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How Effective Is Vitamin K for Dark Circles?

By A.M. Boyle
Updated May 21, 2024
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Creams containing vitamin K are often used as a treatment for dark blemishes or circles under a person’s eyes. The effectiveness of vitamin K for dark circles depends upon the cause of the discoloration. Generally, vitamin K could help reduce the appearance of dark circles only if the condition is caused by broken capillaries. The use of vitamin K for dark circles is not a quick fix and normally must be used over an extended period of time to have any visible effect.

Vitamin K, sometimes known by the more technical name phylloquinone, is used by the body to help with blood clotting and calcium absorption. It is normally found in many of the foods people eat and especially in green, leafy vegetables. Used in many beauty products designed to reduce the appearance of spider veins and dark, under-eye circles, it is also sometimes combined with creams or lotions containing retinol, a product believed to firm the skin and reduce wrinkles.

Under-eye circles and dark blemishes can be caused by a number of factors. For instance, puffiness or discolored skin under the eye can be caused by lack of sleep, hereditary factors, or allergies. They can also be caused by excessive sun exposure, tobacco use, or alcohol consumption. In those instances, using vitamin K to cure dark circles probably will not help. Vitamin K is not designed to conceal the discoloration or reduce inflammation and puffiness but rather to promote the clotting of blood from broken capillaries under the skin and to heal those damaged capillaries.

There are instances when dark circles are caused by broken capillaries within the skin under the eye. The skin under a person’s eye is thin to begin with, and as a person ages, it can become even thinner. It is populated by capillaries, which are tiny blood vessel branches that carry blood between larger arteries and veins. These capillaries can become damaged and leak blood. The unoxygenated blood they carry is bluish in color, so when this happens, the area under the eye can take on a bluish tint, like a bruise.

If the discoloration under a person’s eye is caused by broken capillaries, vitamin K might be an effective treatment. Due to its blood-clotting properties, in this instance, using vitamin K for dark circles will help stop the leaking blood and promote healing. Once the damaged capillaries have clotted and begin to heal, the bluish tint begins to fade. This process takes time, even as long as six to eight weeks before a person sees any noticeable improvement.

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Discussion Comments
By SarahGen — On Dec 18, 2013

@fBoyle-- Unfortunately, vitamin K did not do anything for my dark circles. My dark circles are hereditary. I also have pale skin, so even a minor discoloration becomes very apparent.

I agree that most vitamin K creams are affordable. So it's probably worth trying, but it won't work for everyone.

By candyquilt — On Dec 18, 2013

@fBoyle-- I have no idea about vitamin K supplements, but I use a vitamin K cream for my eye area regularly. I have dark circles because the skin underneath my eyes are very thin. The vitamin K cream definitely helps. It doesn't get rid of dark circles completely, but with regular use, they are less apparent. So I do recommend it.

The other good side of vitamin K cream is that it's affordable. It's cheaper than other eye creams, so you get great value for a great price.

By fBoyle — On Dec 17, 2013

Has anyone here tried vitamin K cream for dark circles? Did it work for you?

And what about food supplements? Can vitamin K supplements help with dark circles?

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