From The Straits Times    |

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Problems such as dark under-eye circles and puffy eye bags affect almost everyone. These pesky problems can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, with the lack of sleep being top amongst them. Other popular reasons include stress, ageing, hormonal changes, prolonged crying, an unhealthy diet, hereditary (yes, some research has shown that eye puffiness and darkness might be inherited) and certain lifestyle practices such as smoking.

Whatever the reason, there exist several methods for alleviating dark circles and treating puffy, tired eyes. Some are simple to accomplish, while others are more complicated. While some solutions might work for you, others might not – the best way to know is through some trial and error.

With that in mind, read on for some remedies to make your peepers bright and perky again.




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Yes, you read that right. In fact, many foods are going to be listed in this article, as different foods have different properties that can help to treat dark circles. Tomatoes have the ability to naturally lighten skin tone and make skin soft and supple. There are two ways to go about using tomatoes to treat your dark circles: the first involves mixing one teaspoon of tomato juice with one-half teaspoon of lemon juice. Gently apply this mixture under your eyes and let it remain for about 10 minutes. Rinse off with water, and repeat this twice a day. The other method involves drinking a glass of tomato juice mixed with some mint leaves, lemon juice and salt. Drink the concoction immediately after making it on a daily basis.


Almond oil


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Almonds are chock-full of vitamin E and hence is very useful for making the delicate skin around your eyes ultra supple. This solution is pretty easy to administer as well: before going to sleep, apply a little almond oil on your dark circles and massage gently. Leave it on overnight and wash off the next morning with cold water. Repeat this process until the dark circles have disappeared. If you don’t have almond oil on hand, vitamin E oil will work too.


Cold tea bags


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Caffeinated tea contains natural tannins, a mild diuretic that has been known to reduce eye puffiness and lighten dark circles. To use the tea bags, soak two of them (preferably chamomile or green tea) in warm water, then pop them in the fridge for a few minutes to chill them. Place one tea bag on each eye for five minutes, and your eyes should look brighter instantly. Repeat this remedy on a regular basis to see more prominent results.




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We weren’t kidding when we said lots of food items will be featured on this list. Raw potatoes are natural bleaching agents that can help alleviate dark circles and get rid of puffiness. Grate some raw potatoes to extract the juice. Soak two cotton balls in the juice, and place one each over your eyes – make sure your whole eye is covered, including your dark circles as well as your eyelids. Leave on for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse off with cold water. For best results, repeat once or twice a day for a few weeks. If the grating process is too much trouble for you, you can also simply use thickly cut potato slices and place them over your eyes.


ALSO READ: Tips and tricks to help reduce eye puffiness


Rose water


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Rosewater is an incredibly popular beauty ingredient in skincare, and rightly so. It helps to rejuvenate the skin and has a soothing effect on tired eyes. Because it also has mild astringent properties, rosewater also works as a good skin toner. To use rosewater, soak two cotton balls or pads in pure rosewater for a few minutes. Place the soaked cotton balls or pads on your closed eyelids, ensuring they cover the whole eye area. Leave them on for about 15 minutes, and then rinse off with water. Repeat this remedy two times a day for a few weeks for the best results.


Avoid salt and alcohol


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Diet plays a huge part in how we look – ever heard of the old adage “you are what you eat”? To reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, try to lower your intake of salt and alcohol. Excess sodium causes you to retain water, which can also occur under the eyes, leading to eye bags. Meanwhile, alcohol acts as a diuretic in the body, so not only does it dehydrate, it also causes your body to lose electrolytes. This is bad, as when the body is dehydrated, it responds by retaining as much water as possible, resulting in puffiness and undereye bags. On that note, also make sure that you’re drinking enough water daily. It is also important to know what you should eat to treat dark circles and puffiness.

Vitamin C-rich foods are particularly helpful, as vitamin C helps your body produce collagen, a protein that keeps your skin healthy, hydrated and dark circle-free. Some common vitamin C-rich foods include veggies like broccoli and cabbage, as well as fruits such as berries, orange and mango.


Get some rest

Stress, a lack of sleep and a busy lifestyle are top reasons for the occurrence of tired, puffy eyes and dark undereye circles. All the remedies above will not work if your body is not physically and mentally well-rested. Practising yoga and/or meditation regularly is one common way to relieve your body of stress and to calm your mind. Also, try to get into a regular sleep routine where you get at least seven to eight hours of restful sleep every night. Remember to avoid alcohol a few hours before bedtime. In addition, one tip is to sleep on your back with an extra pillow – this can help prevent fluid from pooling under your eyes overnight, which leads to puffiness.


Be gentle


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There are several things we do every day – most of the time thoughtlessly – that might be the reasons for our dark circles and puffiness. Firstly, take note to be extra careful when removing your eye makeup – the skin around our eyes are super delicate and sensitive, so avoid any rough tugging back and forth, and adopt gentle strokes in one direction. Sometimes, dark circles might also be caused by increased pigment from sun damage or repeat rubbing. To address this, use topical lightening agents such as vitamin C, kojic acid, and liquorice extract. They help to decrease skin pigmentation over time, lightening dark circles. Also, don’t forget to apply sunscreen around your eyes daily, and wear a hat and sunglasses to shade your eyes if you are going to be under the sun.


This article first appeared in Female.


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