The delicate skin around the eyes is up to ten times thinner than skin on the rest of the face. As a result, the eye area is vulnerable and prone to showing signs of neglect if not treated with special care. Tired eyes can betray our age and add several extra years to our appearance, so it is important to treat them with respect. Dark circles under the eyes are a common problem that can lead to a fatigued and haggard appearance. Notoriously difficult to treat, dark circles are one of the biggest concerns in anti-aging skin care.
Whilst often associated with lack of sleep, dark circles can actually be triggered by a number of factors, ranging from hereditary issues to allergies, hormonal changes or medical conditions. An imbalance of internal health can manifest around the eyes, one of the first areas of the body to show signs of stress and aging.
Nobody wants dark circles shadowing their life, and the multi-million dollar eye care industry reflects the prevalence of the problem. A plethora of light-reflecting concealers, eye creams and serums are available to buy, each one promising to banish dark circles forever – however, there are various tried and tested natural remedies that can be used to treat dark under-eye circles:
A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to ensure optimum skin health. Regular exercise helps to boost the circulation and oxygenation of skin cells, which helps to maintain a fresh and youthful appearance. The importance of sleep should not be underestimated – over time, lack of sleep will take its toll on your health and general appearance. The exact amount of sleep required will vary from person to person, but as a general rule we should aim for around 8 hours per night. This provides your eyes with proper rest and time to repair after the day’s exertions.
Feed your Skin
It is widely recognized that healthy skin and a healthy diet go hand in hand. By eating a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables – such as berries, spinach and broccoli – the skin will be nourished from the inside out. Foods rich in iron and zinc, such as dairy products and meat, help to provide essential minerals that will improve the condition, texture and appearance of the skin. Cutting back on excess salt, caffeine and alcohol will also help to improve circulatory problems that can exacerbate dark circles. Smoking is the enemy of healthy skin, so quitting will also improve your complexion.
The skin around the eyes can be extremely sensitive, so always take care. Never pull or scratch the skin and only use products or ingredients that are specifically suited to the eye area. Remember to regularly rest your eyes when using a computer monitor or television for long periods, as eye strain can worsen the appearance of dark circles.
Cool as a Cucumber
One of the most popular natural remedies to treat dark circles under the eyes is to use chilled cucumber. Placing slices of cucumber over closed eyelids feels incredibly soothing, and can help to boost the circulation of blood vessels around the eyes and brighten their appearance.
Another emergency trick is to store two metal teaspoons in the refrigerator so they are pre-chilled. If you lie on your back and place the chilled spoons gently over your dark circles, this has an instantly refreshing effect that helps with under-eye puffiness as well as dark circles.
The Teabag Trick
Chamomile teabags that have been infused and left to cool can provide an anti-inflammatory effect on the eyes, helping to diffuse puffiness and dark circles. Chamomile is very gentle and safe to use on closed eyelids, while peppermint teabags can also be soothing and cooling for tired eyes.
A paste of ground almonds and milk can help to brighten the skin around the eyes, enhancing their overall appearance and promoting a more refreshed, youthful image. The paste should be very gently massaged into the skin and washed away with water, ensuring none enters the eye.
Raw potatoes have been traditionally used to treat the appearance of dark circles. They can be used in the form of a paste or poultice, or even by placing raw slices of potato over the eye area. Its unique properties have a soothing, hydrating and tightening effect on the skin, whilst being gentle enough to be suitable for the eye area. Similarly, raw tomato can also have a soothing and cooling effect on the skin.
When using natural remedies to treat dark circles, it is important to remember that many of them will require regular application in order to have a beneficial effect. You should always take extra care to ensure that no products or ingredients enter the eye itself. In that event, you should rinse the eye with plenty of fresh water and seek medical advice if irritation continues.