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Curing Puffy Eyes

Bags form under the eyes as we get older partly because there’s less fat supporting the skin, so it becomes slacker. Thinner and looser skin also allows fluid to collect, causing a puffy appearance. The dark “circles” under the eyes are caused by blood pooling in the veins just under the skin. The skin there is especially sensitive to sunlight, so some of the darkness may be from pigment. So now we know what causes puffiness and circles, but what takes them away?

If the puffiness is extreme, you may want to check with your health provider just to be sure that they are not caused by retaining fluid or taking a new medication, for example. Here are some of the suggested remedies that have been researched and have worked for many.

Get more sleep. When we have large bags under our eyes, lack of sleep is usually the first suspect, and for good reason. When we don’t give your body enough rest, it will start acting up. Fatigue can cause inflammation, and as we’ve learned, our eyes are easy targets. The blood vessels around our eyes dilate, and our skin will look swollen and puffy.

Drink more water. If we start drinking more water, we can reduce our body’s fluid retention. Our eye area is one place where we will hold water if our body does not have enough on a daily basis. Try flavored water if regular water is a turn off.

Reduce salt intake. Salty foods might be contributing to the bags under our eyes. This seasoning causes fluid retention, and the delicate skin around our eyes is very vulnerable.

Cut back on alcohol. When we drink alcohol, we disrupt the hormone that helps our body absorb water properly. It’s actually better to drink alcohol “neat” because we won’t be adding any extra sugar or salt, reducing the effects on our eyes.

Quit smoking. Our eyes are only one part of the body that smoking can adversely affect. Not only do cigarettes weaken and dehydrate the skin around our eyes, but smoking can also lower the quality of sleep we get at night.

Remove makeup before bed. Makeup residue can clog pores, cause irritation, and make the skin around our eyes look inflamed. Sleeping in our makeup can contribute to puffiness around our eyes. We should use a gentle makeup remover and wash our face before bed to help reduce this problem.

Treat allergies. Allergies can cause baggy eyes both by the irritant and the consequent rubbing. If we can manage our allergies, either by using a netty pot or medication, our eyes will benefit for sure.

Avoid crying before bed. Crying at night can make our eyes look puffy and irritated the next day. If we do cry, we need to rinse the eyes with cold water before bed to calm the inflammation.

Protect our eyes from sun damage. When skin is damaged by the sun, it loses its elasticity. We need to make sure we apply sunscreen to our faces, and be sure not to neglect the delicate eye area. Also we should purchasing sunglasses with high UV protection.

Accept genetics. Sometimes under eye bags are simply hereditary. If tips and tricks don’t work, our eyes may be experiencing a natural part of the aging process. Rinsing the face with cold water every morning to reduce any extra inflammation, and then using a great concealer will help reduce the appearance of bags.

There are certain cosmetic surgery options that help with baggy eyes. While these are obviously more expensive and invasive, they can do wonders for genetic eye bags that just cannot be minimized.

Below are many other suggestions that are considered “alternative.” They may not have been researched in a formal study, but many have tried them and found them useful.

Cold Spoons. This simple home remedy can be very effective. It helps tighten up the skin around our eyes as well as relax the blood vessels, offering relief to puffy, tired eyes. How to do this:

*Chill 5 or 6 metal spoons in your refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
*Hold the rounded portion of one of the cold spoons against the eye for a few minutes until the spoon becomes warm.
*As the spoon warms, replace it with another cold one from the refrigerator.

Tea Bags. Be it green tea bags or black tea bags, both can help soothe puffy and irritated eyes, help reduce swelling, and relieve redness and inflammation. How to do it:

*Put 2 used tea bags in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
*Lie down and put the tea bags over your eyelids.
*Leave them in place for 10 to 15 minutes.
*Repeat a few times a day.

Cucumbers. Chilled cucumbers make a good remedy for treating puffy eyes. The enzymes and the astringent properties in cucumbers help reduce inflammation and help tighten the skin. The how to’s:

*Cut a cucumber into thick slices.
*Chill the slices in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
*Place the cold slices on our eyelids for about 10 minutes or until they become warm.
*Repeat the process several times a day.

Egg Whites. Egg whites have skin-tightening properties that can help banish under-eye bags as well as help prevent wrinkles. What to do:

*Separate the yolks from 2 eggs and put the whites in a bowl.
*Whip the egg whites thoroughly until we get a stiff consistency.
*Add a few drops of witch hazel, a natural skin-tightening astringent.
*Use a brush or soft cloth to apply this mixture under our eyes and allow it to dry.
*Leave it on for about 15 minutes.
*Do this daily for a few days.

Potatoes. Just like cucumbers, potatoes are also effective in getting rid of puffy eyes. The starch present in potatoes has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce under-eye bags. To do it:

*Peel, wash and dry a medium-size potato.
*Grate the potato and put the shavings in a clean cloth and tie it up.
*Place this cloth over our eyelids for several minutes.
*Repeat the process several times until the puffiness subsides.

I hope these tips are helpful. Don’t be afraid to experiment!



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Content copyright © 2013 by Patricia Villani, MPA, PhD. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Patricia Villani, MPA, PhD. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Patricia Villani, MPA, PhD for details.



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