By KENYA MORTIMER-McKENZIE
At some point in your life you will be looking in the mirror and asking, what is going on with my eyes? Not referring to the eyes themselves, but the skin surrounding the eyes. Your eyes can reveal much about your lifestyle and maybe even signal a need for some change. What is the culprit behind those dark under-eye circles, those puffy and tired eyes? Is there a solution?
The skin surrounding the eye is the thinnest of all the skin on the human body, therefore it is more likely to be fragile and sensitive and is often one of the first areas on the face to age prematurely. As a result, we should give it some attention before there are visible signs. Aging of the skin around the eyes can start from 25.
Let us examine some of the cause for dark under-eye circles, puffy and tired looking eyes?
• Poor sleeping habits
Lack of sleep increases inflammation levels, inflammation equals aging. Insufficient sleep can cause fluid to collect under the eyes making them appear puffy and can the cause the skin to look dark and pale.
Dark circles can be hereditary. In many cases if someone in your close family has dark under-eye circles you can develop them.
As our skin matures, the skin around the eyes get thinner and blood under the eye is pooled because the blood vessels are constricted due to inflammation. Therefore, causing the skin under the eye to look darker.
• Allergies and sinus congestion
Allergies can cause irritation to the eyes and sinus congestion can produce inflammation. Your body releases histamines in response to allergies that can cause blood vessels to dilate making the dark circles appear darker.
Your skin needs hydration to have life. This is even more crucial with the thin skin around the eye. Without adequate amount of water the skin around the eye can appear dark and dull.
• Sun exposure
If our skin isn’t protected from the sun, it exposes the melanin – the pigment that gives our skin colour. This can make yours skin around the eye appear darker.
Tips to prevent dark under-eye circles
• Get adequate amount of sleep, the recommended seven to eight hours each night. Avoid sleeping on your face. Add an extra pillow to elevate your head to prevent fluid from pooling under your eyes.
• Apply a cold compress for five to 10 minutes in the morning. You can use cucumber slices or dip two spoons in water in the freezer overnight and place the rounded part on your eye in the morning .
• Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, use sunscreen as directed, wear sunglasses and a hat when directly in the sunlight to prevent hyperpigmentation around the eyes
• Soak with tea bags. Caffeine is known to have antioxidant properties and can stimulate blood circulation around the eyes. Applying cold tea bags such as green, black or herbal tea bags to your eyes to reduce inflammation and dark circles.
• Reduce salt intake and drink water. Reducing salt can reduce puffiness under the eyes. Drink an adequate amount of water to keep your skin hydrated, this reduces inflammation and puffiness and will help your dark circles not to appear darker.
• If you have allergies, taking allergy medication such as an antihistamine or consider seeing an allergist.
• Find the right eye cream to address the under-eye issue.
• Kenya Mortimer-McKenzie is an anti-aging skin care specialist at the Baha Retreat Anti-Aging Spa. Visit www.baharetreat.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.