Dark circles or hyperpigmentation under the eyes can make you look tired and self-conscious about your appearance. Though lack of sleep is considered the main reason for dark circles, it can also be caused due to constant rubbing, allergies, sun exposure, stress, heredity or an unhealthy lifestyle. (1)
Usually, the skin under the eyes is very thin showing through the veins and blood vessels. The above mentioned factors can cause a disruption or inflammation in the blood vessels which trigger melanin production leading to dark circles.
Usually dark circles will lighten on their own after sometime if you follow a healthy lifestyle and drink adequate amounts of water. In case the discoloration lingers on or the blood vessels become more prominently visible through the thin skin, there are several natural remedies which can be helpful.
Procedures like chemical peeling (2) or laser therapy can have adverse side effects on the skin resulting in red patches, extreme dryness and irritation. However, natural remedies like castor oil are free of any toxic side effects and are more long-lasting in reducing the blemishes under the eyes.
What Makes Castor Oil Effective in Treating Dark Circles?
- Omega-3 fatty acids present in the castor oil hydrate the skin and stimulate healthy tissues which reduce the discoloration of the skin.
- Castor oil works as a natural moisturizer since it contains a good amount of fatty acids that keep the skin hydrated, making it less prone to becoming dry and puffy. (3)
- The oil has antioxidants that play a role in preventing the skin from getting damaged by free radicals. (4) These help to shrink the blood vessels and reduce fluid retention, helping get rid of dark circles and puffy eyes.
- Castor oil boosts the synthesis of collagen and elastin in the skin, which are the main structural proteins present in the layers of the dermis. This lessens wrinkles under the eyes and keeps the skin supple and hydrated.
- It is anti-microbial and anti-fungal in nature which helps to get rid of infections. (5)
- Ricinoleic acid, a rare compound that forms approximately 90 percent of the castor oil content, works as a natural anti-inflammatory conditioner for the skin beneath the eyes. (6)
How to Use Castor Oil for Dark Circles?
Here are the best ways to incorporate castor oil into your daily skincare regimen to get rid of dark circles. Try them all out and choose what works best for your eyes in the long run!
1. Direct Application of Castor Oil
Directly applying castor oil on the affected parts of the skin is the simplest way of treating dark circles. It is recommended to make this a daily bedtime ritual to achieve best results.
- Wash your face and pat dry.
- Take a few drops of castor oil on your fingertips.
- Rub the oil a bit on your fingers to make it slightly warm.
- Apply it evenly on the dark circles underneath the eyes.
- Massage the oil gently for about 30 seconds.
- Leave it on overnight and wash off with lukewarm water in the morning.
- Organic Castor Oil By Sky Organics
- Pure Body Naturals Cold Pressed Castor Oil
- Organic 100% Pure, Cold-Pressed, Extra-Virgin, Hexane-Free Castor Oil
2. Castor Oil and Fresh Cream
Fresh cream is known to soften, moisturize, brighten and exfoliate the dead skin cells.
- Mix one teaspoon of castor oil with one teaspoon of fresh milk cream.
- Mix until the two ingredients incorporate well.
- Apply this mixture underneath the eyes.
- Leave it on for an hour and then wash off.
- Repeat the remedy daily.
3. Castor Oil and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is known to improve the blood circulation in the capillaries under the skin, as a result of the anti-oxidants and fatty acids contained in it. It also contributes significantly to skin hydration. (7)
- In a bowl, mix one teaspoon of castor oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Apply it on the dark circles as well as on the upper eyelids carefully.
- Massage for two minutes.
- Leave the application overnight and rinse it off in the morning.
- Repeat the process once in a day until you achieve the results.
4. Castor Oil with Milk
- Mix 1 teaspoon of castor oil with 1 teaspoon of full fat milk.
- Wash face as normal.
- Use fingertips to gently massage mixture into under-eye skin.
- Leave on a few hours or overnight.
- Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
- Repeat nightly.
5. Castor Oil and Almond Oil
Almond oil has natural emollient properties; it softens and soothes the skin by locking in the moisture content. (8) A mixture of castor oil and almond oil can be stored for longer periods in an airtight container.
- Take equal amounts of castor oil and almond oil and mix them together.
- Apply on the affected area beneath the eyes and pat the skin lightly a couple of times so that the mixture blends in.
- Leave it on overnight and rinse off the application in the morning.
- Repeat the process daily once until the dark circles fade.
6. Castor Oil, Coconut Oil and Mustard Oil
Mustard oil increases blood circulation under the skin which helps to shrink the blood vessels. The antibacterial and moisturizing properties of coconut oil help to combat the bacteria and keep the skin supple.
- Take equal amounts of castor oil, coconut oil and mustard oil in a bowl and mix them together.
- Apply underneath each eye and massage it in gently.
- Leave it on overnight. Repeat daily.
7. Castor Oil and Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory properties and enhances the absorption of topical substances (9) when combined with other oils.
- Mix equal amounts of castor oil and jojoba oil together in a bowl.
- Using your fingertips, gently massage the mixture underneath the eyes.
- Leave the application overnight.
- In the morning, rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
- Repeat the process daily to get rid of dark circles.
8. Castor Oil and Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is rich in phenolic compounds and fatty acids which have a nourishing effect on the skin. (10)
- Mix equal amounts of castor oil and grapeseed oil together in a bowl.
- Apply the oil mixture lightly underneath the eyes.
- Let the application dry overnight.
- In the next morning, rinse with water.
- Repeat the application daily before going to bed.
9. Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO)
Black Jamaican Castor Oil is processed differently than regular castor oil. The organic beans are roasted, manually ground, and boiled to extract pure, 100% castor oil. The longer the beans are roasted, the more ash the oil contains, and the more ash it contains, the more potent it is. Some manufacturers will add artificial dark coloring to their castor oil to make it resemble Black Jamaican Castor Oil, but you will be able to recognize the real thing by the label and by its earthy smell.
JBCO is a good source of omega-3 &9 fatty acids which help to tighten the pores of the skin and keep it supple. As it also helps in enhancing blood circulation, it is considered a good remedy for treating dark circles, similar to regular castor oil.
Black castor oil contains Vitamin E, which makes it an effective skin cleanser. It also has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties which make it a good solution for common skin problems and puffy eyes.
- Take a few drops of Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
- Apply it evenly underneath the eyes.
- Massage it gently until it gets completely absorbed.
- Leave it on overnight and rinse in the morning.
- Make sure to repeat the process daily to reduce the discoloration under the eyes.
Tips and Precautions
- Make sure patch test before trying out regular treatments with castor oil. If you observe a redness or irritation then avoid its usage further.
- Castor oil should not be applied directly on wounds, bruises or broken skin.
- Ingesting castor oil is not recommended as a treatment for dark circles. The oil works as a stimulant laxative and may affect bowel movements if taken orally, inducing abdominal cramps or diarrhea.
- While applying castor oil underneath the eyes, make sure it doesn’t enter inside the eye. It can cause redness and discomfort and should be flushed out with lots of clean water immediately.
- A good way to apply castor oil under the eyes is to use your ring finger. The skin under the eyes is sensitive and this finger applies the least amount of pressure.
- Notable reduction in dark circles and puffy eyes will only be visible over a prolonged period of regular usage; there are no instant/overnight changes that will appear as such.
- However, if there is no difference or reduction in dark circles even after a fortnight of regular usage, it is advisable to consult a registered medical practitioner for advice.
Apart from trying topical treatments, it is equally important to maintain a healthy lifestyle: get regular exercise, stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet and ensure at least 8 hours of sleep every night. When complemented with the right lifestyle, castor oil will work wonders for your dark circles and have long-lasting effects.
So, are you going to give it a try? Do you know any better remedies than the above mentioned? You are free to share your suggestions, experiences and queries in the comment section below.