Is it just me, or do puffy eyes have a way of showing up when they’re least welcome? Lack of sleep is a constant battle these days. If you don’t know already, exciting news: I’m a new dog Mom! Doug and I adopted a 14-week old puppy (a dachshund-mix who we named Winnie) two weeks ago. So, as you can imagine little luxuries like sleeping through the night and early morning meditations went straight out the window. At least for now. I’m a big believer in routines and I know we’ll get ourselves back there. In the meantime, I have these under eye bags to worry about and wanted to share some of my remedies with you.
First, what causes under eye bags?
As you age, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that is normally confined to the area around the eye (orbit) can move into the area below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can accumulate fluid, making the under-eye area appear puffy or swollen. Several factors cause or worsen this effect, including:
- Fluid retention, especially upon waking or after a salty meal
- Lack of sleep
- Heredity — under-eye bags can run in families
How do you get rid of puffiness under the eyes?
The good news is, shrinking puffy eyes is often a matter of understanding the physiology of the skin (and what’s going on underneath it). Here are a few ways to de-puff:
COOL IT DOWN
Not only do cold temps help reduce inflammation, but it can also reduce swelling by restricting the blood flow to the area.
The mode of cooling doesn’t really matter — a cold compress, refrigerated spoon, or even chilled cucumber slices can work, as can a refrigerated face roller (which can also help manually get fluids moving). You know I LOVE my Rose Quartz roller. I keep mine in the freezer at all times.
GO FOR COFFEE
Yep. Caffeine (in moderation) really is a morning must-have, even for your eyes. Caffeine is a natural, but mild vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows blood vessels. This can help reduce the appearance of dark circles or puffy eyes as there is less potential for fluid or leakage into the vessels, leading to less visible swelling.
Or-- you could actually soak (caffeinated!) tea bags in water, chill them, and then apply them to closed eyes for a few minutes for a one-two punch of cold and caffeine.
APPLY AN EYE CREAM
An eye cream is always a good idea since the fragile skin around the eyes deserves extra TLC. And for puffy eyes, it’s no exception. I’ve been using the Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel in the morning and Botnia Eye Cream at Night. The Dr. Loretta antioxidant eye gel reduces puffiness, dark circles and appearance of crow's feet. Algae extract supports skin's collagen while peptides tighten eye contour and the Botnia Eye Cream is a more nourishing cream that brightens and evens out the sensitive skin around your eyes. Formulated with a base of hyaluronic acid to smooth and hydrate. Peptides work to reduce inflammation and dark circles while a blend of saccharides keeps this delicate area supple. A really nice combo.
A few tweaks to your lifestyle habits could also go a long way. Try to get adequate sleep, increase water intake to maintain cellular hydration, support gut health to encourage consistent regularity and excretion, minimize alcohol consumption and salt intake, and avoid or minimize exposure to allergens.
Most people tend to underestimate the power of facial massage. Take a few extra minutes to massage your eye area, using outward movements to drain the lymph fluid. Not only does it feel really good, but it’s a good way to take a few extra minutes for yourself. You could even incorporate Gua Sha or mention this area of concern when you book your next facial appointment with me. I can incorporate my latest modality- Facial Cupping, an alternative therapy that uses suction cups to stimulate your skin and muscles. It can be done on your face or body. The suction promotes increased blood circulation, which may help relieve muscle tension, promote cell repair, and aid in other regeneration and will improve the flow of your “qi” (pronounced “chee”). Qi is a Chinese word meaning life force. Oh my gosh, It WORKS!!
I hope this week’s article was informative. I’d love to hear from you. Do you suffer from puffy eyes? Which remedies will you try?