A few of the most commonly asked questions in my e-mail are related to skincare. Specifically, how to reduce the appearance of dark circles, eyebags and fine lines. This comes as no surprise, as any one of these problems can age a woman by five to 10 years.
It doesn’t help that the area involved also happens to have the thinnest and most delicate skin, which means it requires more attention than the rest of our face.
Minimizing the appearance of eyebags or puffy eyes can be a challenge, but with a little trial and error (and maybe a change in diet) it can be done. Also, there’s a way to make our pores look smaller with some easy steps.
I am having problems with my eyebags. It makes me look old, especially when I don’t get enough sleep. What can I do to get rid of them? Also, what is the best concealer you can suggest? I’m 26, by the way. —Sheena
Have you ever noticed how your eyes look after a good cry or when you’ve overslept? They become puffy, because there is a fluid buildup or swelling of the tissue around the eyes. This is pretty common, and it affects some people more than others. Fluid retention is usually the culprit here and it can be related to pregnancy, diet or consuming excessive salt and alcohol. Allergies, crying or an oncoming infection can also cause the eye area to be puffy.
If you’ve woken up to puffy eyes due to lack of sleep, don’t fret. Your specific problem has a solution, but may demand more than a swipe of concealer.
Eye cream is usually the go-to product whenever we experience eyebags. Creams infused with ingredients like caffeine, chamomile or cucumber are usually the most effective as they help reduce puffiness around the eyes.
But if you want to increase the efficacy of your eye cream, store it in the refrigerator and apply when cool. Its low temperature will constrict blood vessels, preventing fluid from flowing into tissues around the eyes. A cold compress will also deliver the same results, so keep a cooling eye mask in the refrigerator. You can use this when you need to de-puff your eyes in a hurry.
If you have time, the old cucumber trick can also work for you. Just cut up a cucumber and put two thin slices on each of your eyes. This acts as a natural astringent and provides short-term relief. Or if you have potatoes at home, these will work just as well. The starch in potatoes has been proven to tighten skin.
Sleeping with a low pillow can also cause eyes to be puffy. It is important to find a pillow with just the right elevation to prevent gravitational redistribution of fluid that leads to eyebags.
And, likewise, applying too much eye cream can block and irritate tear ducts, causing the eyes to appear puffy. Using only a light touch of the product and gently patting it with your ring finger is the correct way of applying eye cream. Be sure to avoid getting the product into your eyes as well.
When it comes to concealer, a light-reflecting formula is your best bet. However, the product must only be applied on the shadow beneath the bags and not on the area itself. Applying on the eyebags will highlight the problem rather than disguise it, so use a mini makeup brush for this. Then dust with translucent loose powder to set.
I have a problem with my big pores. How will I have fine pores? Since most beauty products are expensive, what is the best natural regimen? —Lennelyn
Sorry to say, but you cannot will your pores to be smaller. We are stuck pretty much with our pores, no matter what size they are. Usually, the oilier our skin is, the bigger our pores are.
But while we cannot actually change their size, we can make our pores look smaller. Moisturizing daily and applying a pore-refining cream should do the trick. These work by plumping up the surrounding skin, thus reducing the appearance of pores.
Clearing pores that are clogged with blackheads or dead skin can also make pores look finer. A facial should be able to remove blackheads, or you can try using pore strips if your skin isn’t too sensitive.
If you’re looking for a natural regimen that minimizes the appearance of your pores, chilled plain yogurt can do the trick. Applying yogurt on your face like a mask not only feels refreshing, it absorbs excess oil and bacteria and makes pores look and feel smaller. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse with cool water.