Beauty & the Brush: Under eye problems

The sad truth is that there is no one remedy to your under eye problems, especially when it comes to puffiness.


Maria Saadat September 02, 2010

Our poor eyes have withstood much torture. They’ve been tugged at while removing make-up, rubbed mercilessly on late nights studying, and have swelled up countless times amidst tears for lost loves and arguments with friends. In our youth, this kind of abuse would have had little to no consequence - the morning after would reveal a refreshed and revived face with no trace of what transpired the night before.

But as age creeps upon us, our skin doesn’t bounce back the way it once did. We wear our fatigue or sorrow on our face like a red flag that screams, “Look at me, everyone!” And for this reason, we’ve been receiving requests to write on eye creams and solutions to under-eye woes.

The sad truth is that there is no one remedy to your under eye problems, especially when it comes to puffiness.

The way we age around our eyes is a result of both genetics and our lifestyle. Therefore, any product must be used in conjunction with a modification in the way you care for yourself, how much sleep you get and what you eat.

The battle with puffy eyes begins with prevention, and for that you must undergo a lifestyle change. First things first, reduce salt intake. We understand the nihari at Boat Basin tastes infinitesimally better with heaps of added sodium. Put down the salt shaker. This food enhancer is not only bad for the heart, but also increases water retention throughout the body. Those that are genetically prone to bags under the eyes will find sodium makes them worse. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, especially in the warm months. Regular old H20 will keep you hydrated and will help flush out toxins from your body.

Try to resist the urge to rub your eyes when you are tired. Touching your peepers will only cause further irritation. And, if you’ve been up late working, studying or partying, you will enhance the swelling already surrounding your baby browns. To reduce the morning-after puff, some aestheticians recommend sleeping with the head slightly elevated. You know how you prop up a swollen ankle after a sprain? Same concept.

If these changes have no visible effect, try out a few natural remedies. The two greatest adversaries of puffiness are the cold and caffeine - both help to normalize your eye area by constricting the blood vessels. Put a teaspoon in the freezer for a few minutes. Take it out and press the rounded side of the spoon up against the underside of your eye. A bag of peas and cold cucumbers may work just as well.

Drink caffeinated tea? Put your used teabags in the freezer for a minute and then apply them cooled onto your lids (with eyes closed of course!).

Lay back for 5 to 10 minutes - depending on how swollen your under eyes are. Try to also get your hands on chamomile tea, which helps reduce inflammation.

Those with no patience for do-it-yourself routines may use an eye cream to de-puff. Choose a product containing caffeine, which is the best to combat bloating. The cream should also boast a moisturizing ingredient like vitamin E for hydration. Just remember, because puffiness is an indicator of your lifestyle or genetics, the creams are a temporary fix, not a long-term solution. For best results, store your eye cream in the fridge. The cooling effect will help to contract the puffy area around the eye.

If all else fails - slap on the concealer, ladies. After all, that’s what make-up is for!

Maria Saadat is author of the popular desi beauty site Lipstick Masala.

QUESTION TIME

Do you have a question about make-up? Can’t figure out a hairstyle for an upcoming wedding? Do your attempts at smoky eye make-up leave you looking like a raccoon? Have no fear! E-mail your questions and issues to [email protected] and Maria Saadat will respond to them in an upcoming column.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2010.

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