With Daylight Savings around the corner, it's time to address the evil foe of a change in sleep schedule: dark under-eye circles. It happens to the best of us: maybe you've spent time covering all evidence of an unnecessarily long night, or maybe you got the best eight hours of uninterrupted sleep that you've had in months. You're feeling relatively bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. All of a sudden, someone close to you—a colleague, a classmate, your boss, your mother—blurts out, with all the best intentions (and probably too loudly), "Oh man, you look so tired." Ouch.
Our eyes have the power to betray us, whether we like it or not. The proverbial "windows to the soul," they are also often the first indicators of how external forces are impacting our bodies, for better or worse. Because dark under-eye pigmentation and puffiness are sometimes caused by heredity and not necessarily a distress signal, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how to get rid of dark circles and bags under your eyes in their entirety. Fortunately for the tired and only seemingly tired, there are several things you can do that will effectively decrease the appearance of dark circles.
Sleep it off.
We can't stress it enough: sleep is your best ally in battling dark circles and bags. Given the delicate nature of the skin around your eyes, it's the first place tell-tale signs of lifestyle habits show up, not the least of which is lack of sleep. It matters how much sleep you get, yes—seven to eight hours per night for adults is ideal—but it also matters how you sleep. By making a conscious effort to fall asleep on your back and with an extra pillow under your head, the bodily fluids that pool overnight while you're relatively motionless can be directed downward, away from your face, so that upon waking puffiness and discoloration will appear diminished.
Heal from the outside in.
There are so many options available for under eye masks that it's almost impossible to pick one. Try to go for one packed with nutrients and soothing properties if you feel like you're in recovery mode. Another fantastic option that you can apply on the daily is the Freck So Jelly Cactus Eye Jelly, designed to infuse your skin with vitamins to increase your skin's lumosity while remaining responsible about causes like animal cruelty prevention and sensitive skin needs (no alcohol, gluten, etc.).
Hydrate like crazy.
Water is life. With seemingly infinite benefits, it's important to note that one of its most vital functions in our bodies is aiding the kidneys and liver in flushing out toxins and waste. When you have an excess of either, guess where it shows up first? Bingo—in and around your eyes. Not drinking enough water can incite headaches for those who are migraine-prone or sensitive to dehydration. While it can't be called a cure-all for signs of aging, drinking plenty of water can help diminish the appearance of pores and fine lines by increasing skin's elasticity and subtly plumping, or taking some of the "slack" out of skin. It wouldn't be crazy to say, then, that it could assist in your skin's ability to regulate its natural oil production, thus further remedying any overall dullness caused by dehydration.
Chill them out.
In a pinch, dark circles and under-eye bags respond well to cold application. Tea and cucumber, for example, contain anti-inflammatory properties that, when chilled, can double as swelling-reducers. Tea bags and sliced cucumber are also cost effective at-home resources for treating eye distress. A less frequently referenced method for soothing eyes is to chill two spoons in cold water, then apply their rounded backs to the area underneath your eyes, leaving in place for several minutes. Always take care when using natural compresses so that potential irritants don't make their way into your eyes and that you don't apply freezing temperatures, as this can damage your skin. Remember the kid who stuck his tongue to the frozen pole in A Christmas Story?
Conceal to heal.
After you've gone through the motions of self-care and find you're still contending with some residuals, don't be afraid to seek refuge in the convenience and science of cosmetics. Color correctors and avant-garde concealers, like Jane Iredale's Disappear Concealer with Green Tea Extract, puts the finishing touches on problematic pigments and puffiness. Try to use facial moisturizers and makeup that incorporate sun protection in their formula, as uneven skin tone can be worsened by UV damage.
And hey, just for fun (because you're much less likely too need it now), why don't you arm yourself with a comeback for canceling out that negative "You look tired" noise? Just sayin'.
Posted by Katy Kirkpatrick