Can You Improve Dark Circles Under Eyes Through Diet?

by Sara Ipatenco ; Updated July 18, 2017

Dark eye circles can cause you to look tired, unhealthy or old. There are several causes, including allergies, smoking, consumption of alcohol and sun exposure. If you have dark skin under your eyes that you have tried to get rid of without success, it may be worth taking a close look at what you eat or do not eat. Certain foods, when eaten regularly, can reduce the appearance of dark circles, and avoiding other foods also can help.

Add foods that act as a natural diuretic, recommend Dennis Gross and Cara Kagan, authors of "Your Future Face: Create a Customized Plan for Beautiful Skin." Eat foods such as watermelon, celery and cucumber, which help your body flush out excess water and reduce the dark, puffy appearance under your eyes.

Eliminate junk food from your diet. Restrict your intake of caffeinated sodas, recommends Mayo Clinic, because they can contribute to puffiness and dark skin under your eyes. Also, lower your intake of sugary and fatty foods and instead choose nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

Limit alcohol consumption. Several alcoholic drinks each day can result in puffy, dark eye circles, note Gross and Kagan. Replace alcohol with water, which will rebalance the fluids in your body and help reduce dark eye circles.

Restrict your intake of salty foods. A diet high in salt can lead to dark, puffy eyes, note Gross and Kagan. The reason: Salt tends to encourage your body to hold onto water. Limit how much processed food you eat, pass on the salt shaker and taste your food as you cook to see if it truly needs salt before adding any.


  • Placing cold cucumber slices on your eyes to reduce dark circles may work short-term, but Gross and Kagan recommend eating several slices of cucumber to have more long-term effects.

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About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.