We all know the expression 'the eyes are the window to the soul'. Most of us take that literally and picture bright, wide open eyes surrounded by even toned skin beaming with health. The reality for many of us is however not quite that bright eyed; 'How to get rid of dark circles and eye bags' is one of the most Googled beauty questions. Not surprisingly as dark circles and eye bags tend to age an appearance more than wrinkles, can affect once confidence and is a genuine concern for many women and men.
To know how to prevent dark circles it is important to actually know what causes them.
In simple terms; dark circles are caused by the blood vessels showing through the thin, translucent skin around the eyes.
There are a number of conditions that can make the skin appear more translucent and the blood vessels appear more prominent.
Age. As we age the skin gets gradually thinner and appears more translucent.
Genetics. Some skin is thinner and more translucent as part of the genetic make up
Tiredness. When we are tired the thin skin around our eyes becomes more translucent
Nasal congestion. Whether due to allergies, a cold or frequent flying, veins that are part of the lymphatic draining system from the eyes to the nose become darker and thicker when the nose is blocked.
Dark circles are even more prominent when 'partnered' with eye bags or 'puffy' eyes which is caused by the accumulation of fluids due to a malfunction of the lymphatic drainage system around the eyes.
Smoking, alcohol intake, a diet high in salt but also use of very rich eye creams/creams containing minerals oils that lock in the fluids can aggravate the appearance of puffy eyes.
TIPS AND REMEDIES
Whilst we can not reverse the ageing process or change genetics (probably a good thing) there are enough simple tricks and remedies that can be applied to lessen the visibility of dark circles and eye bags.
We selected the all time top 10 favorites how to get rid of dark circles and puffy eyes.
Drink plenty of fluids. Flawless skin thrives on the right level of hydration and the thin skin under the eyes is no different. Drink a glass of water every hour to keep moisture levels up
Cool the area. A slice of cool cucumber is a tried and tested way to reduce puffiness. If dark circles are the main concern grab a chilled tea bag. The caffeine will shrink the tiny blood vessels to make the area appear brighter.
Massage. A gentle quick massage can ease tension and drain excess fluid. Sweep your clean fingers gently around the eye sockets. Alternate by gently pressing the inner and outer corners of the eye brows.
Avoid heavy, thick formulas with too much scent. Use a lightweight, brightening eye serum instead with ingredients to stimulate collagen production that will make the skin appear less transparent.
Don't rub your skin when removing eye make up. It can cause inflammation and capillary damage. Cleansing oils are the perfect make up removers as the good ones don't contain mineral oils nor alcohol and they melt the eye make up so you don't have to rub.
Opt for a varied and healthy diet. Plenty of delicious freshly prepared whole foods. Try to avoid 'ready made' meals as these are more often than not bursting with excess salt to prolong shelf life.
Use creamy solid concealer and an eyelash curler. Sometimes we need the dark circles to vanish on the spot. Go for a creamy, solid concealer that will stay on. Anything with a hint of peach mixed in the colour pigment is great to counter the dark veins. Also get your eye curler out. It will open the eyes for a more wide eyed look and minimize the effect of dark circles
Take an antihistamine if you suffer from allergies. Apart from the swelling and leaky capillaries under the eyes that can feel extremely unpleasant, the itchiness makes it tempting to rub which can worsen the problem as it can cause hyper pigmentation
Choose the right shade of eyeshadow. Something as simple as choosing the right colour eye shadow that compliments your skin tone, so nothing too light or frosty will give you a more bright eye appearance.
Protect the skin around the eyes when out in the sun. Hats, sunglasses, a lightweight SPF cream. Not only fashionable but they also prevent the area from darkening when exposed to UVA/UVB
Last but not least: Get enough sleep. We know it is easier said than done but nothing brings the sparkle back then getting 7-8 hours sleep at night.