Most under-eye darkness and puffiness is due to a lack of healthy circulation and lymphatic drainage. It makes sense that any form of gentle blood flow and lymph stimulation can help to alleviate this. There are certain massage techniques I like to use in my facial treatments to increase blood flow under the eyes. Most “at-home” quick fixes have you using cucumbers and cold spoons – which helps a bit with puffiness, but not with dark circles. Try some of these suggestions at home and see if they help a little more:
Go for a run – working out increases circulation and promotes healthy detoxification. Running also encourages more oxygen intake. Getting your blood pumping can help stimulate the blood vessels under the eyes and lighten darkness (which comes from stagnant circulation in the area.)
Get your caffeine fix – caffeine helps to pick up circulation. Drink a cup of coffee, place soaked tea bags over your eyes, or apply an eye cream containing caffeine to achieve the benefits.
Treat the area like a bruise – Bruises are the extreme of stagnant circulation. Look for these ingredients in your eye cream:
- Horse Chestnut – used to minimize reds and purples in the skin
- Vitamin K – a blood coagulator
- Vitamin C – helps brighten the skin and increases cell metabolism and oxygenation
- Arnica – used to heal and prevent bruising
These ingredients can all help minimize the darkness. In particular, Arnica extract is known to stimulate blood flow, so gently massaging an eye cream containing Arnica around the orbital bone may help reduce discoloration of the skin associated with bruising (or dark circles).
*FYI: Taking Arnica internally can aid in the prevention and healing of bruising, and it is often recommended to patients planning plastic surgery to minimize downtime.