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Sunday, October 20, 2013

IMPERFECTIONS 1: Puffy eyes and dark circles

Hello Pretty Ladies! While you dance in the streets of Bacolod City and enjoy colorful parade of costumes in the Masskara Festival, let's start off with our first topic: IMPERFECTIONS 1 Puffy Eye bags and dark circles.

It has been my habit that every time I wake up I immediately rush to the mirror and check my face. It's quite a frustration to see bags forming under my eyes. Do you also notice that? I don't think I'm alone in this beauty issue. And when you step on your workplace, one of your office mates tell you that you looked tired. Together with the puffy eyes, you bring with you those dark circles that would make you look older than your age. And it's not good to start a day, ugly! But hey, don't worry that much, we got here remedies for that. We just have to learn how we develop these under eye bags and then we can prevent them from coming back.

Elegia Cang, got her under eye bags from her genes; but still beautiful.

How did I get these?

UNDER EYE BAGS
Sad to say, the puffiness or mild swelling under your eyes is one of the consequence of aging. As you age, some of the muscles supporting your eyelids and the tissues around your eyes start to weaken. According to mayoclinic.com, your lids appear to be puffy because the normal fat that aid in supporting your eyes can then migrate into the lower eyelids. Remember, the skin around our eyes are the thinnest and more affected with the flow of fluids in your body. 

Osmosis, the movement of water molecules across a membrane, is also the reason. Water tends to travel to more salt-concentrated areas. So, that explains why you got these the morning when you had a dinner rich of salty food or a romantic movie made you cried the night.

Though these can give you a bad day, these are rarely associated to underlying serious medical condition. Some of the factors that contribute to the development of these bags and dark circles are the following:
  • Weather changes such as hot or humid days causing fluid retention, hormonal issues or a salty diet
  • Not getting a good quality sleep
  • Heredity
  • Sleeping flat on your back
  • Allergies or dermatitis, causing the redness and itching
DARK CIRCLES
Are you tired of hearing comments that you look tired? Then, someone your age will address you like you are older than her. Well, aging is inevitable and the factor that will make you age visibly are dark circles under your eyes. As we age, the skin around our eyes becomes thinner and expose tiny blood vessels below the surface. These dark circles can be something not temporary since most cases these are inherited. Pigmentation in the skin around the eyes are commonly observed among Asians and Africans.

According to New York ophthalmic plastic surgeon, Dr. Joseph Eviatar, you can check if the darkness is caused by pigmentation. Try to pull the skin sideways and if the darkness looks spotted or blotchy, then it is indeed caused by excess pigment in the skin.

But pigmentation is not the only cause, it is also known that these can develop if there is a loss of volume in the area around the eye. The loss then expose the orbital bone in your face thus creating a hollow that looks like a dark circle. This is often experienced in the late 30s or 40s of your age.
Most common causes of dark circles  are (www.mayoclinic.com):
  • Allergies
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • Heredity
  • Lifestyle- smoking, excessive drinking, physical or emotional stress
  • Nasal congestion; this is known to dilate and darken the veins that drain from your eyes to your nasal cavities
  • Pigmentation irregularities
  • Rubbing or scratching of your eyes
  • Sun exposure; prompting your body to produce more melanin
  • Thinning of skin and loss of fat and collagen- exposing the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes.
What can I do?
Guys, there are a lot of things that we can do to banish these dark circles and eyes bags and look young again. Although these are commonly not signs of serious diseases, we should not take it for granted. Stop looking tired and older than your age, you have to regain confidence and look/feel pretty again. Here are some tips:

1. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to flush the area and make the puffiness go down. Avoid substances with alcohol and caffeine-- these can dehydrate you.

2. Apply cold compress. Since these are mild swelling, you can reduce the puffiness by applying cool compress of some kind. Here's what you can do:
  • Chill cucumber slices; place them over your closed eyes and lie back for 15 minutes until they feel warm. 
  • Instead of cucumbers, you use tea bags. Wet a pair of tea bags and place them in your fridge for 15 minutes. Then, lie back and apply them in your eyes for 15 minutes.
  • Another easier alternative is placing spoons in your fridge and place them in your eyes. You can do this daily.
3. Change your sleeping position. Sleeping on your side or stomach can encourage fluids to collect and stay under your eyes. You can add extra pillow to elevate your head and minimize puffiness in the morning.

4. Be gentle with your face. You got the thinnest skin under your eyes so be careful not to damage it or stretched out through exposure to chemicals or harsh habits. You need to prevent it from becoming sagged, loose or filled with fluids. 
  • Use a gentle cleanser in washing you face.
  • Using a makeup remover can help you easily take off make up in your eyes rather than wiping or rubbing it.
  • In washing your face, splash water gently and pat it dry without scrubbing your eyes with towel.
  • You can keep the area from drying by using moisturizer on your eyelids and the skin surrounding your eyes.
5. Attend to your allergies. You need to reduce the symptoms of your allergies and it's a must that you avoid allergens. Discuss with your doctor some over-the-counter medications or prescription for allergies. Also, ask for prevention strategies on how to deal with under-eye reactions due to cosmetics, soaps, hair dyes or other allergens.

6. Consider extra hours of sleeping. Although work and lifestyle can deprive you from taking 7-8 hours of sleep, you need to pamper yourself with extra sleep. Lacking a good sleep can make you look paler with hollow-eyed thus making shadows more visible and dark circles are made obvious.

7. Change your diet. If you frequently eat salty food, you might be going to be bed with a lot of salt in your system. You can reduce this chance by:
  • Using less salt in cooking. Gradually, reduce it by half and try to go lower.
  • You can't control the content of salt in your meal especially if you eat in a restaurant. So, reduce eating out.
  • To alleviate fluid retention, eat more bananas and raisins for snacks instead.
  • You can turn to diuretics which can help you reduce some excess fluid; examples are cabbage and cranberry juice.
8. Take science as a refuge. A number of skin creams can be applied to reduce or prevent eye bags and dark circles. One study discovered that a serum with plant-based compounds can improve appearance these impurities.

9. Cover up. For the meantime, you can just hide these dark circles by using the right concealers. It is advised that you use peach-colored concealer if the skin is bluish, instead of going for the white or gray. Scented products especially those containing salicylic acid should be avoided since these can irritate delicate eye tissues and can contribute to swelling and redness.  

10. Consider permanent solutions. You can decide taking eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty, in which the surgeon remove eye bags by cutting just below the lashes and removing excess fat and sagging skin. After the operation, a laser treatment will follow.

When should I see my doctor?

Eye bags and dark circles are common and usual cosmetic concern requiring no serious medical treatment. Nonetheless, you should be observant enough and see if discoloration and swelling seem to be severe and persistent, itchy or painful with redness and affects other parts of your body. Then, you should visit your doctor.

Well, there we have it ladies. The way we look matters and our confidence depends on it. Let us exude that inner glow and let that reflect to create a pleasant aura around us. Yes, we know we are not perfect but we can do something about it.

Stay beautiful,

Antonia

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