Getting a good night’s rest is important, but we’ve all had a stressful week or fun vacation that resulted in poor sleep and, even worse, poor health decisions. Oftentimes, our skin reflects our poor routines.
Dark under-eye circles are a clear indicator that you haven’t been getting enough rest. But according to the Mayo Clinic, allergies, unprotected exposure to the sun, aging, eczema, eye scratching and even good ol’ genetics can also cause those pesky dark spots.
If you’re tired of looking tired, consider these remedies to eliminate those under-eye circles.
Coconut oil contains a high concentration of small-chain fatty acids. Those fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and increase blood circulation, two of the causes of dark under-eye circles. Before you head to bed, massage room-temperature, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil under each eye for 30 seconds. It could take a few weeks to see results. Bonus: Coconut oil is affordable and easy to find.
Other than being a tasty snack, cucumbers are also a perfect solution for dark circles. Cucumbers contain vitamin K, a fat-soluble that increases blood circulation and reduces clotting. Chilled slices placed on the eyes can get the blood pumping as well as erase any redness.
Milk contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha hydroxy acids act as an exfoliant when applied to the skin, smoothing wrinkles, cleansing pores and restoring the skin. Plenty of over-the-counter products contain lactic acid, making milk an affordable and efficient solution for dark circles. Soak two cotton balls in cold milk and place them under your eyes for a natural remedy.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a pigment responsible for giving them the bright, red color we love seeing in supermarkets. Lycopene is also an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and stops blood from clotting. One study even concluded that lycopene helps protect against UV radiation, one of the causes of dark circles. Soak a few cotton balls in juice squeezed from a tomato and then gently dab the juice under your eyes, letting it sit before rinsing it off.
Tea is packed with antioxidants that are beneficial for the entire body, dark under-eye circles included. Steep two tea bags in hot water and place them in the refrigerator until they are slightly chilled. Drain the bags of any excess water and place them over your eyes.
If you don’t have any cucumbers in your refrigerator, potatoes are a great substitute for treating under-eye circles. Potatoes contain vitamin C, an antioxidant known to treat cancer, the common cold and eye diseases. The antioxidants repair damaged skin cells and reduce the skin’s melanin production, one of the causes of dark spots. After peeling the skin off of the potato and thoroughly washing it, chop the potato into slices and place one over each eye.
Vitamin C and citric acid are natural skin brighteners, and lemon juice is packed with both. When combined with other ingredients like essential oils, tomato juice, cucumber juice or even applied on its own, lemon juice can reduce puffiness and inflammation around the eyes and brighten under-eye dark spots. Use cotton balls to apply the juice under each eye in the morning and before bed. But avoid getting too close to the eye because lemon juice can burn if direct contact is made.
Studies have proven that rose water is an anti-inflammatory product that soothes the skin, restores vibrancy and eliminates redness. When added to your daily and nightly beauty regimen, it can improve the skin and eliminate those under-eye circles. Rose water can be purchased at your local beauty store or made at home by boiling organic pink roses in water. Soak a few makeup cotton pads in rose water, place them directly on your closed eyelids and sit back and relax.
Not sleeping the appropriate number of hours each night can have dire effects on the mind and body, skin included. Fatigue is one of the main causes of dark circles. So putting in the extra effort to sleep the recommended seven to nine hours each night will leave you and your skin feeling and looking refreshed. Here’s a tip: Sleep on your back and invest in a silk pillowcase. Rough pillowcases cause irritation to the skin. Sleeping on your back with a silk pillowcase ensures that your skin will stay protected and, even if you do switch positions during the night, your face won’t pay the price.
One of the causes of dark circles is sun exposure. The sun prompts the body to produce more melanin, a pigment that gives the skin its color. Exposure to the sun without proper protection can lead to a darkening of the skin under the eyes. Using sunscreen is essential for your health during the summer, and skin products with SPF protect your skin year-round.
Along with weakening your immune system, alcohol also dehydrates the body. That’s why a night out on the town usually leads to red, puffy eyes and a look of fatigue the next morning. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, moderate drinking is no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Cutting back on alcohol can improve your health and reduce the chances of waking up with dark circles.
One orange contains about 70 milligrams of vitamin C. Similar to potatoes, a freshly squeezed glass of OJ can have a multitude of health benefits. To treat dark circles, soak two cotton balls in orange juice directly from an orange, squeeze out any excess drops and rub the cotton balls under the eyes in the morning and before bed each night. Just avoid getting any drops directly in your eyes.
Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties. These antioxidants assist in maintaining the health of your blood and skin, among other things. Hanging in the sun without protection from the UV lights can decrease vitamin E levels in the skin, meaning wrinkles, dry skin and, you guessed it, dark under-eye circles. To keep the skin nourished with vitamin E, gently massage a few drops under your eyes each night before heading to bed.
Every now and then, it’s OK to indulge in your favorite snack. Luckily, for dark chocolate lovers, the sweet treat also helps get rid of dark circles. Dark chocolate is a “superfood,” meaning it’s full of nutrients. Fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and plenty of antioxidants can be found in one square of chocolate. Cocoa, the main ingredient, increases circulation to the skin and boosts hydration. So while you can’t directly apply dark chocolate to the skin, you now have another reason why you should eat it every day.
Avoid excess salt
Consuming a small amount of salt each day is necessary for a healthy diet. But over-indulging on snacks loaded with sodium, like popcorn and pizza, has negative effects on the body. Too much salt and not enough water dehydrates the body. Curb your diet to follow the American Heart Association’s recommended 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day and stay hydrated. Dry skin and puffiness are just some of the surprising signs you’re eating too much salt.
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