13 things you can do right now to clear up dark circles and puffy eyes
Known as Periorbital hyperchromia in medical lingo, dark under eye circles are known to affect men, women and even children. Because the skin covering our eyes and the area around it is very thin, any damage done to this delicate area shows up easily – and are also harder to treat. Hence, prevention, in this case, is definitely better than a cure!
Puffy eyes are often a companion of dark under eye circles. These occur when water retention under the eyes increases the pressure on the skin and blood vessel, leading to swelling. Genetics and age are key contributing factors when it comes to dark circles and puffy eyes – but your lifestyle can also take a toll on your eyes.
While we can’t do much about the genes we were given, you can take advantage of the power of nature – while incorporating the right lifestyle choices for brighter, happier eyes. Here are 13 things you can do right now.
1. SLEEP IT OFF
It seems like in our always-on, 24/7 lifestyle, sleep is a bad word. But a lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of dark circles – and one of the easiest to fix. Aim to get between 6 to 9 hours of sleep every night and soon you’ll be waking up to healthier eyes.
2. DRINK UP
Since the skin around our eyes are thinner, they tend to get dehydrated at a faster rate than the rest of your body. This leads to shrivelled skin which can look more obvious around the eyes and what’s worse is that any dark circles you have under your eyes will look even more prominent. To avoid this, make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
3. PRACTICE GOOD SUN PROTECTION
Sun damage can do serious harm to your eyes and the area around it. Be sure to always apply sunblock and consider wearing sunglasses or a large brimmed hat when heading out. And to avoid staying in the sun during the hottest time of the day, usually between 11am to 3pm in Singapore.
4. APPLY VIRGIN COCONUT OIL
High in medium chain fatty acids, virgin coconut oil is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce swelling and puffy eyes. Simply massage one or two drops around the affected area. And while you’re at it, coat your eyelashes too, for strong and lush lashes.
5. RECYCLE YOUR TEA BAGS
Tea leaves are full of antioxidants, which can help rejuvenate skin. So before you throw away your used tea bags, use them to combat dark circles. Place them first into the fridge until cooled, usually after 10 to 15 minutes. Then place them over makeup-free eyes and lie back for 10 minutes.
6. NONI TO THE RESCUE
Noni, a tropical fruit grown in South East Asia, has been used as traditional remedy for all kinds of ailments. Naturally rich in antioxidants, they can help to revitalise skin. But not only that, they also contain high amounts of tyrosinase inhibitors, which will help zap pigmentation and dark spots. To combat dark circles with noni, just mix noni juice or enzyme with your facial products or use products that come packed with noni enzyme.
7. GET SOME FLOWER POWER
Essential oils are nature’s magic potion, but they’re too potent to be used near sensitive skin like those around your eyes. The next best thing is to opt for floral water or hydrosols, a by-product of essential oils production, as they contain active botanical compounds of the plant they are derived from. Dab some geranium hydrosol to help improve blood circulation for brighter eyes or rosemary hydrosol to help reduce swelling.
8. SLICE UP CUCUMBERS
The cliché eye mask made with fresh cucumber slices actually work! Cucumbers can help to reduce water retention that’s often the culprit behind swollen eyes. For best results, use cold cucumber slices to reduce swollen and puffy eyes. Another bonus? They can also help boost your skin’s hydration levels, leaving you with plump, bright skin.
9. BOOST YOUR IRON INTAKE
In order to produce enough red blood cells, your body needs iron. Low iron levels can lead to dull, sallow skin. Boosting your diet with iron-rich foods such as red meat, beans, lentils and leafy greens can help your skin and nail to retain its natural lustre.
10. CHOMP ON COLLAGEN
Collagen is what’s responsible for keeping our skin supple and elastic. Although this vital protein is naturally abundant in our body, it will decline with age – but overexposure to harmful UV rays and cigarette smoke will speed up the decline too. To help keep dark under eye circles and puffy eyes at bay, it’s important to add collagen to your diet. Instead of supplements, aim for collagen-rich foods such as eggs, meat and berries.
11. STOP RUBBING YOUR EYES
As tempting as it is to give your eyes a good rub when you’re tired, overdoing this can result in wrinkles. When you rub your eyes, you’re wearing down the skin’s thin surface – this can lead to redness and fine lines when done regularly. Most of the time, we don’t even realise we’re rubbing our eyes, which is why it’s important to be conscious of this habit.
12. SAY NO TO SALT
Snacking on too much salty food can lead to water retention, which results in puffy eyes and swelling. If your body is also dehydrated, the effect can be twice as bad as your body is trying to retain fluids to prevent further water loss. So it’s worth paying attention to the salt content in the food you eat and look for ways to cut down on salt. A quick tip – consider swapping salt with fresh herbs for added flavour instead.
13. …AND ALSO ALCOHOL
Alcohol is a well-known cause of dehydration, which can lead to puffy eyes and also dark circles under your eyes. On top of that, alcohol can impact your sleep quality which in turn, can cause fatigue and tired eyes. Scaling back on the booze is a surefire way to natural brighten up your eyes, not to mention the many, many other health benefits that come with it!