Published on March 21st, 2013 | by Karin Jenkins0
Peanuts, Popcorn & Puffy Eyes
Last month on my quick trip to Cleveland, Ohio for a family wedding, the airlines lost my baggage both ways. I am not happy with Delta or U.S. Airlines right now, but if they could find a way to lose the baggage under my eyes, I would be their friend for life!
Dark Circles and Under Eye Puffiness: I think these two beauty problems have been requested most by my readers for me to address, so here we go…
First, we have to figure out the cause. Let’s talk about dark circles first. Dark circles under the eyes are caused by either an increase in capillary fluid beneath the eye, or a thinning or deterioration of the skin. Either of these conditions can be caused by allergies, pigmentation irregularities, heredity, or even simply as a matter of aging. Due to varying causes, it’s hard to pinpoint any one specific treatment.
Take a look at your family history. If your parents or grandparents had dark circles, then it is possible that the “gift” of dark circles will be passed on to you.
Age can also contribute to dark circles. With age, the skin around the eye thins, (Why can’t it be around my waist or hips?!) exposing the tiny blood vessels that lie just below. Maybe you are sleep deprived or fighting an illness such as a cold or the flu. This can temporarily darken your under-eye area, but luckily as you get better or get more rest, your eye area will look healthy and rested as well. By understanding the cause of your dark circles, you can figure out the best treatment for you.
Some easy solutions for dark circles:
- Try an eye cream rich in Vitamin K to strengthen the capillary walls and reduce the visibility of blood vessels. Using a combination of a retinol (Vitamin A) and Vitamin K is even more beneficial than Vitamin K alone.
- Start eating foods rich in Vitamin K such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach and strawberries. Be patient – it can take up to a month to see a difference.
- Use a cool compress of cucumber slices or used, cool tea bags to restrict those blood vessels. Rest with them on your eyes for 10 or 15 minutes.
- Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. Usually seven to eight hours is accurate. Too much or too little sleep can play a role in both dark circles and under eye puffiness.
- Makeup concealer is the fastest and easiest way to hide your dark circles. Choose a concealer that is the same color as your skin tone. Lightly pat the concealer on from the inner corner of your eye to just past the outer corner. I don’t like to use a cream or cake concealer if possible because it will make your fine lines and wrinkles more prominent. And seriously, who needs that? I like to apply “eggnog” colored powder under the eye after the concealer is used. If you use a too light or white under-eye powder, you can actually make your circles look darker. Something else I do that I feel works best is to use two shades of my foundation. I use a lighter shade of the same product under my eyes as the concealer. Product on top of the same (just lighter) product equals no two different product build up and a greater chance to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Are you following me?
Then there is under-eye puffiness, which can be caused by an accumulation of either fluid or fatty tissue beneath the eye. In the case of fatty deposits, it is generally a simple factor of aging. The tissue holding fat around the eye can wear, losing the fatty tissue beneath the eye. Is that like the same problem I am having with my chest sliding down to my waist? I wonder…
If it is a case of fatty deposits, most cases can be treated by a simple surgery called a Blepharoplasty, in which a surgeon creates an incision beneath the eyelid and removes the fatty deposits and any saggy skin. Sign me up!
If your puffiness is caused by fluid, then there are a number of things you can try. Since we have our thinnest skin around the eyes, it is the area most influenced by the in-and-out flow of fluids. Most causes include alcohol intake, fluid retention from sodium high diets, allergies and simple tiredness.
Here are some easy solutions for Under-Eye Puffiness:
- If you are suffering from allergies, sinus congestion or a cold, try a Neti Pot. Irrigating the nasal cavity with a Neti Pot (found at most drug stores) can help relieve that fluid build-up. Sometimes I take a heating pad and put it over my face for a bit and then massage my sinus area to help break up the congestion.
- Switch your sleep position. If you sleep on your stomach or side – try to sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated with an extra pillow. The earlier you change your sleep habits – the better. Permanent under-eye bags can develop after just a few years.
- Other everyday habits to break include rubbing your eyes frequently or going to bed with your makeup on. This can irritate your eyes causing fluids to pool.
- Excessive alcohol drinking causes dehydration which weakens the delicate skin around the eyes, making it more likely to sink into a pouch.
- I seem to have my worst puffy eye problems when I travel. Between the salty nuts and pretzels they give me on the plane (which of course I have to wash down with a Bloody Mary or glass of wine) to the high sodium intake I get from hotel food. If there is a small refrigerator in my room, I put a damp wash cloth or spoons from my room service tray in the fridge and then put them on my eyelids in the morning. This is a great way to help with the puffiness.
And there you have it! I hope I was able to answer some of those puffy/dark circle questions you were asking about. I would like to thank Marsha Kahn and Joey Reader in Florida and Tara Schile in Chicago for this article topic request. Keep them coming!