How to Minimize Dark Circles Naturally
First, understand the causes of your dark under-eye circles. There are things you can do at home, and some professional treatments that help the problem.
Cause: Fatigue and Allergies
Start with non-drug interventions for fatigue and allergies. Drugs can cause more dryness, which thins the skin causing more darkness in the long run. Get restful, adequate sleep. Try eliminating or reducing exposure to allergens, and use a neti pot.
Cause: Diet and Health
Smoking, alcohol and a poor diet contribute to how your facial skin looks, and affects your eye area because of the thinness of the skin in the eye area. This area will quickly show dehydration, dullness and discoloration.
Adding vitamin rich vegetables to every meal help because of the antioxidant protection they provide. Green tea is another source of powerful antioxidants.
Supplements such as CoQ10 strengthen capillaries around the eyes, and Eyebright, an herb, helps a myriad of eye area complaints.
Some people inherit this condition.
Very pale, thin skin will easily show the under-eye blood vessels, which are bluish in color, showing up as a dark circle.
Skin of African, Asian or Native American ancestry has more melanin or pigment. Thin skin around the eyes allows the pigment to show more easily, producing a dark circle. When the area is exposed to sun, more pigment develops as a natural form of UV protection, but the dark circle is then more prominent.
Once you've addressed fatigue, allergies, diet and health factors, we can more successfully use home care and professional treatments to help specific elements of the dark under-eye circle problem.
Skin thinning and loss of collagen and fat
Dark shadows can be caused by weakness of the skin, which will form a bag that casts a shadow below itself.
Loss of fat and collagen will allow blood vessels underneath to be more visible.
Home care: Minimize salt consumption which causes fluids to collect behind weak skin and areas of fat and collagen loss, causing puffiness and further distending weak skin. Sleep on your back with enough elevation of your head to drain away fluids that collect at night. If you wake up with puffiness, try cucumber or potato slices to reduce puffiness. Use protective and collagen building eye creams with skin strengthening/collagen building ingredients. Retinols sit on the surface of skin and can cause irritation, leading to more darkness in the long run. My clients use a natural retinol alternative made of nutmeg stem cells, Swiss apple stem cells, chicory root and tara tree.
Pro care: LED Light Treatments and other collagen stimulating procedures like AHA exfoliation, plus infusion of vitamins and antioxidants to protect and strengthen.
Build up of dead skin cells
Sleeping in makeup, improper removal of eye makeup, or wearing concealers with dimethicone, waxes, petroleum-based ingredients and other clogging ingredients, cause a buildup of dead skin cells that are dry and dull.
Home care: never sleep in makeup. Remove gently with a combination of water, gentle makeup remover (my favorite is plain, organic jojoba) and soft pads or cloths that lightly exfoliate. Find light concealers without waxes and dimethicones, and no petertoleum-based ingredients.
Pro care: exfoliation techniques such as light microdermabrasion, ultrasonic technology, AHA’s or mild peels will gently remove dead skin cells and allow vitamin and brightening infusions to penetrate best.
Sun exposure causes skin to produce melanin, a pigment that will color the skin. Skins that naturally have more melanin are most susceptible (ie., people of Asian, African or Native American ancestry), but all skins can be damaged by UV burning rays. Thin skin around the eyes allows the pigment to show more easily, producing a dark circle. When the area is exposed to sun, more pigment develops as a natural form of UV protection.
Home care: UV protective sunglasses, brimmed hats, avoiding sun between 10 and 3pm. Use of anti-inflammatories and brightening ingredients advised by your esthetician.
Pro care: LED light treatment to reduce inflammation and build collagen; pro strength anti-inflammatories and non-toxic brightening ingredients, deep hydration, lymphatic drainage massage.
Questions? I’m here to help with your dark circle and other eye area concerns.
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