Whether they stem from lack of sleep, a dehydrating hangover or simple genetics, dark under-eye circles are so prevalent that the beauty industry offers dozens of expensive -- and often unnatural -- products to combat them. As an alternative, your pantry offers a solution for pennies on the dollar. Treating dark circles with tea bags calls for just a little prep time, which pays off with multiple benefits.

Why It Works

Your genetic melanin disposition factors heavily in the appearance of dark circles. Inflammation as a result of irritation, allergies or exhaustion can also cause skin-darkening hyperpigmentation. Tea leaves pack anti-inflammatory properties that can lessen these dark circles. Teas with caffeine help reduce bagginess and fluid retention by constricting blood flow. This helps to cut back on both darkness and puffiness.

Types of Tea

Numerous types of tea work for this time-tested home remedy, so choose your weapon based on the battle at hand. If dark circles are your main concern, caffeine-free chamomile tea does the trick by serving as a gentle anti-inflammatory agent. To target puffiness, choose a caffeinated blend such as black tea or green tea. Often, reducing puffy eyes also helps to lighten the under-eye area, as under-eye bags cast dark shadows.

The Process

Once you've chosen a tea, soak two tea bags thoroughly in clean water. Chill the wet tea bags in the refrigerator for a few minutes, and use that time to wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Lie on a bed or couch and place one tea bag over each closed eye. Keep the tea on for five to 10 minutes, then rinse your face with cool water.

Food for Your Eyes

When it comes to all-natural under-eye remedies, tea isn't the only option. Cold cucumber slices also help to reduce dark circles caused by inflammation, as do cool avocado slices. The catecholase content of potatoes, meanwhile, lightens the skin. Use these remedies just as you would tea bags, placing chilled slices over the eyes and resting for five to 10 minutes.

About the Author

Dan Ketchum

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.