Eye appeal

eye-appealAs we age, we are more prone to develop dark circles under our eyes. Not the temporary shadows or bags that appear after a few too many cocktails, but lingering discoloration as the skin around the eyes thins, exposing tiny, subcutaneous blood vessels. Sometimes these dark circles are inherited and sometimes, particularly among Thais and other Asians, they are pigmentary issues.

Makeup can help conceal these dark circles. Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone. If the discoloration is faint, pick a liquid formula. For more prominent shadows, select a cream or cake concealer. Lightly pat the concealer on from the inner corner of your eye to just past the outer corner.

As an option, visit a beauty clinic for treatment with intense pulse light (IPL). It destroys those pigment cells and smoothes the skin. A series of four IPL treatments is typically needed to see improvement. Skin lightening creams that contain hydroquinone or kojic acid may also diminish the darkness.

Dark circles caused by extremely thin skin are difficult to treat. Eye creams that contain caffeine may help a bit because they constrict the underlying blood vessels.

To help keep your eyes looking youthful, here are four things you can do short of surgery:

* Don’t smoke, and always apply a sunscreen or sun block around the eye area. Smoking and exposure to UV rays weaken collagen and cause premature wrinkling and sagging.

* Apply a moisturizer to the eye area nightly. Almost any moisturizer will provide the hydration you need.

* Add a prescription retinoic acid — the vitamin A cream—to your daily skin care regimen. It’s the single best thing you can use to prevent wrinkles and reduce existing lines.

* To calm puffy eyes, place cold spoons, slices of cucumbers, chilled tea bags, or even a package of frozen peas under your eyes. The cool temperatures — rather than any special properties of cucumbers, peas or tea bags — reduce swelling. And, yes, placing a hemorrhoid cream under your eyes might help get rid of puffs, too. But retinol eye cream might be more effective.

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