Lash extensions may make your baby blues pop, but if the skin around your eyes is puffy and dark, the pop is less of a bang and more of a fizzle. Not to worry—the delicate skin under your eyes just needs a bit of TLC. Chances are your fridge and cupboards are already stocked with natural remedies that are guaranteed to lighten dark circles and reduce under-eye puffiness.
There are the obvious culprits—lack of sleep, a sob-fest, heredity—but under-eye puffiness and dark circles can also be caused by seasonal allergies and sinus infections. Clear your nasal cavities with a neti pot daily to minimize the stress of hay fever on your under-eye area.
A high-salt diet may also be to blame. And, of course, aging always factors in to the beauty mix; the tissues and muscles around our eyes weaken, and fat migrates into the lower eyelids. This process, coupled with fluid retention, can cause your under-eye area to appear bloated.
If your dark circles are blue or purple in hue, then what you’re really seeing are the veins and vessels showing through your thin skin. Try the following at-home remedies to help minimize these beauty banes.
The Cucumber Trick:
An oldie but goodie, the cucumber eye mask is a quick pick-me-up for tired eyes. Composed of over 90% water, cucumbers hydrate the dry skin under the eyes. When applied cold, they reduce blood flow, thereby soothing inflammation and tightening skin.
Apply two thick slices of cold cucumber to each eye. Lie down, relax and let the cucumber work its magic for 10 to 15 minutes.
The Tea Bag Tonic:
Tea bags aren’t just for drinking. Refrigerate used tea bags and you have an effective cure for under-eye circles and bags. The tannins and antioxidants in caffeinated black and green teas calm swelling and lighten discoloration. According to dermatologist Andrea Kunin, coauthor of the DERMAdoctor Skinstruction Manual, green tea bags are the most potent because they contain the anti-inflammatory EGCG, a catechin that reduces fluid buildup under the eyes.
Lie down with two cold, used tea bags over your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.
The Potato Panacea:
Raw potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase, which has been shown to lighten skin, thereby minimizing dark circles.
You can puree a raw potato into a paste or you can cut two slices for each eye. It’s recommended that you apply this cure for 30 minutes a day.
Vitamins K, A and C are the three most important nutrients for under-eye health. Vitamin K promotes healthy blood clotting, vitamin A is essential for blood vessel health, and vitamin C contains bleaching properties. Eat plenty of leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and broccoli, and apply a topical treatment, such as lemon juice, to combat dark circles.
Massage a blend of tumeric (an anti-inflammatory spice) and pineapple, lemon, or tomato juice to help improve circulation and reduce puffiness. Dip a cotton ball in rose water to hydrate and heal tired, dry skin.
Give the delicate skin under your eyes a little extra attention each day and your baby blues will brighten back up in no time!