Treatments for dark circles

African American women, like other women, are prone to skin problems such as dark circles or bags under the eyes. Dark circles can create a tired or stressed appearance and can be difficult to treat, especially for people with darker skin tones.

The delicate skin around the eyes makes treatment even more challenging. However, numerous treatments, including home remedies, are available to remove puffiness and keep black skin looking youthful without having to visit a dermatologist or pay for expensive treatments.

What Are Dark Circles?

African American woman with under-eye dark circles

Dark circles are caused by the swelling of weakened skin tissues surrounding the eyes, which is typically a result of aging and fatigue. This results in puffiness beneath the eyes.

Although these preorbital dark circles are not usually indicative of a serious medical condition, they do require careful attention to effectively nourish the skin in the eye area and maintain its natural youthfulness.

What Causes Dark Circles?

There are many genetic and lifestyle factors that can contribute to dark circles in African American women:

Genetics – Genetic factors can result in inheriting weaker and thinner eyelids, which can increase the prominence of periorbital puffiness. In addition, genetic inheritance may result in darker pigmentation of the skin in the under-eye area.

Tiredness – Insufficient sleep, whether due to late-night activities such as watching Netflix or working on a laptop, or being woken up early by children, results in decreased blood flow to the under-eye area. This can lead to a reduced nutrient supply, resulting in a less vibrant and less plump appearance. You should try to get around 7 -8 hours of sleep every night to avoid sleep deprivation and fatigue.

Black woman with tired eyes

Smoking – Nicotine disrupts the normal sleep-wake cycle and induces periorbital edema by causing fluid accumulation. Moreover, nicotine-induced skin dehydration resulting from carbon monoxide-mediated oxygen deprivation can lead to the appearance of darker under-eye circles due to the thinness of the skin in that area.

Allergies – Allergies, such as hay fever or eczema, can contribute to the development of periorbital dark circles. This is often due to excessive rubbing of the eyes, which can lead to laxity of the skin and the appearance of sagging.

Diet – A diet that is deficient in fruits and vegetables, and high in fried foods or salt,

can result in the skin being deprived of essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for maintaining its nourishment and overall health. This can elevate the chances of developing dark circles.

Fluid Retention – Excessive water retention, which can be caused by changes in weather conditions, hormonal imbalances, or a high-salt diet, may lead to periorbital edema. This occurs when the skin tissue surrounding the eyes becomes swollen with fluid.

Dehydration – Inadequate hydration can lead to lackluster skin around the eyes, resulting in a sunken and dark appearance. Adequate water intake is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and youthfulness. Insufficient water intake can also lead to dehydration, causing the skin to become itchy and puffy.

Sun Exposure – Excessive exposure to UV rays can lead to hyperpigmentation, which may also be visible in the eye region.

Stress – Extended periods of stress and depression can lead to the overproduction of sebum or oil by the body’s glands. This can result in a range of skin problems, including itching, bumps, redness, and rashes.

Incorrect Skincare – Using skincare products that are not specifically designed for the delicate eye area, as well as using heavy-handed techniques to remove eye makeup, can result in inflammation or damage to the capillaries around the eyes. Failure to moisturize and hydrate the periorbital area on a regular basis may also lead to dryness and dullness, which can contribute to the development of dark circles.

It is also worth noting that other potential factors that may contribute to the development of dark circles include advancing age, anemia, broken blood vessels, stress, and excessive screen time.

Treating Dark Circles On Your Eyes

There are many ways to treat dark circles, just like there are many things that can cause them. Before investing in eye creams for your dark circles, consider the following remedies.

Home-Based Under-Eye Treatments

Woman with eye circle

Now that we know what causes dark circles, let’s explore some effective home remedies to reduce them and restore a natural glow to your eyes.


Increasing water intake is a simple way to reduce under-eye puffiness. Dark circles can result from toxin accumulation, and drinking 10-15 glasses of water per day or at least half your body weight can help flush out toxins, restoring the natural glow and softness of your eyes.

Vitamin Rich Diet

Eating a diet that is high in essential vitamins, such as vitamins C and E, can help to rejuvenate your under-eye area and combat signs of aging. Foods that are rich in vitamins C and E include citrus fruits, leafy greens, melons, berries, apples, carrots, spinach, and avocados.

Cold Compress

Using cold compresses like a cold washcloth, cucumber slices, or tea bags can alleviate puffiness under the eyes and soothe the skin by bringing swollen blood vessels down to their normal size.

Cucumber Juice

A cotton pad soaked in cucumber juice can be a highly effective remedy against dark circles. Simply extract the juice from some cucumbers and apply it to the affected area using the soaked pad.

Almond Oil

Almond oil’s moisturizing properties make it effective in treating dark circles. Apply a few drops to your dark circles every night before bed, allowing the oil to penetrate and nourish the skin while you sleep. Regular use can improve blood circulation and reduce under-eye bags.

Avocado Cream

To moisturize the eyes, you can make a homemade avocado cream by mixing 3 slices of avocado with 5 drops of almond oil. Apply the mixture on the affected area for 5-10 minutes, then rinse your eyes with warm water.


Using chilled potato slices can help reduce the appearance of dark circles. Chill raw potato slices in the refrigerator, then apply them to the dark circles for at least 15 minutes, 2-3 times a day for best results.

Skincare Routine

If you’re dealing with dark circles, updating your skincare routine might be able to help.

Woman with dark skin

Here are some key ingredients you can use to improve the appearance of your under-eye area. These ingredients are also effective for treating scars on black skin:

  • Vitamin C – Being an antioxidant, Vitamin C protects and strengthens the skin around the eyes and brightens the area gradually.
  • Kojic Acid – Kojic acid functions as a melanin inhibitor, reducing melanin production and improving the appearance of dark circles.
  • Caffeine – Caffeine can help to reduce the appearance of dark circles by constricting blood vessels and improving blood flow, giving a refreshed look to the under-eye area.
  • Peptides – Peptides can help to improve blood circulation around the eyes, enhance fibroblast (connective tissue) function, and stimulate collagen and elastin production. This can ultimately enhance blood supply and vibrancy.
  • Retinol – Retinoids encourage collagen production and stimulate renewal around the eye area, which can help to brighten the eyes and make dark circles less visible.

Clinical Eye Skin Treatments

Here are a few medical treatments for the appearance of dark circles on black skin:

  • Thread Eye Lift Microneedling – This can help to improve the skin quality in the under-eye area.
  • Skin Peels – These can help with dark circles that have been caused by pigmentation.
  • Tear Trough Fillers – A dermal filler that’s used to add volume to the area under the eyes, helping to plump up and smooth out the skin.

Dark circles are a prevalent issue that can be frustrating to deal with as there is no single solution for dark skin. To significantly improve their appearance, you should take a multi-faceted approach to combat them from different angles.