Pretty Peepers

Beautiful eyes are a blink away.
By Cara Lucas

If your pretty peepers are the windows to your soul, then you surely don’t want dark circles or wrinkles to be the old, dingy curtains.

The thin, delicate skin around our eyes makes us prone to fine lines and wrinkles that show our age. But there are ways around it—history can attest to that.

Ancient Egyptian culture was very vain, but, give them credit—they found ways to combat the beauty challenges of their time. For instance, soothing anti-aging treatments like oils from olives and nuts, fragranced essential oils, milk for moisturizing, and honey facial masks were just a few beauty secrets used to reduce scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles.

We can use a similar thought process today to hide subtle hints of aging or spruce up tired eyes. First, let’s discuss some specific issues that might be affecting your eyes.

 

Wrinkles

Wrinkles are something we will all experience—to what degree is up to you. Your skin is composed of collagen and elastin, which help it appear firm and smooth. These two substances, unavoidably, decline as you age. You are essentially losing the power of your youth as the production of collagen and elastin decrease. Gravity also chips in, pulling that fragile skin down and resulting in deep, droopy wrinkles.

There are other factors that have a hand in wrinkle formation, as well. Controlling your lifestyle habits goes a long way in maintaining fresh eyes. The three “S”s—sleep, sun, and smoke—should be carefully monitored to avoid excessive avenues for wrinkle formation.

Sleep: Sleeping on your back is the best way to decrease the chance of wrinkles from forming during the night. Slumbering on your face compresses the delicate skin around your eyes, pushing it harder into place and reinforcing unnecessary sleep lines that could turn permanent over time.

Sun: Sunshine is another important factor to regulate. UV light from the sun’s rays is one of the most influential components in pre-mature aging evidenced by wrinkles. Squinting in outside light also puts strain on your skin, so it is best to wear eye-protection in the form of 100-percent UV ray-protected sunglasses, as well as a good, natural SPF sunscreen.

Smoke: Finally, smoke is a sure-fire way to dehydrate your skin. You are depleting your body of water—the very thing that keeps your skin plump! The nicotine in cigarettes narrows the blood vessels in your skin, which impairs blood flow and blocks oxygen and  other important nutrients from getting to your skin. Also, the 4,000-plus chemicals damage collagen and elastin fibers that work to keep your skin strong and healthy.

Developing wrinkles is inevitable, but you can delay the onset with preventative care and treating your eyes with the featured at-home remedies.

 

Dark Circles

Are you getting plenty of rest at night but still wake up with dark circles under your eyes? Raccoon eyes, as they are often called, can stem from a variety of sources, not just the absence of sleep. Factors like heredity, allergies, asthma, eczema, medications, anemia, liver problems, dehydration, and age all play a role in accentuating the shadows below your eyes.

Dark circles under the eyes develop from blood vessels under the skin, which, around the eyes, is the thinnest skin on the entire body at 0.5 millimeters thick (compared to 2 millimeters in other areas). As blood travels near the surface of the skin, it can emit the associated bluish tint in the presence of dark circles.

How does this happen? It’s actually similar to the concept of bruising. Often, the red blood cells that travel through the web of capillaries under your eyes get lost and leak out into the skin—similar to broken blood vessels that create bruises. There is no need to worry though, because your body has enzymes that work to control these escapees, breaking down the red blood cells and their hemoglobin. When hemoglobin is broken down, it yields the “bruise-like” color associated with dark circles.

There are a number of solutions that can improve these dark rings circling your eyes. However, it’s important to try to assess the cause, before picking a remedy for them.

 

Puffiness

Waking up with swollen eyes is definitely not convenient to a hectic morning routine. Your boss may watch you stroll into work thinking that you painted the town the night before—but excess consumption of alcohol (which acts like salt and makes the body retain unnecessary water) is not always to blame.

The eyes can swell for a number of reasons with salty foods, allergies, and chronic sinusitis among common instigators. Everyday beauty irritants like makeup or perfumes can have an effect, as well. Not to mention, if you work a desk job, your eyes tire from staring at a computer screen all day long.

Getting enough rest is important to maintaining fresh eyes. If you skimp on a solid slumber session, blood pressure can creep up and often leads to swelling in different parts of the body, including (you guessed it) around the eyes. This can sometimes be alleviated by sleeping on a couple of pillows at night; the extra support places the head at an upward angle, which prevents traveling fluids from resting around your eyes.

It’s natural to incur these problems at some point, but it’s also natural to treat them using simple and effective solutions found—where else—in nature! Maintaining bright, healthy-looking eyes is easier than you think, and you won’t have to break the bank to get results.

 

Peeper Keepers

Try some of these great solutions for keeping your eyes refreshed.

SOLUTION: Water

USE FOR: Puffiness, Wrinkles, Dark Circles

How It Works: Rinse your face with cold water in the morning to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. It may be a shock to the system, but if you are short on time, it does the trick! Also, staying hydrated is key to eliminating puffiness. When you are dehydrated, your body stores water like a camel—using your eyes as the “humps” for emergency-reserve water storage.

 

SOLUTION: Grapeseed Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamins K & E

USE FOR: Wrinkles

How It Works: Massage these oils into the eye area two to three times per week to moisturize, nourish, and repair the surrounding skin. Rich in antioxidants, the oils work to prevent wrinkles while reducing the visibility of existing fine lines.

 

SOLUTION: Sunscreen

USE FOR: Wrinkles, Dark Circles

How It Works: This should be your first defense in fighting unwanted creases and fine lines. UV rays weaken the skin around your eyes, causing it to become even thinner and allowing those tiny blood vessels to become that much more noticeable—giving the appearance of dark circles.

 

SOLUTION: Eye Cream

USE FOR: Wrinkles, Puffiness, Dark Circles

How It Works: Many natural eye creams can be a great supplement to healthy lifestyle choices. But make sure the ingredients contain substances that are recognizable. Look for an eye cream with vitamins E and K, essential fatty acids, or vitamin C-ester to promote collagen synthesis.