Dark circles and puffiness can be genetic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it.
If you’ve got dark circles and/or puffiness it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough water and not eating too much sodium. Puffy eyes can indicate kidney trouble, which may or may not show up on blood tests. There are two significant indicators of kidney issues that aren’t commonly known. One is back pain (mid back, not necessarily lower back) often on one side of the body. The other is bubbles when you pee. I know that sounds fun and festive, but it’s actually a warning sign that your kidneys need attention. Kidneys are like silent little warriors that don’t let you know they are failing until they actually fail. You can modify your diet a bit to see if cutting out or reducing certain foods and beverages in your diet improves symptoms you may be experiencing.
As a matter of fact, I just watched a video by nutritionfacts.org and was stunned to hear that too much spinach can cause serious kidney problems, as can too much vitamin C in the form of supplements…not to mention the mushroom “Chaga”. The video talks about instant tea which can be a problem (and I’ve had trouble with some instant coffees as well). Definitely a good video to check out for just about anyone, check it out below:
So now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about eye creams.
There are different eye creams that target different issues with the skin under the eyes. Some have retinols and acids that can actually be harmful if overused or if it’s not a good, gentle formulation. I think these should be used intermittently so they don’t create any issues with sensitization. You can build up a tolerance to active ingredients, so in the end you just have to listen to what your skin is telling you.
One of my favorite ingredients in an eye cream is peptides. There are different peptides that target different issues in the skin and they tend to be more gentle than acids or retinols. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the peptides to look for in your eye cream and what they do (info from Skin Script).
- EyelissTM is a combination of Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Dipeptide-2, and Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone. It helps prevent and reduce puffiness under the eyes.
- HaloxylTM is a combination of Chrysin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide 3. It reinforces firmness and tones up the eye area. It also facilitates the elimination of blood pigments responsible for dark circle coloration and inflammation.
- Argireline® (Acetyl Hexapeptide-8) is a powerful anti-wrinkle hexapeptide to relax facial tension, leading to the reduction of facial lines and wrinkles.
Other great ingredients to look for in your eye cream are caffeine (which can shrink capillaries to reduce darkness) and niacinamide (helpful for circulation and brightening) and vitamin c (which is also good for brightening).
There are also some ingredients that immediately reduce puffiness. They do this by creating a film on the skin that tightens as it dries (much like a mud mask). The ingredient responsible for this activity is Sodium Silicate. The problem with the kind of cream is that you have to be very careful with the application because it dries a lot like a clay- it looks a little dry with obvious lines of demarcation. You can see exactly where the product ends if you don’t feather-blend it out. You also have to apply it thinly and be careful to not let other products come in contact with it (like moisturizers) or it will lose it’s desired effect. Here’s a link to one I’ve tried: https://amzn.to/2AufQ2d
One thing I DO like about the Sodium Silicate based products is that they can actually be used as a morning under eye mask to try to reduce puffiness. I use it like this and then rinse off before I apply makeup. The mask like, tightening effect can help to squeeze out a little lymph under the eye to reduce swelling. It can cause a little redness, which will fade, but might make you want to avoid the ingredient altogether.
There are other options to try for puffiness, but they require a little more effort; things like cucumber slices, tea bags and even potato slices. None of these are very conducive to a morning routine, but I will definitely try those and report back.
One other thing that I LOVE for puffy eyes is the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush with the massage attachments. found here: https://amzn.to/30wVkbU. It will stimulate the flow of lymph in the face and help facilitate its removal (which is basically the body’s “sewage”) from the body, but it also increases the circulation in the skin so the nutrients you eat can work their magic. When working with moving lymph, you want gentle pressure and strokes that move gently downward and towards the lymph vessels in the face and neck. After doing gentle downward strokes, you can work on more uplifting strokes to create a lift in the muscles of the skin.
And then there’s a basic lymphatic drainage massage shown here that can help with puffiness. There are many methods, but they should all follow the same principles of drainage from the lower areas to the upper areas, progressively clearing the path for lymph that is blocked in the body. I would watch several videos to get a good perspective of the hows and whys of lymphatic massage.
The more you delve into this topic, the more there is to learn, but basically, focusing on good health, hydration and good nutrition can go a long way towards helping you look your best from the inside out. The addition of topical creams works from the outside in for a double whammy of effective beauty goodness.