You can tell a lot from a person’s eyes. If they’re feeling happy, sad, angry, fearful and a slew of other emotions. You can also tell a few things from their under eyes. If they went out the night before, if they got a good night’s sleep, if they’re getting on in years. Dark circles are not usually a big health concern, but they can be an unflattering and revealing pain in the neck.
The most common and obvious cause for dark circles is fatigue. Everyone knows if you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, raccoon eyes are sure to follow. Sleep deprivation also makes your skin look paler, enhancing the darkness around the eye.
Aging is another big factor in eye bags. As we age, our fat and collagen decreases, resulting in thinned skin beneath the eyes that start popping up with purplish-blue blood vessels. Aging eyes are also usually accompanied by hooded, droopy eyelids or concavity under the eye that can cast shadows and make the dark circles even more prominent.
There are many other reasons for under eye hyperpigmentation. A big one, in my opinion, is eye strain. Hours spent staring at your computer screen causes blood vessels to enlarge and get darker. Hereditary and ethnic background can also play a large role. Darker skin tones are more susceptible to darkening around the eyes. Dehydration, allergies, the sun, eye rubbing and the list goes on. Besides plastering on half a tube of your favorite concealer as camouflage, what’s a girl to do?
Get Some Sleep
It’s called getting your beauty sleep for a reason. Dark circles and a ghostly complexion can be avoided if you get an adequate 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Careful not to overdo it though – getting too much sleep can also negatively impact your undereyes.
For a better night’s sleep, try investing in a luxurious silk pillowcase. Rough, basic cases can cause irritation that amplify tired eyes. Silk locks in moisture to soothe while cotton can actually pull moisture away from the skin. Better yet, invest in two cases. Elevating your head with two or more pillows while you sleep will lessen the amount of fluid that pools in the eyelids and leave you looking more awake the next day.
Consumption: Over Or Under?
Dark circles can often be a sign of an iron deficiency. Leafy dark green vegetables like spinach or kale are a great way to consume more iron. Fish, tofu, liver and eggs will also up your iron game.
If you want to decrease inflammation, cut down on refined sugar. Sugar cross-links the collagen and steals elasticity from the skin to make you look older and more tired than you are.
Avoid excess salt. Try to consume the American Heart Association’s recommended guideline of around 1500 mg of sodium per day. Any more than that and your body becomes easily dehydrated. Dehydration is a big factor in tired eyes.
The more the better. Battle dehydration by consuming at least 8 glasses of water a day. It’s easy to forget to keep chugging, so make it a habit. Try to force yourself to drink a liter before each meal. Not only will your skin start glowing, but you’ll feel less hungry too.
Relax Your Eyes
Dilated blood vessels are what cause the under eye to darken. Blood vessels start to constrict when they come in contact with anything cold, which then lightens up the darkness. Store a couple clean metal spoons in your freezer for an instant eye lift. Press the bottom of the cold spoons against the eyes as close to the inner corners as possible. The pressure of the cold spoons enhances lymphatic drainage of extra fluid for less puffy circles.
Cucumbers have become an almost cliché trick to rid your eyes of dark circles, but they actually work. Cucumbers are anti-inflammatories with astringent and hydrating properties that reduce swelling, soothe irritation and lighten skin. They contain fat soluble vitamin K to increase circulation and repair tired eyes. It’s as simple as placing a thick slice of cold cucumber over each eye for 10 minutes, twice a day.
Choose a caffeinated tea to help eliminate dark circles. Tea is packed with caffeine and antioxidants that shrink blood vessels and stimulate circulation to reduce liquid retention. Steep the bags then let them cool in the fridge for 20 minutes. Enjoy the cooling sensation of the bags on your tired eyes for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
The tingling sensation of mint sends extra blood flow to the area to fade away dark circles. Crush up some mint leaves with a little coconut oil and apply it directly to the under eye. Let the paste sit for 10 minutes then rinse.
Rose water restores pH balance in the skin and its anti-inflammatory properties will calm irritated eyes and eliminate redness. If you feel like making some at home, it’s easier than it sounds. Simply boil clean organic rose petals in distilled water and let cool in a jar before putting it in the fridge. When ready, soak up the water on a couple cotton balls and allow the mild astringent to sit on your closed eyes for 15 minutes. Your homemade rose water can last up to 6 months if stored in the refrigerator.