This quite a big post but hopefully just as helpful so I have written it two parts.
I always get asked what remedies I use or how to get rid of dark under eyes or circles.
It’s more commonly found in Asians, African or simply the effect of ageing and men and women equally suffer from this.
So what actually are dark circles?
There are typical reasons why you may have dark under eyes.
The most common being that the blood vessels are more visible through the really thin skin layer under the eyes. A reason why its more common in older people is because with age the skin around the eye tends to thin and become fragile exposing the veins underneath.
Or periorbital hyperpigmentation which is the generally hereditary or genetic. This is the discoloration which occurs due to more melanin produced. This is more common in Asian or African descent.
A tip to see type you have is if you lightly pull your under eye skin sideways, if it turns blotchy then you have excess pigment in the area and if stretching the skin shows prominent veins and vessels then you suffer from the previous type. Here’s a image i’ve come across online which helps differentiate between different types of eye bags really well.
They may just show up dark due to loss of volume in the area around the eye (this creates a hollow trough making it appear dark), loss of collagen and cellulite causing it to drop (bags). These are all signs of ageing and quite natural.
You cannot completely get rid of these naturally (there are surgeries that can be performed) but maintaining a healthy diet (plenty of water) helps keep them reduced and some of my tips below will help reduce the look of these. Here’s some common reasons for getting dark circles and general tips to help prevent them.
Always make sure your skin is moisturized and protected from harmful UV rays.
Where sunglasses which actually filter UV rays. Apply sun lotion when you know you will be out and about and these days many beauty products have SPF already in them. Try using more of these in the summer.
As you know I’m all up for DIY home recipes but don’t try to make your own sun lotion as it’s just recently been found to be quite dangerous, just go buy a good quality one with the recommended SPF level for your country!!!!
Also I cannot stress on how important a healthy and balanced diet is. I’m a vegetarian anyway and some would argue that I wouldn’t get all the necessary nutrients but it really just is getting the right balance of the right foods.
Everyone always says eating carrots are good for your eye sight but they’re actually brilliant to help reduce the dark circles. They contain a good source of vitamin A and iron which help increase blood supply and vitamin C which helps provide thicken the dermis or skin layer of the eye which in result helps conceal the veins underneath. Other fruits which also help are citrus fruits as they contain high levels of vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruits, even kiwi’s. Make sure you have your 5 a day! And drinking water and keeping your body hydrated is vital.
Avoid foods that’s cause dehydration like caffeinated drinks, alcoholic and fizzy sodas. (I will do another post soon on this as I hate drinking water I make fruit infusions which taste great! Will post recipes in my drinks section soon)
Ooops back to the main topic…
So I’m only in my early 20’s so it’s all about getting the right healthy diet to prevent them happening. Plus I also just get them occasionally, I particularly dark puffy eyes when I’m really tired and stressed and especially during summer when hay fever starts to kick in. (here’s a picture of me aggravating my hay fever blowing wishes lol..!)
For me allergies are the main culprit. Allergic reactions like hay fever or simply the common cold and flu may flare up your sinuses and cause the area around your eye to darken as blood vessels swell. Also constant rubbing and irritation causes further puffiness and a soreness.
Best way to treat this would be to obviously treat the allergy with prescribed medication. Also try doing a sinus clean using saline or a neti-pot (I don’t think I could ever do this, just physically im a bit of a wimp but hey it may work for you)
Also what I like to do is make sure my eyes are very well hydrated during the day.
I love Clinique’s “all about eyes rich cream”.
I also love using Optex activist spray! Just close your eye lids and spray, leaves it feeling really cool and stops me from constantly rubbing or aggravating my eyes.
Its important that you remove your make-up properly. Now we’ve all been a culprit of this. And I am terribly lazy when it comes to removing it properly and some make up removers are really tough on the eyes.
But I have started to use a ELEMIS eye make up remover. Its gentle and the makeup literally slips off, no need for irritation.
Also when my eyes are particularly sore I like to use E45 lotion which works a treat. Cheap and cheerful.
And when I’ve had heavy dark eyeliner on I use a cotton bud to get rid of the residue in the corners and along the lash line.
Fatigue and lack of sleep is a major cause for dark circles. Drinking water and keeping your body hydrated will help prevent this.
And getting enough sleep (it’s said 8 hours but I’m a total insomniac and I’d be lucky to get 8 minutes of sleep)
When I’m especially tired I try drinking chamomile tea just before bed. This has no caffeine in (so wont keep you awake) and it’s said that drinking a warm liquid before bed can make you sleepy as it raises your body heat. Maybe it’s a placebo effect I don’t know but it sure works for me.
You can even brew some black tea bags at the same time to use on your eyes.
You can also buy some of those caffeine under eye roll on. What caffeine does is constricts the blood vessels making them less visible.
I have tried these roll on’s and not a major fan to be honest. I used the Garnier caffeine eye roll on but I just feel like it stings too much, it does give it that cool refreshed feeling but so do cucumbers to be frank. But that’s just my opinion. It may work for you?
You could possibly try a cream, serum or gels with caffeine in it. There’s some really good night creams. Specially formulated for eyes, which keep them moisturized during the night. This is important as your skin cell renewal or regeneration rate is higher at night and the skin is more receptive to certain active ingredients.
This is one of my favorites eye serums,
It has a very light natural fragrance. It has vitamins and peptides which help fight free radicals (this is what causes the wrinkles) and increases collagen production.
And it has extracts of algae, hyaluronic acid and dead sea salts to keep the skin firm, moisturised and enriched with minerals.
All be it a little on the pricey side, this 30ml bottle will last a long time! A tiny amount goes a long way. Trust me if your going to invest in a good eye product this is the one!
Available to buy for £41.45
I dont particulary use a night cream but use this now and then, I should use it more often but its Soap and Glory’s Puffy Eye Attack Gel.
I like that its not too heavy and I can apply make-up on top of it. Actually acts like a nice primer and really leaves my eyes feeling cool. I also like Simple’s Kind to eyes soothing balm. I prefer to use this one at night or when I’m not wearing make-up.
Looking for a product suited for my age is pretty hard as most of them are aimed for the “ageing women and I haven’t really got to that stage yet, so haven’t tried out many (maybe ill update this post in 15 odd years time hehe.. but for now here’s one my mum likes to use which is Olays 7 in 1 Total effects Eye Cream.
I love some of these products and I am sure there’s others which work really well too.
But atm I prefer the much easier and cheaper DIY methods with natural ingredients rather than always using heavy chemicals.
Keep tuned for my home remedies in Part 2…