Combat under eye dark circles and puffiness with the right natural skin care ingredients and "quick-fix" DIY remedies. Diet and lifestyle are also important to keep the eye area in optimum health.
The thinnest and most sensitive skin on your face is underneath your eyes. The capillaries can break easily causing blood cells to gather below the surface of the skin and oxidise to form “dark circles.”
Dark circles can affect any age and skin type and may be caused by stress, iron deficiency, genetics, allergies, poor circulation and fatigue. Fatigue makes your skin look paler and dark circles more prominent. Lack of sleep also causes poor circulation which can result in puffiness.
Drink plenty of purified water – recommended eight glasses a day – to help flush toxins out of your body through your lymphatic system. The skin is the last organ to receive water after your more vital organs such as the brain and heart – so drink enough for every part of your body to benefit. Getting enough exercise will also boost circulation and your lymphatic drainage, stimulating skin cleansing.
Look for organic and natural eye creams designed to help reduce dark circles and puffiness, with ingredients such as:
Green tea – caffeine is diuretic and will help boost circulation
Cucumber – soothing and brightening properties
Witch Hazel – a natural astringent with skin tightening properties
Bearberry extract – a plant eaten by bears that has skin lightening properties
Niacinamide – anti-inflammatory properties
Vitamin C – skin brightening properties
Vitamin K – minimises inflammation and promotes circulation
Kojic acid (produced by several species of fungi) is skin brightening
Ferulic acid (derived from leaves and seeds) is anti-inflammatory
Betulinic acid (plant derived) is anti-inflammatory
Be careful not to use too much product which can actually block your tear ducts and lead to more puffiness. Take a small amount of product on your ring fingers (lightest to the touch) and gently dab dots under eyes, around to just below your eyebrow (along your orbital bone) and gently pat the cream into the skin.
Conceal the appearance of dark circles with an organic or mineral concealer. Yellow counteracts blue tones so look for a slightly yellow-toned, lightweight concealer. Opt for a colour that's slightly lighter than your skin, with reflective properties to brighten the area. For dark and black skin tones use an orange-based concealer. Apply the concealer before your organic or mineral foundation; also use a light weight formula foundation.
Here are some quick natural fixes for puffy eyes and dark circles:
For a quick fix place ice cubes in a cloth and hold over your eyes for a few minutes; it will reduce puffiness and inflammation.
We’ve all heard of using sliced cucumber to refresh the eye area. Make sure you cool it in the fridge first, then lie back, relax and place over eyelids for ten minutes. Cucumber will cool, soothe and brighten the skin. Being rich in antioxidants, it will also boost skin by fighting ageing free radicals.
Try placing green or chamomile tea bags (which have been soaked in water) over the eye area for five minutes. Caffeine is diuretic (water reducing) and will also help boost circulation, thus reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
Contains catecholase – an enzyme which can help brighten skin. Place slices of raw potato over your eyelids for five minutes.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods containing vitamin K, such as green, leafy vegetables and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and those rich in antioxidants including green tea. Avoid inflammatory ingredients such as alcohol, soda, caffeine and salt.
By Nina Weston