We’ve all been there – You stand in front of your mirror horrified at the ghoulish figure staring back at you, with a smile shrouded behind drained, lifeless, shadow-ridden eyes.
Dark circles are never fun, not even when you’re aiming for a smokey look. Hold on, scratch that – The only thing they’re good for is the ultimate cuteness that are pandas.
Dark circles can be categorized into two types – Blue or brown. Blue dark circles are caused by oxygenated blood flowing through dilated vessels beneath the delicate skin under your eyes. Because the skin in this area is very thin, the hue of the blood can permeate through and cause a blue-ish shadow to appear. Blue dark circles commonly appear in the morning, which explains why we always look so zombie-like when we wake up. They are also the dark circles commonly associated with sleep deprivation, and progressively worsen with age. Brown dark circles are a little different as they are primarily caused by vigorous eye-rubbing, excessive sun exposure, or genetics.
Some of the main causes of dark circles are:
- Heredity (*Sigh* You’ve gotta hate your genes sometimes.)
- Aging (I guess you can’t defy the inevitable ravages of time.)
- Dry skin (Which is why you need to find a moisturizer that works for you. I’ll be posting a guide to moisturizers, so stay tuned!)
- Prolonged crying (Grab a tissue, chin up, and dry those tears, darling!)
- Working for long hours in front of a computer (I’m fairly sure we’re all guilty of this. Blue light can strain the capillary blood flow below your eyes, so it’s always a good idea to take a break from your screen every 15 minutes or so. Make sure to blink rapidly for a few seconds during your break to increase blood flow to your eyes. Spine Universe know all the ins and outs of computer breaks, so here’s my recommended link to find out more! http://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/ergonomics/workstation-ergonomics-take-break)
- Mental or physical stress (I find meditation is a deeply soothing and healthy way to unwind when the going gets tough. A few candles, incense, relaxing music, and an open mind really facilitate the detoxing process.)
- Lack of sleep (According to Dr. Donna Arand of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center, Dayton OH, and The National Sleep Foundation, young adults between the ages of 18-25 need about 7-9 hours sleep in order to maintain high concentration and physiological health levels. Find out more: http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need/page/0/1 )
- An unhealthy diet (Lack of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C ultimately contribute to dark circles. Excessive consumption of high potassium foods, such as bananas, turkey, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, and granola cause permeation within the skin below the eyes. Additionally, the same effect is caused by foods that are high in caffeine, such as chocolate or coffee, as well as foods that have high sodium levels.)
You can, of course, choose to embrace your dark circles……
….But for those of you who are reading this post and want to learn how to banish them, here are my 5 top tips on how to get rid of dark circles;
Potatoes are wonderful in many aspects, but what’s really impressive about them is that they contain natural bleaching agents that help lighten dark circles and reduce puffiness around your eyes.
Finely grate 2-3 potatoes into a bowl to extract the juice. Soak two cotton balls in this juice and then place the cotton balls onto your eyes for about 15-20 minutes, and then rinse your eyes with cold water. I would recommend repeating this process every day or every second day to maintain an illuminated look around your eyes.
Tomato and Lemon
This zesty mix is sure to lighten up the skin around your eyes. The vitamin C from the lemon juice combined with the bleaching properties of tomato is a really handy and simple trick to banish dark circles.
Mix one teaspoon of tomato juice with 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon juice and apply this to your dark circles. Allow to sit for about 15-20 minutes. The juice will dry out, but don’t worry as your skin will have soaked up all the good components of this mixture by then. Rinse with cold water to complete the process. Also, turmeric helps in diminishing dark circles and puffy eye bags with its anti-inflammatory properties. You can always add a sprinkle of turmeric powder to your mixture to boost its effects!
Have you ever taken a buttercup when you were little, held it to your neck, and checked if a yellow light bounced off your skin to see if you “likes butter”? Well, in the case of dark circles, it’s basically the same concept. Butter contains illuminating factors that can be used to illuminate your skin, as well s saturated fat components that cause skin to rise and become more plump, to overall create a bright-eyed effect.
Apply a little butter all around your dark circles. I would recommend applying it to your brow bone too for an ultimate lift. Go to sleep with the butter around your eyes, and wake in the morning to see fabulous results! I would repeat this process once or twice a week. Also, you can also use coconut oil as an alternative to butter, if you prefer.
Tea, glorious tea. I could write a whole post all about why I love it, but I’ll try and keep on track here. Tea contains countless antioxidant factors that can work wonders when it comes to dark circles. These help to shrink blood vessels under the eyes so that the skin is less permeated, and so reduces fluid retention. The tannin component of tea also counteract the discoloration below your eyes.
I would recommend opting for non-caffeinated tea bags, like green tea or other mild herbal teas. Place your tea bags in the fridge for about half an hour so that they are chilled for use. You can choose to soak them in cold water too, to boost the effect. Apply two teabags over your eyes for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse you eyes with cold water to complete the process.
Cold compress is a method used to shrink your blood vessels surrounding your eyes.
Soak a washed cloth in this cold water or milk. Lie down and close your eyes. Place the cold washed cloth over your eyes and leave it there until it loses all its coldness. Soak it again and place over the eyes, and repeat this process a few times. Alternatively, you can place some ice cubes within a cloth and repeat the same process. Do this 5-6 times a week to see some noticeable results.
- Cucumbers have skin-lightening and anti-stringent components that naturally help relieve dark circles. Plus, they have a soothing and refreshing effect. Cut a fresh cucumber into thick slices and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Put the slices onto the affected skin area for about 10 minutes. Wash the area with water. Repeat twice daily for about a week or more. Another option is to mix cucumber juice with lemon juice in equal amounts. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture on the affected skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with water. Follow this remedy daily for at least one week.
- Get plenty of beauty sleep.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes too much or too often as it causes the blood vessels to dilate, causing discoloration below your eyes.
- Always remember to remove your makeup before going to sleep. You skin needs to breathe during sleep to allow cell regeneration and healthy growth, so the last thing it needs is to be clogged up by day-old makeup.
- Limit sun exposure, and always wear sun cream when out and about.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to get rid of water retention.
- To avoid eye bags caused by pooling of fluids in your lower eyelids, elevate your head by adding two or more pillows under your head before going to sleep.
- Give your diet some love! Be sure to take in plenty of greens and avoid the junk.
That’s a wrap for now my Lovelies! I hope you find this post helpful.
See you soon,