The appearance of wrinkles is an expected sign of aging; however, the emergence of under-eye dark circles frequently leaves us confounded. Once present, the ghastly bruises never want to leave; they are impossible to get rid of! Where do they come from? It turns out there is a variety of reasons for their appearance. And knowing the cause is half the battle in eliminating the consequences with the help of cosmetic gels, exercises, and folk remedies.
Thinning of the skin
The skin under the eyes is thin and very delicate. As a person ages, the skin becomes even thinner, and blood vessels more visible. Sun damage can worsen the situation, since it weakens the skin.
Allergies and hay fever
Dark circles may be caused by allergens in the air, such as pollen, dust, and animal dander. Frequently, reaction to air pollutants involves frequent rubbing of or wiping at the eyes, irritating the skin beneath. Those suffering from hay fever may notice dark circles appearing in the middle of the season. Food allergies can also contribute to the emergence of a "bruise."
Unfortunately, under-eye dark circles may appear not only due to poor air quality or mistreatment of skin; they can also be inherited. They are more noticeable in people with deep-set eyes.
Lack of sleep
Chronic lack of sleep makes the skin pale, and the under-eye dark circles become much more noticeable by contrast.
Smoking and excessive salt consumption cause fluid retention throughout the body, which in turn dilates blood vessels, including the ones under the eyes. This makes the vessels more visible and contributes to the appearance of dark circles.
Other possible reasons are chronic disease (disease of the kidneys, liver or heart); sudden weight loss, chronic stress, alcohol consumption, sun exposure, or recent plastic surgery.
Down with "bruises"!
The most efficient way to fight dark circles is to eliminate potential causes, rather than deal with the consequences.
Firstly, it is necessary to revise the diet, and limit intake of salt, and spicy and fatty foods.
Secondly, it is important to get sufficient amount of sleep and fresh air; two-hour walks are recommended.
It is also important to choose skin-specific cosmetics, and remove makeup before bed.
Consumption of fruits and berries rich in vitamin C can be an efficient method of dark circle prevention. This vitamin strengthens the walls of blood vessels. Here are the main sources: rose hips, sweet peppers, black currants, sea buckthorn, kiwi fruit, honeysuckle, hot peppers, leeks, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cranberries, cauliflower, mountain ash berries, strawberries , oranges, red cabbage, horseradish, spinach, garlic, lemons. It is also important to use a sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15-20.
Products containing vitamin K aid in improving circulation in trouble areas. It is especially useful in combination with vitamin A derivatives. There are several derivatives of vitamin A that are used in cosmetic creams; one of them is retinoic acid, which actively protects the skin from harmful processes. It is best to choose products that contain both: vitamin K and the vitamin A derivative.
Moreover, to improve the elasticity of skin around the eyes, use products containing horse chestnut, blueberry and lipoic acid.
Chilled tea bags can be applied to the eyes. Another effective folk remedy is slices of fresh cucumber. Cucumber is probably the best at toning the skin around the eyes, perhaps due to its high content of vitamin K. Those not in favour of folk remedies may purchase eye gels containing cucumber or tea extracts. It is also helpful to immerse the face in cold, clean water, opening and closing eyes while submerged, or applying ice cubes to the area under the eye.
Unfortunately, all these remedies have but a temporary effect, especially if applied as treatment of the consequence, without removing the cause of dark circles. The most radical solution is a procedure that inserts fat tissue underneath the skin of lower eyelids, known as lipofilling. This plastic surgery involves taking fat tissue from the hip, and transplanting it into the area of dark circles. This results in lifting of the skin, and fills in hollows under the eyes. Alas, this too is only a temporary measure and with time, hollows re-appear, and the procedure needs to be repeated.
Elimination of under-eye dark circles is a difficult task, and even plastic surgery does not always have the best outcome. Therefore, many dermatologists believe that concealer, cucumber slices, and other folk remedies are the cheapest and, more importantly, safest way of dealing with the issue.
The most important cream components for this area are collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients are great at toning and moisturizing the skin, and stimulating the lymphatic system. Those preferring lighter texture should look for gels, serums, and cream-gels. The modern cosmetic industry offers gels that eliminate under-eye dark circles, and prevent their reappearance. Efficacy of these substances depends on active supplements that increase circulation and refresh skin tone.
To increase the effectiveness of eye cream, it should be stored in the refrigerator. The cold reduces swelling and tones the skin of eyelids, so chilled cream will have a double effect.
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Unfortunately, lower eyelids do not tolerate foundation, which is too dense and will usually "roll," forming grooves, which only emphasize wrinkles. The ideal method for masking dark circles is a corrective eye cream, also called a concealer or corrector. It has a thinner texture and a mellow hue that can neutralize dark shades. Additionally, the right concealer should contain a large number of light-reflecting particles that visually improve the condition of the skin under the eyes.
The current generation of these products is able to stay on for a long time - up to 16 hours - and in addition to the basic function of fighting against skin imperfections, these products also have a rejuvenating effect. The concealer tint can vary from ocher to orange. It is important that the concealer is half a shade lighter than skin tone. If the skin under the eyes is dry, use a moisturizing concealer.
An easy morning massage to the area around the eyes is a great way tone the skin. With a light tapping motion, massage the skin with fingertips. Perform the mssage after morning ablutions, moving in a line from the temple to the lower eyelid to the bridge of the nose. Central venous and lymphatic nodes are located in this area between the eye and the nose, and it is also the site of accumulated interstitial fluid. The massage should last two-three minutes. Eye cream or gel should be applied after the massage, using the same tapping motion, in the same direction: from the temple to the nose via the lower eyelid.
Eye exercises firm eye muscles, improve circulation, and aid in the reduction of under-eye circles. Try the following:
Close your eyes, and rotate the eyeballs in a circle, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Repeat four times in each direction.
Up and down
Again, close your eyes and move eyeballs up and down (repeat eight times).
Look left, up, sideways, down, then right, up, and down again diagonally (repeat seven or eight times).
Masks and compresses
Home remedies deservingly take the lead in the fight against under-eye dark circles. And they are certainly safer than poor-quality expired cosmetics. Masks and various compresses (cold and contrast - cold/hot) are good against the "bruising." However, the effect of these masks is short-lived, so they should be done at least once a week.
Try the following recipes for masks and compresses against under-eye dark circles:
Tea compress: soak cotton balls or pads in strong green or black tea, and apply to the eyelids for two minutes at a time. The procedure can be repeated up to four times, by re-soaking the cotton after each application.
Sage broth contrast compress: soak one teaspoon of sage leaves in half a cup of boiling water. Once the broth is ready, chill half of it, and warm the other half. Soak cotton balls or pads in each infusion, and alternate applying them to the eyelids. Herbal compresses smooth wrinkles and erase dark circles. This treatment should be performed every other day, for a month.
Treatment of under-eye dark circles should start as early as possible to avoid aggravating the situation. Best of luck!
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