Make dark circles a thing of the past
Dark circles are the bane of many people's lives, as they make you look tired and can add years to your age. Among the things that cause them are a lack of sleep, prolonged bouts of crying, a bad diet, staring at a computer for too long and being stressed. Sometimes, it's simply hereditary.
So what's the biology behind the blighters? Shadows under your eyes are caused by blood vessels becoming visible through your skin, which is very sensitive around this area. As soon as it becomes pale (thanks to illness or a lack of sleep) or thinner (usually down to age and loss of collagen), the blood vessels beneath the skin look more prominent and dark circles appear.
There are plenty of products on the market for covering them up, but it's much better to go direct to the source of the problem and tackle it with some nifty home remedies. Here we round up some of the best that won't cost you a penny.
First up, a great suggestion from skincare expert and natural beauty maven Antonia Burrell - green tea!
"Next time you brew yourself a green tea, pop the strained tea bag in the fridge for a while and then use as a compress to soothe puffy or tired eyes," she recommends.
"The naturally occurring caffeine and antioxidants work wonders on stressed skin around the eyes and gently reduce inflammation to help revive, refresh and de-puff."
And what better way to treat tired eyes then some good old-fashioned sleep?
"Sleep is another great way to tackle dark circles. Your skin repairs itself while you sleep, so if you don't get enough of it, it will show - in the form more pronounced wrinkles and under eye circles. Shoot for 7 - 8 hours a night," she continues.
Below are some more, all-natural suggestions.
There's a reason spas always put cucumber slices on your eyes during a facial! The vegetable is packed with mild astringent and skin-lightening properties that go straight to the source of the problem. Pop a cucumber in the freezer and then slice for extra cooling benefits.
Even if you're on a no-carb diet, you should keep some potatoes to hand because they contain bleaching agents that help combat dark circles. Either grate and use the juice on a cotton ball to place on eyes or slice and use like the cucumber.
Vitamin C is a real beauty saviour and is abundant in lemons. Just be careful with this one, as it can cause irritation in some people, so if you notice any, wash off and don't repeat. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto a cotton ball and apply around the eye area (nowhere near your eyeball please!). Leave on for ten minutes and rinse.
Sweet almond oil
This oil is super popular among the DIY beauty queens and for good reason - vitamin K is one of the most important ingredients in the battle against dark circles.