What to do about dark circles and puffy eyes?
Oh those pesky dark circles and bags! Who’s never had at least one of the two?
To treat them, you have to know why they exist.
Here’s a brief explanation of the origin of these unwelcome phenomena, and how to improve their appearance.
In fact, when you think about it, dark circles are like a bruise. Anyway, they’re the same colours, purple, bluish, red, sometimes on the yellow side. So why are these problems so similar?
A bruise results when a blood vessel is damaged. A dark circle is similar; the blue or purplish parts appear where the blood circulation is difficult.
So we could deduce that dark circles are caused by poor circulation around the eyes. If you wish to diminish them, it’s essential to re-establish circulation in this area.
They even say that people who have chronic dark circles have congestion of the central vein in the cerebral cortex! That’s serious!
For under eye bags, factors such as age and fatigue may make the swelling more visible. They are usually caused by fluid buildup around the eyes. They can be worse in the morning, due to a horizontal position during the night (it causes an abnormal accumulation of fluid). If you have this problem, try to sleep with your head elevated (with a special pillow for example).
There are several ways to improve circulation in this area.
First, you should improve circulation in the whole body. Eat a healthy high-fibre, low-fat diet. Look for foods which are rich in bioflavonoids and fibre. Citrus fruits are particularly good. Buckwheat is a great cereal because it contains a lot of bioflavonoids.
At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, I’d say avoid alcohol because it dilates the wall of the veins and makes them more vulnerable.
I’ll spare you the lesson about exercise but you’ve probably already guessed that it helps!
But nobody’s perfect so here are a few tips to help you.
A simple eye massage can help a lot to reduce circles and bags:
1. Take both your little fingers.
2. Place them on the inner corners of your eyes, in the hollow area each side of the nose. You’ll feel the lymph glands.
3. Making wave movements with your fingers, exert a little pressure (about 30 grams of pressure, very light) on this area. The wave principle allows you to massage at the right time when the lymph gland is pumping. Wave movement is continuous, with no interruption. Apply this pressure 10 times.
4. Keep the same pressure and slide your fingers under the eyes, towards the temples.
5. Massage the temples in the same way, 10 times.
6. Go down to the ear lobes and repeat the exercise.
Giving your lymph glands a massage helps the blood or the lymph to circulate better.
Eye contour skin care
This is a great tool in your war on circles and bags. All eye contour creams are different and offer a cocktail of active ingredients, some of which target specifically circles and bags.
If you keep your eye contour cream in the fridge, it can reduce swelling. But don’t use it this way for dark circles. Room temperature is better because cold reduces blood flow. We want the opposite effect for dark circles! Heat increases blood flow so you have to decide whether you want to reduce dark circles or puffy bags! If in doubt, use a room-temperature product.
Several creams are designed for all symptoms; dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles, crow’s feet, dry skin etc. So if you don’t know what to buy, go for this type.
Natural solutions for short term relief
Especially for under eye bags, try tea bags, cucumber slices or even potato slices! They are natural astringents that constrict tissues and blood vessels.
So what’s your own personal eye problem… and solution?