THE EXPERT GUIDE TO LOSING THAT BAGGAGE
Dark circles, puffiness, lines – be gone…
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. But really, they’re the window to our health, well-being and state of mind. Tired, stressed, happy or surprised – perhaps more than any other facial feature, our eyes tell a story about us on any given day.
So really, it’s little wonder that of Google’s 10 most frequently asked beauty questions of 2016, the eye area featured not once but twice.
Thin, delicate and home to a network of exceptionally active underlying muscles, the skin around the eye area is particularly susceptible to the stresses and strains of daily life. From puffiness and dark shadows to lines and under eye bags, there’s few of us who haven’t bemoaned the state of our eyes.
With that in mind, we bring you our top 10 ways to lose that baggage…
1. Sleep better: Let’s start with the obvious – when we don’t sleep well, the first place it shows is in our puffy, shadowed eyes. But while many of us focus on sleep quantity, try improving your sleep quality. Which means improving what experts call your “sleep hygiene”: no digital devices before bed, dim the lights an hour before you want to sleep, take a warm bath – then crack open a window to help your body begin the natural temperature drop it requires to drift off.
2. Get an extra pillow: Again, beauty sleep is key. As we age, the skin around the eyes thins and becomes looser, allowing fluids to drop into the lower lids and cause puffiness – or “bags”. Help excess fluid drain away by raising your body up on an extra pillow.
3. Cut down on salt: The sodium in salt increases fluid retention, so puffiness simply becomes worse. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day flavoured with herbs, fruit or cucumber to flush out any excess fluid.
4. Consider allergies: Poor sleep isn’t always the culprit of shadowed, puffy eyes. As we near the beginning of spring, many people develop allergies that manifest as dry, watery or itchy eyes. All of which take their toll on the surrounding skin. So, consult your doctor and consider taking an antihistamine to get happy, healthy eyes again.
5. Get tapping: Perform a gentle lymphatic drainage massage on the eye area to banish all that fluid. Simply use your ring fingers to gently tap from the inner corners, along the bone beneath the eye, towards the outer corner and over the brow. Continue for five minutes and combine with slow, deep breaths. We find it helps calm our busy minds too.
6. Go cold: Our eyes are often more susceptible to changes in the weather than many of us realise. On humid days, our peripheral circulation kicks in to bring blood to the surface of the skin as a means of losing heat. The blood vessels become more visible and the skin appears dark and discoloured. So, restrict the blood vessels in this area by applying a cold compress: A teaspoon or chamomile teabag (don’t throw them away!) chilled in the freezer will do the job nicely.
7. Get vitamin savvy: Deficiencies in vitamins K and B12 have been linked to darker under-eye shadows. You’ll find vitamin K in abundance in vegetables such as kale and fennel – then get your B12 fix from shellfish, eggs and turkey.
8. Choose your products well: When we begin to see signs of ageing or fatigue around the eye area, we tend to assume that “more is more” and apply too much of a product that’s far too heavy for this thin, delicate area. Too much product and it’ll simply collect in the tissues that have slackened over time – so you wake up with even puffier eyes. May we suggest Pro-Definition Eye & Lip Contour? In addition to its built in anti-gravity, firming action, its lightweight, cream texture hydrates and plumps lines – and provides anti-oxidant protection against future damage. The fact that it also works on lines around the lips is a bonus.
9. Think heritage: Does your sister, mother or grandmother have shadows or puffiness around the eyes? Genetics play a huge part in whether we’re prone to developing skin issues here – so practise damage limitation by following a healthy lifestyle as much as possible, but give yourself permission to stop beating yourself up. After all, happy eyes are attractive eyes!
10. Master your make-up: And if all else fails? You’ve partied too hard, been up all night with the baby or simply tossed and turned whilst mulling over life’s worries. Thankfully, make-up is here to help. Apply a dab of our Pro-Radiance Illuminating Eye Balm to hydrate fine lines and add luminosity to areas where there are dark shadows. Then select a peach-toned concealer to neutralize the purple shadowing – and run an apricot liner along the waterline to give the illusion of brightness. Then just count the hours to the next long, deep sleep…