Us human beings are imperfect creatures. We know we’d like to get in better shape, but that chocolate cookie looks mighty tasty. We know we have to wake up early, but there’s only one episode left on the Netflix show we’re binging on. We know we should apply sunblock religiously, but we forget to bring the bottle with us to the beach.
That’s life. But that doesn’t mean we can’t form some habits and best practices for mitigating the inevitable effects of a life well-lived. For every late night chatting over drinks, for every day out in the sun and for every bed time we didn’t have the energy to apply eye cream, there are as many tips and tricks we can use to fight signs of aging.
Nobody’s perfect. That’s why we’re here to list 36 different routines that will help reduce any dark circles and under-eye bags you’ve accumulated from years of having fun.
Why Do We Get Eye Circles?
To be honest, even if you’ve spent your life diligently treating your skin as carefully as you possibly can, we’re all going to show signs of aging sooner or later – and that includes under-eye bags and dark circles.
Over time, skin naturally loses collagen and grows thinner, so regardless of what kind of skin you have or what good habits you maintain, veins will inevitably start to show through the thin skin around your eyes. As we already know, exposure to the sun speeds up the process of collagen breaking down, so your best weapon against under-eye circles are disciplined and consistent sunblock application habits from a young age. (Wearing sunglasses while out in the sun helps, too – less squinting = fewer crows feet!)
The best habits, however, can’t change your genes! Genetics are the biggest determinant of what kind of skin we will have and what we’ll look like as we age. Those of us that have inherited fair or thin skin tend to show under circles more easily than others due to the fact that when our blood pools in the capillaries under our eyes, it’s simply more obvious through lighter skin.
Unfortunately, as more and more blood accumulates there, your delicate capillaries begin to stretch and strain under the weight, leading to more leaking and blood pooling – and ultimately even darker under eye circles.
Yet for others, dark under eye circles and under eye bags aren’t caused by either aging, sun bathing or genetics. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of allergies. Year-round allergies like those to dust or mold, or seasonal allergies many of us experience in the spring trigger the release of histamines, which cause an inflammatory response. That means our blood vessels become inflamed and swell – including those under our eyes.
Okay, so That Explains Why I Have Dark Under Eye Circles. but How Do I Get Rid of Under Eye Bags?
Experiment with the following routines to see which one works the most effectively for you. Remember to use patience and consistency when trying out a new routine. Follow the routine every day for 4 to 6 weeks. If after that period of time, you still don’t see the results you want, move on to the next practice and see if that works better for reducing your dark under eye bags and circles.
The Best Routines for Getting Rid of Dark Circles and Under Eye Bags
1. Cold Compress
In the morning or evening – or better yet, in the morning AND the evening – apply a cold compress for about 10 minutes. If you have a mask you can keep in your fridge and pull out twice a day, that’s the easiest way to try this dark circle reducing method. Just make sure to keep it clean and give it a good soapy scrub a few times a week!
We’ve all seen cucumbers used as cold compresses on television and in films – but do they really work?
In fact, cucumbers have skin-lightening and mild astringent properties, so you can use cucumber slices to fix raccoon eyes naturally.
To try this method twice a day, chop a fresh cucumber into thick slices and then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then, leave the slices on your eyes for 10 minutes. Rinse your eye area with warm (but not hot) water after using.
3. Cucumber Juice + Lemon Juice
If cucumber slices don’t work for you, try mixing equal parts cucumber and lemon juice and then use a cotton ball to apply to your under-eye circles. (DO NOT get lemon juice in your eye!) Leave the solution on your skin for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
4. Rose Water
Rose water doesn’t just smell fantastic – it can also soothe and rejuvenate tired skin. Like cucumber, it’s a mild astringent, so it can work as a skin toner. Just soak cotton makeup remover pads in rose water for a few minutes, and then let the soaked makeup pads sit on your CLOSED eyelids. Leave them for about 15 minutes twice daily.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a substance that’s excellent for your cardiovascular health, vision and your skin. Lycopene can help create softer, more supple skin, as well as decrease the appearance of dark under eye circles.
To gain the medical benefits of the lycopene found in tomatoes, mix equal parts tomato juice with lemon juice and then use a cotton ball or makeup remover pad to apply it to your under eye area. (Again, PLEASE do not get lemon juice in your eyes.) Leave the solution for 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water, twice daily.
A tasty concoction of tomato juice, lemon juice and mint leaves to drink daily will also help improve your overall health as well as your skin.