Dark under eye circles, also known as bags, are caused by broken blood vessels within the lower eyelid. A shadow forms underneath the bag causing the dark circles to appear. These dark circles can bring about a chronically fatigued look, or make you appear older than you actually are.

What causes dark under eye circle?

Causes of dark circles under the eyes include:

“…heredity is the most common cause for dark circles under eyes.”
  • fatigue
  • vitamin deficiency
  • hyperpigmentation
  • allergies
  • age
  • medical conditions

However, heredity is the most common cause for dark circles under eyes.

Because of aging and sun damage (with some genetic tendency thrown in for good measure) microscopic blood vessels under the eyes can lose their stability and strength. The body compensates by forming many tiny new veins. A thinner fat pad means those veins are closer to the skin’s surface. The result: dark circles.


Getting proper rest and eating the right foods can sometimes help treat and improve dark circles under eyes, but if your circles are in fact genetic, they will usually worsen if left untreated.


“Covering bags with makeup, however, can often make matters worse.”
The most common treatment most people use for dark under eye circles is to simply cover them up. Covering bags with makeup, however, can often make matters worse. Some makeup can dry out or irritate the delicate area around the eye. So, before you liberally apply concealer, know that there are advanced non-surgical treatments that are far more effective at treating dark under eye circles.

Today, there are many of these non-surgical methods that are used to get rid of dark circles under eyes. In fact, everyone probably knows someone that has tried tea bags or cucumbers. Green tea does actually contain an anti-inflammatory substance called EGCG that can reduce puffiness, but the amount of EGCG is so small in most teas that it might not be worth it.

Home remedies for dark under eye circles are mostly ineffective because they are not powerful enough to alter skin’s chemistry. For years beauty queens have even used Preparation H as a temporary fix for eye wrinkles and dark circles, but it’s just that…a temporary fix.

The best treatments for under eye circles are non-surgical aesthetic treatments such as…

  • Fraxel®
  • Thermage®
  • Blue Light Therapy
  • IPL Photofacial
  • Dermal Fillers
    • Restylane®
    • Radiesse®
  • Chemical Peels

A product was introduced to the market recently called Hylexin, which is supposed to effectively treat the problem of dark under-eye circles rather than just cover them up. In a study, almost 3/4 of women who had dark circles and used this product saw a visible reduction in the color and severity of their dark circles. Preliminary reports look good although this product is quite expensive at almost $100 per bottle.

Patients with more severe cases of under-eye circles, puffiness, and loose upper or lower eyelids may want to seek out surgical alternatives including Blepharoplasty or a Brow Lift.

Natural Treatments

  • Apply moist cool tea bags on eyes. Caffeinated, like Earl Grey or English breakfast is best. Using tea bags on eyes is a quick fix for puffiness.
    • The tannins in the tea decrease the inflammation, reducing swelling.
    • The caffeine draws water from the skin deflating puffiness.
  • Cool Cucumbers – Enzymes in the cucumber slices reduce the tissue inflammation, shrinking bags and helping erase unbecoming shadows.
  • There are reports that creams containing Vitamin K can help strengthen the walls of the tiny veins that peek through your skin, causing them to be less visible.
      You can find these creams by doing a Google search for “Vitamin K eye creams”.
  • Antioxidantsstimulate the activity of fibroblasts cells in the dermis that help create skin-strengthening collagen. This firms and tones the area.
      The best fibroblast-stimulating antioxidants include Vitamin C, and GHK copper peptides.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical Peels have also been used to renew skin around the eyes, but are being used less and less to treat dark under eye circles because of the availability of laser treatments.

Many have reported an improvement in the dark coloration of eyelid skin from using the Lactic/35 Gel Peel, a result of the more healthy appearance of the skin itself.