Dark discoloration of the skin under the eye is mainly referred to as dark circles. It is also known as dark rings or shadows. Dark occurs to both men and women of different age groups. Some of the reasons why this dark circles occur are lack of sufficient sleep, aging, stress, lifestyle, unhealthy diet plan (nutritional deficiency), dryness of skin under the eyes, too much crying, too much of working before computers or seeing televisions, playing video games, hereditary factors, some kind of illness like sinus infection, seasonal allergies, pregnancy, etc.
Tomato – Tomato is a great skin lightening agent because of its bleaching properties that will help clear the dark circle around the eyes. Citric acid is the element in tomato that is responsible for its bleaching properties. Although the exact mechanism of action is not known, it primarily works by reducing melanin (the pigment which causes tanning and sun spots) in the skin. Further, Citric acid in tomato is among the five Alpha Hydroxy acids that possess the characteristics needed to break the bond that holds dead skin cells to the fresh cells. As dead skin cells that are attached to a fresh, new layer of cells that lie below, makes the skin appear dull, so it is important to eliminate them and reveal the glowing layer of cells that awaits below. Citric acid helps in eliminating those dead cells by weakening the bonds between old and new skin cells, thereby helping in improving the skin colour around eyes.
Potato – Potatoes contains an enzyme called catecholase. When raw potatoes are exposed to air, an enzyme catecholase oxidizes and becomes benzoquinone. Benzoquinone is a mild relative of a chemical called hydroquinone, which has been the active ingredient in skin bleaching products thereby helps in lightening of dark circles. Raw potato is also believed to have mild bleaching properties, due to its high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is used as a lightening ingredient and helps in reducing the dark pigmentation of skin. The coldness of the potato also helps to reduce swelling and inflammation of the vessels underneath the eye to minimize a dark, tired appearance.
Cucumber – The skin around the eyes, also known as per orbital area, is thin and is webbed with very tiny blood vessels or capillaries. When red blood cells pass through this area get damaged, sometimes leakage of blood occurs. The transparency of the per orbital area makes the loose blood visible in the form of dark circular patches around the eyes, known as dark circles. Vitamin K is an anti-coagulant that can help strengthen blood vessels and keep them from getting damaged. A vitamin K deficiency can cause capillaries to break. Cucumber is an excellent source of Vitamin K, thereby helps in strengthening of blood vessels and prevents them from damage.
Among the various reasons for dark circles, dilation of blood vessels near eyes area due to tiredness, stress or inflammation is one of the most common reasons. Cucumber because of its cooling effect helps in constriction of blood vessels thereby helps in disappearance of dark circles.
As our environment is highly polluted, when you go out allergens and chemicals like carbon monoxide and lead enters deep into your skin resulting in inflammatory response. Inflammation expands the tiny blood vessels under eyes. As a result these swollen blood vessels rub against the thin skin of the eyes and dark color appears. Cucumber contains various antioxidants, for example vitexin, cucurbitacins, orientin and isoscoparin, also vitamin K and vitamin C which help to reduce the inflammation creating puffiness under the eyes and also the dark circles.
Mint leaves – Sometimes the blood vessels near the eyes dilate and because the skin near eyes is thinner, they show up as dark circles. Cold compress help shrink your blood vessels. Though the exact chemical present in mint which is responsible for this effect is not known but mint is known for its astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Its astringent properties can effectively shrink or constrict the blood vessels near the eyes that get dilated and show off the blood as bluish-blackish tint which we call dark circles. It is also very cool and soothing. Thus, when we apply mint on our eyes, we will get relaxed too which helps in lowering the stress, one of the causes of having dark circles.
Lemon – Dark circle removing property of lemon has been attributed to its Vitamin C content. Vitamin C present in lemon has a bleaching properties. It helps in lightening the skin colour by stopping melanin production. Further, it helps in loosening the connection between dead cells and underlying skin thus helps in exfoliating dead cells, so that new cells come on surface.