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Under-EYE dark circles
April 11, 2013 COMMENT comment
     
10 Things you should know about
UNDER-EYE DARK CIRCLES
By Hansa Makhijani
 
There are many causes of dull, sallow and darkening skin around the eyes. And there are many solutions, too. Cotton balls soaked in milk kept on the eyes for five to 10 minutes can work wonders. You can also try potato slices or lemon slices as they also help but need to be used on a daily basis.
 
Stressed out about those under-eye dark circles? Well, you're not alone. About eight in 10 women suffer from under-eye dark circles, reveals Dr Indu Tolani, dermatologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon. The skin around your eyes is thinner than any other area of your body and thus extremely delicate and prone to damage. Common causes include lack of sleep, deficiency of iron and vitamins, heredity and even hormonal changes. Medical conditions like sinus, infections or hormonal fluctuations can at times lead to water retention, which results in under-eye dark circles, adds Tolani. Here's how you can get the sparkle back.

1. You don't snooze, you lose
Most of the time, fixing your sleeping pattern and getting adequate hours of shut-eye can help banish the dark circles. Lack of proper sleep actually makes the situation worse, says Dr Tolani.

2. The right serve
Drinking lots of water and adding fruits and vegetables to your diet ensures ample nutrition for this delicate area, advises Dr Tolani. Even if you don't have dark circles, this will help prevent them, she adds.

3. Shy away from the sun
Sunglasses weren't just meant to make you look chic. It is imperative to apply sunscreen (preferably one that's allergy-tested and fragrance-free to avoid irritation) around the eyes and making sure it reaches every crevice. Sunglasses further aid protection.

4. Ghastly gadgets
In today's lives where we are inseparable from our televisions, cell phones, computer screens and tablets, our poor eye muscles never get a chance to relax. Studies have proven that too much time looking at these screens actually ages the skin, and the eyes are no exception.

5. Pass-up the booze and cigarettes
Since dehydration is a key cause of dark circles, it's best to avoid smoking and drinking or restrict them to the bare minimum. Smoking constricts blood vessels while alcohol dries up the system. Both hamper the skin's ability to transport and absorb nutrients.

6. Clean-up your act
Eye makeup products may cause allergies leading to irritation and darkening of the eye area, says Dr Tolani. Make sure you remove all traces of eye makeup properly with a cleanser and moisturise the area before sleeping, she adds. An ophthalmologist-tested eye makeup remover would be a great buy if you wear eye makeup on a daily basis.

7. Eye creams to the rescue
A good eye cream applied at night with a gentle massaging motion can offer great results within a fortnight. "However, one should always check the ingredients; eye creams which work have retinols, vitamin A, vitamin K, green tea extracts, hyaluronic acid and peptides," suggests Dr Tolani.

8. Home cures that work
Cotton balls soaked in milk kept on the eyes for five to 10 minutes can work wonders. You can also try potato slices or lemon slices as they also help but need to be used on a daily basis, advises Dr Tolani. To relax the eye muscles at the end of the day, place two steel spoons in the freezer for five minutes and place them so that they cup your eyes.

9. There's always makeup
Usually people believe that concealers lighter than your skin tone do a better job of covering up dark circles. This is absolutely false, says makeup expert Chandni Singh of Chandni Singh Salon & Academy, Noida. Use the shade closest to your skin tone and dab some loose powder or compact over it, she adds. Those with deep-set eyes can benefit from an illuminating concealer. And if they are really awful, concealers with orange pigments work best, divulges Singh.

10. Pro solutions
Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm can be helpful as they prevent further aggravation of the problem, advises Dr Tolani. However, this must be done by an expert as the eye area has several optic nerves passing through. We also recommend the Ayurvedic therapy called 'Netra Vasthi' that involves creating a deep eye mask of kneaded dough and filling it up with medicated ghee. The eyes are then opened and closed and this relieves dullness, dark circles, and fatigue in the area.

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