Your eye area is like your IG stories: It reveals everything going on in your life — like whether you’ve been partying hard, working longer hours, or studying all night for an exam. But regardless of why you were up hella late, the goal is to look like a fresh, well-rested human when you wake up in the morning. Here, 10 simple ways to achieve said goal.
1. Firm Up
When applied topically, caffeine tightens up the skin, says Laura Hittleman, director of beauty for Canyon Ranch. Place cool, moist black-tea bags on your eyes for five minutes or use an eye cream that contains caffeine, like the ones below.
2. Stimulate Circulation
Placing metal spoons in the refrigerator overnight can help minimize puffiness in two ways: 1) The cold temperature helps tighten swollen skin and 2) using the rounded side to massage your eye area (from inner to outer corner) helps jumpstart lymphatic drainage, since fluid can pool under your eyes while you sleep. On that note: Make sure your pillow props your head up enough that you’re not lying flat; that’s when fluid doesn’t circulate properly, leading to the gathering of under-eye bags in the first place.
Don’t wanna go the spoon route? You can also use a ~fancy~ jade roller to achieve the same lymphatic drainage effect, similar to that which you’d get with the aforementioned spoon.
3. Stay Hydrated
The effects of alcohol — ya know, your go-to Cosmo — can contribute to swelling and puffiness — even under your eyes. Here’s why: Drinking causes your blood vessels to widen and can even result in slight leakage from said swollen vessels, hence the reddish cast to your skin and overall puffiness. So, stick with the ol’ one-cocktail-to-one-glass-of-water ratio to minimize waking up puffy.
4. Limit Your Salt Intake
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (aka one teaspoon) a day, since salty foods can lead to swelling everywhere. To minimize the effects of sodium, load up on vitamin B-rich foods (like spinach) and foods that contain potassium, like bananas, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe, since they can all help reduce bloating. And for more ways to lessen your salt intake, click here.
5. Upgrade Your Eye Cream
The newest eye creams tackle any kind of under-eye sitch you can think of — all you have to do is remember to reapply daily.
6. Focus the Attention Elsewhere
A quick solution for under-eye bags is to draw the attention away from the area. Meaning, choose another part of your face to play up, so the focus is directed to, say, your lips by defining them and filling them in with a bold color.
7. Swap Cucumbers Slices for Potatoes Slivers
Yes, this works and here’s why: Potatoes contain a skin-lightening enzyme called catecholase that helps brighten your skin over time. To road-test this theory, lie back with a thin slice of potato over each eye, leaving them on for 10 minutes to allow the juice to seep into your skin. Do this twice a week to start evening out your tone.
8. Take an Antihistamine
If you notice dark circles cropping up during allergy season, ask your doctor if you should try taking an antihistamine or using allergy-relief eyedrops, says Robert Mirsky, an ophthalmologist in New Jersey. “Allergens cause swelling in the vessels under your skin, and rubbing your eyes can bruise those same vessels, resulting in a darker shadow.”
9. Apply Hemorrhoid Cream (Seriously)
Sounds gross, but the main ingredient — phenylephrine — constricts blood vessels and helps shrinks your under-eye tissue, says dermatologist Audrey Kunin, founder of Dermadoctor. Apply a bit to the puffy area and wait for it to work its magic — just be careful not to get it in your eyes!
10. Drink More Water (and Fewer Caffeinated Beverages)
It’s always a good idea to up your water intake, especially if your eyes are feeling especially parched and your skin is looking dry and flaky. And while you’re at it, keep your caffeine consumption under 300 milligrams per day (FYI: One cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams.); the mild diuretic effect of caffeine can cause water loss.
To read more of this article, go to Cosmopolitan