When it comes to treating dark under-eye circles, we have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad: Dark circles can be caused by a wide range of factors, including genetics, your diet, stress, allergies and sinus issues. But there is good news: Even if you can’t banish them entirely, you can diminish their appearance with some easy lifestyle changes and a few targeted products. With our tips, you’ll look more refreshed and awake in no time.
1. Look at Your Diet
Collagen, a naturally occurring protein responsible for keeping skin resilient and strong, is essential for combating under-eye bags. Collagen production slows down as you age, but making changes to your lifestyle and diet will help limit collagen degradation. Don’t smoke, do get more exercise (which will also help combat puffiness) and get plenty of antioxidants from foods such as green tea.
Include other collagen-boosting foods in your diet, including omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon and mackerel) and sulfur (found in cabbage, garlic and beans). Any food high in vitamin A, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, helps prevent damage from free radicals, while eating a daily dose of vitamin C – found in oranges, spinach, kiwi and broccoli – supports the renewal process and reduces oxidative damage. Try to avoid sugar when you can – it’s a huge culprit when it comes to premature aging.
2. Become Besties with Hyaluronic Acid
While collagen is the protein that keeps skin firm, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that hydrates skin and plumps it up. These two ingredients work together, and the decline of one leads to the decline of the other. Use an eye cream that contains the rehydrating wonder that is sodium hyaluronate – its molecules are small enough to penetrate the epidermis. Olay Revitalizing Eye Gel is formulated with sodium hyaluronate and helps fight visible signs of fatigue and under-eye dehydration lines.
3. Drink Smart
Dehydration is one of the top causes of skin thinning under the eyes. Remember that hydration for your delicate skin has to come from the inside as well as the outside. While drinking more water will help restore your skin’s vitality and plumpness, bear in mind that drinking too much coffee or alcohol will destroy all that good work. These beverages dehydrate the body, resulting in thinner skin. Watch your salt intake, too – sodium not only dehydrates but also causes additional puffiness around your eyes.
4. Try a Massage
Until you can afford a private facialist (we can dream, right?) try incorporating a few simple facial massage techniques into your daily skin care routine. When you apply moisturizer or serum, use upward strokes and push up and out toward the ears. This will promote blood circulation, stimulate collagen production, help eliminate toxins and strengthen the face muscles.
5. Use Sun Protection
Believe it or not, sun exposure is one of the principle causes of dark under-eye circles. According to research carried out by skin expert Olay, women who almost always use sunscreen are 78 percent more likely to be “exceptional skin agers” compared to those who almost never do. Applying a hypoallergenic, broad-spectrum SPF on the delicate skin around the eyes will help decrease dark circles and create a protective barrier. (We recommend Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30.) Put a bottle on your bathroom sink or vanity and make it a part of your daily routine. Also, invest in good-quality sunglasses that preserve your eyes from 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
6. Be Gentle
The skin around your eyes is more fragile than you might think. Rubbing and poking the skin around your eyes, particularly when stressed, can spread germs and cause microscopic tears that contribute to skin darkening. When applying eye cream, don’t put it on your eyelids or under the bottom lashes. Instead, apply it using your ring finger and dot it around the eye socket or orbital bone. There’s no need to place it directly on the sensitive soft-tissue area under the eye because as the product warms, it will travel there through the skin. Applying it around the socket minimizes pressure and tension.
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