One minute we were feeling relatively fresh faced and the next, we're peering into the bathroom mirror wondering how to get rid of the tell tale signs of sleepless nights and years passing that's written all over our faces.
Everywhere you turn there's a new 'miracle' product claiming to eradicate these pesky signs of ageing for good - but with whopping great price tags and no guaranteed results, wouldn't it be nice to try some more natural alternatives?
Luckily there's a whole host of natural tips and tricks that promise to seriously reduce bags under your eyes and dark circles, so instead of reaching straight for that concealer why not give on a go?
Causes of dark circles and bagsThe reason we get dark shadows and eye bags has a lot to do with our lifestyles, so detecting what the causes of our eye woes are can help us to banish them from our faces for good.
1. Sleep (or lack of)
We can't express how important a good night's sleep is for a whole multitude of reasons, but there really is such a thing as beauty sleep. A lack of shut eye can make the skin appear pale and reduces circulation, which is why dark circles appear. Everyone's different so figure out how much sleep you need and stick to it - it'll work wonders for your peepers! It's also important to completely remove all make up (with a clean flannel) as leaving eye make up residue can cause ageing.
Hands up who's guilty of not drinking the recommended amount of water every day? Yep, us too. But drinking enough water is so important, especially when it comes to anti-ageing. Every organ in the body needs water and our skin is no exception, as it's cells depend on water to function efficiently and repair damage. Noella Gabriel, who is in charge of treatments and product development at Elemis, told the Express 'The drier and more dehydrated the skin is, the more it emphasises existing lines, so things can look much worse than they are.' Aim to drink 1.6 litres of fluid a day and you'll really feel the benefits.
Who'd have thought that being allergic to something could be having an unwanted affect on our eye bags and circles? Allergies like hay fever are actually a common cause of skin discoloration under the eyes, and food allergies in particular could cause constant puffiness. Make sure you track down the cause of your allergy and tackle it, and you'll soon notice an improvement in your eyes.
Dark circle and bag remediesBaking soda
Some women swear by a blend of baking soda and water, mixed to 'sugar syrup consistency', to banish their dark circles. Beauty blogger Darshika Patel put the theory to the test in this YouTube video, saying that it should 'leave your bags diminished and your under-eye circles improved'.
To try it yourself, mix together baking soda and a small amount of water to form a paste, allow this to dry under the eyes for 5-10 minutes, then wash it away with a damp cloth. Darshika adds that your eyes may feel tight after the treatment, but 'that's good because it is tightening the skin around the eyes'.
No, we're not talking some fancy herbal tea here. Good old fashioned caffeinated tea has long been used as a remedy of eye puffiness thanks to its mild diuretic properties and natural tannins. Simply soak two tea bags in warm water and allow them to chill for a few minutes (the cooler the better - try popping them in the fridge!). Then place one tea bag on each eye for five minutes, for fresher eyes fast.
Ok yes this is a little unusual, but bear with us! Potatoes are said to have natural bleaching properties, so popping a couple of slices under your eyes could help reduce dark shadows without forking out a fortune on expensive creams. Apply them as cold as you can to combat puffiness at the same time.
An oldie but a goodie, cold cucumber slices have long been known for the wonders they work on tired, puffy eyes in desperate need of freshening up. Place a slice over each eye, making sure it covers the darkened area too. Do this daily and lie down for around 10-15 minutes. The cucumber will get to work on the skin around your eyes and the act of taking time for yourself will help alleviate eye bag-causing stress, too!
Rose water is said to be a great natural product for diminishing the appearance of dark circles, as well as puffiness and wrinkles around the eyes. Not only is it soothing for irritated, stressed out eyes, it's hydrating properties mean it's able to restore the pH balance of the skin. This helps to remove dark pigmentation, while its anti–oxidant properties help to strengthen the skin cells and regenerate the tissues under the eyes. Simply take a cotton ball soaked in rose water and apply around the eye area for 10 minutes.
Thanks to its anti–inflammatory properties, almond oil can help to diminish pesky dark circles and under eye bags. It has great source of vitamin K that improves the blood clotting that in turn results in decrease in the appearance of dark circles and other skin discoloration around the eyes. Apply a small amount of your dark circles before you go to bed, and then wash off with cold water in the morning.