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Eliminate puffy eyes and dark circles, naturally

Puffy eyes or dark circles often point to health issues, including stress and seasonal allergies. These lifestyle tweaks and natural eye creams can help.

Don’t be so quick to blame one restless night: Puffy eyes or dark circles often point to bigger health or lifestyle issues ranging from allergies ('tis the season) to a dire need for detox (that happy hour last night? hmm … ). Fortunately, these easy natural fixes won’t take long to brighten you up. And when you look well rested, turns out you're probably healthier overall.

It may seem obvious, but it’s also easy to forget: get enough rest and reduce stress. Though not always to blame, sleep deficiency and anxiety increase cortisol—the “stress hormone”—which can cause inflammation around the eyes. Ten days, including two weekends, of solid sleep (at the very, very least six hours) can help balance hormone levels and renew vibrancy. 

Eyes … the window to your liver? According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, dark circles scream, “I need a detox!” (more Zen than that I'd imagine). The simplest way: Every morning, wake up to large glass of lukewarm water, with a half a lemon squeezed in, to help flush toxins from the body. And sip detoxifying green tea throughout the day. Of course, also eat lots of leafy greens, look into detox supplements, and cut back on white sugar … and those extra happy hours.

Another common source of around-the-eye issues: seasonal allergies, which affect approximately one in three of us. A neti pot like SinuCleanse Neti Pot can help clear sinuses and eliminate that pollen-induced puffiness, but be sure to use a saline formula to avoid infection.

Luckily, some of my favorite natural products on the market are eye creams, which have been extremely effective in soothing my eye area and evening skin tone. When choosing an eye product, look for anti-inflammatory and brightening ingredients like seaweed, pomegranate, aloe, magnolia, and coffee. My picks: Mychelle Magnolia Fresh Eyes and Weleda Pomegranate Firming Eye Cream. In addition to reducing puffiness and redness, both are extremely gentle and nonirritating on this sensitive part of the face. You can also apply natural oils that resemble your eye’s sebum like macadamia nut, jojoba, or sunflower oils.

And yes, there will still be those times when it’s inevitable that you’re going to look like you’ve been up since 4 am (maybe you have). When this is the case, choose a natural concealer that uses either plant or mineral pigments (Try Mineral Fusion or 100 Percent Pure). And always go a couple of shades lighter to even out the dark color.


Discuss this Blog Entry 3

on Apr 12, 2011

Great tips, Jessica. I just bought MyChelle's Magnolia Fresh Eyes and love how it smells and hydrates. It plays nice with my sensitive skin, too.

on Apr 12, 2011

Thanks, Caren! I've tested many of Mychelle's products and have found that the line is the perfect combo of gentle and effective--glad you agree. This product and the fruit enzyme cleanser are two of my favorites.

on Jul 29, 2013

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