They say your eyes are the windows to your soul, but they’re also the little snitches that give away your deepest and darkest secrets. If you’re lacking sleep, low on water intake, stressed about daily life or, simply, not looking after yourself well enough, your eyes can let the whole world know that you’re not at the top of your game.
Girls of colour, you know this all too well. Skin tones with a higher concentration of melanin, such as my fellow Indian beauties, know that dark circles are a given. It’s all very scientific and quite honestly very boring, but what my fellow desi girls know is that dark circles are very prominent on tanned skin. Heredity, skin ailments, exposure to the sun, nutrition, fatigue and age all play part in dark under eye circles too.
Concealers and skin correctors are firm fixtures in my makeup bag. While they work miracles at concealing raccoon eyes, the days when I’m not wearing makeup (and trust me there’s a lot) my eyes look like they’ve had a round with Mike Tyson. Oh how I envy the girls who have never seen so much as a shadow on their under eyes!
Never fear beauties, because the cosmetic industry is full of wonderful potions and lotions to help mask and/or reduce the pigmentation under your eyes. Whilst you can’t necessarily eliminate them, the reduction can be dramatic depending on the product. However, for some of us, spending a mini fortune on an eye cream is unattainable. Whilst the promise of reducing fine lines, premature aging and dark circles can be enough of an incentive, sometimes our budgets do not permit us to do so.
Here are a few of my favourite and natural home remedies for you to try out at home when you’re looking to alleviate yourself from the pain of dark under eye circles.
Chamomile and Green Tea
1 Green Tea bag
1 Chamomile Tea bag
Steep both tea bags in a cup of boiling water and completely cover. Let the tea bags brew for 30 minutes whilst the water cools. Place the cup in the refrigerator over night. The next day, take two cotton pads and soak with the cold tea mixture. Squeeze out the excess and apply to both eyes for a minimum of 10 minutes. Repeat the process daily with the same tea mixture, but discard the tea and brew a new cup after 3 days to avoid cross contamination.
Both green and chamomile tea are rich in anti-oxidants; which helps relieve tired and puffy eyes. They have been used for centuries as natural skin lighteners, because of their natural botanicals.
Cucumber and Potato
½ cucumber, peeled
1 medium uncooked potato, peeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Peel both the cucumber and potato. Roughly chop and add to the blender (smaller the cuts, the easier it will be to blend). Squeeze and add the juice of a fresh lemon and blend together until a paste is formed. Refrigerate for an hour. Apply mixture to the area around your eyes, being careful to not get too close to the eye ball (lemon juice in the eye is never pleasant). Leave for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. Repeat the process daily until you see results.
Many believe that cucumber slices over the eyes are just a pleasant placebo whilst getting a face mask, but cucumbers are rich in antioxidants like cucurbitacins, vitexin, orientin, isoscoparin, along with vitamins C and K. Potatoes rich in minerals like potassium, sulphur and phosphorous which are excellent for skin care as well as vitamins and antioxidant compounds that are found in raw potato juice, which help improve the skin tone.
Tomato and Turmeric
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
3 tablespoons of fresh tomato juice
Place the chilled tomato juice and turmeric powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Apply the paste under your eyes and let it sit for 20 minutes. Wash with warm water and reapply on a daily basis.
Turmeric is one of those ‘wonder’ ingredients that can aid a number of beauty concerns. In this case, turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties; which is perfect for treating dark circles. Tomatoes have natural bleaching properties and makes the skin soft and supple.
Almond Oil and Honey
Two teaspoons of sweet almond oil
Two teaspoons of natural, raw honey
Combine the mixture together and massage gently into the area around the eyes in circular motions. Leave on overnight and rinse in the morning. Repeat daily for two weeks or until you see results.
Almond oil is a natural emollient; which softens, soothes and moisturises the skin. Massaging this oil onto dry and nourished skin around your eyes will give them the necessary moisture. Almond oil is a rich source of vitamin E and vitamin K; which are essential in reducing puffy and pigmented eyes. Honey has obviously great natural anti-bacterial properties; which helps keep eye infections at bay. It’s also incredibly moisturising; which helps tired and itchy eyes.
What are you favourite natural beauty treatments? Comment below with some suggestions.