Dark circles under your eyes can add years to your age and we’ve all been there. Noticing bags or dark circles under your eyes is bad enough when you do it on your own but when someone else points to them, it makes the matter just that much worst. You look in the mirror and see the eyes of a tired woman staring back at you, someone whose eyes use to look much better. One of the most asked questions to Dermatologists and plastic surgeons is about how to get rid of dark circles or eye bags. Don’t kid your way to thinking you can sleep your way to healthier looking eyes but Good news is that: There are all kinds of fixes for under-eye flaws.
Sleep may help diminish your appearance a bit but first thing you need to determine is the actual cause of why the dark circles are there to begin with. Some of these factors are due to your lifestyle but one of the biggest is Genetics. Others are Seasonal allergies, an unwanted cold or a dreading sinus infection. Easiest way to find out if genetics is the culprit is to look at your mother or Grandmother. If your mother or her mother has dark circles under their eyes, chances are high your puffiness is, most likely a hereditary condition. If you inherit fair or thin skin under the eyes it will lead to water building up in that area and when there is a water buildup in any area there will be problems. This water accumulation causes fragile capillaries to expand and with time leak. Since the skin around our eyes is really thin, actually the thinnest compared to anywhere else on our body: in and out of flow of fluids can easily damage the area causing the black circles to be highly visible.
Age is another factor
Beside hereditary cause, age is another factor, which takes it toll as we grow older. As we get older, skin loses collagen and thins, causing the veins to show through more prominently.
Dinner with salty food
The saying “you are what you eat” holds true even with this dilemma, dinner heavy with salty food may taste good but it can cause morning-after puffiness. The simple reason for this is osmosis. Salt attracts water and will suck it from areas in the body where there’s no salt or low concentration to tissues where there’s more salt.
If you are trying to put some colors to your skin by Sunbathing, please remember it speeds up this process by breaking down collagen and mottling skin color. You may look tanned but along with it could come puffy eyes.
Good night sleep
Sleep comes to play in so many things in our life, in order for the body to function as it suppose to be, a good night sleep is a must. It’s not just how much sleep you get but how you sleep is extremely important in fighting the circles under your eyes. As you sleep, gravity is still doing what it does best, pulling you towards the ground. When you sleep on your side or on your stomach, it encourages fluids to collect under your eyes. There are number of ways to deal with sleep side of making eyes feel and look healthier:
- Get at least 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep and pick a bed that fits your need.
- Double up on pillows to increase the distance from floor to your face, which may stop blood from building up under your eyes
- Sleep on your back, you may have to get used to this but will help for sure
- In the morning, you can apply a cold compress for about five minutes to constrict the blood vessels.
Spoon in the freezer
If you are looking for a natural free method, put a spoon in the freezer and when you wake up, press under your eyes for 5 minutes, not only it will help the dark circles but the cold spoon really feels nice.
Hay fever and Creams
If you are anything like me, the dark circles under you eyes are because you are a victim of hay fever. Go to your local pharmacy and pick up non-sedating, over-the-counter allergy medications.
You can also Irrigate the nasal cavity with a neti pot or use an eye cream with caffeine, yes caffeine is not only good to keep you up at night but it is also very good for treating your dark circles.
Any safe to use cream with anti-inflammatory properties will do the trick. I have a Chinese friend who uses eye creams with green tea, if you can’t find a cream with green tea, try using grape seed oil, which also helps in strengthening capillary walls. It is also a good idea to use a collagen-building cream.
This is my favorite part; you can tweak your diet, too. Flavones-rich dark chocolate should do the trick but don’t over do it. Just an ounce a day is good enough.
I have a good friend who has iron deficiency and because of it she sometimes has a bluish tinge below her eyes. She also had pale skin, was tired most of the time and even felt dizzy. Her doctor sent her to get tested for anemia.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Try eating foods full of omega-3 fatty acids, fish such as salmon and nuts such as walnuts has worked for some people to improve the blood flow to the skin.
My friend was told to intake healthy dose of Vitamin k, Vitamin E, Vitamin C along with iron and folic acid. Citrus fruits are also good, eat when you can, berries instead of muffins, green leafy veggies instead of potatoes, and all those other food your mother use to force you eat, nuts, whole grains, avocado (which is also good for people with bad cholesterol).
Rubbing your eyes
Rubbing your eyes can also cause eye bags. I don’t mean not to scratch an itch but don’t over do it. By now you already know the skin under the eyes is the thinnest and with forceful excessive rubbing, it can be damaged easily.
Another cause is the makeup, when you go to bed with makeup on it disturbs the skin and the fluids. When possible wash your face and take off all the makeup before you go to bed.
Alcohol is the cause of many problems and heavy alcohol drinking causes dehydration, which by any standard is not good for the skin under your eyes . Also the cardiac functions in alcohol decrease the flow of oxygen to the skin, which may cause the eyes to sink into a bag. If you bundle drinking along with smoking, it makes the matter worst. It is a known fact, smoking causes premature aging but what lots of people don’t know is, “the nicotine in it constricts blood vessels”. When your blood vessels are constricted it results in poor circulation, which enhances the appearance of dark circles.
For some women, under-eye dark circles and puffiness are actually related to your monthly cycle. If this is the case with you, one week in advance of your period, try eliminating salty foods, carbohydrates, and excess liquid from your diet. You will see a noticeable difference.
I have also heard of nasal congestion, which can dilate and darken the veins that run from your nose to your eyes
Things you can use to reduce puffiness
Few of my friends also use the following to reduce puffiness or simply make the eyes feel nice and cool:
- Cool cucumber slices, keep the cucumber in a cold place and cut fresh slices when needed
- A cotton ball dipped in cold potato juice,
- Crushed mint leaves is actually one of my favorite,
- Combining a teaspoon of tomato and lime juice, which have other health benefits also,
- Castor oil but make sure to leave it overnight
- The one I have seen used the most behind cucumbers is a cool teabag, which can really help relieve tired eyes
Water – the Elixir of life
I will end this with the most important thing you can do to make sure your eyes, skin and body is as healthy as it could be, “Water”. It isn’t called the elixir of life for nothing, drink as much water as you can but try to get to around 8 glasses a day. You know now that dehydration can cause the blood vessels under your eyes to become dilated, which makes it swollen resulting in dark circles under your eyes. If you can turn drinking water into a habit, it will do wonder for your entire body. They say drinking a full glass of water first thing in the morning and last thing at night actually helps the eye bags the most.
Please add your own experience in the comment sections below and let’s collectively help each other.