The holidays are always a busy time around my household. The days are usually filled with baking tasty treats, cooking up a storm and cleaning in preparation of house guests arriving.
Most nights are filled with good company, a few drinks and all that tasty food I prepared during the day. Time flies when you’re having fun and then you look up at the clock and realize it is well after midnight.
Looking in the mirror the next morning, I couldn’t help but be appalled by the dark circles below my eyes. As the holidays went on they got darker and darker. What was causing this, but more importantly, how the heck could I get rid of them?
Let’s break it down, shall we.
What Causes Under Eye Circles?
You would think that dark circles come from late nights or a restless sleep, but often times there are many other factors at play.
Sneezing and a stuffy nose may not be your only problem if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Nasal congestion can cause a back up of blood flow in the eye region which is where the dark coloration comes from.
You may also notice that your eyes swell and look puffy at this time; just another residual effect from Mother Nature to you during this already agonizing time.
The good news here is over-the-counter anti-histamines will probably clear you up right away. For serious congestion you could try nasal spray. If you are anything like me and spraying liquid up your nose isn’t for you then you aren’t going to like this next suggestion; the Neti Pot.
A Neti Pot looks similar to a small tea pot but is for nasal irrigation. It is used to help relieve congestion by breaking up the mucus and alleviating the pressure in your sinuses; all of which lead to those nasty dark circles.
Now here’s a goody that you truly can blame on your parents, or grandparents. If you take a look around and notice the same dark coloration underneath your families’ eyes there is not much you can do about it. Good ole’ genetics are at play here. Pigmentation problems are often hereditary and an excess of melanin in the skin is what’s passed along.
If this is your case, you will likely have to find a good product to use or try my awesome DIY tips and tricks at the end of this post.
Ever heard the phrase “You reap what you sow?” It’s no secret that how you treat your body and what you put into it directly affects your being. That means your diet and lifestyle choices can directly affect those half moon circles under your eyes.
Processed, greasy foods, alcohol, smoking and an excess of sodium can all darken the look of those unsightly under-eye circles.
Just as easily as food can intensify your circles, there are foods that can lighten that area as well. Foods high in Vitamin C, E, K, iron and folic acid are all great for gradually reducing your circles.
Capillaries are tiny blood vessels; the most fragile and thin. In fact, capillaries can be so thin blood cells typically pass through them in single file. Hard to imagine, right?
Blood cells can leak into the surrounding tissue area when too much pressure is placed on the capillaries and they burst or leak. The reparation process is what causes the coloration, similar to bruising.
Use an extra pillow to prop yourself up at night or try a cold compress to constrict blood flow. This will help shrink swelling and reduce the likelihood of more broken capillaries.
Lack of Sleep
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! When you don’t get enough sleep your body begins to produce the stress hormone cortisol. An increase of cortisol can cause swelling and more pronounced under eye circles.
This is the easiest one to fix; get more sleep!
A Few Quick Fixes
I would never underestimate the power of a good concealer, but for those of you who know me, I’m a true blue believer in homemade DIY remedies. Here are a few of my top favorites:
- Place freshly sliced cucumber over your eyes for 5-10 minutes. This will soothe and heal the skin around your eyes.
- Dip a cotton pad in potato juice and wipe it under your eyes twice a day. Potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which I mentioned earlier is key in curing those eye circles.
- Crush mint leaves and dab the juice under your eyes for 5 minutes. Mint works as a great anti-inflammatory.
- Mix together tomato and lime juice then swipe under your eyes and let sit for 10-15 minutes. The natural bleaching and cleansing properties of tomato and lime will help reduce the appearance of dark circles.
No matter what you do to try and fix that unwanted discolouration, just make sure you do something! After all, it is a new year which means it’s time for a new you! So go on, embrace your inner DIY diva and see what works best for you and your circles!
Author Vanessa is the chief blogging babe for http://BesSkincare.com where she blogs and vlogs about all things skincare, including reviews on products such as Elite Serum, as well as handy DIY tips and tricks that help her readers look and feel their very best!