Eager to get rid of the dark circles under your eyes? Here are some kitchen hacks that work like magic as under-eye treatments. Try these home remedies to fade them away - the natural way!
By Shahnaz Husain
Windows to our souls, eyes, are a reflection of our beauty. While every set of eyes is beautiful in its own unique way, it is amazing how each speaks the same language universally: language of truth.
When we look at someone, the first thing we often notice about them is their eyes. And that is what makes it so important to take good care of them.
One of the major issues that commonly trouble women about their eyes are dark circles. Dark circles occur when blood pools underneath their eyes. This makes the eyes puffy, giving the area under them a dark, sunken appearance and making them appear dull and weighed down.
Dark circles are a major cosmetic concern for a significant percentage of people. They end up splurging a lot of money to treat them. While some of the available options claim to remove them instantly, other products are designed to superficially conceal them for a given duration of time. These options, however, don’t make a lot of difference because they simply address the symptoms and not the actual concern.
To truly treat dark circles, one requires a sustained, all-natural treatment. Many factors can contribute to their occurrence, chief amongst them being:
With passing years and exposure to the sun, the skin loses collagen and breaks down at a higher rate than it is rebuilt. The veins underneath, thus, become shallow and prominent. This makes the skin around the eyes more prone to dark circles. Even the slightest puffiness can lead to dark crescents under the eyes.
Factors such as fair skin under the eyes, bone structure, etc., make even the slightest signs of dark circles obvious. While one cannot alter the genetics that have been inherited, there are other ways to alleviate dark circles.
Eyes instantly react to the number of hours clocked and quality of sleep. An overworked set of eyes need good rest more than any other part of the body. It is no secret that sleeping heals the body through regeneration, repair and renewal of the broken-down cells. A sleep of 6-8 hours refreshes the eyes and minimises the probability of dark circles appearing. However, this sleep must be measured; as sometimes, oversleeping can also lead to dark circles.
The skin around the eyes is thin and sensitive. In some cases, the sensitivity to changing seasons is so high that it can cause allergies. This causes irritation, and triggers the release of histamines, which in turn causes swelling. This swelling gives rise to dark circles. We can determine if it is a result of an allergy by gently stretching the skin under the eyes. If the skin doesn’t become darker, then these dark circles are caused by allergies or UV exposure.
"I enjoyed taking care of myself and looking good. But after I became a mother, all that took a backseat. As amazing as motherhood is, I have never been more tired in my life. And it started showing on my face. Yes, my skin lost its glow and dark circles began to form under my eyes. Finding time to go to the beauty parlour for a quick facial is probably one of the hardest things to do. Any mom can tell you that! That's when I came across some simple home remedies to reduce dark circles. Over the weekends, I started spending little time to take care of myself and now it has become a healthy routine. I started looking good and feeling good about myself. And what's more? I save both time and money!" - Yashvi Saha, mother of two!
Being the most prominent aspect of our appearance and a delicate part of our body, our eyes deserve more attention than is often given to them. Choosing natural herbal mixes or, even better, home remedies, can go a long way in treating dark circles. Listed below are some of the most effective ones:
What you need: A fresh cucumber, a clean knife and a plate
What you have to do: Keep a washed cucumber in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Cut two thin slices with a clean knife, lie down and place the slices on your closed eyes. Meditate for 5-10 minutes. Remove the slices and wash your eyes with plain water and voila! You are good to go!
How does it work: Cucumber is packed with antioxidants that can reduce puffiness. A natural astringent, cucumber’s cooling properties can contract the tissues of the skin and soothe the eyes. When refrigerated, it acts as a cold compress and reduces blood flow, helping speed up the healing process.
What you need: Aloe vera, a clean spoon, a knife, a bowl, a cotton swab and water
What you have to do: Wash an aloe vera leaf and peel its cover. Scoop out the gel with a spoon into a bowl. Take a cotton swab, dip it into clean water and clean the under-eye area to avoid any irritation caused by dirt. Now apply the gel around the eyes and keep on massaging it for a few minutes. Keep it on overnight. Wash it off in the morning.
How does it work: Aloe vera comes with moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains vitamin E and essential amino acids that minimise dryness. The nourishment pigments present in the plant make the skin healthier and brings back the glow.
Caution: Clean the leaf properly before cutting it and do a patch test on your wrist to determine the possibility of allergies or a skin reaction.
What you need: Green tea bags, clean water, and a saucer
What you have to do: Soak tea bags in clean water. Squeeze out excess water and put them on a saucer. Place them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Take them out, lay back and put them on your closed eyes for 5-10 minutes. Remove them and feel the difference.
How does it work: Green tea is rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. When cooled, it compresses the blood flow and facilitates speedier healing.
What you need: A potato, a grater, cotton swabs and a bowl
What you have to do: Wash a potato and keep it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Peel it and grate it. Extract its juice into a clean bowl and soak cotton swabs in it. Gently squeeze out excess juice from them and place them on your closed eyes, covering the under-eye area for 20 minutes. Wash it off with plain water.
How does it work: Potato is a natural bleacher and helps to lighten the under-eye skin. The Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and starch contained in it, nourish and moisturise the skin. The antioxidants firm up the sensitive skin and smoothen it.
What you need: Two teaspoons of rose water, one teaspoon of whole milk, cotton pads, and a bowl
What you have to do: Mix two teaspoons of rose water into one teaspoon of cold whole milk in a bowl. Soak cotton pads in it and gently squeeze the excess solution out of them. Place them on the under-eye area and keep it on for 20 minutes. Remove and wash with plain water.
How does it work: Rosewater has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce puffiness. It improves the skin complexion while the whole milk nourishes the skin.
While the aforementioned remedies are good to treat dark circles, wouldn’t it be great if we don’t have to deal with them at all in the first place? There are a few things we can incorporate in our lifestyles to prevent dark crescents from undermining our natural beauty.
1. De-stress yourself: Stress directly causes capillaries under the eyes to burst, forcing the blood to spread in that area. This oxidises and turns purple, creating dark under-eye crescents. Stress also drains the face of blood, making the dark circles even more prominent.
2. Take a vitamin C and an iron-rich diet: Iron boosts the level of the much-needed haemoglobin and reduces dark circles. Eating sweet potatoes, spinach, dried beans, eggs, pumpkin seeds etc. can pump up oxygen levels in the blood, minimising paleness that could make dark circles more prominent.
Vitamin C, on the other hand, provides the body with antioxidants and minimises the damage caused by free radicals. Boosting blood circulation and collagen production, it also firms up the skin. Citrus fruits, green/red peppers, guava, melons, tomatoes etc., are rich in vitamin C and aid the absorption of iron by the body.
3. Avoid rubbing your eyes: Make it a rule not to touch your face unnecessarily, leave alone rubbing your eyes. It damages the fragile skin around the eyes. If done frequently as a habit, rubbing your eyes can even lead to the breaking of capillaries. Apart from this, it can transfer germs from your hands onto your eyes and face, which can lead to infections.
4. Keep the area under your eyes moisturised: The skin under the eyes is generally very thin and prone to dryness. Take good care of them by reapplying a good moisturiser. Don’t forget to moisturise it at night as this can double the rate of healing and hydrating the skin. Moreover, this regimen will keep your under-eye areas fresh, and prevent them from wrinkling and sagging.
5. Look for treatments if you are prone to allergies: Even if you are used to passively cope with seasonal allergies, repeated damage is likely to harm your skin in the long run. Look for treatments that you can actively undergo to keep such allergies at bay.
It takes sustained effort and patience to make these lifestyle changes and home remedies work. The wait, however, is worth it, as it can lead to impressive long-term results. When your eyes are naturally fresh and healthy, there is no chance of dark circles showing up. At home or out in a social gathering, your eyes will sparkle and do the talking – without having to cover up with eye concealers or eye creams!
Also read: Home Remedies To Remove Wrinkles Naturally
About the expert:
Written by Shahnaz Husain on 1 August 2019.
Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of Shahnaz Herbals Inc. A prominent skin-care expert, she has helped put India on the world beauty map. She has also been recognised for her efforts with a Padma Shri.
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