03/21/2009

I drink it: 2 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water once a day. When I have managed to stay off of wheat and sugar for some time, it has made a dramatic difference in dark eye circles.

Replied by Ray
(Atlanta, GA)

I was wondering, if the purpose of cutting out wheat to avoid gluten? That means no whole wheat bread or pasta?

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
495 posts

Hello Ray, You can answer your own question by seeing if total elimination of wheat products gets rid of the dark circles under eyes. It it does then try some of the whole wheat products and see if they return. It may be something used in the bleaching process instead of the gluten. Of course any allergy to other foods may be the cause, not just wheat. Dairy products are another big cause of allergies, but there again, if you can find someone with a cow that sells unprocessed milk, you might find that it isn't the milk but something the processors added that is the problem rather than the milk.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta, GA)

I have noticed several things about dark circles under my eyes... Besides being genetic, they are very much related to both food and environmental allergies. Too much sugar and my chronic circles are darker than dark. Too much wheat, same same. If I am experiencing congestion from pollen, my dark circles are worse. My antidote besides cutting out the food? Apple Cider Vinegar tonic: 2 teaspoons taken once a day in a large glass of water. Works almost instantaneously

Replied by David
(Beaverton, OR)

I was wondering about using the apple cider vinegar for my dark circles and needed to know do you drink it? If so how much daily? Or do you apply it directly under the eyes? Thanks for your help!

Replied by Betsey
(Detroit, Michigan)

I was wondering, do you drink the ACV or apply it directly to the dark circles?

Replied by Sandy
(Mission Viejo, Ca)

Deirdre, I will try the ACV drink. Can you tell me how long it took for you to notice significant results?

B12 Injections

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Wizen (Estcourt, South Africa) on 09/09/2011

Hi, I have suffered from dark circles under the eyes for ages, and then a while ago I started injecting myself with Vit B12 and noticed that the dark circles left! The same doesn't work with B Complex tho - only B12.

Now when I get them, I give myself 1-2mls and away they go!

Blackstrap Molasses, Borax

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Pamela (Livonia) on 04/08/2016

For dark circles under the eyes, try organic unsulfured Black Strapped Molasses, nature's super food. 2 tsp a day. Also, organic Borax from the healthfood store, mix 1 tsp with a pitcher of alkalized spring water. You will notice a change very soon.

Calcium and Magnesium Citrate

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Joy (Battleground, Wash) on 05/01/2013

I use coconut oil in my diet and topically and a mutli mineral that is 1 to 1 ratio of calcium magnesium and my dark circles that I have had since childhood are gone and they were DARK.

I think my other magnesium that is citrate also plumped my skin back up and so the skin is not thin under my eyes any more and the wrinkles in my forehead are fading away and they were deep tracks.

If you are trying new things... Go slow!

Love, Joy

Replied by Draisy
(Los Angeles)

So curious, what is a mutli mineral that is 1 to 1 ratio of calcium magnesium?

Have been living with dark circles since puberty (the thin skin kind).


Coconut Oil

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Mivtops (New York) on 02/28/2012

I tried coconut oil on my dark eye circles for a couple of weeks to no avail.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Linda (Nyc) on 01/23/2011

i have used both nutiva and spectrum topically for my dark eyes and they both have worked. I think nutiva is better since its raw. My dark circles are hereditary and to top it off I suffer from insomnia and sinus issues. I saw a difference in maybe 4 days to a week. It sure does the trick and its natural. Taking it internally wouldn't hurt but it isn't necessary.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Angel (La, Ca) on 11/19/2009

coconut oil..OMG..I used everything from vitamin c to high end creams, I inhererited dark sunken circles which at 44 started to make me look REALLY sick!!! I started coconut oil for thyroid, not only have I lost weight, sleep, now I noticed in 1 week my eye cleared???

WHAT AMAZING STUFF...AND i don't get easily impressed. I LOOK NORMAL..not like I have anemia..anymore!!! I eat 2 tablespoon and apply it under eye like 4 times...

Replied by Timr
(Dover, Delaware)

I am very curious about the use of coconut oil for dark sunken eyes. I believe it is hereditary sense my twin sister has the same problem. I have tried just about everything I can think of. I read your feedback about coconut oil and was wondering. What type of oil did you use? Did you injest it also? and how long did it take to see results? Thanks T.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Audrey (Gardner, Kansas) on 07/17/2007

coconut oil=so far helped my cracked feet and under eye dark circles...I have had dry feet the last year they have severely cracked...I have been applying the coconut oil for 2 days at night...feet are healing like crazy and circles are diminishing

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