When your body is under stress, the capillaries under the skin around the eyes leak, causing blood to pool underneath the skin. As the skin in the undereye area is very thin, this blood can be visible as dark circles. This leakage is completely harmless and the blood is absorbed back into the capillaries when the body recovers. However, because dark circles can make you look older, ill or tired, you may look for a way to make them less noticeable.
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Cosmetic eye pads work by cooling the area, causing the capillaries to pull away from the surface of the skin. Eye pads can be bought or homemade. Cucumber slices are often used as homemade eye pads. To use cucumber eye pads, you need to thickly slice a refrigerated cucumber, lie down, and place a slice over each eye. After 10 to 15 minutes your dark circles should be reduced.
Break for Teatime
Cold, used tea bags may also be used as eye pads. The tannin and caffeine in the tea bags reduce the puffiness that often accompanies dark circles. As with the cucumber slices, lie down and place them over your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. After use, wash your face thoroughly: Tea can stain the eye area temporarily.
Vitamins and Gels
You can also buy commercially made eye pads. Many of these contain antioxidants, such as green tea or vitamins A and C, and use a gel to help the ingredients to penetrate the skin. Eye pads containing potato juice can brighten the area, and some eye pads contain ingredients to improve blood circulation. If one type of eye pad does not work for you, try another that works by a different mechanism. However, be mindful that your dark circles may have a different cause.
Sometimes, It's in Your Genes
Some dark circles are not effectively treated with eye pads. An example of this includes dark circles that are caused by deep-set eyes or your pronounced forehead throwing shadows across your face. Some people find that dark circles run in their family. If you are one of these people, eye pads probably won't work or will have a very short-term effect.
Handle With Care
The skin in the eye area is very delicate, so be careful not to pull or stretch it. Rubbing your eyes may make your dark circles worse. Do not apply any type of eye pad to broken skin, and discontinue use if eye pads cause irritation.