You were up all last night doomscrolling and now you have the energy of a garden slug. You’re powering through with espresso shots and a catnap, but the physical evidence of your 3 a.m. bedtime betrays you — you can’t get rid of the dark circles under your eyes.
When it comes to covering up dark circles, you’ve likely heard about the magic of under-eye concealer and enormous, Olsen twin-style sunglasses. But how about attempting natural remedies, like coconut oil?
Should you use coconut oil for dark circles?
Some research suggests coconut oil may be able to lighten dark under-eye circles by thickening the delicate skin around your eyes and reducing inflammation. Try gently applying a pea-size amount to your dark circles with clean hands.
Coconut oil comes from mature coconuts. Not only is it edible, but it’s often used in hair and skin care products because of its moisturizing properties.
What else can our pal the coconut do? Well, coconut oil might be able to help with the dark circles around your eyes, a condition called periorbital hyperpigmentation. It’s is a common skin condition that’s typically hereditary. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
Dark circles are pretty much permanent for some people. But for others, they can be caused by too little sleep, drinking, stress, dehydration, allergic reactions, or swelling.
There’s no evidence to support the claim that coconut oil makes dark circles go away forever. However, it is possible that some of the properties of coconut oil can diminish the appearance of your dark circles temporarily.
Hey, something is better than nothing!
Here’s what coconut oil can do for your dark circles
Will smearing some coconut oil around your peepers make your dark circles go away forever? That’s a coco-no. But a couple studies suggest that coconut oil can temporarily lighten your dark circles.
Here’s what the research says:
- It may thicken skin. Skin around the eyes is delicate, and thin skin can make dark circles look more prominent. Studies show that plant oils, like coconut oil, can thicken the skin barrier by increasing cell turnover.
- It may reduce inflammation. Under-eye circles can sometimes come with puffiness, aka inflammation. In a 2010 study, the antioxidants in virgin coconut oil worked helped to reduce inflammation. However, this study was in rats, so it still needs to be further studied in humans!
How long does it take to work?
Diminishing the appearance of dark circles with coconut oil will only work temporarily, but if you’ve been applying coconut oil around your eyes for 2 weeks without any changes, you may want to consult your healthcare provider.
Sometimes dark circles can indicate other health issues like allergies or thyroid disease.
Get your hands on some cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil (VCO). It’s called “virgin” because it hasn’t been refined through a bleaching process. You can buy VCO at health food stores, supermarkets, and some skin care/beauty aisles.
First, wash your hands, and then wash your face. Make sure to gently pat dry around your eye area. Next, apply a pea-size amount of VCO to your dark circles with one of your fingers. Gently pat the coconut oil into the skin, but don’t rub! Rubbing around your eyes might tear the delicate skin.
Then, leave it be. Be careful not to rub and smear the oil in your eyes. There’s not much research on how any type of coconut oil fares in your eyes, so let’s play it safe.
It’s rare to be allergic to coconuts or coconut oil, but it is possible. As with any product you slather on your bod, do a patch test first. Apply some coconut oil on a small area of skin first and watch for a reaction.
If you don’t have an allergy, the biggest “risk” for trying coconut oil would be that it just might not make your dark circles go away.
If coconut oil isn’t doing the trick, you might have better luck steering your shopping cart away from the jars of coconut oil and toward other areas of the supermarket.
Try these other natural options for dark circles:
Cucumber for dark circles
It’s not spa day until you’ve got cucumbers on your eyes.
Why are raw cukes so popular for your peepers? Cucumbers soothe skin irritation and reduce swelling, which can help ease your dark circles. Plus, cucumbers have a high water content, helping to make them a good moisturizer around your eyes.
Tea bags for dark circles
Similar to coconut oil, there’s not much research into how tea bags diminish under-eye circles. But people do use tea bags as both cold and warm compresses around the eyes, and anecdotally, they seem to work.
Your best bet for dark circles may be green tea bags and black tea bags. Both are strong in antioxidants — and you’ll get a nice cuppa, too!
Tomatoes for dark circles
Got some leftover tomatoes from your homemade salsa? It can’t hurt to cut a few raw tomato slices and lay them over your eyes. The antioxidant lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, reduces inflammation.
But again, this beauty tip is anecdotal; there’s no research stating directly that tomatoes diminish dark circles. And make sure not to get any juices from the tomato in your eyes.
Potatoes for dark circles
There’s no research to back up the claim that potatoes will send dark circles packing, but anecdotally, some folks swear by the humble spud. The vitamin C from a couple slices of raw potato could help brighten the area around the eyes and make the dark circles less visible.
Dehydration, fatigue, and genes can all cause dark circles, but coconut oil may be able to help. Some research shows that coconut oil can diminish the appearance of dark circles, but only temporarily.
If you don’t see your dark circles diminish after 2 weeks of using coconut oil, check with a healthcare provider to see if you have any underlying health issues.