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“I’m a Dermatologist and I Recommend Turmeric To Get Rid of Dark Circles”

How to whip up a two-ingredient, effective under-eye cream — for pennies!

Time was, you would stay out late with friend’s or have a random night of restless sleep, then wake up to find a raccoon staring right back at you in the mirror. Back then, those dark under-eye shadows would quickly dissipate throughout the day. But now it seems the older you get, the longer they stay there — no matter how many hours of sleep you’ve had! And they’re adding years to your look.

Luckily, there are some easy and affordable remedies that can help lighten the area, says New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. Most notably? Using turmeric for those dark circles. Read on for the simple how to — plus other easy ways to diminish or conceal the pesky shadows. You’ll be back to a younger-looking you in no time!

What causes dark circles?

The deep, purple-toned shadows appear when, thanks to a combination in the decline in the quality of circulation and the thinning of skin that comes with age, blood pools under the eyes and shows through the area’s thinner, more delicate skin, explains Dr. Jaliman. And as we are all too well aware, those dark circles look even worse come morning. That’s because a lack of sleep can cause blood vessels underneath the eyes to swell and further leak, emphasizing shadows even more.

How can I use turmeric for dark circles?

Spread B Dark circles: DIY cream with yogurt and turmeric

“When applied topically, Turmeric’s vitamin K promotes healthy blood flow to prevent blood from pooling and forming shadows under the eyes,” explains Dr. Jaliman. Turmeric also contains vitamin C which increases collagen production to thicken thin under-eye skin and brightens skin to further eliminate the shadows.

Even better? Turmeric also corrects hyperpigmentation thanks to its compound curcumin, so you can dab the recipe onto age spots as well! And turmeric costs so little, you’re spending as much as 100x less than a specialty cream. (You can find an 8-ounce bag for $4.50 on Amazon.)

To do: Mix 12 Tbs. of plain Greek yogurt (it moisturizes) and 1 tsp. of turmeric. Rub under each eye; rinse after 5 minutes. Use every other day for results in one week. (This will likely last you a week and cost you less than $1.)

Related: How to Make a Turmeric Paste for Dark Spots That Works Like a Charm — For Pennies!

No turmeric on hand? Try one of these remedies:

Rub on almond oil

Bottle of almond oil

The nut oil is also a rich source of vitamin K that boosts blood flow to thwart pooling. Plus, it also contains vitamin A, which increases collagen production to firm skin and reduce crow’s-feet. Win-win!

To do: Simply dip a cotton swab in almond oil like Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Skin Care Oil (Buy from iHerb, $4.37 and apply to the under-eye area twice a day to see results in three weeks. 

Nosh on kale

Bowl of kale salad
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals that promote healthy blood ­circulation so the fluid won’t pool beneath the eyes and create shadows, says Joanna Vargas, celebrity esthetician who has worked with Julianne Moore and Naomi Watts, and author of Glow from Within (Buy from Amazon, $19.98).

One way to enjoy: Make a salad with 2 cups of chopped kale, half of a diced apple and 1 Tbs. of dried cranberries, then toss with a dressing made from 12 Tbs. each of lemon juice and olive oil. Find more recipes using kale here.

How can I cover up dark circles?

All it takes is a little bit of strategic makeup application to conceal them fast.

Try a color corrector that works with your skin tone

To make dark circles virtually vanish, makeup artist Amy Zdunowski-Roeder, who has worked with Kristen Wiig and Malin Akerman, suggests covering them with a color correcting stick the shade of their color wheel opposite—orange (for medium to dark skin tones) or peach (for fair to light skin tones). Also smart: Try using a crayon primer infused with vitamin E, like Pixi Beauty CC Crayon (Buy from PixiBeauty, $11). It helps “plump” thin, transparent skin so shadows are less obvious.

To do: Lightly dot primer under the eyes, then blend out with a makeup sponge; let dry one minute. Next, top with a light layer of concealer and blend.

Swipe on your concealer using this triangular application

concealer under eye in a triangle application

Applying concealer in a “triangle of light” hides pesky shadows, says makeup artist David Maderich, who has worked with Patti LaBelle and Kim Basinger. “The shape creates the same shining effect a flashlight would if held under the eye, helping darkness recede.”

To do: Use a concealer wand like Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer (Buy from Amazon, $6.94) to draw the triangle below the lash line with the tip pointing down. Fill in and blend.

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