Friday, April 3, 2009

Check Your Bags: De-Puffing Your Eyes (Part II)

While I had meant my last "de-puffing" post to be a quick tip, it occurred to me that many people out there may need some help choosing the perfect product to deflate their tired eyes. Thus, I present part II .

When shopping for an eye cream, it's important to realize that most are geared toward one specific symptom. The 3 most common categories are: puffiness ("bags"), under eye darkness, and anti-aging. Though much of the time symptoms are related, it may be tough to find one eye cream to address all of your issues. They are out there- it just may take more than one stop to find the right one! Knowing the key ingredients to look for will help you determine if the product you're looking at may be a multi-tasker. Today, my focus is puffiness, but I promise I'll cover other issues soon!

When looking for an eye cream to decrease puffiness, either on the lid or under the eye, choose an eye cream that contains caffeine, which may help to constrict the blood vessels and further reduce fluid build up under the eye. To a lesser extent, products with soothing ingredients like shea butter, dimethicone, and feverfew extract may also help, but typically only for those that have occasional stress or hormone related puffiness.

If puffiness is a consistent problem for you, a bit of self-evaluation may be in order. Puffiness can often be a sign of dehydration, so if you're a big fan of salt or alcohol, you're more likely to see bags (this is also why your carry-ons may become full blown suitcases the morning after a big night out!) Try sleeping face up with your head raised so that fluid can't pool. You can also try eating a banana for breakfast- the potassium helps to counteract some of the excess salt. Allergies can also be a cause, in which case an antihistamine may ease your symptoms.

As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes heredity is a factor- in which case the best eye cream in the world won't help. Though I often see makeup artists recommend a concealer in a shade lighter than your skin, this actually highlights the area, which will make puffiness more obvious. If you have no darkness under the eye, you can try a concealer slightly darker than your skin tone, which will make bags appear to recede; otherwise stick with a concealer that's as close to your skin tone as possible.

Did you know that just the action of smiling helps to lift your mood? So, if all else fails, SMILE! Not only will it help to draw attention away from your eyes, but the action of smiling can actually help flush fluid out of the area naturally.

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