Stress, Salt and Sensitivity- How To Get Rid Of Dark Circles And Bags Under Your Eyes

Nothing makes us look more knackered than bruise-like dark circles and puffy eyes. But what's really causing them? We get the truth, and reveal tips and tricks to banish the bags for good.

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What You Need To Know About Your Eyes

At around 0.33mm thick, the skin around your eyes is three to five times thinner than the rest of the face . That means the area is lacking in all the juicy collagen and elastin that protects and plumps skin. And, according to Guinness World Records, the eye's six muscles make around 100,000 micro-movements a day, so it's the area that gets the biggest workout. Tired eyes? Literally.

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The Problem

The eye area has very few oil glands, which makes it naturally dry and weakens its hydrolypidic film [a protective cover made of sweat, sebum and water]. These factors, plus movement and thinness, mean the area is prone to lines. It's also usually missed when applying SPF [the best topical defence against visible skin ageing].

What Can Make Your Eye Bags And Dark Circles Worse?

Eyes are sensitive, and they're particularly reactive to changes of fluid levels in the body, which results in puffiness. 'Gravity can also make a notable difference,' explains consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall, 'so sleeping with your face down can exacerbate eye swelling and bags.'

"Sleeping with your face down can exacerbate eye swelling and bags"

Our skin, muscles and bones naturally change as we get older, making it more difficult to manage. 'The skin starts to sag and underlying fat becomes prominent, causing significant eye bags, wrinkles and dark circles.'

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What You Can Do To Make Your Eye Bags And Dark Circles Better

Give the area around your eyes a daily massage to get the lymphatic system working (a network of tissues and organs that help drain toxins). 'The extremely delicate eye area should be treated as gently as baby's skin', advises facialist Teresa Tarmey. Here's how:

1. Apply eye cream to your fingertips to prevent friction.

2. Always start in the inner corner of your eye and move outwards.

3. Use your finger and thumb to lightly pinch the skin as you move along, improving microcirculation.

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What Causes Eye Bags And Dark Circles?

Stress

...directs blood to essential organs, leaving you with a paler complexion that makes dark circles more noticeable.

Tiredness

...slows down our blood and circulation, which shows around the eyes as puffiness and dark shadows.

Iron Deficiency

...can manifest itself around the eyes with almost bruised rings.

Salty And Processed Foods

...are the worse culprits for causing fluid retention, resulting in temporary eye puffiness.

Food Allergies

...can cause constant puffiness. Wheat in particular has been known to contribute to dark circles.

Certain Medications

...that dilate blood vessels can increase blood flow around eyes, which causes shadows.

Genes

...play a huge part in dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles.

Alcohol

...leads to dehydration, which leaves eyes inflamed and irritated.

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How Make-Up Can Help Cover Dark Circles And Eye Bags

1. Blue Undertones

Are the pigment of oxygenated blood showing through thin skin. It gathers during sleep, which is why blue or purple circles can be more prominent in the morning. Cover them up with a yellow- or pink-toned colour corrector, such as Dior Fix It Colour in Yellow, £23.50, or Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in Rose, £26.

2. Brown Undertones

Are the result of decreased proteins and lipids, which are related to your genes, excessive sun exposure or behavioural factors. Cover them up with a peach-toned colour corrector, such as Urban Decay Naked Skin Colour Correcting Fluid in Peach (for fairer skin tones) or Deep Peach (for darker skin tones), £19 each.

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Hero Ingredients That Can Help Eye Bags And Dark Circles

Caffeine-infused eye creams constrict blood vessels and can help diminish purple and blue shadows and reduce puffiness.

Neostrata Skin Active Intensive Eye Therapy, £45

Neostrata Skin Active Intensive Eye Therapy

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye, £22.50

Hyaluronic acid is a master at attracting water molecules, plumping out lines and reducing dark circles.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye

La Mer The Eye And Expression Cream, £255

La Mer The Eye And Expression Cream
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Vitamin E soothes and strengthens the skin's defence system against free radical aggressors.

La Roche-Posay Redermic Eyes, £25.50

La Roche-Posay Redermic Eyes

Vitamin A, or retinol, is a powerhouse at reducing fine lines by boosting collagen and encouraging the creation of new cells. However, it's essential to choose an eye-friendly formula.

Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream, £24.99

Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream

Peptides are a gentle option if your skin can't tolerate retinol.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery eye, £26

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye

Sisley L'Integral Eye And Lip Contour Cream, £138

Sisley L'Integral Eye And Lip Contour Cream
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