We’re not sure where they came from, these sleep-deprived dark shadows and ageing under eye bags.
How to get rid of dark circles and bags under eyes? It’s an age old problem! One minute we were feeling relatively fresh faced and the next, we’re peering into the bathroom mirror wondering how to get rid of the tell tale signs of sleepless nights and years passing that’s written all over our faces.
Everywhere you turn there’s a new ‘miracle’ product claiming to eradicate these pesky signs of ageing for good – but with whopping great price tags and no guaranteed results, wouldn’t it be nice to try some more natural alternatives?
Luckily there’s a whole host of natural tips and tricks that promise to seriously reduce bags under your eyes and dark circles, so instead of reaching straight for that concealer why not give on a go?
How to get rid of dark circles and bags under eyes
The reason we get dark shadows and eye bags has a lot to do with our lifestyles, so detecting what the causes of our eye woes are can help us to banish them from our faces for good.
1. Get more sleep
We can’t express how important a good night’s sleep is for a whole multitude of reasons, but there really is such a thing as beauty sleep. A lack of shut eye can make the skin appear pale and reduces circulation, which is why dark circles appear. Everyone’s different so figure out how much sleep you need and stick to it – it’ll work wonders for your peepers! It’s also important to completely remove all make up (with a clean flannel) as leaving eye make up residue can cause ageing.
Carme Farré, the founder of FaceToned® explains: ‘The idea that a good night’s sleep can make you look bright eyed and fresh as a daisy isn’t just a saying – beauty sleep is a real thing! Whether due to insomnia or simply a late night, a lack of sleep can cause circles under your eyes to appear or become more prominent. This happens because lack of sleep tends to cause the blood vessels under the thin skin of the eyes to dilate, creating a dark tint. Most adults should aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.’
2. Avoid dehydration
Hands up who’s guilty of not drinking the recommended amount of water every day? Yep, us too. But drinking enough water is so important, especially when it comes to anti-ageing. Every organ in the body needs water and our skin is no exception, as it’s cells depend on water to function efficiently and repair damage. Noella Gabriel, who is in charge of treatments and product development at Elemis, told the Express ‘The drier and more dehydrated the skin is, the more it emphasises existing lines, so things can look much worse than they are.’ Aim to drink 1.6 litres of fluid a day and you’ll really feel the benefits.
Carme Farré adds that water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. ‘Dehydration is a common cause of dark circles under your eyes. When your body is not receiving the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken into the eye sockets which causes dark shadows to appear. Make sure you are always hydrated as this can help the skin to look more plump, and water also helps to flush out the toxins from your system and reduces the amount of salt concentration in and around the eye area.’
3. Be aware of allergies
Who’d have thought that being allergic to something could be having an unwanted affect on our eye bags and circles? Allergies like hay fever are actually a common cause of skin discoloration under the eyes, and food allergies in particular could cause constant puffiness. Make sure you track down the cause of your allergy and tackle it, and you’ll soon notice an improvement in your eyes.
Dark circle and bag natural remedies
1. Get rid of dark circles with baking soda
Some women swear by a blend of baking soda and water, mixed to ‘sugar syrup consistency’, to banish their dark circles. Beauty blogger Darshika Patel put the theory to the test, saying that it should ‘leave your bags diminished and your under-eye circles improved’.
To try it yourself, mix together baking soda and a small amount of water to form a paste, allow this to dry under the eyes for 5-10 minutes, then wash it away with a damp cloth. Darshika adds that your eyes may feel tight after the treatment, but ‘that’s good because it is tightening the skin around the eyes’.
2. Facial exercises
Carme Farré explains that there are a number of facial exercises that you can do to help with dark circles.
‘It is proven that exercising helps to combat stress and it also reduces the production of cortisol which can form dark circles around the eyes,’ she says. ‘Exercising your face also helps to improve blood circulation to the skin which has a positive impact on the pigmentation and puffiness of the eyes.’
Carme Farré recommends these two exercises in particular to target dark circles: ‘Firstly, the basic FaceToned® exercise ‘Triangle Toner’, which tones the ‘youth triangle’ of the cheeks and lower eyelids and activates the blood flow in the lower eyelids and cheeks. To do, lengthen the neck, place both index fingers next to the outside lower area of the eyes and slightly pull to the sides up towards the temple. Keeping this position, squint and relax as you pulse the lower eyelid eight times, making sure that the upper eyelid does not move. Then keep the squint for eight counts and relax. Perform three times.
‘The next exercise is called ‘Open Wide’. Open and close the eyes wide as you can, connecting with the Ocularis Oculi, which is the muscle in the face that closes the eyelids. Hold for 8 counts, perform five times.’
No, we’re not talking some fancy herbal tea here. Good old fashioned caffeinated tea has long been used as a remedy of eye puffiness thanks to its mild diuretic properties and natural tannins. Carme Farré recommends putting your used tea bag in the fridge or letting it cool down for half an hour.
‘Then place the tea bag over your eyes for 10-15 minutes. If you’re looking for that extra oomph, ensure you’re using a caffeinated tea bag.’
Ok yes this is a little unusual, but bear with us! ‘Slices of refrigerated potato work as a fantastic natural remedy to get rid of under eye puffiness. The enzymes and the astringent properties help reduce inflammation and help tighten the skin,’ reveals Carme Farré.
Pop a couple of slices under your eyes to help reduce dark shadows without forking out a fortune on expensive creams. Apply them as cold as you can to combat puffiness at the same time.
An oldie but a goodie, cold cucumber slices have long been known for the wonders they work on tired, puffy eyes in desperate need of freshening up. Place a slice over each eye, making sure it covers the darkened area too. Do this daily and lie down for around 10-15 minutes. The cucumber will get to work on the skin around your eyes and the act of taking time for yourself will help alleviate eye bag-causing stress, too!
6. Rose water
Rose water is said to be a great natural product for diminishing the appearance of dark circles, as well as puffiness and wrinkles around the eyes. Not only is it soothing for irritated, stressed out eyes, it’s hydrating properties mean it’s able to restore the pH balance of the skin. This helps to remove dark pigmentation, while its anti–oxidant properties help to strengthen the skin cells and regenerate the tissues under the eyes.
To enjoy the magic of rose water, take a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of cold milk and 2 tablespoons of cold rose water in it. ‘Dab a cotton ball into the mixture and leave it for about 20-25 minutes. Apply the mixture under your eyes and allow it to stay for some time,’ says Carme Farré.
7. Almond oil
Thanks to its anti–inflammatory properties, almond oil can help to diminish pesky dark circles and under eye bags. It has great source of vitamin K that improves the blood clotting that in turn results in decrease in the appearance of dark circles and other skin discoloration around the eyes. Apply a small amount of your dark circles before you go to bed, and then wash off with cold water in the morning.