Updated: Nov 28, 2020
How do you get rid of those pesky under eye bags and look more refreshed? Here’s 10 steps that actually work!
I have personally struggled with dark circles and under eyes that have a tendency to get puffy for my whole life. Full disclosure, I don't have model perfect under eyes now like the picture above. I do have my best under eyes. I think it is important to remember that perfect isn't the goal. Perfect is boring. Your best, that's the goal! I can say with all honesty that I know my under eyes look as good and rested today as they did 5 years ago, without injectables or plastic surgery. I look like I feel, NOT tired.
My secret is following these 10 steps that actually work to refresh your under eyes:
Drink Plenty of Water: It goes without saying, hydration is important. If you are hydrated, your skin will be hydrated. Hydrated skin bounces back. Dehydrated skin looks dull and more wrinkly. You know what your fingers look like after you’ve spent too much time in water? Your fingers look pruney like that because spending too much time in water leaches the moisture from your skin and dehydrates it. As soon as your skin rehydrates, it smoothes. So let that be a lesson. Hydration is important!
Get Good Sleep: If you want your skin to look its best, we have to talk about sleep. It is essential to prioritize getting enough sleep every night. Research has shown that beauty rest is a real thing, and that getting enough sleep is essential for effective cognitive functioning. This means that when you get enough quality sleep, you’ll look more rested and your brain will function better. Something we all want!
Wear Sunglasses: Next, no matter your complexion, make sure you wear sunglasses and sunscreen if you are spending any significant amount of time outside. Sun protection is the best prevention for hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. This is true for our entire face, but especially around the eyes. Because eyes can be sensitive to sunscreen, I personally deem sunglasses a must. Sunglasses also keep you from squinting, which can lead to wrinkles.
Use eye cream, and a GOOD one, EVERY day, twice a day: Make eye cream a part of your morning and evening routines, part of your “you” time. Treasure that time and thank yourself for taking the time. Don't skip it. I personally created and use BeLIFTED Botanicals B LUMEN Rejuvenating Eye Cream. I'll be talking all about the ingredients in it and why I chose to formulate with them in my next blog. I'm a little obsessed with ingredients… And remember, no eye cream, no matter how good it is, can work if you don’t use it regularly.
Now, got allergies? Take Care of Them: Allergies can cause your eyes to itch and they can cause you to rub your eyes. Rubbing is bad. And, even if your eyes don’t itch and you don’t rub them, allergies can be the reason fluid is being retained under your eyes. You know how your nose runs when you cry? That’s because our tears drain through our sinuses. Bottom line, it is all connected and you can't have your best looking under eyes while your allergies are acting up. So, take care of those allergies. Personally, I avoid foods I know I’m allergic or have sensitivities to, use air purifiers throughout my house, and take allergy medicine when I need it for seasonal allergies. Check out webMD’s guide on how you can treat your allergies here.
Completely remove your eye makeup everyday before you go to bed: Eye makeup that isn’t fully removed can be irritating. Plus, it doesn’t look great when it gets smeared. Especially if you use dark liner, making sure it is fully removed can make a big difference in your under eye appearance! That said, be mindful not to scrub too hard while removing it. You don’t want to stretch or irritate your skin. I recommend using an eye makeup remover on a cotton pad or a little bit of eye cream on the end of a Qtip to gently remove any leftover eye makeup after washing your face.
Avoid Rubbing! Friction is bad for your eye skin, so avoid rubbing your eyes at all costs. Put your eye cream on with your ring or pinky finger to keep from stretching your delicate eye skin. Our index finger is naturally stronger than our ring or pinky finger, so using a weaker finger when putting on your eye cream means you’ll naturally use less pressure. Less pressure will protect your skin better. It is much easier to prevent stretching your skin in the first place than to fix it after it is stretched. Stretched skin can’t be undone except by surgery. Injections might be an option if the stretching isn't too bad. Regardless, you’ll have to see a professional to learn more about invasive options. I have not done surgery or injections for my under eyes yet, but I do know from experience that your skin can surprisingly “bounce” back quite a bit when you give it a deep moisture boost with the right combination of moisture locking and soothing ingredients.
Medspa or Dermatologist in Office Treatments: Okay, this one is a secret sauce. Microneedling, which I love, is shown to actually regenerate collagen. Unfortunately, our eye skin is a bit delicate for it. Fortunately, the skin on our forehead, cheeks, temples, and the rest of our face is fair game. And, by doing micro-needling treatments specifically to your upper cheeks and temples area to plump those areas with new collagen, it can actually act a bit like a face lift and lift the skin under the eyes. I recommend getting micro-needling done at your dermatologists office or a licensed medspa. Fillers in these areas are another option, but I prefer the less invasive micro-needling approach where your skin regenerates on its own. Note: be careful with getting under eye filler. For many people, under eye filler will make things look worse, not better. So if you are considering that option, make sure you go to someone who is an expert! If you have the means to go to a specialist, laser treatments are an option too, for both reducing the appearance of veins and for reducing pigment in the under eye area. My understanding is that a laser that specifically targets melanin like the PicoSure can work wonders for dark circles. Here’s a video where you can see how it works. But, be mindful, don’t go to just any practice for this. Lasers and any treatment that gets close to your eyes requires someone who specializes in near the eye treatments. Fun fact, it also requires you wear huge, creepy all black contacts that cover and protect your eyes.
How to Fix Irritated Skin: All these rules are great and all, but what about when you don’t get enough sleep and you do rub your eyes? Perhaps you accidentally put an active around your eyes that was too harsh and it caused a negative reaction? Don't worry. First, do not put on any potential irritants like vitamin C or retinol anywhere near your eyes. If you are rubbing, stop. If you rubbed because of allergies, wash your hands and rinse your eyes or use eye drops. You can also gently wash your eyelids and under eyes with baby shampoo. Next, put something cold on your under eyes. This could be hyaluronic acid eye masks you kept in the fridge, cucumber slices, or even cold spoons. Don’t have any of those options available? Hold a cold soft drink on your under eyes. Using fresh green tea bags that have been brewed and then cooled in the fridge for a few hours is my favorite option because of the extra de-puffing help from the caffeine, but that takes a bit more prep than the other options. Next, put on an extra layer of eye cream. If you have damaged and irritated the skin around your eyes to the point where it is red, peeling, or sensitive to almost everything you try to put on it, put on something like pure squalane or pure ethylhexyl olivate (known as Sensolene) instead. Ethylhexyl olivate is an all natural ingredient derived from olives. I love it because it rests on top of the skin and will protect it, but not absorb into it at all. And, while sensolene is comparable to squalane, it actually works a little better because it locks in moisture longer. If you can't get Sensolene, just use squalane. Think of it like using an invisible band aid. FYI, if you don't notice your skin getting better within a day of laying off of everything or if the redness gets worse or seems more like a rash or anything more than just skin irritated from rubbing or the like, I'd recommend you see a doctor, but in the meantime you might find this WebMd article helpful.
Finally, stay tuned for my next blog, “Eye Cream Ingredients That Work” to learn more about which ingredients I deem essential for an eye cream!
Sending love, health, and healing to you all,
Owner and CEO of BeLIFTED Botanicals