If there's one thing I miss about my twenties, it's being able to go out all night and skip into work the next day feeling functional and looking human. The holiday season — with all of its late nights and overindulgences — is looming, and I'm already anticipating an extended visit from my not-so-good friends Puffy and D.C. (dark circles).
"As you age, the skin around your eyes becomes thinner, so dark circles become much more prevalent," explains Linda McDonald-Ferris, manager of The Hazelton Spa in Toronto. "Puffiness tends to occur because of many different factors: water retention, caffeine, hormonal changes, even leftover makeup."
McDonald-Ferris created the Eclat Contour for Jet-Lag spa treatment, which uses a mix of exfoliants, massage and drainage techniques to de-puff swollen eyes, improve skin tone and alleviate dark circles. The treatment was originally created for jet-setters on the go, but any woman can benefit. I happily tried it, and emerged with glowing skin and a much-improved texture around my eyes.
If you can't make it to the spa, here are some tips that will help you at home:
- Thoroughly remove eye makeup before going to bed. Go for a non-mineral, oil-based remover and rinse well.
- Avoid waterproof mascara, if you can. It's too hard to get off without tugging and pulling at the delicate eye area.
- Don't put cream near lashes as it can irritate the eyes.
- To apply eye cream, use a light touch and pat it with the fingertips from below the inner eye toward the temples to help drain fluids and boost circulation.
- Need a quick de-puff? Throw some spoons in the freezer overnight and apply them to the eye area in the morning. Cool cucumbers and cold tea bags also work.
Here are some products worth trying:
Pur Eye Cream ($9) uses organic extracts of almond tree and blackcurrant to reduce puffiness and smooth skin.
Get a super-concentrated boost of moisture and antioxidants with Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide Gold Ultra Lift and Strengthening Eye Capsules ($62).
Valmont Contour Eye and Lip Cellular Cream ($185) protects and moisturizes skin using cell boosters such as wild salmon roe DNA.
L'Or de Vie La Crème Yeux ($190) by Dior captures the superior antioxidant properties of Sauvignon grape sap from the famous Château d'Yquem.
Lancôme's peptide-based High Resolution Eye Collaser-5X ($72) promises to diminish dark circles and smooth fine lines.
Specially formulated for 50-plus skin, Age Perfect Pro-Calcium Eye & Lip ($37) from L'Oréal Paris plumps and tones the delicate skin around both eyes and lips.
Sugar beet and cucumber extracts in Bioré's Cooling Eye Gel ($14) help to de-puff and brighten the eye area.