Heather Perry, LMBT
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Dark Circles and Puffiness…No Thanks!

Heather Perry, LMBT

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Dark Circles and Puffiness around the eyes is a common and frustrating problem for many of us. You start seeing them sneak up on you slowly then get worse over time. Allergies, stress, lack of rest, diet, sun exposure, heredity, thinning of the skin and loss of fat cells as we age are all contributing factors. Puffiness or “bags” under the eyes are caused by fluid retention and things like sleeping on your stomach or side, or eating a lot of salty foods can contribute to the issue.

The skin around the eyes is more delicate than the rest of the face so it only makes sense that it will be affected first. However, there are some steps you can take to help this…Never Fear!!

A good skin care product can go a long way. We lose so much moisture through our skin everyday. Hydrated skin is always going to be stronger and better able to protect us from the real dangers such as infection.

Here are some helpful ingredients to look for and what they might look like on an ingredients list:

  • Peptide, Marine Algae Peptide, Polypeptide, Hexapeptide

Peptides are a portion of larger protein molecules used in the body to communicate with and direct skin cells to behave in certain beneficial ways, such as producing more collagen thus thickening the support structure of the skin. Peptides are able to enter the cells of the skin and remain intact, helping to create new cell memory much like muscle memory. Not all peptide formulas are the same so if you try one and it doesn’t work for you, you may need to try a different brand or formulation. Be careful not to get it in your eyes. It is quite stimulating and can sting if it gets in your eyes.

  • Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture powerhouse and has the added benefit of being a natural substance in the body. So when applied topically, your body is better able to identify and accept it. Hyaluronic Acid acts as a sort of sponge, drawing moisture in and holding on to it as long as it possible can. So you can see why this might be beneficial around the delicate eye area.

  • Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that works by slowing and possibly preventing the effects of free radicals (But that is another article altogether). What you need to know is that it can help skin repair sun damage. It increases collagen production, hydrates and brightens the skin…this all sounds good right? Well, it is, but Vitamin C serums can get expensive and the ingredient is notoriously unstable meaning it can go bad quick leaving you with an expensive paperweight. You want to look for things like “chirally corrected,” Vitamin E Stabilized, Time Released. You can by in it powder form and mix it yourself, but that can be messy and sometimes gross.
Don’t overlook those ingredients meant to sooth. They can protect and hydrate with the best of them. We all know what it feels like to have irritated and reddened skin around the eyes so look for things like Chamomile, Ginkgo Biloba, Lavender, Cucumber and even Lettuce (both being diuretics to help with puffiness also)
Also, take time to massage gently around your eyes (careful not to pull the skin). The massage can be just as effective as the eye product itself at flushing out stagnate blood pooling and lymph. Just remember, it takes time so be patient and persistent. This is not an easy thing to treat and nothing goes away overnight.

Some other more Holistic approaches:
-Lots of dark leafy greens and iron rich food can help strengthen blood vessels around the eyes. Also any liver flushing foods can help according to a more oriental medicine approach. 
-Cold compress when you are relaxing such as cucumbers or cold tea bags on the eyes can reduce dilation of the blood vessels and act as a diuretic for puffiness and stagnation.
-Wear sunglasses and sunscreen even around your eyes when going to be in the sun, sun damage can make them worse over time.
-Be kind to yourself, your body will respond. Rest, Excersise and find healthy things that make you happy everyday.

Thank You!
If you ever have any questions about this topic or any other topic regarding Skin Care or Massage Therapy, don’t hesitate to ask. I would love to hear from you.