Dark circles don’t look good on anyone.
In an ideal world, we get an adequate amount of sleep every night and jump out of bed in the mornings, bright-eyed and ready to take on the day.
Unfortunately, the occasional long night is highly unavoidable. Say you have something on the next day (quite likely, seeing as you had to exchange sleep for additional hours just so you could get more things done), what can you do about those frightening dark circles and under eye bags that developed overnight?
First, let us try to understand what causes dark circles and under eye bags to develop in the first place.
What causes dark circles?
While dark circles may be hereditary for some, for others, it’s a result of certain lifestyle habits such as consuming too much alcohol, consuming too much sodium, or coming into contact with allergens.
Why is insufficient sleep commonly linked to dark circles?
This is because a lack of sleep puts your body into flight or fight mode. Vital organs such as the brain leeches as much oxygen from the blood as possible, which means that more deoxygenated blood goes to other parts of the body. Deoxygenated blood is darker and shows up more obviously under the thin layer of skin found under the eyes.
How about the causes of eye bags?
Under-eye bags are actually a protrusion of fat pads surrounding the eye. They are more prone to swelling than other parts of the body. If you are stressed and sleep deprived, it results in fluid accumulation in the skin tissue surrounding your eyes, leading to puffy eyes and dark circles.
Does “beauty sleep” really help?
Yes. Sleep is a time for regeneration, repair and renewal. One of the best things you can do for your skin is to get an adequate amount of sleep each and every night.
Those bags are not going to unpack themselves, so let’s get to how else we can deal with them.
1. Start applying sunscreen around the eyes
A popular option amongst those of us living in tropical climates. Get it on Amazon here.
Make sure to protect the delicate area around the eyes. Also, the sun can darken the pigmentation around your eye area, making the dark circles worse as you get older.
2. For a quick fix in the mornings, use cold metal spoons or tea bags
Place the cool items over your eyes. They will help relieve the skin around the eyes, inducing vasoconstriction, which makes the vessels underlying the skin smaller and, therefore, the circles look lighter.
3. Change up your diet
Reduce your salt and alcohol intake. Salty foods can cause extreme bloat, so when you cut these out, your skin is less likely to puff up. Alcohol can widen the blood vessels, which causes dark circles to look more prominent. Drink more water instead!
4. Use a retinoid cream
Regular usage of a retinoid cream will help in collagen production and evening out of fine lines. In the long run, your skin will look brighter and smoother.
Users claim that Philosphy’s Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker Eye formula has helped them get rid of under eye circles. Get it from Sephora.
5. Conceal, conceal, conceal!
Using the pad of your ring finger — it’s the weakest of all fingers — tap on the concealer lightly so as to prevent excessive tugging and pulling at the sensitive skin around your eyes, which can then cause sagging and wrinkles.
A cult favourite for good reason. Get it from Amazon.
Protip: To further open up your eyes, use a white or nude liner on the brow bone and inner corners of your eyes.
6. Try out some home remedies
Forget cucumber slices. Here are many more suggestions of what can work to help with that under eye bag situation.
If all else fails, just pack some sass with you as you go about your day. God knows everyone has eye bags in a time-crushed world these days.