Your eye area is like your Facebook update: It reveals everything going on in your life – whether you’re party pooped, clocking longer work hours, feeling under the weather, or even popping excessive junk food.
While you may be tempted to shell out big bucks for the latest cream or gadgety rollers to bulldoze and bury evidence of your festive boozathon, the smart new approach to looking refreshed is to combine high-tech ingredients with some time-tested, simple strategies. So kiss those eye bags goodbye with this bunch of straight forward de-puffing natural remedies that work. Like James Bond says – sometimes the old-fashioned stuff’s still the most trusty.
THE COLD SPOON
Fluid retention (eg. sodium or alcohol excess), vascular congestion (flu, sinusitis) and allergies are the major puffy eye saboteurs. Whatever the inciting culprit, giving your skin the cold treatment constricts irritated blood vessels, relieving redness and swelling at the same time.
Simply pop a pair of clean metal teaspoons in the refrigerator (or freezer, but make check the temperature on the back of your hand before applying to your lids to ensure they don’t freeze the delicate skin out), and then place the curved side over the eye contour. This no prep first-aider works for tightening up puffy faces before photo opportunities too.
THE TEA BAGS
Caffeinated (either green or black) teas de-puff bags from vascular congestion and fluid retention, while the chamomile ones are great to soothe redness, inflammation and swelling from allergies.
Steep a pair of teabags of choice in hot water for three minutes. Cool them in the fridge, while enjoying your antioxidant-rich drink to help flush your system of post-revelry toxins. Apply the DIY eye masks for about 15 minutes for a quick peeper perk-me-up. Alternatively, go for our luxe homemade green tea jello eye pads.
Potato therapy is another handy remedy for under eye flaws. Either grate to fine “hash brown” strips and place between clean cloth or gauze for a homemade eye mask, or simply rest sliced half moons of the humble tuber (best served cold) on your eye bags, and then chill out for 10 to 15 minutes.
Potato starch acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to ease irritated or strained shutters. They also contain catecholase, a natural skin brightener to help you lighten up the dark shadows and look like you’ve been hitting the sack.
Even if you’ve been relatively virtuous, sometimes hormonal cycles and skin irritations from products or hay fever can still cause you to wake up looking, well, tired and bloated. When this happens, an inexpensive way to restore cool and pretty is – you guessed it! – cucumber slices. Hey, they’re a cliché for a reason – cucumber’s soothing qualities plus its high water content help put those tortured eyes back on track.
If you want to get more fancy than the direct sliced-cuke-on-eye drill, soak some quality makeup cotton pads in fresh cucumber juice (just blend up a cucumber and mix with a little water), place your cucumber eye pads flat in a zip lock bag and into the fridge they go. This way, you can reach for a pair (try to use them fresh within days) anytime for a wake up call for sleepy lids.
– By Claudia Lin