Our eyes are one of the first areas to show signs of ageing.
There is no avoiding these pesky symptoms - from wrinkles to dark circles to puffiness - as we get older.
However, there are things you can do to slow them down - or at least make them less conspicuous.
Use eye cream or eye serum
First and foremost, introduce an eye cream or serum into your daily beauty routine.
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 is the skin around our eyes is quite different from the rest of our face. It is thinner, more delicate and more vulnerable.
Unlike the rest of the face, the skin around our eyes has no oil glands, which explains why it tends to be drier and shows signs of ageing earlier.
This means that we should use a separate product for our sensitive eye area.
Eye creams and serums are usually formulated to be thicker but milder, to effectively moisturise without causing irritation.
Various eye creams and serums contain a host of different ingredients - for example, collagen is used to smooth wrinkles, calendula (an anti-inflammatory herb) helps to fight puffiness while caffeine combats under-eye bags.
This is important if you are going out under the sun.
Repeated squinting is a major contributor to wrinkles around the eyes as it puts a heavy strain on the eye muscles, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
To prevent this, always carry a pair of sunglasses with you.
Make sure they have ultraviolet protection to block out UV rays and to stop photo and free radical damage to the delicate eye area.
Wrap-around or oversized shades will provide the most amount of protection.
Similarly, if you wear glasses or contact lenses, ensure they are of the right prescription so that you don't end up squinting too much.
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, as salt (read: sodium) can cause your body to retain excess fluid, which leads to puffiness and under-eye bags.
Alcohol has the same effect.
Moreover, both alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration, which will make dark eye circles more obvious.
It is also a good practice to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
Try an eye roller
This is especially useful in combating puffy eyes, which we often get in the morning.
The coolness of the metal roller ball helps alleviate undereye puffiness by shrinking swollen tissues.
Some people also recommend using a cold compress, chilled teaspoons, chilled tea bags and even bags of frozen peas to reduce puffiness.
Also, be gentle on the skin around your eye area - don't rub it excessively and be careful not to tug or stretch the skin.
Get enough rest
When we are well rested, we look better, energised and refreshed.
Furthermore, we look haggard, pale and hollow-eyed when we are dead tired. This emphasises shadows and makes under-eye bags and dark circles more evident.
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.
This article was first published on The New Paper.
ALSO READ: 10 NATURAL STEPS TO BOOST BLOOD CIRCULATION