Sinus cavities are located very close to the eyes, so reducing sinus swelling and inflammation can reduce dark circles. Use a saline nasal spray, or make your own by mixing a solution of 1/4 cup (60 mL) sea salt to two cups (475 mL) water [source: Mayo Clinic].
Natural Remedies for Dark Under-Eye Circles
Although there's no cure for dark under-eye circles if they're caused by extra pigmentation or bone structure, their appearance can be reduced [source: DocShop].
Several home remedies have been shown effective in diminishing dark circles, and many can be found in your kitchen:
- Place brewed and cooled teabags over the eyes for 15 minutes. Green tea bags may work better than black or herbal tea bags because green tea contains a natural anti-inflammatory chemical, EGCG, which can reduce puffiness [source: WebMD]. The caffeine in tea bags also works as a diuretic that pulls fluid from the eye sockets and reduces puffiness.
- Cover eyes with cucumber or potato slices. Cotton balls dipped in ice water may work just as well -- the cold reduces blood vessel expansion and puffiness.
- Position a cold compress over your eyes to reduce the inflammation of the blood vessels. Frozen peas make a great compress, as the peas will conform to your face. Wrap any type of ice pack in a towel before applying to the face to avoid ice burn.
- Extra ways to deter dark circles and prevent puffiness include sleeping on an extra pillow or two to keep fluids from forming in your lower eyelids [source: Mayo Clinic]. Applying a facial moisturizer containing sunscreen and wearing sunglasses every day helps fight unsightly under-eye circles.
- Modifying your diet can help reduce dark circles. Eliminating salty snacks like pretzels and potato chips can also work because salt makes many people retain water -- even around the eyes [source: WebMD]. Dark circles can be a sign of dehydration, so drinking more water will help hydrate skin. Eating foods rich in folic acid or taking a vitamin B and fish oil supplements is a good idea as well.
- Reducing stress and sleepiness in your life and reducing the length of time you spend on the computer or watching television will help tone down dark circles caused by fatigue [source: Safe Cosmetics]. If these simple remedies fail, then read on to learn other types of treatments that may be of use.