In today’s over-worked, over-caffeinated and under-rested world, it’s not uncommon to wake up with huge, dark circles under our eyes, or puffiness to rival a pug. A desperate smudge of concealer before we leave the house, and we’re good to go. Right?
But while it’s definitely unwanted, a little swelling around our eyes could be your body trying to tell you something. So, before you just cover the problem and move on, it could be wise to look a little closer, and understand why these bags are there in the first place… and how to treat them!
What Causes Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles?
There are several factors to blame for your morning optical puffiness and discoloration, which vary from person to person (and the severity of your eye issues). From temperature and diet to allergies and genetics… here’s a quick roundup of the main culprits:
1. You Didn’t Sleep Well
One of the most common culprits for causing early morning eye puffiness is water retention around the eye socket; caused by sleep deprivation and even the position of our head at night. When we struggle to sleep, a stress hormone called Cortisol is released into the body, and this changes our salt balance; retaining moisture deposits. If you sleep on your front with your face flat on the mattress, fluid can collect around your eyes, making puffiness worse in the morning. Dark circles can be exacerbated by a lack of sleep, too, due to the blood vessels under the thinner skin of the eye dilating to cause a darker tint.
2. It’s Too Hot In Your Bedroom
During colder months when we have our heating cranked up, we may notice that we’re experiencing dark circles and puffiness more often. This is because our skin is drier and more sensitive than in the warmer months, making the tissue around our eyes thicken and become more irritated. Heat can also make our blood vessels dilate, which pushes blood to the surface of the skin and causes a hue of claret beneath our peepers.
3. It’s Allergy Season
Puffy eyes are a common symptom of allergies, which can be made worse in times of high pollen count, or even if pet fur or washing powder is irritating your skin. When our bodies suffer from an allergy, it releases histamines into our system. This can cause a hive-like reaction, especially around the eye area, making them swell and darken. If your puffy eyes are combined with itchiness, it may be time to try taking antihistamines before bed or to switch up your fabric detergents to see if that helps.
4. You Had One Too Many
What we eat and drink, and especially our alcohol intake, can play a huge part in the health and appearance of our eyes. Alcohol dehydrates the body, making the eyes dry and itchy, and can lead to your eyes trying to overcompensate the loss of moisture by swelling. A similar reaction takes place if we consume too many salty foods, as this will lead to water retention around the eye socket.
5. You Have A Thyroid Problem
Generally, puffy eyes aren’t too much to worry about and will reduce as the day goes on. But if you are experiencing persistent puffiness or your bags won’t disappear, it could be a sign that something more serious is wrong. Puffy eyelids can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism (an issue with your thyroid gland), as well as dermatomyositis and other similar ailments.
How To Treat Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles?
Now we understand a few of the reasons why we experience dark circles and puffy eyes, we now need to learn how to best treat them. One of the first things to understand is that dark circles can be down to genetics, age or skin-tone, and therefore not something we can ever get rid of completely. Excess pigmentation around the eyes is extremely common, and as the skin there is so much thinner than the rest of our face, it needs to be taken care of more delicately.
Although treatment isn’t always easy, one thing is certain: dark circles and puffiness can be improved!
Get More Sleep
One of the best tips for reducing eye bags and puffiness is to improve your sleep pattern! It seems obvious, but getting more sleep will keep your eyes bright, and aid your body in repairing any cell damage that your skin may be suffering. The right amount of sleep will also reduce your Cortisol levels, helping you to feel less stressed, happier and healthier.
Stick To A Robust Skincare Routine
One of the most important ways to treat puffiness and dark circles is to stick to a well-rounded skincare routine, to keep your complexion healthy and hydrated. This helps prevent issues like irritation, dehydration, and pigmentation, as the skin is being nourished with supportive ingredients each day. Look for products that include Vitamin C which is known to brighten the skin, and cooling agents like aloe vera or plant extracts if your eyes irritate easily.
Our expertly formulated Stem Cell Eye Serum is made using Ginseng Stem Cells to rejuvenate, brighten and tighten the delicate skin around the eyes.
Avoid Excess Caffeine & Alcohol
Though they may perk you up momentarily, caffeine and alcohol can cause havoc for your skin. Both dehydrate the dermal layers, making dark circles more obvious and increasing puffiness on the eyelid and undereye. Having a few drinks is fine, as is a daily espresso, but make sure you counteract the dehydrating effects by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to compensate. Like any skin condition, drinking enough water is the first place to start!
Cut Back On Salt
Similar to cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, reducing your salt intake will immediately improve the brightness of your eyes and hydration of your skin. Salt causes your body to retain moisture and deposit water around the eyes – leaving you with puffy, doughy skin. An easy way to cut back on your salt consumption is to avoid processed foods that are laden with hidden sodium.
A Hydrating Sheet Mask
If you've noticed your skin lacking in hydration for a long while, it could take more than just increasing your daily water intake to reverse it. Sometimes, we need to nourish our skin on a regular basis with a deep hydration mask, that can deliver specific moisturizing ingredients. Our best-selling Stem Cell Face Masks contain a unique blend of Plant Stem Cells and richly hydrating nutrients to deliver a weekly dose of hydration, deep into the dermal layers.
Use A Cool Compress
Slices of cucumber on your eyes aren’t just a movie-myth! But an even better alternative is cold green tea bags. Placing these cold compresses on your eyes can constrict the dilation of blood vessels and reduce any excess swelling almost immediately. A gel mask kept in the refrigerator also works wonders!
These tips and tricks may help you keep your eyes looking and feeling their best, but the most effective eye-brightening tip is simple: happiness! Keep your skin happy by taking care of it with high-quality products, and your insides happy with correct nutrition, and your skin will show it!