We’ve all been there - you wake up in the morning after yet another night of not enough sleep and recoil from the mirror as you see dark, puffy eyes and crepey lines etched around the eye area. Rather than layer on the make-up, which can often make you look older and more tired if not applied correctly, get to the source of the matter and attack those lines and bags directly. Here are our tried and tested tips for youthful eyes, and what you can do to reduce the damage in the first place.
Tea bags - Forget cucumber slices, apply used but refrigerated tea bags to your eyelids - the cool temperature will slow down the circulation to reduce the swelling and the tea itself has a slightly astringent effect, contracting skin tissue and therefore smoothing fine lines.
Teaspoons - Keep a couple of teaspoons in your fridge and place the backs of them on your eyes each morning to look and feel totally refreshed.
Potato Slices - Thinly slice a refrigerated raw potato and place the slices over your eyes. Like the two suggestions above, the coolness will soothe and reduce puffiness but the potato will also draw out the toxins in your skin. Potatoes also contain catecholase, used as a skin lightener by some skincare companies.
Power Nap - Despite the lack of scientific data in the link between sleep and eye bags, there is no doubt that we look worse after a lack of sleep. Research has established that a 15 minute power nap - no more, no less - is enough to trick the brain into thinking it’s had enough sleep.
Elevate your head when sleeping - One of the reasons we often have puffy eyes upon waking is that the fluid that rests under our eyes after being in a horizontal period for hours at a time suddenly falls upon standing due to gravity. To avoid this, put a few pillows under your head to keep it slightly raised.
Reduce your salt intake - Puffiness occurs due to excess fluid retention and the more sodium you consume, the more your body retains those fluids, so cut down on the salt - your entire body will thank you for it!
Increase your intake of anti-fluid retention food and drink - Bananas and raisins ease fluid retention and cabbage, cranberry juice and other diuretics will help to rid your body of excess fluid. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and you’ll notice a marked difference.
Exercise - An improved circulation means fluid won’t accumulate so regular exercise is essential to get the heart pumping and boost the circulation.
Lastly, if all else fails, opt for a cosmetic solution. After applying foundation, use an under-eye concealer to cover the dark circles and then a highlighter around the tear duct and up to the brow bone to draw attention away from the problem area.
Emily Buckley has written numerous health and beauty related articles, including many for Laser Sight, pioneers of Lasik vision correction surgery in Australasia.