Unsightly bags and dreaded dark circles under the eyes can leave us looking tired and feeling older than our years. There are a number of factors which can contribute to us developing dark under-eye circles, ranging from lack of sleep to illness, allergies or hereditary reasons. To help you in your quest to improve the appearance of those tiresome dark circles, we’ve dug out some hints and tips which will hopefully leave you looking and feeling brighter!

The science behind under-eye circles:

Dark under-eye circles begin in the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that web the delicate skin around the eyes. Because capillaries are so small, sometimes red blood cells have to line up in single file to get through. Often, red blood cells can get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This isn’t unusual and the body has a coping mechanism to mop up any escapees via enzymes which break down the red blood cells. Unfortunately, when the red blood cells are broken down, the remaining components have a dark blue-black colour which often looks just like a bruise. So it’s actually leaky capillaries that cause pesky dark under-eye circles.

How can you help improve the appearance of under-eye circles?

Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep

After a good night’s sleep, the likelihood is that we will wake up feeling rejuvenated and looking well rested. Lack of sleep can make skin appear paler and in turn dark circles look worse. Although, don’t think that you must get a full eight hours sleep all in one go. In fact, studies suggest that having regular, shorter sleeping times may actually be better for us. Getting enough rest is essential though as dark circles have also appeared more prominent in those who don’t spend enough time lying down.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Eat a healthy, balanced diet, drink plenty of water and take a vitamin supplement as many 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. Try to increase you iron intake through foods such as seaweed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dark green leafy vegetables such as Savoy cabbage, figs, dried apricots, prunes, asparagus, broccoli, wholemeal bread and brown rice.

Also, reduce salt intake as too much can lead to puffiness under the eyes. It can also impair your circulation and cause the blood vessels under the skin to appear bluer.

Try these homemade tricks to help improve the appearance of under-eye circles:

Cucumber slices

Slice cucumbers into thick slices and place a slice over each closed eye, extending over the darkened area. Do this daily, coupled with lying down for 10-15 minutes and you’ll be sure to notice a big difference. 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.

Cold tea bags work a treat

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. You can refrigerate them overnight so they will be ready for use in the morning.

Frozen spoon

Put a spoon in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and when you take it out, cover the circles with it. Hold the spoon there until it is warm again.

If you simply can’t get rid of your dark circles, or are considering how to improve the overall appearance of your skin, try having regular SkinBase microdermabrasion treatments too. The facials will ensure you’re always producing collagen, meaning your skin will appear more plump and elasticated and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will vastly improve, along with any acne scarring or uneven skin tone.

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