Getting dark circles under your eyes? Wondering what to do? Many of us find ourselves in the same boat, as age and the wear and tear of life seem to show itself most visibly around the eye area. Sans the Fountain of Youth, what’s a girl to do to protect the skin around her eyes?

The steps are simple, but it’s the doing that is often waylaid along with the best of intentions. Don’t let caring for your body take a backburner. By incorporating some simple steps into your daily routine, your eyes will thank you for it.

Don’t skimp on sleep.

During the day, your skin is busy protecting itself from the elements, the sun, or oxidation. But at night, during your sleeping hours, your skin goes into repair mode, where it creates new skin cells and cycles oxygen and nutrients throughout your body to work on regeneration. When you don’t sleep enough, you are narrowing the window of time during which your body gets to work on repairs. But not only that, your blood turns a darker color, as being sleep deprived makes it less oxygenated. This darker blood is visible through transparent skin, such as the skin under your eyes. Sleep has a host of other benefits outside of just color correcting under eye bags, so consider sleep an investment into your overall health.

Clean up your act.

Alcohol and too much caffeine can ruin your sleep patterns in a way that can be traced to dark circles under one’s eyes. And, of course, that extra bag of chips or box of comfort chocolate isn’t going to do wonders for your complexion either. You’ll feel better in the moment, but miserable when you’re dealing with an acne breakout. You can start today to clean up your act by making sure you drink 8 glasses of water or other hydrating liquids. Eat foods rich in vitamin C as that can help revive collagen in your skin and strengthen blood vessels. Vitamin C-rich foods include spinach, broccoli, citrus fruits, cauliflower, and cabbage.

In a pinch, eye makeup works wonders.

Emergencies come up and regardless of our best intentions, we’re not able to get our beauty sleep in. Eye makeup can help to cover up those dark circles. Be careful to not rely on cosmetics so much that you skip all the other steps that promise longer-term gains than this one. But if you need a quick fix, the right concealer for your skin tone can do wonders. Make sure that your skin is well prepped and primed beforehand with quality skin care products so that the concealer goes on smoothly.

Say “no” to morning-after mascara. 

Leaving eye makeup on can irritate your eyes, causing you to rub at them, which is terrible for the sensitive skin around your eyes. Not only that but also sleeping with makeup on prevents your skin from going into repair mode. The more time you leave makeup on, the more the makeup breaks down into smaller particles that could be absorbed into one’s skin. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Take your make up off as soon as you walk through your door. 

Use eye patches and sheet masks for speedy healing sessions.

There’s a reason sheet masks are regularly ranked high as some of the best skincare products. The results are immediately visible, the price is affordable, and application can be done at home. Most eye patches and sheet masks are also made with natural ingredients, so they are a great natural skin care solution to plumping out fine lines around the eyes and brightening dark under eye circles. This is a guilt-free pick-me-up that you can indulge in as often as you like, with fabulous results every time.

—Emma Jean

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