Perk up your peepers: Expert tips for tackling dark circles and eye bags
THEY say the eyes are the window to the soul – but if you ask us, the eyes are the window that reveals exactly how tired we really are.
"The skin of the eye area is one-third the thickness of the skin on the cheek, making it much more vulnerable to damage and more visually affected by lifestyle, illness or stress. This results in us seeing dark circles, puffiness and eye bags," explains Julia Stewart of skin care company Shiseido.
So what can we do about it – besides scheduling a few early nights?
PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM THE SUN
Sun exposure can often make dark circles worse as it increases the melanin content. So wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is important.
One simple tip is to stay hydrated, as dehydration, especially after overindulging in salty foods and alcohol, can definitely exacerbate the appearance of eye bags.
GET A GOOD EYE CREAM
Lighter is better when it comes to eye products. Creams applied to the area can be heavy and gels may contribute to puffiness, so lighter serums tend to be a better vehicle for topical potions.
TRY NATURAL REMEDIES
Puffy eyes can be a concern when you wake up but they usually settle quickly with eyelid movement which helps to reabsorb any residual fluid. But if you need a little help, some of the more 'natural' techniques include the use of cucumber or potato slices, cotton pads soaked in milk, caffeinated teabags or the application of cold spoons. They help constrict the blood vessels, which reduces puffiness and gives a lighter appearance around the eye.
Consultant dermatologist Penelope Tympanidis says cold chamomile tea bag compresses can work wonders.
CONCEAL AND COVER
Make-up is an instant fix for dark circles. Peach or orange tones can reduce the blue hue caused by superficial blood vessels. A good concealer, a shade lighter than the skin, can also cover dark circles and areas of hyperpigmentation.
BEST BUYS FOR EYES
:: Milani Conceal & Perfect Longwear Concealer, £12, Beauty Bay
:: Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer Touch-Up Stick, £24, Harvey Nichols
:: L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Eye Balm, £39
:: Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Eye Concentrate, £58, John Lewis