You wake up, feeling refreshed from an uninterrupted eight-hour sleep. Fantastic, you think, now I can seize the day. You shower, get dressed and look in the mirror. Staring back at you is your perky, well-rested face… except for those puffy dark circles under your eyes. Why? Why is this happening? You spend an extra half hour in the bathroom trying to cover them up and still, you get the dreaded question at your local coffee shop.
“You look tired. Are you getting enough sleep?”
You mutter something unintelligible and move on. So what’s the solution? Wear sunglasses for the rest of your natural life? Perhaps there is a better way.
Before you cover them up, you need to know where you’re under eye bags are coming from. Once you address the cause, the cover-up process will be simpler and more effective.
What causes under eye bags?
Lack of sleep, dehydration, allergies, genetics, thin skin and pigmentation can conspire against you to make you look tired and washed out. You need to determine whether the cause is genetic (do your parents/grandparents have under eye bags?), or whether your eye bags are caused by not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep. If you have thin skin under the eye area or pigmentation concerns, you can find specialist products to tackle the issue and minimise the appearance of dark circles. If you suffer from allergies, you can improve the look of your eye area by taking an antihistamine or by using hypo-allergenic products that are gentle on the sensitive skin around your eye. Whatever the cause, there is a solution. You just need to find the one that works best for you to minimise dark circles and puffiness in the eye area.
How to minimise bags under my eyes
Cucumber –Most people have at least one cucumber in the fridge so this is a quick fix you can try straight away. The water content in the cucumber, coupled with the chilling effect from the fridge are an effective treatment for soothing your eye area. Cucumber slices placed over the eyes will help to reduce swelling around the eye and will act to cool and refresh the eye area. The effect of the cucumber will reduce puffiness from fluid, visible veins and inflammation. As an alternative, you can also make use of discarded tea bags. After your cup of tea, place the teabags in the fridge to chill and then place over the eye area. Black tea is a natural treatment for puffiness, and herbal teas such as chamomile are anti-inflammatory and will help to reduce swelling in the eye area.
Vitamin K-Specially formulated Vitamin K creams work to reduce the appearance of veins and blood vessels under the skin, which can cause the darkness underneath the eye area. The main function of Vitamin K in the body is to promote the coagulation of blood (clotting). It is an essential vitamin for healthy veins. You can also boost your Vitamin K content by eating foods such as broccoli, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Under eye creams- A good eye cream can hydrate the delicate under eye area and give it the nutrients it needs to plump up the skin and keep it soft and supple. There is a multitude of creams to choose from, including anti-aging creams for thin skin, caffeine-infused eye creams to boost circulation, “brightening” under eye creams for pigmentation concerns and soothing creams for puffiness. You can find natural under eye creams with cucumber and botanical ingredients to soothe the skin or you can opt for a caffeine pep-up for your eyes to match your morning coffee. For a more heavy-hitting approach, try the anti-aging compounds of hyaluronic acid or, if you prefer a visit to your dermatologist, they may prescribe Retin-a. You need to be aware of the exfoliating properties of Retin-a, as frequent use in the eye area may thin the skin further, encouraging those dark blood vessels to show through!
Tip: Keep your under eye cream in the fridge for maximum cooling power.
Hemorrhoid cream for under eyes –This sounds crazy but stick with me here. The purple and blue shadows caused by blood vessels under the eye can be tackled by hemorrhoid cream. Hemorrhoid cream works by constricting the blood flow, and many models and beauty bloggers have used this quick fix as a way of “vanishing” the darkness in the under eye area. This is not a solution for everyone – make sure you’re under eye issues are caused by visible blood vessels and not another factor before trying this remedy. If you are prone to allergies and dermatitis, you might want to give this treatment a miss. The jury is out on the effectiveness of this remedy, and the cream can contain harsh ingredients that may irritate the sensitive eye area. Prolonged use of this remedy can cause the skin to build up a tolerance, which can lessen the effectiveness of your other beauty remedies. Perhaps the use of this cream would be better suited to be kept for emergencies, rather than using it as an ongoing treatment.
Under eye masks-When you want an extra treatment to tackle the under eye area, you can opt for an eye mask. No, I don’t mean those ones you wear on long flights! Eye masks have become more popular with the introduction of exotic ingredients to target your dark bags and soothe the delicate under eye skin. Eye masks made from gold can give you a luxurious experience, as gold is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can also choose a vitamin-infused mask, as Vitamin C is especially good for brightening and providing important antioxidants to the under eye area. Other natural based ingredients include chamomile, arnica (a bruise-reducing plant that provides essential care for blood vessels) and green tea.
Water –We know that this is the best way to keep skin plump and hydrated, but sometimes we just need a little reminder. When you drink sufficient water during the day (around 6-8 cups), your body has the ability to flush out toxins and keep the complexion clear. Drinking water can alleviate puffiness under the eyes and dryness due to dehydration. An added benefit of drinking water is that water can dilute sodium levels in the body, which are known to cause under eye puffiness and dark circles.
Sunscreen-You can find sunscreen specifically formulated for the under eye area. The area is sensitive and requires a gentle product that will provide protection without irritating the skin. Choose a sunscreen with added hydration properties to further minimise the appearance of dark under eye circles and protect your delicate skin from the sun’s rays.
How to hide bags under my eyes
Concealer-You can use a concealer to cover the dark areas under the eye and brighten the area, drawing attention away from the “shadow effect”. You can choose from a range of concealers, including stick, pen, liquid, powder, and even pencil. There are two main schools of thought when it comes to concealer – you can try dotting concealer in a semicircle under the eye area or you can draw a “triangle”, beginning at the outer edge of the under eye area, sweeping down to a point at the top of the cheekbone and finishing the triangle at the point underneath the inner corner of the eye. The semicircle will help brighten the overall area and boost your makeup’s coverage to minimise the dark circle. The triangle will go one step further by drawing attention to the top of your cheekbone, thus drawing the attention away from your under eye area and accentuating the apples of your cheeks.
Colour correction makeup-You can minimise the appearance of dark bags under the eyes by using colour correction makeup. Choose a yellow tint to counteract the blue/purple tinge of the under eye area. You can also experiment with orange, salmon and peach shades to find the best one to counteract your particular shade of under eye baggage. Apply with a damp makeup brush and dot underneath the under eye area, blending as you go to cover the darkened under eye “circle”.
The right foundation-Some foundations are too drying for the delicate skin and will draw moisture from the area, accentuating fine lines. This is true for many concealers as well, and all products should be used sparingly in the delicate area as the skin under the eyes does not have the same resilience as say, the skin on your cheeks. Some prefer to use a tinted moisturiser underneath the eye, and some prefer to use nothing at all, aside from a specially formulated eye cream. You can opt to use a brightening formulation to freshen the area and make you look more awake. The important point to remember is not to layer too much, as this can accentuate bags and lines, drawing attention to them, rather than minimising their appearance.
Tip: Apply foundation first, then blend concealer on top of your foundation for extra staying power.
White eyeliner-A thin line of white eyeliner around the rim of the eye can brighten the eye area and make the eyes stand out, giving the appearance of being fresher and more awake. The white eyeliner can act as a contrasting tool against darker, more dramatic makeup, allowing your eyes to look their brightest best.
The best way to tackle under eye bags is to pinpoint their cause, be it genetics, visible veins, lifestyle factors (such as lack of sleep) and allergies that cause inflammation. If you address the underlying causes, you will be more successful in enhancing the under eye area, rather than overdoing the various layers of makeup to cover them up. The less darkness and puffiness in the eye are, the more you can draw attention to the natural beauty of your eyes.Leave a reply →