Coconut oil has been described as a superfood, and it’s gotten a lot of attention for its possible health benefits.
The oil, which is pressed and expelled from the fruit of the coconut palm tree, contains high concentrations of small-chain fatty acids that may reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
It also has antioxidant and skin-strengthening qualities.
This unique combination of properties has led some people to suggest using coconut oil as a treatment for dark circles under the eyes.
As you age, your skin becomes thinner. This process can cause dark circles, as it makes the blood vessels beneath your eyes more visible.
Dark circles may also be caused by:
Keep reading to find out more about how coconut oil can be used for dark under-eye circles.
If you’d like to try coconut oil as a treatment for under-eye circles, make sure that you purchase cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil. This kind of coconut oil hasn’t been modified or bleached by chemical preservation processes.
Next, follow these steps:
- Wash your face and clean off any makeup or other beauty products to allow coconut oil to be absorbed into your skin.
- Gently massage about a teaspoon of room-temperature coconut oil into the area underneath your eyes. Massage for at least 30 seconds under each eye.
- Let the coconut oil absorb completely into your skin.
Since coconut oil makes your skin slippery and oily, this treatment is best done at bedtime.
There’s not a lot of research into coconut oil for dark circles. In fact, there’s not a lot of research into how to get rid of dark circles (sometimes called periorbital hyperpigmentation) in general.
But there is reason to believe that topical coconut oil is an effective treatment for some people. Studies show that coconut oil can help cell turnover, making the skin barrier stronger by thickening it. Since skin that’s thinning due to aging is a big cause of under-eye circles, it makes sense that coconut oil would diminish their appearance.
Research backs the claim that coconut oil helps with inflammation of the skin. The “puffiness” that accompanies under-eye circles and dehydration could be treated by using coconut oil.
Finally, at least one study indicates that coconut oil does have healing properties. If your dark circles are caused by bruising or damage to your skin, coconut oil might improve the appearance of the circles by helping your skin heal faster.
If you use coconut oil for dark circles for two weeks and don’t see any changes, speak with your doctor. On occasion, dark circles can be reason to suspect a deeper health issue, like liver disease.
There are other remedies for dark circles under your eyes. Chemical peels, vitamin C serums, and azelaic acid are some of the remedies a dermatologist might suggest. If you’d like to stick with natural ingredients or more holistic home remedies, consider some of these:
Cucumber eye mask
In addition to being rich in hydrating, soothing, antioxidant compounds, cucumbers also have anti-inflammatory properties. Applying a thick cucumber slice to your eyes and relaxing for 10 to 15 minutes might help blood circulation, refresh tired skin, and “de-puff” the area underneath your eyes.
Arbutin is an extract from the bearberry plant. In some studies, the topical application of arbutin can correct hyperpigmentation in the skin. Since dark circles are technically a type of discoloration, there’s reason to believe that applying arbutin to them could help even out your skin tone. More studies are needed to understand how this would work.
Depending on what causes your dark circles, switching up certain lifestyle habits might be the most effective treatment for you.
A few things that could lead to younger, healthier looking skin include:
- getting more sleep
- staying hydrated
- reducing caffeine intake
Also, because dark circles under your eyes can be related to cortisol production, consider your day-to-day stress levels. Dark circles may be your body’s signal that you need to slow down and get more rest.
Coconut oil is generally considered safe to use as a topical skin ingredient. But some people have reported allergies to coconut oil.
Make sure you test a small patch of your skin with coconut oil before applying it all over your face. After trying it on a small area, wait 24 hours to see if you have a negative reaction.
Although coconut oil is nontoxic, try not to get it in your mouth or in your eyes when you apply it.
Coconut oil a safe and natural alternative treatment for dark circles under your eyes. There are plenty of reasons to believe that coconut oil can help get rid of dark circles if it’s used consistently. But we do need more research to understand the mechanism and effectiveness of coconut oil as an under-eye skin treatment.
Depending on the cause of the dark circles under your eyes, you may see noticeable results from using coconut oil. If you consistently notice dark circles under your eyes even after trying several methods of treatment, speak with your doctor. There are times when dark circles under your eyes can be a symptom of other health conditions.