If eyes are the windows to the soul (and an excellent indicator of overall health) there’s good reason to make sure they’re looking vibrant and healthy this season. And with abundant holiday stressors—plus potentially scant shut-eye—it’s even more important than ever to care for your peepers. Luckily, DIY tricks and natural ingredients can smooth out lines, calm puffiness and tackle the dreaded dark circles, according to Sunny Subramanian, coauthor of The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty (Robert Rose, 2016). Take a peek.
There is a range of reasons you may experience unsightly red or swollen areas around the eyes, one of which is simply the natural aging process that can lead to weakening and sagging of this sensitive skin. Other possible reasons for undesirable puffiness or redness: water retention, sodium overload, makeup residue, allergies or lack of sleep.
Caffeine: No longer just used for an energy jolt, caffeine is increasingly used topically for its soothing and antioxidant properties, making it a go-to ingredient in under-eye products.
Cucumber: “I like to use the timeless cucumber trick,” says Subramanian. “Cukes contain antioxidants, which can reduce irritation, and the cooling effect can help reduce swelling. Simply cut a few slices of a chilled cucumber, and place them over the eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.”
Witch hazel: This multipurpose can manage inflammation. When applied to the eye area, it may reduce puffiness and redness.
Quick tip: If allergies are the culprit, it’s time to break out the neti pot.
A mix of caffeine and daisy flower extract, Magnolia Fresh Eyes aims to brighten, tighten and reduce signs of fine lines.
Hydrating hibiscus joins forces with caffeine and algae to offer a skin care triple-threat.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, eyes are actually more like the windows to your liver, with dark circles being a prime indicator you may need to detox. Just as with puffiness or bags, other causes of dark circles include allergies, dietary issues and too little sleep.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C has been found to manage hyperpigmentation, even out skin tone and reduce dark circles. Many skin-brightening products use citrus fruit extracts for their vitamin C content.
Chlorella: This green algae lightens and brightens skin by regulating and decreasing production of melanin, the source of skin pigmentation. When taken as a supplement, chlorella is a gentle detoxifier that can address the root causes of circles or bags.
Peptides: Certain peptides, such as those from copper, restore skin’s collagen and elastin, lifting the under-eye area and preventing sagging and discoloration.
Quick tip: Implement a gentle cleanse—regularly drinking green tea, taking a chlorella supplement, eliminating refined flour and sugar—to remove dark circle–causing toxins from your system.
This two-step, ten-minute treatment uses marine algae, cucumber extract, arnica and a host of other plant-based ingredients to tighten and lift skin around the eyes.
Blue-green algae stimulates collagen production, while Kombuchka—a branded ingredient containing fermented black tea— brightens and smoothes the skin.
It’s inevitable that at some point you’ll start to notice fine lines around the eyes, which is a natural symptom of aging (because of reduced collagen production), sun exposure, severe dryness and environmental stressors.
Jojoba: With properties nearly identical to your skin’s natural sebum oil, jojoba is tailor-made for moisturizing and reducing the appearance of fine lines on sensitive parts of your skin, such as around the eyes.
Plant-based antioxidants: Lycopene from tomatoes, resveratrol from grapes and beta-carotene from carrots all fight free radicals, restoring health and nutrients to the eye area.
Rosehip: “To combat crow’s feet, it’s so important to infuse your skin with mega doses of hydration and antioxidants,” says Subramanian. She especially recommends rosehip seed oil, which is rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
Quick tip: Take an inside-out approach, and add a collagen supplement to your regimen to strengthen skin.
A potent blend of antioxidants in an aloe vera base, this ultrapowerful cream includes astaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin and coQ10 (to name few).
From the company known for its jojoba-based products, this balm doesn’t stop with that skin-quenching ingredient: It also incorporates cucumber and avocado oils, papaya fruit extract and more than a dozen other plant-based all-stars.