Considering the majority of the population averages only six-and-a-half hours of beauty sleep per night, we could all use some help looking more rested permanently – and without having to take cover. Here’s how to fake an awake look when you’re high on stress and low on rest… plus a handful of hints for treating persistent undereye concerns at the doctor’s office.
Puffy under eyes are often caused by water retention or stress, which can also cause tissues to swell and fluid to pool. Keep a caffeine-spiked eye treatment like SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel on your nightstand, and before you even set foot out of bed in the morning, use it to give yourself an eye massage to help release fluid around the eyes. Caffeinated tea bags, soaked in hot water then ice water, will help shrink underlying dark blood vessels and eliminate some of the fluid that’s built up (lie down and apply them directly under your eyes for at least ten minutes). A cornflower eyewash or eye makeup remover is an effective natural remedy: the flower heads contain several anti-inflammatory substances. When it comes to makeup, wearing a sheer concealer or foundation around the eyes (one that’s slightly darker than your skin tone) can help puffy areas appear to recede.
Doctor prescription: It only takes one radio-frequency treatment from something like Thermage to see your bags shrink dramatically. It works to tighten the skin and build collagen without downtime. You can expect to see continual and very noticeable improvements over six months, with results lasting for years.
Paper-thin skin under the eyes makes darkness more noticeable, worsened by broken capillaries and blood vessels, lack of sleep, a cold, allergies or sun damage. Placing a couple of cold potato slices over both eyes will relieve dark shadows almost instantly because of the natural bleaching agents contained in them. Additionally, your nighttime eye cream should contain ingredients like retinol, vitamin K or vitamin C. Try undereye brightening power product Marini Luminate Eye Gel.
Forgo heavy concealer, which can draw attention to problem eyes, and choose a lightweight, yellow-based shade that’s slightly lighter than your skin. Apply a sheer, shimmering white eye shadow to the inner corners of the eye at the tear ducts and hollows of the nose, and use a white eyeliner pencil to rim inside the waterline (where exposed tissue tends to look red). With a bit of blending, you’ll be amazed at the results.
Doctor prescription: Soft filler injectables with hyaluronic acid as the primary ingredient, like Restylane, Belotero Balance or Juvéderm Voluma, require annual touch-ups but work quickly to fill in sunken areas and ‘prop up’ fallen lower eyelids that contribute to dark circles.
Genetics, sudden weight loss or a loss of soft tissue around the eyes all contribute to a hollowed look. Look for eye creams with retinol, an ingredient that will help fragile skin become stronger. Humectants like topical hyaluronic acid can also lend a plumping effect under the eyes. Applying cold cucumber slices and products with vitamin C can also help to reduce the dark circles that often accompany eye hollowing.
Doctor prescription: Hyaluronic acid, injected deep into the skin, can fill in deficient, hollow-looking areas under the eyes. The next step may be blepharoplasty to remove loose skin that makes hollowing look more pronounced. Fat can be repositioned or even added to the area to smooth out the sunken skin.
A gentle exfoliator will help skin turnover faster (try retinol rather than granule scrubs), and sunscreen can help prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Intensive topical hydrators, like hyaluronic acid spheres, can help temporarily soften, plump and smooth thin skin around the eyes. Last but certainly not least, make like the Olsen twins and never leave the house without a pair of large sunglasses to block the sun’s rays and prevent against repeated squinting.
Doctor prescription: Since the eye area is so delicate, many treatments like lasers and chemical peels – which smooth out other facial wrinkles – are ruled out. To date, injectable toxins like Botox, Dysport or Xeomin are the most effective at treating crow’s-feet and preserving youthful-looking eyes by halting the movement of the muscles around them. Granted, these are only temporary fixes lasting up to six months, and they don’t address sun damage or promote collagen production, but they’re being used more and more as preventative measures to keep crow’s feet from cropping up.
Written by: Stephanie Simons