Get rid of eye bags…

Dark circles under the eyes can leave us looking and feeling tired and aged – just like when we notice wrinkles or grey hair. There’s lots of different reasons we might develop dark under eye circles – ranging from illness to lack of sleep, allergies or hereditary reasons.

We’ve dug out lots of hints and tips for getting rid of those tiresome dark circles which will hopefully leave you looking and feeling brighter!

The science behind dark bags under your eyes:

Dark under-eye circles begin in the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that web the delicate skin around the eyes. Now, your capillaries are so small that red blood cells sometimes have to line up, single file, to get through. Frequently, red blood cells get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This isn’t a problem – it happens all the time – and your body has a mechanism to mop up these escapees. Enzymes in your body break down the red blood cells, including their haemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red colour). No problem, right? Except for one thing: when haemoglobin is broken down, its remaining components have a dark blue-black colour. Just like a bruise. So your dark under-eye circles are actually caused by leaky capillaries.

Reasons for under eye circles:

Lack of beauty sleep.

It’s never been proven exactly why lack of sleep leads to dark under eye circles, but not getting enough sleep does lead skin to become generally paler and thus the appearance of dark circles. Don’t think that you must get a full 8-hours non-stop, in fact a recent study showed that having regular, shorter sleeping times may actually be better for us. Do try to get enough rest (dark circles have also appeared more prominent in those who don’t spend enough time lying down.)

Eat well.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet, take vitamins, and drink plenty of water. A whole host of cosmetic problems can be attributed to vitamin deficiencies. Dark circles and puffiness are often attributed to lack of vitamin K or inadequate antioxidants. Also, a deficiency in B12 (usually anaemia-related) can result in dark circles.

• If you are anaemic, Other good sources of iron include soya mince, seaweed, fortified breakfast cereals, seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower, dark green leafy vegetables such as Savoy cabbage, dried apricots, figs, oatmeal, prunes, broccoli, asparagus, wholemeal bread and brown rice.

• Reduce salt intake. Excess salt causes the body to retain water in unusual places, and this can result in puffiness under the eyes. Too much salt can also impair your circulation and cause the blood vessels under the skin to appear bluer.

The age factor:

If you have had dark circles under your eyes for numerous years, it could be that age is to blame for the dark rings. Unfortunately, as we get older our skin becomes thinner and so dark circles become more apparent.

Smoking:

Smoking causes vascular (blood vessel) problems that can not only threaten your life, but also make your blood vessels appear more prominent and bluer – stop now!

Some of the homemade tricks we’ve heard to help dark eyes:

We’re not saying they’re sure to work – but you’re going to try them anyway aren’t you?!

Slice cucumbers into thick slices. Cucumber slices have long been used to reduce puffiness and refresh the appearance of skin around the eyes, providing a fast “pick-me-up” for tired and puffy eyes. Place a slice over each eye, extending over the darkened area. Do this daily, coupled with lying down for 10-15 minutes. Keep your eyes closed.

Apply cool tea bags or an ice cube wrapped in soft cloth to your eyes daily. The tannin in tea bags reduces swelling and discoloration. Lie down, preferably in the morning, and leave the cool and damp caffeinated tea bags over your eyes for about 10-15 minutes. Keep your eyes closed. You can refrigerate them overnight so they will be ready in the morning.

Make a saline solution. Add 2 cups water with a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and/or a half tea-spoon of baking soda in one of your nostrils. Have your head tilted to the side so that the water comes out the other nostril. It’s best used when you’re experiencing nasal congestion.

Use a potato. Place one uncooked potato into a liquidizer and liquidize the whole potato. Scoop out and place the pureed potato on your closed eyes. Keep it there for 30 minutes, lying on your back. Wash it off with warm water. This method works well for some people.

Use a frozen spoon. Put a spoon in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Take it out and cover the circles with it. Hold it there until the spoon is warm again.

Top tips:

• Focus directly on the under-eye skin. Keep in mind that any direct contact with your under-eye skin must be gentle, as this is the most delicate skin on your body.

• Avoid rubbing your eyes. Usually rubbing of the eyes is brought on by allergies, but not always. It can also be an anxious habit or a reflex action. Regardless of the reason, it’s best to stop doing it because the rubbing irritates the skin and can break the tiny capillaries underneath, causing both puffiness and discoloration.[11]

• Wear dark sunglasses to protect your skin from melanin changes.[12]

• Drink Water. Drinking water always helps, but when it comes to blackness under the eye it really does work. It also helps you relax because it is a soothing drink.

• Make sure you don’t drink too many fluids before bedtime. This can contribute/add to bags under your eyes.

If you simply can’t get rid of your dark circles, or perhaps you’ve got rid of them and now you’re worried abou the rest of you skin – make sure you have regular SkinBase microdermabrasion treatments too. The facials will ensure you’re always producing collegen (the stuff which makes your skin plump and elasticated!) meaning your fine lines and wrinkles will disappear – along with any acne scarring or uneven skin.

Book here to find your nearest therapist.

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