The older I get, the more my face seems to show how tired I am, and it doesn’t bounce back like it did in my 20’s. Oh the joys of aging! I tell ya, sometimes when I get up in the morning and look in the mirror, I do a double take at how tired I appear even though I’ve had plenty of sleep.
Sometimes I get dark circles, puffy eyes, or a combination of the two, and it unfortunately doesn’t disappear with a splash of cold water. Even if you eat healthy, exercise, and take vitamins, you can still get tired eyes in the morning that can last for hours. So what exactly causes these changes around our eyes? Let’s take a closer look.
What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?
Contrary to popular belief, dark circles are mostly caused by genetics rather than lack of sleep, which means you have your parents to thank for your tired eyes! While dark circles can appear due to fatigue and not sleeping properly, genetics plays a huge role in how they appear for most people.
Simply put, dark circles are created because the skin under your eyes are much thinner than anywhere else on your body, and those dark circles you’re seeing are just the blood vessels lying underneath. So if you just happen to be lucky enough to have naturally thin skin, you’re more likely to have visibly dark circles as an everyday occurrence. Thanks, genes!
On the flip side, if you’re not naturally blessed with thinner under eye skin, the aging process will take care of that for you. As we age, the area underneath our eyes gradually gets thinner and thinner, which lets those blood vessels underneath become more visible. This is why elderly folks tend to have dark circles no matter how much they’ve slept.
But what if you’re still young, you don’t have a family history of thin under eye skin, but you still have dark circles? Well, it could mean that you have something known as periorbital hyperpigmentation, which means that more melanin is being produced (the chemical that gives us our skin color), and appears under your eyes as dark circles. Unfortunately, this seems to only occur in those with naturally darker skin, as they have a higher chance of over-producing melanin in their bodies, and is very difficult to treat from a dermatological standpoint.
How To Conceal Dark Circles
While it is possible that dark circles can be the result of tired eyes and lack of proper sleep, the majority of cases are caused by genetics. Dark circles are just a direct result of the skin being too thin, and letting the blood vessels underneath appear more visible. Since there is no true treatment for this genetic condition, the best way to combat dark circles would be to use a high quality under eye cosmetic concealer.
Because dark circles appear bluish, choosing a concealer with a salmon/peach tint, as this will counteract the blue appearance under the eye. My favorite natural concealer is the Fruit Pigmented Brightening Concealer in Peach Bisque by 100% Pure Cosmetics. The peach tint in this concealer works by counteracting the bluish color of the dark circles, which is also great for covering up bruises. I’m pretty fair skinned, so this concealer is on the lighter side, but they do have multiple shades for different skin tones, and all their products are loaded with organic ingredients like green tea, antioxidants, vitamin E, and free from toxins or chemicals.
Natural Remedies For Tired & Puffy Eyes
Whether or not you have dark circles, you’re bound to experience tired puffy eyes once in a while. Tired and puffy eyes are commonly caused by a buildup of fluid underneath the eyes either due to medication, allergies, illness, crying, fatigue, or excessive salt consumption. Once you figure out what’s actually causing your puffy eyes, you can work on a solution to remedy them like getting proper sleep, cutting back on your salt intake, or treating your allergies.
To help speed up the process of getting rid of those tired eyes, there are some natural remedies you can apply that can reduce the appearance of puffiness.
1. Chilled Cucumber
Probably one of the most commonly known remedies out there for puffy eyes, cucumbers are full of antioxidants and flavonoids that help reduce redness, irritation, and swelling. For a soothing eye treatment, place a few thin slices of cucumber in the fridge until chilled, then place one slice over each eye for at least 30 minutes. Your eyes will feel very refreshed and appear less puffy.
2. Raw Potato Slices
Don’t have any cucumber on hand? Try some potato slices instead! Potatoes will stay colder longer, and have a natural astringent quality to help remove excess water from under the eyes. Place a thin slice of raw potato over each eye, or finely grate a the potato and place it in a tea bag or cheesecloth, then place over the eyes.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is not only amazing for your health in general, but the caffeine in green tea is also amazing for treating puffy eyes. Caffeinated tea works by constricting the blood vessels around the eyes, helping to reduce the appearance of puffiness. Put two tea bags in a cup of hot water for a few minutes, then remove and let cool to room temperature. Place tea bags over eyes for 15-30 minutes while relaxing. You can repeat this process once or twice a week to naturally tighten the skin around your eyes, and help prevent puffiness.
4. Chamomile Tea
Another great tea to use for eyes is chamomile tea. Even though it doesn’t have caffeine in it, chamomile tea is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that make it wonderful for treating and soothing tired, puffy eyes.
5. Egg Whites
Take an egg white and gently whisk it until slightly fluffy, then apply a generous amount under your eyes with either a small brush, or fingertip. Let the egg whites sit for 10-15 minutes, or until they are dry, then gently rinse off with cool water. This will help naturally tighten up the skin around your eyes, and help stimulate circulation.
6. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera contains 18 essential amino acids, which are amazing for your skin, and also contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which can help soothe tired, puffy eyes. Dab a small amount of aloe vera gel under the eyes to soothe, moisturize, and help reduce puffiness. Aloe vera also has some other amazing health benefits!
7. Rose Water
Rose water contains flavonoids, vitamin C and A, anti-inflammatory properties, and is a natural astringent that is very rejuvenating for the skin. You can get pre-made rose water here, or make your own by simmering fresh rose petals in distilled water until most of the color is gone from the petals. Strain the liquid, then cool and store in a bottle.
To us, simply soak two cotton balls with rose water and cover the eyes for 5-10 minutes to help reduce puffiness. You can also use rose water as a natural skin astringent for cleansing and removing makeup.
8. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is another natural astringent that is great for the eyes, and is used similarly to rose water. Chilling witch hazel first will provide a cool and refreshing eye treatment, and help reduce any swelling you may have. You can find a quality witch hazel here, or get the best of both worlds and get a witch hazel & rose water combo.
9. Cool Compress
Take a small clean cloth and run it under cold water until soaked, then squeeze out the excess water. Gently apply the cool cloth over the eyes like an eye mask, and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the damp cloth into the fridge for a boost of cooling power, but I wouldn’t recommend putting it in the freezer, as this can damage the thin skin around the eyes. You can also buy a dual hot & cold eye mask for multiple uses.
Other Things To Consider
- Drink a lot of water! If you’re dehydrated throughout the day, your eyes will start stocking up on fluid resulting in puffy eyes. Make sure you’re getting at least eight cups of water a day to stay well hydrated, and combat puffy eyes.
- Cut down on your salt intake.Too much salt in your diet can cause excess fluid retention in your body, including underneath your eyes.
- Elevate your head when sleeping. This will help keep excess fluids from accumulating around your eyes, giving you that fresh puffy look when you wake.
- Avoid excessively rubbing your eyes if you’re tired, or if they itch. Instead, use gentle circular motions with your fingertips to stimulate the lymphatic system, and help improve circulation around your eyes.
Have you tried any natural remedies for tired puffy eyes? What are your favorite treatments?