Did you know that your under-eye area is the thinnest, most sensitive of all your skin? It needs extra care and protection, including gentle cleansing and intense moisturization. You might resolve to go to bed early at night but a busy schedule can force you to skimp on sleep while even picking up other skin-damaging habits like downing numerous mugs of coffee, smoking (tsk, tsk), binging on sugar-rich foods for added energy, etc. While it might take longer for the rest of your skin (and body in general) to show the signs of ravage, it is certainly not the same for your delicate under-eye skin. Drying, fine lines, and the most dreaded malady of them all, dark under-eye circles can make you look older, while being utterly unattractive. But wait, help is at hand – we tell you how to get rid of under-eye circles once and for all in a few easy-to-follow steps. We suggest that you bookmark this page for future reference!
What causes dark circles?
Dark under-eye circles are more common than you would think. Anything from lack of adequate sleep (studies show that one must get at least 7 hours of shut-eye everyday), and prolonged illness to dietary deficiencies and hormonal changes can cause the much-despised ‘panda eyes’! Age can lead to further thinning of the sensitive under-eye skin, exposing the underlying veins that give a dark bluish-purple tinge. A genetic pre-disposition to dark under-eye circles can also work against you, so it is important to understand what is triggering the condition for each individual.
Address the root cause
Dark under-eye circles are often an indication of an unhealthy lifestyle or a pre-existing health condition. Hence, it helps to get a general once-over from your physician to narrow down on the root cause (we are after all talking about long term remedies to dark under-eye circles). Start by incorporating healthy changes to your everyday regimen, including a diet abounding in fiber and vitamin rich fruits and vegetables (berries, green tea and green, leafy vegetables are especially helpful), cutting down on smoking and drinking, getting enough rest, drinking enough water, etc.
If you have an allergy, work with your healthcare provider to keep it at bay, and ask for vitamin supplements to boost immunity and overall health. Iron deficiency is a silent attacker and can lead to a ghastly blue-purple appearance under the eyes, so make sure you check for anaemia. Pregnancy can take a toll on your body by disrupting your hormonal balance, so ask your gynaecologist for advice. Another often ignored factor is residual makeup that is left on the under-eye area for days on end – make sure you use a gentle but effective mi-cellar solution to remove every trace of makeup on and around your eyes every night before going to bed (lightly pat with a cotton ball and do not rub or tug).
Try natural remedies
Tomatoes and lemon: Mix a few tsps. of fresh tomato juice with a tsp. of lemon juice. Apply with fingers or a cotton ball dipped in the liquid, and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off with cool water. The former contains lycopene, a photo-chemical that protects skin from the vagaries of everyday life (pollution, UV rays, etc.), and the latter is a natural, gentle bleach.
Sweet almond oil: Gently massage a few drops of sweet almond oil into your under-eye area before going to bed every night. Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, and helps moisturize the skin while helping it stay supple and youthful.
Cucumber slices: Yes, they really do work! However, make sure to pop the cucumber in the fridge for a few hours before trying out this remedy. A few cool slices or cucumber will alleviate the swelling and constrict the blood vessels, leading to a soothing effect.
Rose water: Soak two clean cotton pads in a few tbsps. of pure, organic rose water. Place them on your eyelids and lie down for around 15 minutes. Not only will the skin rejuvenating and anti-bacterial properties of the rose water help get rid of dark under-eye circles, the cooling sensation will leave you relaxed and stress-free.
Potatoes: Grate a small potato and extract the juice from it. Soak two cotton pads in the liquid and leave them on your eyes for 20 minutes. The vitamin C in it will help ward off under-eye circles in no time.
Pro tip: Always wash your face with cool water as it helps close open pores and get rid of puffiness and pigmentation under the eyes.
Do under-eye creams help?
Choose a gentle under-eye cream that contains retinoid (steer clear of those with high concentrations), a vitamin A derivative that fades under-eye pigmentation and facilitates collagen production. Eye creams and gels with kojic acid, licorice, arbutin or vitamin C help to a great extent as well. If no over-the-counter/cosmetic cream is working for you, consult with a dermatologist to try out a formulation with hydroquinone. Wearing sunscreen everyday is as important a practice as any other in your skincare regimen. This will ensure that your delicate under-eye area is protected from the ageing rays of the sun.
Cover up pigmentation with the right makeup
Yes, we get it – while you work hard to get your under-eye skin back to its radiant best, you might be on the lookout for something that can cover up the shadows and give you an airbrushed look. The right makeup can work miracles when it comes to masking undesirable under-eye pigmentation – find what suits you best (consulting with a makeup artist can help). Pat in some moisturizing under-eye cream and let rest for a few minutes before applying your makeup. Dab on a salmon or orange base corrector for bluish-purple discoloration, or a green base corrector for red undertones. Use a creamy concealer that matches your skin color, and highlight with an illuminator or liquid concealer which is a shade or two lighter than your natural color. Finish with a dusting of translucent powder.
Prevention is better than cure
You may think that there is little you can do to prevent the appearance of dark under-eye circles but do not throw in the towel just yet! As detailed earlier, leading a healthy lifestyle and dealing with any health conditions is crucial to avoiding and getting rid of dark circles. Take some time out for yourself everyday to unwind and de-stress. Also, invest in a vitamin-rich eye cream and care for your skin no matter what your age.
While these remedies offer lasting results, they will take time to show effect. In the meantime, make sure you pamper your skin with a luxuriant under-eye treatment from a Housejoy professional – you will be delighted at the payoff.