While I do try to subscribe to the famous quote by Kahlil Gibran, “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart”, I’ll admit that there are times when vanity gets the best of me. For example, lately I have been really annoyed by the dark circles (well, technically they are more like SEMI-circles) I am noticing more and more under my eyes. I’ve never really had this problem before and, of course, I immediately assume it’s from lack of sleep because…well…I don’t get a whole lot. But after looking into it, it seems there are many causes for these annoying “panda eyes”…and lack of sleep is only one of them!
Here are some other common causes:
I know, I know…I already fessed up to this one!
My Southern California “fun in the sun” upbringing is coming back to haunt me in many ways!
I’m pretty sure this one doesn’t apply. I have never noticed that dark circles run in my family.
Hmmm…my EYES are the one part of my body that does NOT itch lately. So maybe it’s not that.
Food or Chemical Allergies
After reading this one…I’m more than a little suspicious that this could be one of my problems.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Booooo! I should have known this would be a factor. But I’m taking my supplements…I promise!
Ugh! Why does it seem that every ailment in the universe leads back to this!? Guess I better re-read my post on 23 Tips For Drinking More Water Each Day.
Luckily, as annoying as these dark semi-circles are…there are some simple home remedies which may help reduce swelling and shrink blood vessels. (Seek medical attention if your dark circles worsen.)
The cucumber slice treatment for dark circles remains a classic because cucumbers contain astringent properties which shrink blood vessels. They also soothe swollen skin. Slice a cucumber thinly, lie on your back and place a slice over each eye. Keep the cucumber compresses on for at least 15 minutes. Alternatively, grate the cucumber and put the pieces between glean gauze to form a compress.
The starch in potatoes is said to have anti-inflammatory qualities that can help soothe skin and reduce irritation. Peel raw potatoes and then grate and pound into a poultice. Apply to the eyes and leave on for 15 minutes.
If dark circles and “bags” seem to greet you every morning, you may be retaining fluid under your eyes during the night. Prevent the fluid from pooling by propping your head with extra pillows while you sleep.
Some dark circles are actually “allergy shiners”—a condition resembling black eyes caused by nasal congestion. Use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray or making your own by mixing ¼ tsp table salt with two cups warm water. Put the liquid in a nasal spray bottle or neti pot.
The tannin in the tea reduces any swelling and the appearance of dark circles caused by lack of sleep, while the moisture from the bags is absorbed into the eyes, rehydrating and reviving them. Use green tea or black tea. Brew the tea bags as you would normally and allow the bags to cool or place them in the refrigerator. Lie down and place a tea bag over each eye and leave in place for about 15 minutes.
An ice-cold compress placed over your eyes helps constrict the blood vessels which may be causing your dark circles. Good choices include a bag of frozen peas or two chilled teaspoons. Lay down with your head propped by pillows and place the compress or compresses over your eyes. Rest for at least 10 minutes and gently pat your eyes dry.
Milk has great lightening abilities for the skin and can be a very affordable option for dealing with dark circles under the eyes, which can have great results. Apply milk to a clean cotton ball and gently rub into the delicate skin around the eyes. Leave to dry for about 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water
Egg and Lemon
Egg is a wonderful natural ingredient that aids the skin to tighten helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Mix one egg white with 3-5 drops of lemon juice. Saturate two clean cotton balls in the mixture, squeeze excess liquid out before placing over the eyes for ten minutes. Wash off with warm water then rinse with cold.
Homemade Avocado Cream
Great at reducing the fine lines that can form in the soft skin under the eye. Mix five drops of almond oil with three slices of avocado. Dab it around your eyes and leave it on for at least five minutes then rinse off with warm water.
Homemade Potato-Applesauce Cream
You will need to take a small raw potato and two tablespoons of applesauce that has not been sweetened. Add these two ingredients into a mixer and mix them up. When you have created the cream, dab it around your eyes with a warm washcloth. Leave it on your face for about five minutes, then wash it off.
Homemade Almond Paste
Prepare by soaking a few almonds in water overnight and then grinding them in the morning to form a paste. Next, add some drops of milk in it and then apply the resultant paste on the affected area for ten minutes. Combination of nutmeg and milk also helps remove Dark Circles under eyes.
Homemade Cottage Cheese Mask
Put a small amount of cottage cheese on 2 cotton pad and leave them on your eye area for 15 minutes before going to sleep. You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll get in the morning!
Get Your Rest!
Lack of sleep can make your skin appear paler, which allows blood vessels to be more visible through the skin, giving the appearance of bluish or dark circles. So make sure that you are getting in at least 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep!
At the end of the day, you are what you eat. The healthier you eat, the better your skin is going to look. For dark circles, you need a healthy dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K iron and folic acid. So gorge on citrus fruits, berries, green leafy veggies, nuts, whole grains, avocado, seafood, beef, cheese, green tea etc. and do away with processed and greasy foods.
Dark circles are a common problem, but as you can see, there are plenty of simple, natural solutions. My favorite kind. :-)