How to Remove Dark Circles & Relieve Puffy, Inflamed Eyes with Tea Bags

Woman wearing eye mask.

The go-to treatment for any mild eye condition such as dark circles, puffy or inflamed eyes, and dry eyes is normally eye drops or sometimes creams and store-bought eye masks. While these are effective and useful tools for relieving your symptoms they are also likely to contain some chemicals (depending on which brands you buy) and if you suffer from any of these ailments then you may be growing tired of having to buy new products, constantly.

If this is you then I’ve got some good news, you may be able to get relief from your eye condition just by simply reusing your herbal tea bags to make a DIY eye mask – depending on the severity of your condition, that is. I personally always favor the natural approach and would suggest for anyone suffering from eye conditions to try this out as it may or may not work for you but you have nothing to lose by doing so.

So why does this work? Well teas contain a large amount of polyphenols and antioxidants including flavonoids and tannins which have an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effect, meaning they can help to reduce swelling, redness, or dark circles and also to fight off infections. If you use green, black, or white tea then the caffeine in this will also help to reduce swelling and puffiness. Placing some damp tea bags over your eyes for 10-20 minutes will also provide moisture to your eyes which will help to reduce dry eye symptoms.

How to Use Tea Bags to Make a Soothing Eye-Mask

*Important – Be sure to only use organic tea bags as nonorganic is likely to contain pesticides and possibly other chemicals that could actually irritate your eyes further. Also, do not use tea bags that have metal staples.

  1. Steep two tea bags in half a cup of hot water and leave for 15 minutes or so until the tea is just Luke warm.
  2. After washing your hands, remove the tea bags from the cup and squeeze out the excess liquid, and place them over clean, makeup-free eyes. (If you wear contact lenses, be sure to remove these first).
  3. Leave the tea bags on for 10-20 minutes and try to avoid touching your eyes after you’re done. If you end up with tea leaves on your face then you can carefully clean up your face with a face cloth or a tissue.

The Best Tea Bags to Use

Black Tea – Black tea is high in tannins which give it antibacterial properties that soothe irritated eyes and reduce swelling.

Green Tea – Green tea contains caffeine which has a narrowing effect on blood vessels which constricts blood flow and this can reduce the appearance of dark circles. Green tea also contains flavonoids as well as a smaller amount of tannins than black tea and so it is also effective for irritated eyes.

Chamomile Tea – Contains antioxidants that fight infection and reduce inflammation. Chamomile is also great for relieving stress and increases the body’s production of Hippurate, a plant compound that fights bacteria.

Rooibos Tea – Extremely high in antioxidants and lowers blood pressure so is useful on dark circles. Contains essential minerals including manganese, calcium, and magnesium. Contains polyphenols which can have an anti-histamine effect so Rooibos is also highly effective on itchy or inflamed eyes. Contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid which is commonly used in cosmetic products because it is effective in reducing wrinkles.

Other Teas that Effectively Reduce Inflammation, Puffiness, and Irritation

  • Lavender
  • Eyebright (Clary Sage)
  • Calendula
  • Comfrey
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • White

The Bottom Line

While eye drops and soothing creams offer fast and effective relief from eye conditions, they don’t always help to treat your condition long-term. Teas, on the other hand, contain free-radical fighting substances that are capable of actually treating and possibly curing persistent eye conditions when used over a long period of time. I’m not saying don’t use eye drops but tea bags could be an effective alternative or complementary solution.


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