#1: Use an eye cream/ eye serum
First and foremost, introduce an eye cream/ eye serum into your daily beauty routine if you have not. Your standard moisturiser might have been enough when you were younger, but once you hit your 20s, it is time to invest in a separate product for your eye area.
The reason for this is that the skin around our eyes is quite different from the rest of our face. It is thinner, more delicate and more vulnerable. Furthermore, unlike the rest of the face, the skin around our eyes have no oil glands, which explains why it tends to be drier and show signs of ageing faster.
This naturally means that we should use a separate product for our sensitive eye area. Eye creams and eye serums are usually formulated to be thicker, but yet milder, to effectively moisturise the skin around our eyes without irritation. Different eye creams and eye serums might also contain a host of different ingredients – for example, collagen is used mostly to smooth our wrinkles, calendula helps to fight puffiness while caffeine (yes, some do contain caffeine) combats under-eye bags. Choose one that suits you best.
#2: Don a pair of shades
This is exceptionally important if you’re going out under the sun. Squinting is one major cause of wrinkle formation for the skin around our eyes, as we are putting a heavy strain on the eye muscles when we adopt this facial expression. This can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, aka, the dreaded crow’s feet.
To prevent this. always carry a pair of sunglasses with you. Make sure they have UV protection to help block out UV rays, and to stop photo and free radical damage to our delicate eye area. Wrap-around styles, or at least oversized shades, will provide the most amount of protection. In a similar vein, if you wear glasses/ contact lenses, do also ensure they are of the right prescription so that you don’t end up squinting too much.
#3: Wear sunscreen daily
Following the previous advice to look out for the sun, also make applying sunscreen a daily habit. Sunscreen might arguably be the most valuable anti-ageing product you can use, and not just for your eye area, but your whole face.
There is no proper age to start using sunscreen regularly – in fact, the earlier you start, the better. The effects of sun damage can be readily seen as we get older, with symptoms such as dark spots and freckles. Continued harmful exposure to UV rays without adequate protection will result in melanin overproduction, which can eventually lead to hyperpigmentation and hence, dark circles.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so start using sunscreen regularly if you are not already doing so. Try looking out for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a suitable SPF to protect against UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays.
#4: Minimise salt, alcohol and caffeine intake
To reduce the appearance of dark eye circles and puffiness, it is vital to cut back on the amount of salt, alcohol and caffeine you consume. Avoid salty food, especially at dinner the night before, to de-puff the eyes, as salt (ie. sodium) can cause the body to retain excess body fluid, which in turn leads to puffiness and under-eye bags.
Meanwhile, alcohol also has the same effect as salt; moreover, both alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration, which will make your dark eye circles even more obvious. It is also a good practice to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
#5: Try an eye-roller
An eye roller is especially useful in combatting puffy eyes, which we often get in the morning. The coolness of the metal roller ball helps alleviate undereye puffiness by shrinking swollen tissues. This is why some people also recommend using a cold compress, chilled teaspoons, chilled tea bags and even bags of frozen peas to reduce puffiness.
Also, remember to be gentle on the skin around your eye area – don’t rub them excessively and be careful not to tug or stretch the skin.
#6: Get enough rest
This one should require no explanation – we all know that when we are well-rested, we look infinitely better, more energised and refreshed. A lack of sleep directly relates to under-eye circles; furthermore, we usually look more haggard, paler and hollow-eyed when we are dead-tired. This emphasises shadows and makes under-eye bags and dark circles even more evident.
A tip for when you sleep: use one or more pillows to keep your head elevated, as this can prevent fluid pools in your lower eyelids, which causes puffiness.
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